Skip Ribbon Commands
Skip to main content
A cast and crew from MGM Studios began filming the movie Boys Town in the village in 1938.

The Boys Town Story: 1937 – 1947

October 27th, 2017     By Boys Town Contributor

Boys Town History, Father Flanagan, Village of Boys Town

The following is part of our Centennial Timeline Series, providing historical insight into each decade of Boys Town's history. This time, we see Boys Town at the height of its fame, becoming a household name, thanks to the tireless public relations work of Father Flanagan — and an Oscar®-winning film called Boys Town.

The cast and crew from MGM Studios began filming the movie Boys Town in the village in 1938. Spencer Tracy and Mickey Rooney, two of the biggest stars at the time, were among those who would spend 10 days on location filming.

The movie premiered later that year on September 7, in Omaha. Boys Town won two Academy awards. Dore Schary and Eleanore Griffen were honored for writing the Best Original Story, and Spencer Tracy won the Best Actor award for his portrayal of Father Flanagan. The film was also nominated for Best Picture, Best Director (Norman Taurog) and Outstanding Production.

In 1941, CBS Radio aired the first broadcast of several national broadcasts featuring the Boys Town Choir. That year also marked the dedication of Dowd Chapel in the Village of Boys Town, built with a donation from Mary Dowd.

In Detroit in 1944, a crowd of more than 43,000 attended the Boys Town vs. Detroit Central Catholic football game, which ended in a 14-14 tie. Boys Town and DCC played regularly throughout the era, drawing enormous crowds.

In 1946, Boys Town announced a $30 million expansion that doubled the size of the home, adding an administration building, a high school, 25 cottages, a visitors' center, a dining hall, a field house, a music hall, and a vocational center.

Click through our slide show to see more photos.

1938: A cast and crew from MGM Studios begin filming the movie Boys Town in the village.

Check out our interactive timeline to learn more about Boys Town's second decade.


Related Posts

 

 

Once Upon a Time, Disney Created Something Just for Boys Town…https://www.boystown.org/blog/Pages/Once-Upon-a-Time-Disney-Created-Something-Just-for-Boys-Town.aspxOnce Upon a Time, Disney Created Something Just for Boys Town…Our logo has changed a few times over the last 70 years … you'll find that evolution featured in the artwork below. But Boys Town will always have a special place in our hearts for the lively 1950's Cowboy logo designed by Walt Disney Studios just for us.July 25, 2022Boys TownOur logo has changed a few times over the last 70 years … you'll find that evolution featured in the artwork below. But Boys Town will always have a special place in our hearts for the lively 1950's Cowboy logo designed by Walt Disney Studios just for us.Boys Town Contributor
Syracuse Jr. High Student Council Donates $750 to Boys Town Education Center During Annual Visithttps://www.boystown.org/blog/Pages/Syracuse-Jr-High-Student-Council-Donates-$750-to-Boys-Town-Education-Center-During-Annual-Visit.aspxSyracuse Jr. High Student Council Donates $750 to Boys Town Education Center During Annual VisitSyracuse Jr. High Student Council Donates $750 to Boys Town Education Center During Annual VisitMay 17th, 2022Boys TownSyracuse Jr. High Student Council Donates $750 to Boys Town Education Center During Annual VisitBoys Town Contributor
Colby Johnson Elected 122nd Mayor of Boys Townhttps://www.boystown.org/blog/Pages/Colby-Johnson-Elected-122nd-Mayor-of-Boys-Town.aspxColby Johnson Elected 122nd Mayor of Boys TownBoys Town elected their 122nd mayor, upcoming senior Colby Johnson.May 13th, 2022Boys TownBoys Town elected their 122nd mayor, upcoming senior Colby Johnson.Boys Town Contributor