Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Boys Town Part Two

Continuing on our tour of Boys Town in Omaha, Nebraska, this is the Hall of History. It is filled to the rafters with information on how the place first started, pictures from the past, and so much memorabilia.

The first thing you see when you enter the building are all these enlarged newspaper clippings hanging from the ceiling. These are copies of the clippings that were found in Father Flanagan's desk drawer that he had saved about children he needed to rescue and bring to Boys Town.

These are the original five boys that first came to to Boys Town.

One of the first boys to come to the home was crippled. The older boys took turns carrying him around.

"He Ain't Heavy, Father...He's M'Brother" This statement and this symbol was copyrighted for Boys Town in 1943.

Daily life back in the 1930's and '40's began with the boys waking up to this bugle's reveille at 6:30 a.m.

They made their beds before eating breakfast in the dining hall. Their day was filled with school work or vocational training courses. In the evenings, the boys enjoyed hobbies such as stamp collecting, model building and listening to the radio. With the sound of taps at 9:00 pm, each boy returned to the "apartment" he shared with 25 roommates to get ready for bed. They kept their apartment clean and earned money for completing their work. They spent their weekly allowance of 25 to 40 cents on candy apples or personal items in the Boys Town store.

The whole community gathered for daily meals, a regular Sunday night movie, and religious services on the weekend. Special events and holidays, plays and musicals, and annual Fourth of July picnic, and a large Christmas celebration fostered community spirit.
(courtesy of Hall of History)

Do you remember the movie "Boys Town" starring Spencer Tracy and Mickey Rooney?

This is the Oscar that Spencer Tracy won for Best Actor in 1938.

Spencer Tracy had this engraved on the bottom of the statue and gave it to Father Flanagan. In case you can't read it, it says, "To Father Edward J. Flanagan whose great human qualities, kindly simplicity and inspiring courage were strong enough to shine through my humble efforts." Spencer Tracy

This plaque reads, "Academy First Award to Spencer Tracy for his performance in 'Boys Town'"

Across from the Hall of History is the Garden of the Bible. It is a small, beautiful garden with roses and a pond.

Here the Ten Commandments are displayed.

I remember when this child was abducted. It was near where my husband grew up.

This is Jacob's tree.

This little area was off to the side. That is the Angel of Hope in the center. This area is for children who died at a young age.

If you look closely, you will see the word "Hope" written into the angel's wings.

Father Flanagan believed that religion was a part of the children's life at Boys Town. The boys were Protestant, Catholic and Jewish. To meet their religious needs, two churches were built. (A Jewish synagog is available in a nearby community.) This is the Protestant church, Chambers Chapel. It wasn't open for tours.

This is the Catholic church, Dowd Chapel.

We were able to walk inside.

The beautiful stained glass window in the back of the church and the huge pipe organ.

Off to the side in a separate chapel is Father Flanagan's Tomb. A fitting memorial for a honorable, decent, humble man who contributed so much to our society.


David Allen Waters said...

another lovely post about a most deserving work. so wonderful.

Eva Gallant said...

I so enjoyed the tour of Boys Town. Thanks for sharing it with us. The Catholic church was so beautiful. And I didn't realize that Spencer Tacy had given his Oscar to Father Flannagan! It was all very interesting, Pat!

Brian Miller said...

how sad and inspirational...the boy carrying the other in particular...that wall too...great shots and thank you for sharing this...

Country Gal said...

Wonderful post and photos. I never have seen or heard of this place, thanx to you I see alot that I may never get to and learnof it every day! Have a great day !

Gail said...

You have fed my history hunger with stunning photos and wonderful words.

Missy said...

Love this!

Teresa - in the Middle Side of Life said...

wonderful story! love the pictures!

Ami said...

Thank you for the guided tour. I'd heard of Boys Town, but knew almost nothing about it.

Amazing. And great photos and writing.


Valerie said...

After reading your previous post I told hubs about the place. Now he's wishing he could go and see for himself. I like the idea of hanging newspaper cuttings from the ceiling. Thanks for sharing this, Pat.

Mama Zen said...

What a lovely place! My grandfather was a huge supporter of Boys Town for years and years.

Snowflake said...

Thanks again for sharing a wonderful story about an amazing place!!

Bossy Betty said...

I remember reading a long article about Boy's Town one time and being fascinated and intrigued by it. Thanks so much for this tour!

WhisperingWriter said...

This is too cool.

I so love reading about your travels.

SquirrelQueen said...

I didn't realize that Spencer Tracy had given his Oscar to Father Flangan, that was a wonderful gesture. Thanks for all the information and the tour Pat, I hope one day we can visit there.

Lynda said...

I knew about Boys Town but none of the details. That was very interesting. It also gives us another example of how hard life has been for some - - before they were rescued. The majority of us have nothing to complain about, do we?!! Thanks again, Pat, for sharing more of our America.

KaLynn ("MiMi") said...

Boys own is one of my favorite movies! Thanks for sharing the rest of the story!