Minnesota Boys State: “A Fun-Filled Week”
The American Legion is not just about helping veterans. It also seeks to educate America’s youth and foster patriotism. The Boys State program combines these two goals.
Today is the seventy-first anniversary of Minnesota Boys State. It began in 1949 and was inspired by programs in other states. The Illinois Legion started the first Boys State in 1935 as a way to instruct youth in the principles and practice of democracy.
The first Minnesota Boys State took place at the University of Minnesota Farm School in St. Paul. Over 150 teenage boys learned about state government. They joined fictional political parties, participated in mock elections, and formed a legislature that passed laws.
Boys state attendees come from all over the state. And local Legion posts select young men from their community. In the early 1990s, Post 77 chose Jay Dulas of Medford to attend Boys State. He wrote to thank Post 77 for this “one in a lifetime opportunity.”