It has turn out to be some of the notable photographs in historical past, and sure probably the most notable photograph related to American Legion Boys Nation.
The picture of a 16-year-old Invoice Clinton shaking palms with then-President John Kennedy in the course of the 1963 Boys Nation program’s go to to the Rose Backyard has left an indelible mark on historical past.
It additionally helped form Clinton’s political profession, as he famous in a video message to Boys Nation in 2013.
“That (Boys Nation) week had a profound affect on me,” Clinton stated within the handle. “… I used to be additionally deeply impressed to pursue life in public service. In fact, I couldn’t know then what jobs I’d have or after I could be elected or what I might be elected to or whether or not I might even be elected. I did know that I wished to spend my life being of service.”
And whereas Clinton has up to now been the one Boys Nation alumnus to be elected President of the US, he’s not the one one to make his mark within the political area. Numerous Boys Nation alumni have been elected to Congress, to state places of work, even to native political posts.
“It was arduous for me to not be drawn to public service after I felt an unimaginable name to patriotism after we sang patriotic songs throughout our time at Boys Nation,” former Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker (Boys Nation 1985) stated in a 2010 interview with The American Legion.
One other Sixties-era delegate to Boys Nation has additionally made a reputation for himself in politics.
Alan Keyes has run for president thrice, in addition to U.S. Senate twice in Maryland and as soon as in Illinois.
Whereas unsuccessful in these campaigns, Keyes turned the primary particular person to be elected Boys Nation president and win The American Legion’s Nationwide Oratorical Contest. Keyes, from San Antonio, Texas gained the oratorical competitors in April 1967, then was elected Boys Nation president that July.
One other Texan, Kevin Sladek of San Marcos, repeated the achievement when he was elected Boys Nation president in 1998 and gained the Oratorical Contest in 1999.
Whereas Keyes was profitable in his bid for Boys Nation President, Clinton wasn’t — as an alternative, Richard Stratton of Leland, In poor health., was elected Boys Nation President in 1963.
Chatting with The American Legion in 2013, Stratton stated this system “fully modified my life.”
“Boys Nation lifted me from a small rural city in Illinois to a nationwide perspective at a time of nice change and significance within the nation,” stated Stratton, who went on to a regulation profession after incomes a bachelor’s and regulation diploma from Harvard, with a grasp’s from the London Faculty of Economics and Political Science in between. “President Kennedy admonished us to ‘get entangled,’ not merely be spectators on the sidelines, and all of us went house and did that. Our Boys Nation class is in some ways a microcosm of the 60s boomer technology and all of the social and political change we skilled in the US.”
Boys Nation Presidents, 1960-69
1960: Lucien DiFazio, Wethersfield, Conn.
1961: Jefferson Jarvis, Fort Value, Texas
1962: H. Pettus Randall, Tuscaloosa, Ala.
1963: Richard Stratton, Leland, In poor health.
1964: Jeffrey Bauer, Boulder, Colo.
1965: Ron McCoy, Nogales, Ariz.
1966: Grey Miller, Houston, Texas
1967: Alan Keyes, San Antonio, Texas
1968: Peter O’Connell, Lakeside, Calif.
1969: Greg Grey, Gary, Ind.
Subsequent: The nation’s bicentennial prompts an unprecedented session.