The following is excerpted from the Legion of Valor's website. Its reproduction here is meant for educational purposes and for information.
The Legion of Valor was organized on April 23, 1890, in Washington, DC, by a group of Civil War and Indian War Campaign veterans who were recipients of the Medal of Honor. At its inception, the name was “The Medal of Honor Legion”.
The membership was augmented following the Spanish Campaign of 1898 and following the Philippines Insurrection. The membership was never large and with the passage of years and subsequent demise of members, on November 25, 1918, the recipients of the Army Distinguished Service Cross, the second ranking Army decoration for extraordinary heroism, were admitted to membership.
In 1933, members of the United States Navy and Marine Corps, who were recipients of the Navy Cross, the second ranking Navy decoration for extraordinary heroism, were invited to join the membership and the name of this prestigious organization was changed to “The Army and Navy Legion of Valor”.
On August 4, 1955, Public Law 224, 84th Congress, incorporated The Army and Navy Legion of Valor of the United States. With the creation of the Air Force Medal of Honor and the Air Force Cross, the membership invited the recipients of these medals to become members and on June 21, 1961, with P.L. 87-56, the name of this elite organization became the “Legion of Valor of the United States of America, Inc”.