How it came about that the Conyngham Valley Historical Society celebrated National 4-H Week.

Have you ever been to the Conyngham Valley Historical Society (CVHS) Museum in Conyngham, Pennsylvania? NO? Well, me neither until recently! Even though I’d called Conyngham/Drums “home” all my life, I’d only ever driven past the museum. I’d wonder if it was open and then continue on to get groceries or get them home before the ice cream melted.

I’ve been researching my family’s history. My name is Drum and that’s the town’s name too, and yes, there is a connection. His name was George and in the mid-1790’s he arrived in the valley that would acquire his name, became a church leader, built a tavern, but I digress.

While searching for “Drum” information, I heard here was a photo of George’s Tavern/Hotel in the CVHS Museum. If so, that was a photo I had to see! The CVHS website said the museum was open 1pm-4pm Saturdays so one Saturday late in June I headed over there.

I found the only photo of Drums they had on display (the rest, of course, were of the Conyngham/Sugarloaf area) but it wasn’t of the Drums Hotel. Still, their collection of Conyngham/Sugarloaf Valley area memorabilia was impressive. Yet, for me, there was something missing. They had nothing about 4-H!

Since 1928, 4-H has played a huge role in the lives of many people from the Conyngham/Sugarloaf area. It needed to be represented in the museum. But where could such memorabilia be found? That’s when I opened one of our closets and found myself looking at the three huge scrapbooks of information my mom collected from 1966 when we joined until June 2013, six months before she died. Mom helped organize the Sugarloaf Valley 4-H Club in 1972 so that was in the scrapbooks, too. Then I remembered Dad’s 4-H rocket, used to attract attention for 4-H at fairs.

He’d gather a crowd, have one of the 4-H Members tell them about 4-H, then launch his rocket. When that excitement passed, he’d invite everyone into the tent to see the 4-H exhibits. Worked every time.

I also had the club’s 4-H Banner we walked behind in parades and TWO USDA 4-H Club Charters hanging on the wall, not to mention a few other items scattered about the house.

So early in July I boxed the stuff up and back to the museum I went. They were so pleased to be receiving the stuff that they wanted to have a 4-H Open House during National 4-H Week to celebrate. They chose October 13, 2018 and the announcements went out. This is the one that appeared in the Hazleton Standard-Speaker.

And then the day arrived! Close to forty people attended; former 4-H’ers, former 4-H Volunteers, friends, even the Luzerne County 4-H Educator, Meghan Carroll, stopped by for the festivities.

Here we see Sugarloaf Valley 4-H Club Alumnus Laura Staudenmeier (right) reading about herself in one of the 4-H scrapbooks now part of the CVHS’s collection. That’s Dad’s 4-H Rocket standing beside the American Flag and the club charters can be seen one on either side of the flag, of course that’s the banner right in front.

The event made it into all the papers. Well, it got a photo at least in the Hazleton Standard-Speaker. So that’s something. And here it is!

After some time had passed, I wondered just what DID the museum do with all the stuff I gave them. So, on July 27, 2019, I went back to the museum to check it out. They originally were going to make an exhibit upstairs on the second floor. However, realizing 4-H was too good to hide up there, they put it right in plain view, right inside the front door!

Of course, the first thing you see is the big, green Sugarloaf Valley 4-H Club banner hanging on the wall near the ceiling. To its left is a blackboard we made out of an old, metal “Kick-a-Poo Joy Juice Soda” advertisement. I know, antique dealers everywhere just shuddered, but that’s what 4-H’ers do! They make things they don’t think are useful any longer, useful again. It’s called “recycling”! I think 4-H’ers may have invented it. Anyway, Dad used the blackboard at 4-H Fairs to announce stuff like food sale prices, give directions, coming events; although erased, it appears that the last thing that had been written on the board was an arrow pointing toward the Restrooms.

Below the blackboard is a 4-H Clover cross-stitch my mom made for the club and beside that we can see a 4-H “license plate”. Next we see two shelves of antique milk bottles that are not part of the 4-H memorabilia. The shelf below those, however, holds the two 4-H Club Charters (one for the Sugarloaf 4-H Club which preceded the SV4-H Club and the SV4-H Club’s own charter), an environmental education award received by the Brown’s Grove 4-H Club (another local 4-H club we belonged to), a 4-H “piggy-bank”, and the club’s gavel. The piggy-bank was used during meetings to collect money for refreshments. I made the gavel in High School Shop Class for the club’s President to use to call meetings to order.

The next shelf down holds two of Mom’s three 4-H Scrap Books and a number of 4-H Project Books. The project books were donated by another family when they heard about the gift I had made. To the left of that shelf, stands my dad’s 4-H Rocket.

The final piece of the museum’s 4-H display is Mom’s third 4-H scrapbook. That book can be seen near the bottom of the photo sitting on a box in front of the display. There is also a trophy on display in the museum that is not included in this photo. It was received by the Sugarloaf Valley 4-H Club in recognition of its participation in West Hazleton’s Bicentennial Celebrations.

Recently, I was speaking to a former 4-H Parent from the club about this exhibit. When I mentioned she was in one of the scrapbooks and, therefore, now in a museum, she said, “Oh, me in a museum! That makes me feel old!”

“Not old”, I replied, “Important! After all, you made HISTORY!”

Does your community have a history museum? Perhaps you, too, can help them complete their story by giving them your 4-H Memorabilia. You’d be making history by preserving history!

… and we’re back!

'The Bridge' Masthead

If you thought the 4-H History Preservation newsletter was history, you were wrong! It’s ABOUT history, but it, as a newsletter, is alive and well! Dorothy Emerson told us that it is the pause that refreshes, so we paused, got refreshed, and even gave our newsletter a new name: The BRIDGE!

Our name is explained in our new edition, now available through our 4-H History Preservation website at https://4-HHistoryPreservation.com/Newsletter and read on. It’s HISTORIC! 

Daylight Savings Time, Did you know?

US inventor and politician Benjamin Franklin first proposed the concept of DST in 1784, but modern Daylight Saving Time was first suggested in 1895. At that time, George Vernon Hudson, an entomologist from New Zealand, presented a proposal for a 2-hour daylight saving shift.

Find out more about Daylight Savings Time at https://www.timeanddate.com/time/dst/

And don’t forget, if you use Daylight Savings Time where you live, set your clocks ahead 1 hour before you go to bed on Saturday, March 12, 2021. 

2019 Fall Back!

TimeAndDate.comYep.  It’s that time again.  When anyone living somewhere that uses daylight saving time to adjust how life is lived. At 2:00AM on Sunday, November 3, 2019, Daylight Saving Time, or DST, comes to an end here in the United States for another year.

The idea behind Daylight Saving Time (DST) is to save energy and make better use of daylight. 

In the spring,clocks are set ahead one hour when DST starts. This means that the sunrise and sunset will be one hour later, on the clock, than the day before. When fall come around, DST ends andwe set our clocks back 1 hour, returning to ‘Standard Time’.  

The value of daylight saving time is a topic of debate around the world. Many places have done away with the practice, and many more are moving in that direction. Here in the United States, Arizona (with the exception of the Navajo Nation) does not observe DST and stays on standard time year-rund.

For more information on the history of Daylight Saving Time, please visit http://www.timeanddate.com

One more thing…

The Early Years of 4-H and Space

Although it perhaps started somewhat earlier, the decade of the 1960s produced a love affair between Americans and space exploration. And particularly the astronauts that were involved in the space program. It undoubtedly started with the space race between the US and the Soviet Union, and the launch of Sputnik by the USSR in 1957. Then came the bold challenge of President John F. Kennedy before a joint session of Congress on May 25, 1961: “I believe that this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to earth.” And then, on July 21, 1969, astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin, flying on Apollo 11, set foot on the surface of the moon. And as they say, “the rest is history.”

Indeed, 4-H got caught up in this whole astronaut and space era in a number of ways. But historically, space and flight show up in 4-H history long before the 1960s.

Delegates to the 1931 National 4-H Congress in Chicago (above) were inspired to get to meet a great national hero – the man who flew over both the North and South Poles – Rear Admiral Richard E. Byrd.

One of the major guests attending the 1932 National 4-H Congress,  handing out awards and honoring the winners, was the famous aviatrix Amelia Earhart.

In 1933, Thomas E. Wilson brought a pair of aviators to National 4-H Congress who had become famous only the week before. Marine Major Chester Fordney and Navy LCDR T. G. “Tex” Settle made America’s first stratospheric balloon ascension on November 20, 1933, in a balloon that had a gondola brightly inscribed “A Century of Progress,” the theme of the 1933 World’s Fair. The balloon reached a height of 61,237 feet, a record that stood for many years. It was the first successful trip by man into the upper atmosphere. The pair proved to be popular guests at the 1933 National 4-H Club Congress which took place just a few days after their well-publicized trip into “space.”

Thomas E. Wilson introduces 4-H’ers (left) to the two first men in space (in uniform at right).

You can read more about how 4-H’ers in later years became involved in model rocketry in the 1960s and the 1985 4-H Television Series “Blue Sky Below My Feet” by visiting: https://4-HHistoryPreservation.com/History/Space

HTTPS Comes to the 4-HHistoryPreservation Web Site

The 4-H History Preservation site at 4-HHistoryPreservation.com was switched over to use the HTTPS protocol effective April 12, 2018.

What does this mean? There are two primary ways to view information on a web site: HTTP and HTTPS. HTTP transfers information between your computer and the web host using clear text. By contrast, using HTTPS encrypts all communications. (The S in HTTPS stands for ‘Secure’.)

Oversimplified, using HTTP is like sitting at a table in a diner where you can hear the conversations of everyone around you… and they may well hear yours. In the online world, this means that someone, usually the bad guys, is able to listen in on your conversation and possibly hack in to it to steal information such as passwords and credit card information, track your movements on-line, etc.

With HTTPS, all communication between you and the web server are encrypted. If someone tries to listen in, all they see is garbage. This includes your service provider.

Aside from the above, some of the reasons for using HTTPS are:

Search engine rankings improve with HTTPS.
Google and other search engines are giving a higher rank to sites that use HTTPS.

Enhanced privacy.
When a web site uses HTTPS, no one, including your service provider, can see URLs and content in an unencrypted form. All they will see is garbage. Keep in mind, however, that the actual domain name is always transmitted in clear text. While this allows someone to see what sites you are visiting, they are unable to see any content.

Public trust is increased.
Using HTTPS shows that the site owner cares about you, your privacy and your information. Modern browsers are starting to highlight secure web sites in the address bar. For example, the Google Chrome browser places ‘Secure’ in green at the front of the site in the address bar.

Other sites within the 4-H History Preservation Program will be transitioned to HTTPS in the coming months. The only thing that you should notice as sites transition is possibly the manner in which your browser shows the site address.


 

Please help us preserve 4-H History . . .



History Preservation Newsletter
January 2018

It’s a New Year . . .

… and because history is made every day, it’s the start of another historical era for 4-H. How many of your New Year’s resolutions have to do with 4-H? Setting new individual and group goals? Starting or continuing efforts to preserve your 4-H History?


A few of the highlights from this issue:


4-H Ham and Eggs

Two Georgia counties started a swine and poultry exhibition in 1916 to encourage black farmers to grow other crops besides cotton, primarily food products to improve income and nutrition. The show grew from 21 hams and less than 100 visitors in 1916 to 1,813 hams and 2,000 visitors in 1945.


How to Start?

Most often asked questions at the 4-H History booth at 2017’s NAE4-HA meeting centered on how to get started saving local and state 4-H history. Minnesota’s Vintage 4-H Club of retired Extension staff presented several guidelines, now available by contacting that group’s History Committee.





A good way to start the new year is to go over the history of 4-H in the two main history books that exist. Both books can be read or researched in part at http//:www.4-HHistoryPreservtion.com. The first is The 4-H Story, A History of 4-H Club Work, by Franklin M. Reck, 1971 326p, the second is 4-H: An American Idea 1900-1980, A History of 4-H, by Thomas Wessel and Marilyn Wessel, 1982 353p.



What is 4-H?

Different sources have different definitions. But most of the broad definitions are based on individual experiences and stories. One Pennsylvania 4-H Club decided to spread their individual experiences through a club newsletter, and you can do the same. What is your definition of 4-H?


4-H History Map is Growing

Over 200 historical sites were added to the National 4-H History Map during last year’s NAE4-HA conference. Ohio Extension Educators are adding even more in their state, so you can visit some of the sites on your way to or from the 2018 NAE4-HA meeting in Columbus.


4-H Congress History, Continued

Pageantry and fun were always part of 4-H Congress held in Chicago, but there was also a heavy emphasis on educational opportunities for the gathered state winners. Especially when donor representatives met together with 4-H members, topics of mutual interest were sorted out in sometimes heated discussion.


Monitor Your 4-H Resolutions

Let us know throughout the year how you are doing at info@4-HHistoryPreservation.com. We predict you’ll make more progress with those than with your usual diet and exercise resolutions! But while you’re on the treadmill at the gym, enjoy this issue.


 

Please help us preserve 4-H History . . .



70 Years Ago in 4-H History: National 4-H Calendar Program Begins Calendars and Helps Build National 4-H Center

Calendars Helped Build National 4-H Center

The 4-H program enjoys a “national home” and focus of its citizenship education right outside of Washington, DC, the center of our country’s democracy. 4-H’ers themselves contributed money to this proposed center but, also, revenue from the National 4-H Calendar Program helped significantly to bring that dream to fruition.

1949 National 4-H Calendar produced by Brown & Bigelow Co.

Long ago, when calendars were first sold to local businesses for advertisement, 4-H was approached by national calendar companies to appear on calendars, and the six-decade National 4-H Calendar Program began. For use of the 4-H name and emblem, companies paid a 10% royalty on sales of 4-H calendars to be used for the development of the National 4-H Center. During the first decade, between 1949 and 1959, $377,000. was made available for the rebuilding and maintenance of the 4-H Center in Chevy Chase, Maryland.

The program was announced in 1947 with approval of the Committee on Organization and Policy of the Land-Grant Colleges and State directors of Extension (ECOP), to be conducted with the cooperation of the National Committee on Boys’ and Girls’ Club Work of Chicago. In addition to helping purchase and develop the National 4-H Club Center, the production of a calendar would:

  • Gain prestige for the 4-H movement;
  • Bring 4-H activities to the attention of the general public;
  • Increase membership through a widened knowledge of what 4-H Clubs do; and
  • Establish a royalty fund to assist in further development of the 4-H program.
1949 National 4-H Calendar by Thos.D. Murphy Co.

The earliest 4-H calendars were actually produced in the late 1930s and early 1940s by the Thos. D. Murphy company of Red Oak, Iowa. However, when calendars became more popular after the war, Brown & Bigelow company of St. Paul, Minnesota, was also approved to produce and sell 4-H calendars. However, the first national 4-H calendars didn’t appear in the public until 1949 because of the production, sales and shipping time required, including:

  • Year one – subject chosen and artist paints illustration for calendar;
  • Year two – calendar is advertised to local businesses across country, orders taken and requisite numbers of calendars printed and shipped to each buyer with their name on it; and
  • Year three – calendars are presented to local businesses who purchased the calendars as gifts to their customers.

The Brown & Bigelow 4-H calendars had a circulation of nearly a half million the first year and combined calendar sales exceeding a million and a half by the second year. The first year’s royalties were over $25,000.

In addition to Brown & Bigelow and the Murphy Company, other calendar companies joined the National 4-H Calendar Program producing different annual calendars in their respective print shops. Shaw-Barton, Inc., Coshocton, Ohio, was authorized to manufacture 4-H calendars on April 15, 1948; Gerlach-Barklow Co., Joliet, Illinois, authorized on July 23, 1946; Gettier-Montanye, Inc., Glyndon, Maryland, authorized on February 3, 1947; and Custom-Cal Co., Atlanta, Georgia, authorized on December 17, 1954.

You can learn more about the program and view all of the images that we have found in the updated website section at:

http://4-HHistoryPreservation.com/History/Calendars/Calendar_Art_Catalog.pdf

We are always looking for more images of these historic calendars, so if you have one or know someone who has one, please let us know at: Info@4hHistoryPreservation.com .

Next time you visit the National 4-H Conference Center, check the Heritage Hallway to see the original pieces of art; truly pieces of Americana. As you walk that Hallway, recall that those national 4-H calendars helped build the “national home” of 4-H.


 

Please help us preserve 4-H History . . .



History Preservation Newsletter
October 2017


Thanksgiving is coming and there’s much to be thankful for:

The many strengths of 4-H, volunteer leaders sensitively guiding youth, the public/private partnership supporting the program, dedication of Extension Educators, enthusiastic members, and a rich, rich history.



Mulligan Stew is 45 Years Old

From the mid-1960s through the mid-1980s, 4-H programming used television, and the Mulligan Stew nutrition series was one of the most successful. Aimed at 4th, 5th, and 6th graders, it was embraced by TV stations, schools and Extension and reached some seven million kids


4-H Congress Started in Chicago

Thomas E. Wilson, President of Wilson & Co., invited some 4-H club boys to lunch in 1916. That event, though small, was the forerunner of what became the hugely successful celebration of youth achievement. Chicago welcomed the 4-H extravaganza for over 70 years.







Teachers, leaders and aids guided millions of youth, at school and in clubs, through a unique, nutrition learning-adventure with the help of six 4-H produced, fast-paced television programs and a comic book in the 1970s.




Centennial Clubs Over 100 Years Old

Several of the first 4-H clubs in some states are still flourishing, over 100 years later. It would be fun to research the history of your own club and perhaps nominate it for a place on the National 4-H History Map.


How Does Minnesota Do It?

Many people have asked how to start a 4-H History initiative in their state and here’s a suggestion from Minnesota. It starts with their “Vintage 4-H” group, and they’ve prepared an outline of what to look for as you put a program in place.



Santa Catarina Clubes 4-S Stage a Reunion

This is the third and final chapter in the story of Joe Thigpen, a 4-H Alum and Peace Corps volunteer who returned to Brazil after 50 years to find his host family and meet the “kids” he worked with in 4-S.



As You Prepare for Thanksgiving …

… whether or not you indulge in the traditional feasting, take a minute and remember the many things in 4-H for which we are thankful – especially its rich history – and enjoy this issue!



Enjoy this Issue!