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Today is the first day of the week long American Legion Boys State of Missouri program on the campus of the University of Central Missouri in Warrensburg. Approximately 1000 boys from across Missouri will participate this week.

Our opening day coverage from last year: Missouri Boys State

Missouri Boys State citizens arrive by bus and car for the noontime start of registration.

It’s about government and politics. Missouri Boys State, one of the largest in the nation, always has an impressive list of keynote speakers who are prominent in national and statewide government. That’s one big reason why we cover it – the speeches and those question and answer sessions. Boys State citizens can and do ask some tough ones.

The scheduled speakers:

CONGRESSMAN ROY BLUNT

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Following Opening Night Ceremonies of the 70th session of Missouri Boys State, Missouri Congressman Roy Blunt will deliver the keynote address to the Boys State general assembly. Congressman Blunt came to the United States House of Representatives in 1997 with a background as a public servant, university president and administrator. He became the Majority Whip earlier in his career than any Member of Congress in the last eight decades and also served as Majority Leader. Following his prepared remarks, Congressman Blunt will hold a question and answer session.

CONGRESSMAN SCOTT MURPHY

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Congressman Scott Murphy will speak to the general assembly on Sunday evening in Hendricks Hall. Congressman Murphy was recently elected to the U.S. House of Representatives after a long contested and very close election in New York. He is a Missouri native and former Boys State Governor. Following his prepared remarks Congressman Murphy will hold a question and answer session.

FEDERAL JUDGE DUANE BENTON

Sunday, June 14, 2009

U.S. Court of Appeals (8th Circuit) Judge Duane Benton will address Boys State on Sunday evening at Hendricks Hall. Judge Benton, a great friend to the Boys State program and member of The American Legion, will offer his best advice to participants of Boys State drawn from his experiences as MO Director of Revenue, MO Supreme Court Justice, little league baseball coach and his years on the federal bench. Judge Benton will hold a question and answer session following his remarks.

DEPUTY SECRETARY OF STATE (2001-2005)

RICHARD ARMITAGE


Monday, June 15, 2009

Richard Armitage will accept the 21st Annual George W. Lehr Memorial Speakers Chair on Monday night at Hendricks Hall. As deputy secretary of state during one of the most tumultuous times in modern U.S. history, Richard Armitage crafted foreign policy to handle unprecedented challenges. Mr. Armitage offers his truly unique insight to audiences around the globe. As someone who has shaped U.S. foreign policy, Mr. Armitage will share observations about his role at the center of the world stage in a turbulent time speaking on leadership in action, the art of diplomacy, the future of Asia, humanitarianism in action, and the Middle East. Following his prepared remarks Mr. Armitage will hold a question and answer session.

MISSOURI GOVERNOR JAY NIXON

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Missouri Governor Jay Nixon will deliver the keynote address at a special assembly on Tuesday evening in Hendricks Hall. Govenor Nixon has been an outstanding supporter of the Boys State program throughout his years as Missouri’s Attorney General and we are very pleased to have him back to Boys State after winning the highest elected position in our state. The Governor will hold a question and answer session following his prepared remarks.

MISSOURI SECRETARY OF STATE ROBIN CARNAHAN

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Missouri Secretary of State will deliver the keynote address and swear-in the newly elected state officials at the Joint Session of the Boys State House and Senate on Thursday evening at Hendricks Hall. Following her prepared remarks, Secretary of State Carnahan will swear-in the new MBS Governor and all new MBS constitutional officers and Supreme Court justices.

Parents, a few accompanying siblings, and Boys Staters queue up for registration.

Boys State volunteer staff (left) and Betty Rusher (center) – Missouri Boys State Manager of Development and Administration – at registration.

The last step in registration for every Missouri Boys State citizen is getting a photo taken for their ID.

…The 13th of its kind, Missouri Boys State took form just four years after the creation of the first ever Boys State in Illinois. Legend has it that during an early 1937 luncheon, four of the American Legion’s most dedicated and hardworking members agreed that Missouri needed a Boys State program and decided to work for its creation. Little did they know that some 65 years later their program would flourish and become one of the most coveted honors afforded a high school junior in Missouri.

Since its inception in 1938, Missouri Boys State has realized remarkable growth providing over 33,000 high school students with the privilege of attending this practical laboratory in citizenship and leadership training. At the very first session, held in Fulton 129 young men and 14 counselors convened the inaugural session of Missouri Boys State…

American Legion volunteers have a significant role in insuring that the logistics of registering 1000 Boys State citizens run smoothly and quickly.

How does one get to participate in the program? From Missouri Boys State:

…In the actual selection of students as citizens of Boys State, merit and ability are the basis for selection. Students are NOT selected based on economic status. Boys State is NOT a program for underprivileged students, nor is it a recreational summer camp.

American Legion Posts or other community-minded organizations pay all fees, or ‘tuition’, with NO EXPENSE to the student or his family…