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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.

250th Lodge Formed

Minnewasco Lodge in Sault St. Marie, Michigan became the Order's 250th Lodge chartering on September 9, 1943. World War II had not slowed the growth of the Order. Indeed, there was as great a need as ever to find young men willing to unselfishly serve others.

Goodman & Edson's Sons Killed in WW II

(Do we) find the cost of freedom, buried in the ground
Mother earth will swallow you, lay your body down
Find the cost of freedom, buried in the ground
Mother earth will swallow you, lay your body down
Find the cost of freedom buried in the ground

- lyrics Find the Cost of Freedom by Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young

Third (and last) Official Jeweler

The Order of the Arrow beginning in 1922 had selected an Official OA Jeweler, to make insignia including totem pins. The first jeweler was the National Jewelry Company. In 1927 The Grand Lodge selected Hood and Company as the second Jeweler. In Early 1945 Jennings Hood sold his company to J.E. Caldwell and Company and went to work for them. His stunning jeweler dies were retained; the back die was changed to show the new hallmark.

US Enters World War II

The United States entered World War II after the surprise attack by Japan on December 7, 1941, on Pearl Harbor.


Many Scouts served valiantly in the service of the country expanding on the service that was rendered during World War I. President Franklin D. Roosevelt, an Arrowman, signed a letter asking Scouts "to take an important commission as Government Dispatch Bearers for the Office of War Information (OWI)." The Boy Scouts of America would become the "Official Dispatch Bearers" for the OWI and the main workforce for a poster distribution system. Thousands of young men were responsible for the delivery of posters to shops all across America.

National Meeting Cancelled

At the invitation of A. Frank Dix of Tali Taktaki Lodge, Greensboro, North Carolina the 1942 National Meeting was scheduled to go to the South for the first time in history. With the size of National Meetings growing so briskly it was anticipated that as many as 1,000 Arrowmen might attend. No longer could they meet at a Scout camp. The National Executive Committee selected the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill as the meeting site. For the first time, delegates would not be responsible for their own bedding.

The selection of the University of North Carolina meant that some fellow brothers in the Order would not be allowed to attend because the University was segregated and would not allow non-whites. As it turned out, the meeting was cancelled and our Order never held a National Meeting at a location that excluded some members.

First Flap - Ajapeu Lodge

Over the years there have been over 25,000 different flap shaped badges made for the OA. In total over ten million (10,000,000) patches have been made, worn, and of course, traded. The members of Ajapeu Lodge, Doylestown, Pennsylvania, wore the first of all of those flaps on their uniform shirts. It was also against BSA insignia guidelines.

History of Pocket Flap

It is strongly recommended by the National Committee that these emblems be made to fit the shape of the right shirt pocket flap. The right shirt pocket flap has been approved by the National Committee on Badges and Insignia for official Order of the Arrow Insignia where the other emblems are only temporary insignia when used on the uniform. It should be realized that this is a great advantage and a compliment to the Order of the Arrow. -THE ORDER OF THE ARROW HANDBOOK pp. 64 & 72, 1954 printing, 1950 edition

In the 1930s the Scout uniform was a showcase for all sorts of colorful Scouting related insignia on the shoulders, sleeves, and collars, as well as above and on the pockets. In fact, the only areas of the Scout uniform spared from this potpourri of decoration were the back of the shirt and pocket flaps. The pocket flap eventually became the official location for wearing Order of the Arrow insignia, but not without a few twists and turns.

1942 National Executive Meeting

With the cancellation of the 1942 National Meeting due to wartime restrictions a special National Executive Committee meeting was called. It was held on December 27 – 29 at the Hotel Bellevue-Stratford, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. In some ways the meeting was a throwback to the old Grand Lodge days when the national meeting was held at a hotel.

Joe Brinton served as chairman of the Nominating Committee and reported that as a result of an advisory ballot a slate of officers was nominated and elected. Four-time National Scribe H. Lloyd Nelson of Unami Lodge who had served with distinction since 1933 was selected to serve as National Chief. Nelson became the first non-professional Scouter to serve as Chieftain of Wimachtendienk.

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