Happy 105th Birthday, BSA! Here are five other interesting facts from 1910

Sunday, Feb. 8, is the 105th birthday of the Boy Scouts of America.

And because the BSA’s birthday falls on a Sunday this year, it’s also Scout Sunday for many packs, troops, teams, posts, ships and crews out there. Two great events packed into one awesome day.

As many of you know, on Feb. 8, 1910, William D. Boyce incorporated the Boy Scouts of America under the laws of the District of Columbia.

A year earlier, in a visit to London, Boyce had gotten lost in the fog when a boy came to his aid. The boy guided Boyce to his destination and refused a tip after doing so. The boy said that as a Scout he would not take a tip for doing a Good Turn. This ignited a desire within Boyce to bring Scouting back to the United States.

Lucky for us, he did just that. 

You can — and should — read more about the BSA’s incredible founders in this Scouting magazine piece from the BSA’s 100th Anniversary in 2010.

But today I thought I’d look at what else happened in 1910 when the BSA was founded. It offers a nice perspective on what was happening in the world when the BSA got its start — and just how far we’ve come since.

Five other notable events from 1910

Jan. 10-20: First major airshow in U.S.

The Los Angeles International Air Meet was one of the first airshows in the world and the first in the United States. Pilots of monoplanes, biplanes, balloons and dirigibles were invited, with cash prizes going to the pilots who could fly the fastest, the highest or for the longest amount of time.

The Wright brothers, who first flew in 1903, did not take part in the event, but they were there with their lawyers in an attempt to prevent two men from flying. The Wrights claimed parts of the men’s aircraft infringed on their patents.

March 18: Frankenstein movie released

Considered to be the first horror movie, this 16-minute short film was released in 1910. It was based on Mary Shelley’s book and produced by the Edison Manufacturing Company, founded in 1889 by Thomas Edison.

The silent film was shot in three days in New York.

April 20: Halley’s Comet visible from Earth

The only comet that might appear twice in a human lifetime, Halley made its first appearance of the 20th century in 1910.

It showed up again in 1986, and its next projected appearance is in mid-2061.

April 21: Mark Twain dies

Mark Twain, born Samuel Langhorne Clemens on Nov. 30, 1835, died in 1910.

The “father of American literature” wrote classics like The Adventures of Tom SawyerAdventures of Huckleberry Finn and A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court.

May: NAACP holds conference

At its second conference in 1910, members changed the organization’s name from the  National Negro Committee to the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.

The group named a board of directors and a president, Moorfield Storey, a white constitutional lawyer and former president of the American Bar Association.

There was just one African-American man among the organization’s executives: W. E. B. Du Bois, director of publications and research.

Today, the NAACP is the nation’s largest grassroots-based civil rights organization.


About Bryan Wendell 3281 Articles
Bryan Wendell, an Eagle Scout, is the founder of Bryan on Scouting and a contributing writer.