A look back at the Boy Scout Jamboree

Chris Epting’s book, Vanishing Orange County, included some history and great photos of the national Boy Scout Jamboree in Irvine, California, back in 1953. Also, look at my past post on the Jamboree and its influence on the naming of Jamboree Road in Irvine here.  The following photos and descriptions were taken from Vanishing Orange County:

Aerial of the Jamboree

The first Boy Scouts of America National Jamboree was scheduled in Washington, D.C., in 1935 to celebrate the 25th anniversary of scouting in America.  Unfortunately, the jamboree had to be canceled due to the prevalence of infantile paralysis (polio) in Washington.  In 1937, the jamboree was held in D.C.; in 1950, it was held in Valley Forge, Pennsylvania; and then in 1953, it came to Irvine Ranch.  The theme was “Forward on Liberty’s Team,” and 471,963 people attended.

Vice President Richard Nixon speaking to the press at the jamboree.

The Boy Scout Jamboree held July 17-23, 1953, was the first jamboree held west of the Mississippi River, and it was a huge moment for Orange County.  The site of the jamboree is located where today’s Newport Center and Eastbluff communities in Newport Beach now stand.

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