Folks who Helped Make 4-H Great
Thomas E. Wilson

The following story is from the May-June issue of the 4-H History Preservation Newsletter


This is the tenth and final article in the series, reprinted from 1962 National 4-H News, which featured people identified by Extension Service professional staff members as “folks who helped make 4-H great.”

http://4-hhistorypreservation.com/History/Service_Committee/Img/Pres_Thomas_E_Wilson.jpg

Thomas E. Wilson
July 22, 1868 – August 4, 1958

It is entirely fitting that this alphabetical series of ten articles should close with a review of Thomas E. Wilson’s influence on today’s 4-H program. For 4-H is made great by two widespread circles of cooperation. One is the teamwork of federal, state and county governments providing public financial support for 4-H. This is the source of the title “Cooperative Extension Service,” parent agency to 4-H.

In the creation of the other important cooperative alliance in 4-H – that between business and government – this giant of the meat-packing industry, Wilson, played one of the leading roles.

Congress created the Cooperative Extension Service in 1914, thus establishing boys’ and girls’ club work officially. Just four years after this starting date – in 1918 – Wilson made his entry into this field by playing meal host to a group of Iowa rural youths during the International Livestock Show in Chicago. This was one of the forerunners of today’s national awards programs and the generous hospitality offered Club Congress delegates each fall by the large corporations of America.

Wilson also held a key spot in the creation of the National Committee on Boys and Girls Club Work, now called the National 4-H Service Committee. This group has been a meeting point between business and government since 1921. That was the year in which Wilson and a handful of other early friends of club work helped Guy Noble establish the National Committee as a service agency to 4-H.

Having taken over a nearly-ruined meat-packing business in 1916 to create Wilson & Co., this pioneer in 4-H support was under great pressure both financially and for his time and energy. Yet, Guy Noble has recounted, Wilson was always willing to give time and effort to club work whether to discuss organizational problems or to open doors for Noble with important businessmen who might support 4-H.

As the second chairman of the National Committee, Wilson gave some 37 years of conscientious service to 4-H club work. He succeeded E. T. Meredith in this position in 1924 and held it until 1958, shortly before his death.

Some of the specific benefits which Wilson brought to 4-H Club work besides the ones already mentioned could easily be overlooked, because their influence on the program has been subtle. They were important just the same.

For instance, his insistence on getting the finest of speakers and entertainment at the Wilson-sponsored Club Congress banquet set a standard of quality for all future sponsors. His bringing to 4-H support the cream of the business world established an unimpeached relationship that still exists. His support of 4-H in its early days lent much-needed support at a crucial time. His high personal standards set a lifetime goal for the 4-H members he so much enjoyed meeting.

Wilson’s respect for the importance of young people led him to work with many youth agencies. Speaking of 4-H, he set forth the goal of all leaders in club work today: “We all want to aid boys and girls to achieve, to learn and to become self-reliant citizens.” This 4-H pioneer certainly earned the title accorded him by his associates, “The business god-father of 4-H Club work.”

This is the last in a series of articles describing the influence on today’s 4-H program of ten outstanding pioneers in 4-H. these articles have included the following people: E. W. Aiton, O. H. Benson, T. A. Erickson, A. B. Graham, A. G. Kettunen, Guy L. Noble, C. B. Smith, R. A. Turner, Miss Gertrude Warren, and Thomas E. Wilson. Individual articles from the series are available on the 4-H History Website http://4-HistoryPreservation.com


 

Please help us preserve 4-H History . . .



Share...

    4-H Novels Have a Popular History


    The following story is from the National Compendium of 4-H Promotion and Visibility on the National 4-H History website at

    http://4-HHistoryPreservation.com/History/4-H_Promotion/



    4-H novels and children’s books may not be well known in today’s 4-H; however, starting in the 1920s and in every decade since then, new ones have appeared. Several dozen titles are documented and, at one time, Miss Gertrude Warren from the 4-H USDA office issued a listing of “approved” 4-H juvenile literature. While current research has not uncovered this listing, many of the titles are included in the “4-H Novels” segment of the “4-H books and printed archives” section of the National 4-H History Preservation website.







     

    Please help us preserve 4-H History . . .



    Share...

      Universal Pictures Distributes 4-H Film, Tom Boy and the Champ


      The following story is from the National Compendium of 4-H Promotion and Visibility on the National 4-H History website at

      http://4-HHistoryPreservation.com/History/4-H_Promotion/


      “Tom Boy and the Champ,” a 1961 Signal Pictures’ production and released by Universal International-Films, starred Candy Moore, Ben Johnson, Jesse White and Rex Allen.

      Tommy Jo, a 13-year-old Texas ranch girl, wins a calf at the county fair and names him “Champy.” While training the animal, Tommy Jo gets caught in a storm and develops polio. With the help of her aunt and uncle and her parson, Tommy Jo learns to walk again and discovers that the secret of training Champy is to soothe him with music. She enters her pet – now grown – in the Houston Fat Stock Show, but loses when her radio breaks down and no music is available. The parson encourages her to persevere, and with the help of the local 4-H Club, Tommy Jo is able to enter Champy in the International Live Stock Exposition in Chicago. They win the grand championship when the parson sings a song to Champy. Tommy Jo’s happiness is short-lived, however, as she learns that all champions are auctioned off for beef. Unable to raise the $30,000 auction price, Tommy Jo has a relapse and is rushed to the hospital with pneumonia. Fred Anderson, a kindly meatpacker, saves Champy from the slaughterhouse and reunites him with Tommy Jo at the hospital. During the International Exposition segment, the film shows the National 4-H Congress parade in the Arena.

      Advertised through National 4-H News, “the intriguing ‘feel good’ entertainment was produced in honor of 4-H Clubs across the country.”

      Music from the film includes:

      • Get Ready with the Ribbon, Judge Written by Tommy Reynolds and William Lightfoot
      • Who Says Animals Don’t Cry Written by Tommy Reynolds and William Lightfoot
      • Barbecue Rock Written by Elsie Pierce Wilkes

      The film is available in DVD format.




       

      Please help us preserve 4-H History . . .



      Share...

        History Preservation Newsletter
        November/December 2016


        4-H Alum in NASA Launch

        In her third mission to the International Space Station she will surpass the current record of 534 days in space.


        1924 4-H Congress Starts New Tradition>

        Can you guess what it was? Did you know that National 4-H Congress was held in Chicago for more than 50 years?



        Montana 4-H’er assists official lighting of US Capitol Christmas Tree in 2008




        Each year, hundreds of students from the Capitol Christmas Tree’s home state enter the Capitol Christmas Tree drawing to receive a free trip to Washington, D.C. and help the Speaker of the House in lighting the tree. Chris Gabrielson from Havre, MT, was the lucky winner of the 2008 drawing.
        (from the December, 2013 National 4-H History Newsletter)



        4-H Enrollment Tops One Million in 1931

        It’s now around seven million with a 2025 goal of ten million members.


        National 4-H Council Predecessor Born in 1921

        Created as the National Committee for Boys’ and Girls’ Club Work, the private sector body began decades of 4-H program support.



        How Are States Using 4-H History?

        A new column starting this month will share ideas from clubs, counties and states on how staff incorporates 4-H history in daily work.


        Enjoy the Holidays and this Issue!


         

        Please help us preserve 4-H History . . .



        Share...

          History Preservation Newsletter
          September/October 2016



          4-H History Map Grows

          At NAEA4-HA in New Orleans earlier this month, 4-H educators from 30 states explored “points of interest” (POIs) flagged on the National 4-H History Map.


          Your Hall of Fame Laureates Were in the National 4-H News

          Earlier this month during National 4-H Week, 16 new Laureates were inducted into the National 4-H Hall of Fame. Several fall issues of National 4-H News contain stories about future Laureates and their contributions to 4-H.



          Harlan Sanders


          What Led to 4-H Congress?

          A 1919 tour of Armour Meat Packing Company is considered the spark that led to creation of National 4-H Congress, held annually in Chicago for over seven decades. Whose idea was it?



          A Missing 4-H Calendar?

          You may have the answer to identity of an undocumented piece of art at the National 4-H Center.


          4-H is not new to Space

          This year’s National 4-H Science Day picks up a favorite theme of 4-H: space and flight. The thematic partnership goes way back.


          And then there’s NAE4-HA

          If you missed our booth in New Orleans, we still want to hear from you about 4-H History activities in your area.


          Enjoy the beautiful fall and this issue!

          Share...

            History Preservation Newsletter
            August 2016


            Centenarian 4-H Alumna Honored

            National 4-H Council is highlighting 4-H alumni and sharing the impact 4-H has had on their lives; this month, they spotlight a very special 4-H alumna, Martha Ann Miller, who celebrated her 105th birthday on August 6.

            Read More …


            4-H’ers Praised in 1945 World Wide Broadcast

            On August 30, 1945, 4-H Club work got the spotlight during the broadcast of the college All-Stars vs. Green Bay Packers’ annual football classic known as the College All-Star game.

            Read More …



            Labor Day Floats?

            It seems that 4-H is always up for a parade. With Labor Day coming, how many 4-H History floats will we see in the country’s community parades?
            Read More …

            This 1968 National 4-H Calendar produced by Shaw Barton Calendar Company is an example of a 4-H float of yesteryear. What will we see on a 2016 4-H float?

            This 1968 National 4-H Calendar produced by Shaw Barton Calendar Company is an example of a 4-H float of yesteryear. What will we see on a 2016 4-H float?




            4-H History Map

            How did Drum’s Valley Pennsylvania, which documented its 4-H club history in 1959, get on the National 4-H History Map? Has your club, county or state nominated historical sites?

            Read More …


            FilmFest 4-H’ers Learn and Earn

            4-H’ers got state-of-the-art coaching as well as the chance to compete for awards in five categories. With the 2016 film festival over, it’s not too early to plan entries for July 2017.

            Read More …



            It’s Fair Season!

            Let us know about the 4-H History exhibits you are presenting at County and State Fairs at info@4-HHistoryPreservation.com and send pictures.

            Read More …


            Share...

              History Preservation Newsletter
              July 2016

              While the US plunges into the Presidential Election, 4-H’ers are plunging into preparations for their fairs.

              That’s not to say that 4-H members are not involved in their citizenship responsibilities; just check with those who have been to Washington, DC, to experience Citizenship Washington Focus (CWF).



              3 Hs came from France?

              4-H started in the early 1900s in the US, but as early as 1893 the French Minister of Education was calling for an end to the 3 Rs and a new emphasis on the 3 Hs.


              International Exchanges

              July 8, which happens to be the Editor’s birthday, is the date recorded of International Farm Youth Exchange delegates going to Europe for the first time in 1948.



              Show it off!

              Exhibits are a long-held tradition in 4-H. Use them to highlight and publicize your 4-H History.


              Speaking of Publicity…

              See how many different types of 4-H publicity you can find in this month’s issue.


              Sugarloaf 4-H Club is on the Map

              More importantly, is your club, your fairground, your 4-H history on the Map?


              CWF is going to give 4-H’ers a close look at the Presidential Inauguration in January.

              A special edition of CWF to be held during the Inauguration will cap off 4-H summer activities and the presidential campaigns.

              This summer, 4-H’ers will be actively involved in civic activities as well as preparations for the many fairs. Before you get too involved in either, sit back and enjoy this issue.



              Pic_030[1]


              Poster_1956_Leaders


              The 4-H Member gate sign has become not only a way to identify where 4-H members live but an important icon of 4-H from the farms to suburbs and urban centers. Whether in a black and white photo or on the full color 1956 National 4-H Calendar produced by Brown and Bigelow Company of St. Paul, Minnesota; the sign speaks volumes more than the words it bears.

              We hope you enjoy this issue.


              Share...

                History Preservation Newsletter
                May/June 2016

                Summer is officially here and 4-H history is being made every day.

                This is the season traditionally ultra-busy for 4-H’ers, and so it has been whether members were from 1916 or 2016. Your 4-H History Preservation Program is here to share some of the experiences of those 1916 (and earlier or later) 4-H’ers.



                Another of the “Greats”

                Thomas E. Wilson started promoting 4-H in 1918, used the International Livestock Show to reward young 4-H members, and basically started National 4-H Congress. His 1962 profile is here.


                4-H Academy Awards

                A two-time Academy Award winning star has been a big fan of 4-H for years. First, guess the actor, then guess the 4-H content area that drew his attention.


                4-H History Map

                It just keeps growing and growing with your continued local 4-H input! Hopefully, your local sites are already on there. But can you pass the 4-H History Map Quiz?

                Tree_Plantings


                The 4-H – Peace Corps Link

                Lots of folks say 4-H started Peace Corps, but that is probably still an open question. Can you identify the countries in South America where 4-H Peace Corps began?


                Girls’ 4-H Uniforms = Pants?

                It started the same year that the 4-H pledge and the 4-H motto were officially authorized. Do you know where? And when?


                Please enjoy our summer issue.



                Share...

                  We’ve Moved . . .

                  The 4-H History Preservation and 4-H History Preservation News has moved to a new hosting provider. Our new provider offers better service and more options than the previous one.

                  In general, you shouldn’t notice any difference in site appearance. We will soon be adding the site to the CloudFlare content distribution network. The CloudFlare service will literally copy the site to their network of servers around the globe. When you access a page, CloudFlare will deliver it up from the server in your geographic region thereby speeding up response times.

                  With regard to the new service, there is one change for you to make on your side. If you have a bookmark or favorite that points to 4-HHistoryPreservation.com/News, please change it to News.4-HHistoryPreservation.com The old link is set up to automatically take you to the new one.

                  Share...

                    Twentieth Century-Fox Produces 4-H Film – Young America


                    The following story is from the National Compendium of 4-H Promotion and Visibility on the National 4-H History website at

                    http://4-HHistoryPreservation.com/History/4-H_Promotion/



                    Young_America_Withers_Salute_LC_TH[1]

                    “Young America,” a Twentieth Century-Fox film produced in 1941, was dedicated by the studio to “the thousands of 4-H Club leaders throughout the country.” It was considered the first major motion picture ever produced portraying the objectives of Club work.

                    Another thing which made “Young America” special – the premiere showing was held during National 4-H Congress in December, 1941 (probably on December 2 or 3). Little did these 1,600 delegates know that four days later – before most of them even got home – the Empire of Japan would bomb Pearl Harbor, drawing the United States of America into the second world war. The January 1942 issue of National 4-H Club News, coming out less than a month later, carries a large feature on the premiere and the film, plus a full page advertisement for “Young America” carrying a “support the war effort” theme. (Bob Cornell, one of the film’s stars, had already joined the Army by this date.)

                    The feature film stars Jane Withers, Jane Darwell, William Tracy, Robert Cornell, Roman Bohnen and Ben Carter.

                    Young_America_1942_LC_TH[1]

                    While the movie follows a rather predictable script, 75 years ago the 4-H Congress delegates, 4-H leaders, and Extension at all levels loved it. Miss Gertrude Warren, from the 4-H Club office at USDA in Washington,, D.C. said, “We feel grateful to 20th Century-Fox for its fine portrayal of the ideals and objectives of the 4-H Club movement in ‘Young America,’ and know that it will be enthusiastically received throughout the country.”

                    Maynard H. Coe, chairman of the National Extension Committee on 4-H Club Work, sent a telegram to 4-H Congress which Wayne Thorndyke, national 4-H leadership winner, read to the delegates the day following the premiere. The telegram, addressed to Mis Jane Withers, stated that the 4-H members and leaders assembled at the 20th National 4-H Club Congress have today unanimously voted you a Special 4-H Award of Merit in recognition of the fine way you portrayed the ideals of the 4-H Club movement in “Young America.” It stimulates a feeling of pride for our heritage in a nation where youth is permitted to train itself in a truly democratic way in the skill and understanding needed to assume its responsibility in perfecting and preserving the American way of life. Miss Withers sent a telegram back to the delegates: “Please accept thanks from the bottom of my heart for the great honor you have conferred upon me. The 4-H Club means more to me than just a movie that I appeared in, and I will try always to be a credit to our club…”

                    Young_America_1942_TH[1]The “Young America” film’s story is about a spoiled city girl Jane Campbell (played by Jane Withers) who is furious when her widowed father sends her to the rural town of Button Willow Valley to live with her grandmother, Nora Campbell (played by Jane Darwell). Jane and her black servant, Abraham, loathe their new surroundings, and while Abraham copes with Nora’s helper, Pansy, Jane begins attending school. Jane’s arrogance drives away all potential friends except for young David Engstrom, who nominates her for membership in the local 4-H Club. Jane, who has never heard of 4-H, is unimpressed when she learns how it promotes agricultural skills and good citizenship. Jane declines membership but changes her mind upon discovering that handsome Jonathan Blake is the club’s president. Jane’s interest in Jonathan dismays quiet Elizabeth Barnes, who is in love with him.

                    Elizabeth’s weak-willed father tries to comfort her by promising to buy her a purebred Hereford calf for her 4-H state fair project, but he instead loses her money in a poker game held by shady entrepreneur Earl Tucker. When Barnes tells Earl about his dilemma, Earl obtains a mixed-breed calf, then forges papers certifying its lineage. Elizabeth is delighted with her calf, which she names “Royal Jonathan II,” and happily tends to him as the months pass. Jane also chooses a calf for her project and names it “King Blake the First.” Pansy and Abraham, who have struck up a quarrelsome friendship, know that Jane is interested in 4-H only as a means to ensnare Jonathan Blake in a romance, but Jonathan still courts Elizabeth. On the day of the fair, Jane has lunch with Earl, who intimates that she will win the contest because Elizabeth’s calf is not purebred. Jane refuses to believe him but promises to buy his tractor with her prize money if she wins. Elizabeth wins, but Earl, desperate for the money, sends a telegram to the judges challenging Royal Jonathan’s lineage. The calf’s phony papers are exposed and Jane is declared the winner, but she is horrified by the proceedings, as Earl signed her name to the telegram. Barnes confesses all to his daughter, who protects him by refusing to explain the situation to the 4-H officials. Soon after, Elizabeth is suspended from the club, while Jane is ostracized by the other members for getting Elizabeth in trouble. Jonathan stands by Elizabeth, and the despondent Jane decides to return to the city. Before leaving, she sends Abraham to Earl’s office to pay a bill, and while there, Abraham overhears two government agents question Earl about a man who is wanted for draft evasion. Abraham also overhears when a drunken Barnes tells Earl that he wants to reveal the truth about Elizabeth’s calf. Abraham repeats the information to Jane, who captures the fleeing Earl and forces him to write a confession admitting full responsibility for the forged papers. The government agents then apprehend Earl, who is the draft dodger. Soon after, Elizabeth represents the club at a national 4-H meeting held in Washington, D.C., and says a fond hello to Jane and her fellow 4-H members during a radio broadcast.

                    “Young America” was released nationwide in early 1942. [Note: There are at least three other films produced over the years with this same title “Young America,” one as early as 1897. When searching for information on this film, be sure to include the date 1942.]


                     

                    Please help us preserve 4-H History . . .



                    Share...