By Jeff Murphy, June 5, 2019
Photo courtesy of the American Legion Boys State of Missouri
WARRENSBURG, MO – American Legion Boys State of Missouri continues a longstanding tradition as one of America’s foremost leadership programs with opportunities for high school youth to hear from an array of well-known guest speakers when the 2019 session convenes at the University of Central Missouri June 15-22.
The lineup of special guest speakers begins the evening of Sunday, June 16 with Kansas City Mayor Sly James, followed on Monday afternoon, June 17 by a representative of the Missouri Court of Appeals Western District to be announced. The Monday evening general session will include the presentation of the Lehr Memorial Chair to nationally known journalist Margaret Brennan. The week continues Tuesday, June 18, with guest remarks by Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt; a presentation on Thursday, June 20 by Missouri Lt. Governor Mike Kehoe; a speech Friday, June 21 by Lt. Gen. Martin R. Steele (U.S. Marine Corps retired), with U.S. Senator Roy Blunt, R-Missouri, providing the closing remarks on Saturday morning, June 22.
Boys State is a program that was initially developed in 1934 by both educators and leaders of the Illinois American Legion as a way to promote democracy. Four years later, Missouri Boys State became the 13th such event of its kind, with the first session taking place in Fulton, and including 129 young men and 14 counselors from throughout the state. The event moved to Kemper Military Academy in Booneville in 1948, then came to UCM in 1953, where it has continued to take place annually. One of the campus’ summer highlights, it brings to UCM an average of 1,000 high school youth throughout Missouri and 120 counselors who assist in the program.