Re: Presidential Scouting
Stephen Lamkin (stephen.l.lamkin1@JSC.NASA.GOV)
Thu, 7 Nov 1996 12:19:35 -0600
>> Regarding FDR, I have a coffee-table book of pictures of the first
>> national jamboree, held in Washington DC in I believe 1937.
>Not that I doubt the photo opportunity or FDR's involvement in scouting, but
>you've hit upon an interesting citation of the jamboree of 1937. My father
>was scheduled to attend that jamboree in Washington D.C. and the jamboree was
>cancelled on account of a national influenza epidemic which erupted. At least
>so goes his story in our family lore. Can someone confirm?
I can confirm that the 1937 Jamboree was canceled, but it was because of a
national epidemic of polio that summer, so most travel by Scouts of more
than 40 miles was canceled. My dad has just earned his Eagle and was
scheduled to receive it from Admiral Byrd upon his return from Antarctica.
At the time my dad lived in Canton, SD and was supposed to travel to Souix
City, IA to receive the award. Because it was more than 40 miles, BSA would
not approve the trip, plus Admiral Byrd's travel was restricted until the
fall when the threat had passed. By then it was too late.
But the 1937 Jamboree, and any large public gatherings were prohibited by
Presidential, and Public Health Service, decree until the threat of the
polio outbreak had passed in the fall. Apparently at that time, polio was
assumed to be associated with large public gatherings, and was most easily
spread during the warm summer months.
Although the Jamboree was canceled with about 1 month's notice, I'm suree
there were a number of patches and other memoribilia (SP?) that had be
produced beforehand, that might have leaked out.
CM Troop 442
Systems Engineering Office
NASA Johnson Space Center
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City