4-H Promotion and Visibility Compendium Becomes a Popular “Read”

The following story is from the March 2016 issue of the 4-H History Preservation Newsletter

One of the most recent segments added to the National 4-H History Preservation website is the 4-H Promotion and Visibility Compendium. This is a collection of short stories – currently numbering over 170 – highlighting 4-H promotion and visibility over the last century. It includes many truly interesting and inspiring stories with new ones continually being researched and written.


In the 50s though 80s during many National 4-H Weeks, Lawrence Welk paid tribute to 4-H and to the special week being celebrated. Often Myron Floren, the popular accordion player in the orchestra, and a former 4-H’er, would give the tribute and play a special song, or it could just as well be another member of the Welk musical family.

Some of the stories highlight 4-H members, clubs or leaders while many others recount the connections 4-H has been fortunate to have with hundreds of VIPs through the years. These stories involving U.S. Presidents, NASA astronauts, Hollywood stars, corporate CEO’s, TV personalities, sports stars and top educators and scientists show that 4-H has been held in very high esteem decade after decade.

These stories are scattered throughout the Compendium, showing a broad segment of VIPs with special relationships to 4-H. Here’s a short list of 25 – Dwight Eisenhower, Reba McEntire, Bob Hope, Dolly Parton, Jeff Gordon, Arthur Godfrey, James Cagney, Judy Garland, Natalie Wood, Amelia Earhart, Walter Brennan, Gene Autry, Hopalong Cassidy, Ted Williams, Ernie Banks, Ann Landers, Ronald Reagan, David Letterman, Lawrence Welk, Will Rogers, J. C. Penney, Eleanor Roosevelt, Orville Redenbacher, Ed Sullivan, and Sugar Ray Leonard. In this group alone, some were 4-H alumni, some made 4-H films or appeared in 4-H radio and TV promos, others spoke or entertained at 4-H events or helped raise funds for 4-H.


Reading through the stories of the 4-H Promotion and Visibility Compendium is a quick way to learn a lot about what makes 4-H so special. For those new to 4-H, these stories are a great way to capture some of the spirit and energy of the program through the decades. If you have been involved in 4-H your entire life, we can still guarantee you that there are stories here which you have never heard about before.

Visit the Compendium at http://4-HHistoryPreservation.Com/History/4-H_Promotion/


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