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America's Front Yard



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Invasion of the Boy Scouts
Photograph by Paul L. Pryor

The Mall went international in June 1937 when it hosted Boy Scouts from over 20 nations at the first National Jamboree of the Boy Scouts of America. More than 27,000 boys between the ages of 12 and 18 pitched their tents for the ten-day event. The $600,000 price tag, borne entirely by the scouts themselves, paid for all of their food and activities as well as a staff of support personnel including 500 cooks and doctors. The boys spent their time sightseeing and working on merit badges, and were reviewed by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt. FDR's distant cousin, President Theodore Roosevelt, had been named honorary vice president of the Boy Scouts of America in 1910.





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