Boys State, which is sponsored by The American Legion, was first held in June 1935 in Illinois. Today, every state except Hawaii conducts a Boys State. South Carolina began to host the program in 1940. Our program is called “Palmetto Boys State” and was originally housed at a school by the airport in Columbia, SC. Shortly thereafter, Palmetto Boys State was moved to the University of South Carolina. In the 1960s, PBS again moved to The Citadel in Charleston where it stayed until 1990. Wofford College in Spartanburg was then host to PBS through 1998. The program returned to the Citadel in 1999 and finally moved back the University of South Carolina in 2004. Anderson University has been our host since 2011.
The American Legion founded the Boys State program to teach young men about government and politics. More specifically, the program is intended to spark interest and pride in government on a local level as well as the national scope. The greatest aspect of the program is that the participants learn by doing. Active participation in Boys State is key.
The history of Palmetto Boys State continues to be written. Each year, the number of delegates to the program grows. Many exciting changes are occurring within Palmetto Boys State. Our staff is always on the lookout for ways to better the program. We’re thrilled about our future and proud of our past. We hope you are too!