State: Nebraska

City: Omaha

Chapters: 3,181

Members: 184,523 (172,294 regular - 12,229 associate)
(1954/55 first year that associate members were also counted)

Convention: Atlanta, GA - June 18-25, 1955

Income: $546,100

Insurance Executive, 33 Hugh F. McKenna elected president for a full term.

Vice President: Howard "Rocky" Ford
Midland, TX Awards
Vice President: Victor Faust
Windom, MN External Programming
Vice President: James Cashman
Las Vegas, NV Youth and Sports
Vice President: Mike Maloney
Fort Smith, AR Organizational and Policy
Vice President: Robert E. Cook
Springfield, IL Public Relations
Vice President: Harold J. Salfen
Atlanta, GA Public Affairs
Vice President:

Sumpter Priddy, Jr.

Waverly, VA JCI
Vice President: Paul "Pete" Baldwin
Howell, MI Leadership Training
Vice President: Wendell Ford
Owensboro, KY Public Safety
Vice President: William B. Wolfe
Memphis, TN Personnel
Treasurer:* Charles W. Johnson, Jr. Jacksonville, FL  
General Legal Counsel: * John C. Mitchell Kearney, NE  
Executive Vice President:*

Gordon T. Hicks until 9/55
Roland T. Tibbetts as of 9/55

San Francisco, CA
Hartford, CT
National Office
Tulsa, OK

* Appointed position - only treasurer has a vote.

Kansas City, MO to host 1956 convention.

Two of the most important developments during the 1955-56 Jaycee administration under Hugh McKenna’s direction were the classification of projects, and the building of an addition to War Memorial Headquarters.

For McKenna himself, the year was featured by the opportunity to live in the newly-completed Jaycee White House, which he and his family were the first to occupy. The White House combined all of the best qualities of modern homes and attracted nationwide attention when it was featured in a 12-page article in the magazine LIVING FOR YOUNG HOMEMAKERS.

From the standpoint of growth during the 1956 Jaycee year, total membership jumped from 171,992 to 184,523, while chapters increased from 2,872 to 3,181. Income skyrocketed from $470,000 to $546,000.

McKenna, who headed the USJCC during this successful year, hailed from Omaha, Nebraska, although he was first a member of the Jaycees in Lincoln in 1946. Within the year, he moved to Omaha and, by 1949, was state sports chairman. In 1950, he was state “On to Miami” convention chairman, state extension chairman in 1951, and state vice president in 1952.

The following year, McKenna was named state president, and, in 1954-55, he served as national vice president in charge of public affairs.

From a long- range viewpoint, the classification of projects into divisions was a significant step during his term as president since it made it possible to more intelligently handle the large number of USJCC projects. Projects were essentially divided into three categories. So called Class I projects were to receive continuing emphasis on a year-to-year basis because of their widespread acceptance and included such standbys as the Christmas Shopping Tour. Class I project kits were regularly mailed to all chapters.

Class II projects were defined as current national projects which would receive less emphasis during the year, and not necessarily receive heavy promotion indefinitely. Class II projects were promoted only through the new publication, “ACTIVITY,” to be mentioned later.

Class III projects were those referred to as supplementary and included the large bulk of projects for which a limited amount of material was available on a request basis. They were not promoted.

The actual Number 1 program for the year was “Operation Civic Service,” in which an estimated 1,874 locals participated. Essentially, “Operation Civic Service” was a broadened Number I program which included all national Class I projects. A local was required to conduct a given number of both national .and locally-devised projects -- the number determined by population division -- to qualify for a Civic Service Award. The local was free to choose which Class I and local projects it would employ.

“Operation Civic Service” was much broader in scope than previous Number I programs, and resulted in a 365 per cent increase in participation over SAL (Starting America's Leaders) of a year before.

The fall Olympic fund drive was again conducted by the organization to help finance the U. S. team in the 1956 Olympics in Australia. A total of $217,000 was garnered, with the Hollywood Jaycees topping all other clubs by raising $56,000.

Jaycee locals also continued to contribute funds to the great JCI project “Operation Brotherhood” which was helping the refugees fleeing the communists in Vietnam. Participation in “Operation Brotherhood” had been stimulated by a visit to Vietnam in the spring of 1955 by LaMar Buckner, and his report on the great work being done was given at the summer meeting of the board of directors.

From the standpoint of actual chapter participation, the Teenage Road-e-o program was tops for the organization as 1,965 chapters took part. The Road-e-o finals were held in August of 1955 in Washington, D. C., with William B. Ledger of Portland, Maine, winning first place and a $1,500 scholarship. He came out on top in competition with winners from all 48 states, Hawaii, Alaska and the District of Columbia.

Honoring contestants at the Road-e-o by an appearance was former President of the United States Herbert Hoover.

Voice of Democracy was again one of, the most popular Junior Chamber programs, and contests were staged in over 1,500 Jaycee communities, with hundreds of thousands of teenagers taking part. The four top winners were honored in February in Washington, D. C.

The second annual national Jaycee Junior Tennis tournament was staged in San Antonio, Texas, with Earl Baumgardner of Oakland, California, capturing the crown in the Junior Division, while James Shaffer of St. Petersburg, Florida, won the boys’ crown.

The Jaycee Junior Golf tournament also held in August of 1955 saw Philip Rodgers of San Diego, California, snare the title at the tournament in Columbus, Georgia. he went on to play for the 1958 All American Golf team including last year's winner Allen Geiberger. His first full year as a professional began in 1962 and won his first tournament the Los Angeles Open (hosted by the Los Angeles Junior Chamber of Commerce!)

The second annual Rookie League baseball tourney was held on Labor Day in 1955 in Salina, Kansas, and Nord Holmes of New Orleans repeated as the champ. Only six team s were on hand for the tourney, which was the last to be held as the Junior Chamber dropped its Rookie League sponsorship. There did riot seem to be enough boys in the 18-21 age bracket who would play organized amateur baseball to enable a large number of teams across the country to be formed.

The TOYM for 1955 were honored at a banquet in Springfield, Illinois, in January of 1956. Attendance broke all records, with 2,000 on hand for the ceremonies featured by Vice President of the United States Richard Nixon as Keynote Speaker. Awards also conferred by Mr. Nixon went to:

  • Dr. Robert Charpie; nuclear physicist;
  • Lt. Col. Frank K. Everest, test pilot;
  • Dr. Rubin F. Mettler, rocket engineer;
  • Thomas Schippers, youthful conductor of the Metropolitan Opera;
  • Rev. Leon H. Sullivan, minister who battled juvenile delinquency in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania;
  • Dr. Benton A. Cooley, surgeon who developed new techniques for transplanting preserved blood vessels;
  • Edward D. Eddy, Jr., Administrator at the University of New Hampshire;
  • Irving R. Levine, NBC correspondent in Russia;
  • Howard W. Pollock, leading Alaskan lawyer and
  • Charles H. Smith, Jr., Industrialist

The nation’s Four Outstanding Young Farmers were also honored again, with award ceremonies being held in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, in April of 1956. The FOYF for 1955 were:

  • Robert Y. Sakata of Brighton, Colorado;
  • A.D. Sprague, Jr., of Sturgis, Kentucky;
  • William A. Powell of Princeton, Missouri and
  • John R. Beckstrand of Warwick, North Dakota

Winner s from 47 states and Hawaii were on hand for the FOYF ceremonies, and identity of the four winners was not known until the actual awards banquet.

Still another program to honor Jaycees was held in Washington, D.C., in May of 1956 as Jaycees were feted for their work in furthering the bipartisan recommendations of the Hoover Report for economy in government.

The USJCC was strongly backing the work of the Hoover Commission, and President McKenna and Executive Vice President Roland Tibbetts conferred, with Mr. Hoover at his offices in the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York City.

Another interesting program supported in 1955-56 was entitled BABCO, or Building A Better Community. It was essentially a human relations project keyed to improving the community through the fostering of brotherhood, and was sponsored by the National Conference of Christians and Jews with the help of the Junior Chamber.

The theme for BABCO was, “I am my brother's keeper,” which was also included in the lyrics of the song, “Brotherhood,” published by Dr, David Shapiro and premiered on Don McNeil's Breakfast Club program from Chicago. Dr. Shapiro lives in the home immediately to the north of the then Jaycee White House in Tulsa.

President McKenna was extremely active from a public affairs basis, and, during the course of his travels, courageously backed a controversial resolution which had been approved at the 1955 convention.

This resolution favored limiting benefits for veterans to those with service incurred disabilities and disapproved of medical care and pensions at taxpayers’ expense to veterans who contracted their disability after being discharged, not as a result of military service, and particularly to those who were financially able to pay for their own medical costs.

The JCI Congress for the year was held in Edinburg, Scotland, in November of 1955 with A. de O. Sales of Hong Kong selected as president, and J.E.P. Stewart of Bermuda named the North American Vice President. Ira Kaye of the United State s was chosen as Vice President in charge of Commissions and LaMar Buckner was JCI Treasurer. Buckner's appointment began the custom of giving the treasurer's job to the past USJCC president.

Another development in JCI had seen Dave Haxton take over the job as secretary- general on September 1, 1955, replacing Philip Van Slyck.

During the JCI year, “Operation Brotherhood” was in its phase-out stages. “Operation Warmth” was also being conducted, as the member organizations cooperated to send aid to Greek earthquake victims.

In regard to the USJCC staff, the major change came as Gordon Hicks retired as Executive Vice President and was replaced in September of 1955 by Roland T. Tibbetts of Hartford, Connecticut. A graduate of the Harvard School of Business, Tibbetts was with the Connecticut Bank and Trust Company before joining the USJCC, and had been active in the Jaycees at local, state and national level. He was a Seldon Waldo Award winner in 1955.

The headquarters operation in Tulsa reached a new peak during 1955-56, as the number of project materials available increased greatly. The number of printing impressions reached an all-time peak, totaling 8,655,000 for the year. The supplies business also improved, with gross sales hitting $220,000 as contrasted with approximately $164,000 the year before. Net profit to the USJCC from supplies went up from $28,000 to $43,000.

A new service publication was initiated during the year entitled, “ACTIVITY,” which was a small monthly magazine listing available program materials. “ACTIVITY” was concerned with promoting or “advertising” this material so that it would be requested by the chapters. Like the monthly news magazine, ACTION, it went to local, state and national officers. The two publications were to be combined in ACTION the following year.

The increased supplies business as well as rapidly mounting production of materials, necessitated additional space at national headquarters, and it was decided to install an addition to the lower floor extending to the south of the building. Construction was begun in spring of 1956 and completed by July on the 25 by 140 foot addition, with total cost approximately $145,000. This extra space was utilized as supplies and storage room, as well as a lunch room for office employees. Footings were also laid at this time to facilitate later construction of a third floor.

The convention to conclude the year was held in Kansas City, Missouri, where Wendell Ford was named president as he defeated Mike Maloney of Arkansas, Robert Cook of Illinois and Jack Barnes of Virginia. The keynote speaker at the Kansas City convention was famed Evangelist Billy Graham. Jaycees and their wives in attendance totaled 8, 000.

 

 

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