Wolverine Boys State / Wolverine Girls State
Wolverine Boys State: American Legion
On November 28, 1937, the board of directors of The American Legion established Wolverine Boys' State. American Legion departments in other states, including Ohio and Indiana, had existing programs. The American Legion sought to teach citizenship and leadership to boys by training them in the fundamental principles of American government. Individual legion posts sponsored local boys who were "mentally alert, vigorous and enthusiastic and honest and thrifty " The first Boys' State was held at Michigan State College (present day Michigan State University
) in East Lansing. Posts sent eight hundred boys at a cost of $12.50 each for the ten day event. In 1946, Boys' Nation was organized.
Wolverine Girls' State: American Legion Auxiliary
In 1941 the women of the American Legion Auxiliary established Wolverine Girls' State. The organization's original purpose was "to find and develop girls who show inherent tendencies toward leadership." The first Girls' State meeting was held in June 1941 at the University of Michigan
in Ann Arbor. The eight-day program included sessions on entertaining, etiquette, drama, nursing, art and music appreciation and citizenship. In 1952, to accommodate women's changing roles, the auxiliary shifted the organization's focus to inform girls about 'the duties, privileges, rights and responsibilities of American citizenship and self -government'. Girls' Nation was established in 1947.