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 . . .

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!

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 …

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.



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.

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?


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.

4-H History Preservation Newsletter
April 2016

It’s April Already!

For some that means sunny spring is well underway; for others it’s time for one last snow storm; for still others, it’s the proverbial month of showers which bring May flowers. Whichever it is for you climatologically, it’s another busy 4-H month; another month when 4-H history is being made and celebrated.

First Woman’s World’s Fair

In 1925, 4-H girls exhibited ideal (for the time) standards of home decoration at this first of four-only women’s world-wide expositions, intended to showcase skills and empower women. 4-H girls did both.

April 22 is Earth Day

What better way to celebrate Earth Day 2016 than to start a garden, either productive, beautiful, or both. That’s this month’s “Hands-on-History” activity.

Jmaes Cagney loved 4-H

That’s just one of the new stories highlighted from the 4-H Promotion and Visibility Compendium on the 4-H History Website.

April 20, 1970…

…was an important and long-awaited day for 4-H. Mr. J. C. Penney, Tricia Nixon, Art Linkletter and National Conference delegates helped mark the meaningful occasion. Any guesses?>


Tricia Nixon and Art Linkletter share podium.


Secretary of Agriculture, Clifford Harding, J.C. Penney and Janice Glover, 4-H’er from NY share groundbreaking duty.

Who Made 4-H Great?

This month we learn about a man who had a big impact on many basics of the local 4-H Club program. And his records have helped many historians along the way.

4-H Novels

The impact, challenges, successes, and fun of 4-H are recorded throughout literature, whether academic or recreational. Here’s a list of novels written about 4-H – just the titles we’ve been able to uncover.

Whether the weather…

…is warming you in sunshine, dousing you in rain, or freezing you in snow, stay focused on the coming May flowers – and the next issue of the National 4-H History Newsletter. Whether with sunglasses, umbrellas or ear muffs, enjoy this issue.

4-H History Preservation Newsletter
November 2015

November is Thanksgiving, Veterans’ Day, voting, and Christmas/Holiday Prep.

We’re all thankful for 4-H and we remember with honor the veterans who helped guarantee our many freedoms, including the freedom to vote (did you?). Christmas/Holiday Prep, well, let’s push that into next month!

Each year, this month, Veteran’s Day has special meaning. We feature individuals and groups with a 4-H identity. Of course, many more 4-H alumni deserve to be honored and remembered for their service to the US; these are but a few.

A school superintendent from Ohio instilled scientific curiosity in his students and formed “experiment clubs” to keep them involved. 4-H Clubs evolved, using educational materials this pioneer encouraged from his USDA colleagues. One of our continuing series featuring people who helped make 4-H great.

By all accounts and on all levels, 2015 NAE4-HA in Portland was a great success. 4-H History Preservation team encouraged nominations to the National 4-H History Map, and collected countless sites which will be vetted for inclusion.

There’s a lively controversy about when “urban 4-H” actually started. But what year did the National 4-H Foundation announce a study, funded by the Ford Foundation, to document that expansion of 4-H?

Take a break in your Thanksgiving preparations, give fleeting thought to your Christmas or Holiday preparations, and enjoy this issue.

National 4-H Calendars

Novemver 2, 1936 one calendar company was issued permission by USDA to produce 4-H Calendars. The first and the latest calendar art that National 4-H Council owns for which we have found documentation are pictured here. One appeared on a 1951 National 4-H calendar and the other appeared on a 1975 National 4-H calendar.

1951 4-H Calendar Art

1951 4-H Calendar Art

1975 4-H Calendar Art

1975 4-H Calendar Art


Please help us preserve 4-H History . . .

4-H History Preservation Newsletter
July 2015


Norman Rockwell painted the “The County Agent” for the cover of Saturday Evening Post. The people pictured were an actual county agent, 4-H family and their hired man.

Unusual summer rains didn’t dampen the 4th of July crowd’s spirit on DC’s National Mall!

Declaration of Independence… July 4 or August 2?

As we all know, the US Congress adopted the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776. However, even though independence had been declared, delegates to the Continental Congress had not yet signed the document. It wasn’t until August 2, 1776, that the Declaration of Independence became official.

National 4-H Supply Service

 How old is the National 4-H Supply Service? Who was its very first customer and which 4-H products were the first items to be sold? You can find out inside.

The County Agent

 The iconic Normal Rockwell painting, “The County Agent”, illustrating 4-H projects of an Indiana farm family, was first published as a Saturday Evening Post cover. Can you guess the publication date?

Hands-on . . .

 “Hands-on History” this month features photography, a great way to visualize the important and fun parts of your 4-H history.

IFYE (International Farm Youth Exchange)

Though 4–H entered the international arena as early as 1935, it wasn’t until years later that the first exchange of farm youth took place. IFYE (International Farm Youth Exchange) was born in 1948.

Map Your 4-H History

“2015 FilmFest 4-H” and “Map your 4-H History” highlight two examples of “Contemporary 4-H History,” current nation-wide programs that are now making 4-H History.

The July 4th fireworks are over in this marvelously independent country and the 4-H summer season is underway. Amid the hard work and deserved fun, enjoy this issue!

4-H History Preservation Newsletter
June 2015

Summer officially starts in just a few days, typically the busiest season for 4-H.
The run-up to summer is just as busy, as you’ll see in this issue.

4-H Travel

Travel has long been a key part of the 4-H learning portfolio at county, state, national and international levels.  The 1959 Iowa to Kentucky 4-H exchange is what led to creation of the national Citizenship Short Course.  This month’s “Hand-on 4-H History” activity brings travel to the club level.

4-H Pledge and Motto

You certainly know the 4-H Pledge and Motto.  But do you know what year they were both officially adopted?  Hint: it was at a National 4-H Camp.

Kidnapped by 4-H’ers

Indiana Travelers Kidnapped by 4-H’ers!” is an unlikely headline.  But read (and chuckle) about how Georgia 4–H members learned hospitality and treated tourists to a fun-filled weekend in 1953.

31CampBlackWhite_600The entire National 4-H Camp delegation visited President and Mrs. Hoover at the White House on June 23, 1931.

Map Your 4-H History

Do you know where your county’s first 4-H club started?  Is that site on the online National 4-H History Map?  Find out how to make sure that part of your history is recorded electronically for posterity.

FilmFest 4-H

Teen film-makers gather again this year for 2015 FilmFest 4-H in St. Louis.  Professionals from the film industry help young people hone their cinematic skills in this fifth annual celebration of youth-made films – without the popcorn.  4-H History is a category for the competition.

We know you’re also busy with summer work (garden?) and plans (vacation?) but take a few minutes off and enjoy this issue!

National 4-H Conference (Continued from National 4-H Camp since 1959)

Over 300 delegates and chaperones from 47 Land Grant Universities, Puerto Rico and Canada are attending the 2015 National 4-H Conference from April 11th to16th, at the National 4-H Youth Conference Center. This is the 85th gathering of 4-H’ers in the nation’s capital since National 4-H Camp began in 1927.

The following story is from the National Compendium of 4-H Promotion and Visibility on the National 4-H History Website at http://4-HHistory.com/?h=4-H_Promotion

When National 4-H Camp was replaced by National 4-H Conference and moved to the National 4-H Center in 1959, definitely one thing changed: the living conditions were  considerably better! Historically, one of the overriding goals of creating a national “home” for 4-H in the nation’s capital was to accommodate National 4-H Conference. Mac McGarry, host of the popular high school quiz show “It’s Academic” hosted the first National 4-H Conference Clover Bowl. Participants answered questions about the history of the Constitution, 4-H, and of Washington, D.C. (Spring, 1987, National 4-H Council Quarterly) National 4-H Conference has remained a strong national 4-H event for nearly 60 years, and continues today, with the programs and experiences focused heavily on leadership and citizenship and providing “growth” experiences for the delegates. While some releases, delegate interviews and media coverage may take place, National 4-H Conference has never been a primary promotion or visibility event, per se.

Mac McGarry, host of the popular high school quiz show "It's Academic" hosted the first National 4-H Conference Clover Bowl. Participants answered questions about the history of the Constitution, 4-H, and of Washington, D.C. (Spring, 1987, National 4-H Council Quarterly)Mac McGarry, host of the popular high school quiz show “It’s Academic” hosted the first National 4-H Conference Clover Bowl. Participants answered questions about the history of the Constitution, 4-H, and of Washington, D.C. (Spring, 1987, National 4-H Council Quarterly)

The major exception to this is that often, through the years, the participating speakers and workshop presenters at National 4-H Conference have created enough promotion and visibility to merit classifying this event as a major promotion event. Traditionally, Conference planners often were not shy in asking the “top resources of Washington” to be on the Conference program. And, if their schedules allowed, they usually were happy to do
so. This would include U.S. Congressmen and women, Senators, Supreme Court Justices, national media representatives and leadership from the various departments of government, national organizations headquartered in Washington, and representatives from foreign embassies.