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First OA National Secretary

As soon as the OA was integrated into the BSA Wes Klusmann, BSA Director of Camping, needed to select the first National Secretary. This was not a high level assignment although it would be at BSA national headquarters. This job would have a huge clerical component. The National Secretary would be responsible for, among other duties, local lodge charter renewals, theNational Bulletin, maintaining Vigil Honor lists and coordinating supplies for local lodges.

First National OA Committee Chair

G. Kellock “Kel” Hale was installed as the first Chairman of the National Order of the Arrow Committee at the 1948 National Conference at Bloomington, Indiana. The National Council, BSA, had not technically approved his position yet, but that was just a formality. The selection of Hale according to outgoing National Chief Robert Heistand was because Kel was next in line to be National Chief. The new National Chairman position was considered the post-BSA integration equivalent to the old National Chief.

G. Kellock Hale, Jr.

G. Kellock “Kel” Hale was born January 17, 1904 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He joined Scouts at the age of 12 (minimum age in those days) in 1916. During World War I, Kel sold more war bonds than any other Scout in Philadelphia. As a result of this achievement, Kel was selected as the Scout that would serve as Lord Baden-Powell’s Orderly when he came to visit Philadelphia.

Kel was inducted in the OA at its birthplace, Treasure Island, in 1918. He was one of the Council’s most decorated Scouts. By the time Kel was twenty-years old and attending the University of Pennsylvania he was an Eagle Scout with three Silver Palms (that would be at least 66 merit badges in 1924, a remarkable achievement in that era).

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.

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.

NBA Begins

The NBA was founded as the Basketball Association of America on June 6, 1946. The first game was played between the New York Knickerbockers and the Toronto Huskies. The league changed its name to the National Basketball Association, (NBA) when the BAA merged with the rival National Basketball League (NBL) in 1949.

First Modern Day African American Baseball Player

Jackie Robinson became the first African American to play modern Major League Baseball on April 15, 1947 at Ebbets Field, Brooklyn, New York. Born in Georgia, the son of sharecroppers, the youngest of five children (Brother “Mack” won a Silver Medal behind Jesse Owens in the 200 Meter Dash at the 1936 Olympics), Robinson went to UCLA and served his nation in the military.

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