Since 1946, Boys Nation has given young men a unique opportunity to receive an education on our nation and its government. The annual program brings participants to Washington for a week of law-making sessions, elections, lectures and forums, and trips to historical landmarks.
This year's Boys Nation has been recounted and remembered in the official American Legion Boys Nation 2009 Yearbook. The publication follows 98 young men through "a week that shapes a lifetime." Selected as representatives by their department's Boys State program, participants were in Washington this July for the 63rd Boys Nation. They toured historic landmarks, listened to elected officials and engaged fully in the law-making process.
Acting as elected senators to their Boys State departments, the young lawmakers caucus at the beginning of the session, then organize into committees and conduct hearings on bills submitted by program delegates. The experience teaches the proper handling of bills, according to Senate rules, and emphasizes participation in the political process. Many famous politicians and orators, such as former president Bill Clinton, have attended the program.
Featured speakers at this year's event included Supreme Court Clerk William Suter, Holocaust survivor Nesse Goden and then-National Commander David K. Reihbein. Participants started the week with a dinner at Greenbelt Post 136 in Maryland. They spent the rest of the week caucusing and visiting most of the Washington-area monuments and memorials.
The yearbook is available in electronic form and can be downloaded here. For a print version, send inquiries to The American Legion/Americanism Division, P.O. Box 1055, Indianapolis, IN 46206.