Twenty five years ago today, the Americans with Disabilities Act was signed into law by President George W. Bush. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a civil rights law that prohibits discrimination based on disability. It protects against discrimination similar to the Civil Rights Act of 1964 which made discrimination based on race, religion, sex, national origination, and other characteristics illegal. In addition, the ADA requires employers to provide reasonable accommodations to employees with disabilities such as providing ramps for employees who are confined to wheelchairs. Any public and/or commercial facility, such as restaurants, hotels, stores, and public transportation, must also provide access.
Did you also know that, long before any such act as the ADA, the first Girl Scout troop for the physically handicapped organized here in Atlanta was in 1947? Mrs. Charles B. Brown organized the troop of six wheelchair bound girls at Aidmore Hospital for Crippled Children. Under the name Crippled Children’s League of Georgia, the first clinic for crippled children was held in Marietta, Georgia, and from 1941 to 1954 the successful institution was in operation at 918 Peachtree Street. Today it is known as Elks Aidmore, Inc. and is not limited to helping young people with just physical handicaps, but those with mental disabilities as well. It is now located on 141 acres in Conyers, Georgia.
Do you want to learn more about what it would be like to live as someone with a physical disability? Girl Scouts of Greater Atlanta has two awesome Council’s Own badges that will allow you to do just that: “What If I Couldn’t” and “Georgia Rocks and Rolls.”
(Click on the names of the above badges to get the requirements for them.)
Every year on May 22, The United States observes National Maritime Day, a holiday created in 1933 to recognize the maritime industry. It was May 22, 1819 that the American steamship, Savannah, set sail from Savannah, Georgia on the first ever transoceanic voyage under steam power. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, Maritime Division, “The United States has always been and will always be a great maritime nation. From our origins as 13 British colonies, through every period of peace and conflict since, the Merchant Marine has been a pillar in this country’s foundation of prosperity and security. They power the world’s largest economy and strengthen our ties with trading partners around the world, all while supporting our military forces by shipping troops and supplies wherever they need to go.”
So what exactly is the Merchant Marine? The Merchant Marine is the fleet of ships which carries imports and exports during peacetime and becomes a naval auxiliary during wartime to deliver troops and war material. People who are in the Merchant Marine are referred to as mariners, seamen, seafarers, or sailors, but never Marines. People who are in the Merchant Marine are not military! They are civilians, just like us, and they were crucial to victory in World War II.
The Mariner Girl Scout program was officially launched in 1934, just one year after National Maritime Day was created in the United States. It was created for Senior Girl Scouts who were interested in nautical activities and whose troops had access to a body of water large enough to permit a comprehensive program of Mariner activities. By 1938, only one year before the launch of WWII in Europe when Germany invaded Poland, the Mariner Scout program had swept quickly throughout the country reaching a total registration of 3,484.
Although the Mariner Scout program was officially discontinued in 1963, today it has been re-instituted in a much smaller form.
Fun fact: Juliette Gordon Low was born and raised in Savannah, Ga., the same place from which the steamship Savannah set sail for the first ever transoceanic voyage. As a child, Juliette Low was sometimes affectionately called “the little ship under full sail” by her family!
It’s time for Treats and Keeps! The Girl Scouts of Greater Atlanta’s fall fundraiser is in full swing! As of September 2, you can now buy chocolates, nuts, magazines, and photo keepsakes from your local Atlanta area Girl Scouts.
Like the cookies, different areas of the country are supplied by different companies. For example, if Hot Cajun Crunch isn’t on an order form in one area of the country, then instead, there’s likely to be items like Island Fruit Mix, Peanut Brittle, or Mint Trefoils. Also, some councils offer magazine subscriptions while others are featuring photo keepsakes this year too.
As well as their annual fall fundraising, Girl Scouts have always been most well known for their annual cookie sale in the early spring of each year. But did you know that for decades now there have always been various sales year-round? For instance, during World War II, Girl Scouts sold war bonds (at no profit for GSUSA) to support the war effort here on the homefront. Also during WWII, they sold calendars instead of cookies because of the nationwide rationing of flour and sugar. To this day, calendars continue to be sold annually, though no longer in place of the beloved cookies.
Recently, I found an image online of this wonderful vintage poster of a Girl Scouts salted nut sale. It looks like it is from either the 1940s or 1950s era. I would love to find more information about this poster! If anyone out there has any info, please leave a comment or message us at GirlScoutArchivesAtlanta@gmail.com!