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1935 National Jamboree Cancelled

The 1935 25th Anniversary of the Boy Scouts of America, Jubilee National Jamboree was scheduled for August 21 – 30, in Washington, DC. Every registered troop in every Council was entitled to send one Scout – to fulfill President Roosevelt’s wish that,

every nook and cranny of America be represented in the Jamboree.

Berlin Olympics

The 1936 Summer Olympic Games were hosted by Germany in the capital city of Berlin. The bid was awarded to Germany in 1934, two years before the Nazis became the governing party in the country. These games mark a modernization of the Olympics and many of the sports, techniques and processes (including live television broadcasts) used at the 1936 Summer Games are still in use today.

First "National" Lodge Meeting

The OA gathered together again for a national meeting hosted for a fourth time by Unami Lodge at Treasure Island. The convention had originally been scheduled for 1935, as meetings were biannual. However, the workload created by the planned 1935 National Jamboree impacted the national officers and many leaders of the local lodges. It was decided to delay the meeting for a year. This pattern has been repeated in later years, the Order giving deference to the National Jamboree, even if it meant a three-year gap between NOAC’s instead of two.


The 1936 meeting was one of change. It no longer was a “Grand” Lodge Meeting. This was a “National” Lodge Meeting. The change in name a simple reminder of the change in the Order, now part of the BSA. The change in the program, however, was striking.

First known African American Vigil Honor

On October 24th and 25th, 1936 the Owasippe Lodge held a Fellowship Conference. The conference is remarkable for two things. The first was that Owasippe invited other lodges to attend their fellowship. Ay-Ashe Lodge from Manitowoc, Wisconsin and Tomkita Chara Lodge from Wausau, Wisconsin attended. Later, after National Chief Joseph Brinton read of the Fellowship Conference he was eager to share the concept of multi-lodge events in the National Bulletin.

The second noteworthy event of the Fellowship weekend was Emerson James was elected and kept his Vigil the night of October 24 through the morning of October 25th. In so keeping, Emerson James became the earliest known and presumptively the first African American Vigil Honor member.

Emerson James

Emerson James was presumptively the first African American Vigil Honor member. He was from Woodlawn, located on the South Side of the City of Chicago.

Last "Annual" Grand Lodge Meeting

In 1927, the Seventh Meeting of the Grand Lodge was attended by 13 lodges and hosted by Ranachqua Lodge, The Bronx, New York. This was the Grand Lodge’s second visit to Camp Ranachqua, a camp within Kanohwanke Scout Camp near Tuxedo, New York. The number of delegates present is unknown. The first order of business was to finally approve changes in the rituals including the 31-question Brotherhood questionnaire.

Eighth Grand Lodge Meeting

For the 1929 Eighth Meeting of the Grand Lodge, the conference returned for a third time to Philadelphia. Unami Lodge once again hosted the 12 lodges in attendance and an unknown number of delegates. The first issue occurred prior to the meeting. Unami Lodge had scheduled the meeting for the week between Christmas and New Years. Many lodges objected to the dates and the meeting was re-scheduled for November 29 – December 1, 1929. The 1929 Grand Lodge Meeting was held at the Stephen Gerard Hotel. The Grand Lodge Scribe announced that there were now 33 active lodges in the Order instead of 37 with the pending Chicago consolidation.

Five Chicago Lodges Merge

On May 18, 1929 E. Urner Goodman Scout Executive acting as Supreme Chief of the Fire merged together the five Chicago Lodges initiated by his old Assistant Camp Director Carroll A. Edson. The Grand Lodge had maintained a rule that councils could have one lodge for each of their Scout camps. Goodman constructively ended that rule, as Chicago was the only Council remaining with more than one lodge.

Stock Market Crash

The Stock Market Crash of 1929 was the most devastating stock market crash in the history of the United States. The crash began a 12-year economic slump called the “Great Depression” that affected all the Western industrialized countries.

Hoover Elected President

Herbert Hoover was inaugurated as the 31st President of the United States in 1929. During his Presidency, Hoover focused on pushing farm subsidy bills through congress; cracking down on gangsters participating in tax evasion (Al Capone was prosecuted); increased the amount of land used for National Parks and Forests (5.3 million acres).  Herbert Hoover was a strong supporter of the Boy Scouts. He launched the ‘Forward Movement and Development Program’ during a dinner in honor of the 20th Anniversary of the BSA in 1930.

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