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Boy Scouts salute in front of Capitol, 1941
This poster of Boy Scouts in front of the Capitol in 1941 was used to promote patriotism during World War II

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The First Eagle Scout, Arthur R. Eldred
August 21, 1912

Are you a member of the Boy Scouts or Girl Scouts of America, or have you ever wondered what they're all about? A Boy Scout might hope to someday achieve the award of Eagle Scout, the highest rank in the Boy Scouts of America.

On August 21, 1912, Arthur R. Eldred of Oceanside, New York, became the first young man in America to earn the Eagle Scout award. This performance-based award goes to only about four percent of all Boy Scouts. More than one million Boy Scouts have now earned the rank since 1911, including former President Gerald Ford and film director Steven Spielberg. Do you know how many merit awards it takes to become an Eagle Scout?

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