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Boys Nation is an annual forum concerning civic training, government, leadership, and Americanism that is run by the American Legion. Ninety eight Boys Nation Senators are chosen from a pool of over 20,000 Boys State participants, making it one of the most selective educational programs in the United States.
Each year, two delegates in the summer after their junior year of high school are selected from each of the forty-nine American Legion Boys State programs in the United States (Hawaii does not host a Boys State). These delegates attend the week-long event in Washington, DC.
The event endeavors to teach delegates about the processes of the Federal government of the United States by establishing a mock Senate and organizing mock elections of a Boys Nation Senate President Pro Tempore, Senate Secretary, Vice President, and President. Senators also attend lectures and forums, and visit governmental institutions and historical sites. Tom Brokaw and former president Bill Clinton have also been involved. It is a tradition for the student senators to take a private tour of the White House and be received by the current president. Boys Nation Senators also ordinarily receive private tours of the United States Supreme Court, the Congress, the Pentagon, and the State Department.
Students assume the role of a United States Senator, representing their respective (Boys) State. They write and introduce bills and debate in the senate chambers. Delegates are split into political parties and draft a party platform as well as perform usual party duties like nominations for president and vice-president, along with elected party leadership.
- David B. Barlow, United States Attorney, District of Utah
- Max Baucus, United States Ambassador and Senator, Montana
- Beau Biden, Attorney General of Delaware
- Tom Brokaw, Former NBC anchorman
- Steve Bullock, Governor of Montana
- Aneesh Chopra, United States Chief Technology Officer
- Chris Christie, Former Governor of New Jersey
- Bill Clinton, 42nd President of the United States
- Tom Cotton, United States Senator, Arkansas
- Mitch Daniels, Former Governor of Indiana, Current President, Purdue University
- Lawrence DiCara, Attorney, Politician, former Boston City Council President
- William M. Francavilla, Author, financial planner
- H. Alston Johnson III, Former federal judicial nominee to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
- Michael Jordan, professional NBA player
- John Neely Kennedy, United States Senator, Louisiana
- Alan Keyes, politician
- Michael S. Lee, United States Senator, Utah
- Joe Lieberman, United States Senator, Connecticut and VP Candidate
- Donal Logue, Noted Hollywood actor
- Gray H. Miller, U.S. District Court Judge
- Nate Morris, Co-Founder and CEO, Rubicon Global
- Eric Motley, Former State Department Official
- Scott Murphy, United States Representative, New York
- Andre Quintero, Mayor, El Monte, California
- Ben Sasse, United States Senator, Nebraska
- Jonathan Shapiro (writer), Emmy Award winning Producer/Writer
- Gaddi Vasquez, Former Director of the Peace Corps
- Scott Walker, current Governor of Wisconsin
- "Boys Nation | The American Legion". www.legion.org. Retrieved 2017-04-05.
- Goerger, Tammy. "A Guide to Boys and Girls State". College Vine. Retrieved 27 July 2017.
- "About Boys Nation | The American Legion". www.legion.org. Retrieved 2017-04-05.
- Auxiliary, American Legion. "ALA Girls Nation - American Legion Auxiliary". www.alaforveterans.org. Retrieved 2017-04-05.