June 14 – Flag Day

June 14, 2008

Did you fly your flag today?  Even without my reminding you?  Good!

Norman Rockwell painting, Scout saluting the flag

Painting by Norman Rockwell, Scout saluting the flag.

Flag Day celebrates the date of the first resolution passing the Continental Congress designating Stars and Stripes as the flag of the soon-to-be U.S., on June 14, 1777.


Iowa Scout tragedy – a message from the Chief Scout Executive

June 14, 2008

Chief Scout Executive Robert J. Mazzuca issued this message yesterday, regarding the tornado strike at Mid-America Council’s Little Sioux Scout Ranch in western Iowa. For the record, for your information and action:

Robert J. Mazzuca
Chief Scout Executive

June 13, 2008

To our Scouting family:

We were all shocked and saddened by the news coming out of Western Iowa. The tornado that ripped through our Little Sioux Scout Ranch left a terrible wake of destruction in its path. We mourn the lives lost and injuries suffered as a result of the storm. And we extend our deepest sympathies and concern to the families of those who were affected.

BSA President John Gottschalk and I have pledged the full support of the National Council to assist in any way. Particularly during this period of front-line response, most of the effort is being managed by the outstanding Mid-America Council. We are grateful for Lloyd Roitstein and his staff, who have shown remarkable leadership during this very challenging time. The local council has placed a very high priority on tending to the needs of the impacted families. We continue to remain in close contact and are helping to coordinate communication across the local council network. The National Council is prepared to engage further at any time.

Understandably, we are receiving many calls from all across the country from staff, volunteers, Scouts, and families who want to be supportive. Thank you, everyone, for this outpouring of support. We have put into place a process for properly channeling offers of financial assistance for the impacted families, as well as interest in volunteering time to the effort. Right now, we need to give emergency responders and the local council time to attend to the task at hand. Very soon, the effort will turn to rebuilding and reconstructing. Upon the determination of exact needs, we will follow up with you.

Please forward contact information and offers of support to our emergency response e-mail at oomcd@netbsa.org. Anyone interested in making a donation to help rebuild Scouting in the communities affected by the tornadoes and flooding in the Midwest go to www.scoutingfriends.org. Select “BSA Disaster Relief.”

Again, we are deeply saddened by this tragedy. At the same time, however, we are moved by and proud of the way in which our Scouts, leaders, and the local council have responded. There is no question that this terrible situation would have been worse if it were not for the heroic efforts of the young men who were on the ground when the tornado hit. They epitomize what is so very special about being a Scout.

Please join me in keeping all of those affected in our thoughts and prayers. God bless our Scouts.

Yours in Scouting,

Robert Mazzuca signature

Robert J. Mazzuca signature

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Robert J. Mazzuca
Chief Scout Executive

Memo in .pdf form

Tip of the old scrub brush to Debie Franz, Wisdom Trail District, Circle 10 Council


Query to historians: Material on German-American Internment in WWII?

June 14, 2008

Historians, help me out: What do you know about the internment of German Americans and Italian Americans during World War II?

The website of the German-American Internee Coalition lists several sources, and it has a lengthy set of lesson plans (too much for use in Texas, I fear). Is this information accurate? Has anyone used it in a classroom, and can you tell us your experience? Is there a mention of this in your world history or U.S. history text?

Please respond in comments.

Gate and guard tower at Fort Lincoln, ND, intern site for German-Americans and othersPhoto: At sunset, the gate and guard tower at Fort Lincoln, North Dakota, where German-Americans and Japanese-Americans were interned during World War II. From the John Christgau Collection of photos; courtesy the site at the German-American Internee Coalition (GAIC).

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