During the nation’s bicentennial year, the first and only joint three-week session of ALA Girls Nation and American Legion Boys Nation (150 boys and 150 girls) was held on the American University Campus in Washington, D.C. I was privileged to head the Public Relations (PR) staff for ALA Girls Nation, and Dick Sepkowski of West Virginia headed the PR staff for TAL Boys Nation.
Our closing session was to take place in Independence Hall in Philadelphia, but these plans drastically changed that morning when we learned the first case of Legionnaires’ Disease was reported in that area.
The closing session was then moved Arlington, Va, and Art Linkletter served as the speaker. (Art Linkletter, a radio and television personality, incorporated ordinary people into his broadcasts with comic results.)
What made this event even more special for me was when I was selected to accompany the TAL Boys Nation Director to the hotel to welcome Mr. Linkletter. He was not only humorous, but none of us will ever forget his message.
Click here to see the full report of this historical event as it appeared in the October 1976 edition of the American Legion Auxiliary National News magazine.