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The Boys Town Story: 1947–1957

October 31st, 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. The decade starting in 1947 brings great changes at Boys Town, including the passing of its visionary founder and a major expansion of its Omaha campus.

In 1947, the War Department invited Father Flanagan to tour Asia to investigate the need for aid for war orphans. He later presented his final report to President Harry S. Truman at the White House.

In 1948, during a child welfare mission to Europe, Father Flanagan died in Berlin, Germany. He was 61 years old. Following his death, Monsignor Nicholas Wegner was named the new executive director of Boys Town.

The major expansion to the Boys Town campus announced in 1946 was completed in 1949, and the village's population grew to more than 900 boys.

In 1951, the Boys Town National Alumni Association was organized and ​held its first convention the following year.

In 1954, world heavyweight champion Rocky Marciano visited Boys Town. ​Two years later, Boys Town graduate Charles "Deacon" Jones competed in the 1956 Olympic Games in Melbourne, Australia, finis​hing ninth in the 3,000-meter steeplechase. ​Four years later, ​he finished ​seventh in the ​same event during​ the Olympic Games in Rome, Italy.

Click through our slide show to see more photos.

1947: At the invitation of the War Department, Father Flanagan tours Asia to investigate the need for aid for war orphans. He later presents his final repost to President Harry S. Truman at a White House meeting.

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

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