September 28, 1939, Jean Ladd, 15, Swampscott, Massachusetts, was adjudged the Best Drum Majorette of the 1939 American Legion Convention, Chicago. She is pictured here strutting down an avenue in Chicago, giant trophy in town.
Ladd remained involved in baton twirling throughout her life. Her obituary highlights her dedication.
Jean Ladd Fisher, 1941-2014
Jeanne (Ladd) Fisher, wife of the late Robert W. Fisher, of Nahant, died Thursday June 26, 2014. She was born in Swampscott, the daughter of the late Howard and Dorothy (Moulton) Ladd. She attended Swampscott schools and graduated from Swampscott High School, class of 1941, and Burdett College. She won national acclaim as a best drum majorette, winning four national championships with the American Legion and Veteran of Foreign Wars, World’s Fair and State Titles. For many years she was a well-known baton twirling judge. She led the old Dorchester Post 65 A.L. Drum and Bugle Corps of Boston and the Lt. Norman Prince Post 1506, VFW Band of Malden. Her lifetime interested association with drum corps and bands afforded the opportunity to travel extensively in the United States and Europe. The Selectman of the town of Swampscott honored her with an official “Jeanne Ladd Day” and celebrated with a parade, a football game, a trophy, and a “key” to the town. During World War II, she was a weekend driver for the American Red Cross, performed for monthly war bond drives, and for the U.S.O. One of the first female draftsmen at General Electric River Works during World War II, after which she was the executive secretary in small aircraft engines department…”Source
About The American Legion
The American Legion began in 1919 as a patriotic veterans organization. Focusing on service to veterans, servicemembers and communities, the Legion evolved from a group of war-weary veterans of World War I into one of the most influential nonprofit groups in the United States.” Their involvement with drum and bugle corps is the feature in a 62-page article, The Big Parade.
The American Legion website features a large digital archive including old copies of The National Legionnaire. It also features resolutions from 1919 to present. Also, brochures, pamphlets and special reports from several American Legion divisions. In addition, major historical publications; emblem sales catalogs; magazines; convention programs; annual reports; and news releases.
American Legion and Baton Twirlers, Majorettes
Today, it’s uncommon for American Legion Posts to host contests for baton twirlers and majorettes. They still sponsor drum and bugle corps competitions, particularly in the Midwest and Northeastern parts of the United States.