In parts 1 and 2, I discussed a series of evidences regarding how President Barack Obama is leading the White House pack in distancing his administration from the Boy Scouts of America via delaying Eagle Scout certificate signings, denying the invitation to go to the BSA's 100th anniversary gala, downplaying his acceptance of BSA's honorary presidency, dodging official White House communications about the BSA, not defending the BSA against cultural attacks, and, hence, devaluing his all-around role as BSA's honorary president.
U.S. presidents have been proudly accepting and fulfilling the post of honorary president of the BSA since President William Howard Taft in 1910. Let me document some of that presidential advocacy, as recorded on the official BSA website.
Although Theodore Roosevelt (president from 1901-09) was no longer president of the United States when the BSA was founded in 1910, he was an ardent supporter of the organization. He was a troop committeeman of Troop 39 in Oyster Bay, N.Y., first council commissioner of Nassau County Council and the first and only man designated as "Chief Scout Citizen."
In 1910, President William Howard Taft agreed to be honorary president of the Boy Scouts of America to "thus sustain a similar relation to the movement as does King George V to a similar movement in England."
On June 15, 1916, President Woodrow Wilson signed a bill that was passed unanimously by both houses of Congress, granting federal incorporation to the BSA.
President Warren G. Harding gave out "Harding Awards" to 5,058 Scout troops in 1923 for increasing their membership. He wrote to them, "I am with the Scout movement heart and soul."
President Calvin Coolidge's (1923-29) two sons were Scouts, and he was an involved father with them.
President Herbert Hoover (1929-33) "launched a forward movement and development program for the Boy Scouts of America at a dinner commemorating Scouting's 20th anniversary."
Franklin D. Roosevelt (1933-45) was an active Scout leader before becoming president. He was BSA president of the Greater New York Council. When FDR died in 1945, he had a 24-year record of service in Scouting.
President Harry S. Truman (1945-53) was also an ardent supporter of the BSA. He even traveled to Valley Forge, Pa., during his presidency to open the second National Scout Jamboree.
President Dwight D. Eisenhower (1953-61) was another avid supporter of the BSA. His support began when his son became a Scout. In 1948, he became a member of the National Executive Board of the BSA.
John F. Kennedy (1961-63) was a Scout before becoming president, a member of Troop 2 in Bronxville, N.Y., from 1929-31 and a leader in the Boston Council.
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