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US Enters Korean War

The Korean war began on June 25, 1950. The Korean peninsula had been ruled by Japan since 1910 and following the surrender of Japan at the end of World War II, Korea was divided along the 38th Parallel with United States troops occupying the Southern part and Soviet troops occupying the Northern part.

National OA Committee Red Sash

In the spring 1950 issue of the National Bulletin, Arrowmen were told that members of the National OA Committee would be available to meet with them at the 1950 NOAC. It was stated that they would be accessible to help members better understand the Order and its policies. Members were also told,

you’ll recognize these men because they will be wearing a special Vigil Honor band on which the colors will be reversed. These bands were made specifically for our Committee so that lodge members could recognize these officials and seek their help.

The Goodman National OA Committee Red Sash

In 1950 the National OA Committee created a reversed color OA Vigil Honor sash so that National OA Committeemen could easily be identified. There were as few as 15 of these special felt Vigil Honor sashes issued. One of these special sashes belonged to E. Urner Goodman. The sash was only used for a few years and after 1954 the sash retired from usage.

NOAC 1950 - 35th Anniversary Meeting

While today the 1950 meeting is called a National Order of the Arrow Conference or NOAC, back then they called it the 35th Anniversary Meeting or Convention. This meeting was like a modern NOAC. It was held for the second time at the University of Indiana, Bloomington. Approximately 1,100 delegates attended. There were group discussions and classes on topics ranging from regalia, ceremonies and lodge functions. This time many of the classes were taught by youth including Area Conference Chiefs.  The OA Distinguished Service Award was presented.

Brotherhood Barn Fireplace Completed

In 1950 a massive fireplace was completed in E. Urner Goodman’s “Brotherhood Barn” located in the Green Mountains of Vermont. The fireplace project had begun in 1948 as a tangible recognition of the admiration all Arrowmen had for the Order’s founder.

J. Rucker Newbery

J. Rucker Newbery is best known as the editor of the first Order of the Arrow Handbook in 1948. Newbery officially joined the OA on June 11, 1936 when he chartered the Bob White Lodge, Augusta Georgia into the Order while serving as their Scout Executive. Newbery remained a member of the Order until his death in 1978.

Early in 1942 Frank Dix of the National Executive Committee tendered his resignation. Dix had been selected to the National Executive Committee as the Southern representative. When he was re-assigned by the national office as a Deputy Regional Executive to Cincinnati, he could no longer serve. It was a national BSA policy requiring balance on the lead OA committee that a Southern representative was required on the committee. Dix suggested J. Rucker Newbery as his replacement and in 1942 Newbery was appointed to the National Executive Committee.

OA Official Part of BSA

It was announced at the 1948 NOAC that the Order of the Arrow would be fully incorporated into the Boy Scouts of America. In a process that had started in 1921 with the first national organization, the Order of the Arrow had finally realized its most ambitious and desired goal. This announcement was met with some acrimony from Arrowmen concerned about the BSA taking over the Order. While the national OA leadership had been fully dedicated for over 15 years to achieving this goal, many Arrowmen took pride in the autonomy of the Order.

It had happened incrementally. In 1922 WWW was labeled an Official BSA experiment. Starting in 1932 the OA was thoroughly investigated by the BSA and made a Scout program in 1934, effective January 1, 1935. Once an official program the Order grew rapidly. The OA grew from 43 active lodges at the end of 1934 to 362 active lodges in 1948. The OA had become a true national organization operating in every region of the country.

Truman Becomes President

Truman took office as the 33rd President of the United States three months into Roosevelt’s fourth term following Roosevelt's death. It was a rough time, and World War II was still raging. Truman was the one who made the decision to utilize the atomic bomb – a controversial decision.


Harry S. Truman was a strong supporter of the Boy Scouts. In addition to being the Honorary President of the BSA, Truman personally attended and opened the 1950 National Scout Jamboree at Valley Forge, PA.

Japan Surrenders Ending WW II

World War II ended within days of the United States dropping of Atomic bombs over the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Japan unconditionally surrendered on September 2, 1945.  Both Goodman and Edson lost sons during the war. George Goodman and Stuart Edson were killed in action in Europe. Edson, having served in the reserve since his service in World War I returned to active duty as a lieutenant colonel and then attained the rank of Colonel shortly before his discharge in 1945.

14th & Last "National Meeting" Held

After World War II, National Lodge could meet again. The original plan was to hold the 1946 meeting where the 1942 National Meeting had been scheduled. However, with all of the returning military the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill informed the National Lodge that they would not have the dorm space available. The OA was now too large to meet at a Scout camp and universities were filled with returning military. An alternate site was needed.

984 delegates from 114 lodges (both records) descended upon Chanute Field Army Air Corp in Illinois. The Arrowmen bunked in the more than ample barracks. Owasippe Lodge, Chicago took the traditional role of a host lodge handling registration and other activities. Even though Chicago was over 100 miles away, Owasippe was the only lodge with the Arrow-power to handle the responsibilities.

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