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"Boys State was one of the greatest, most life changing experiences of my life. I learned about how the Missouri government worked, and I gained more respect for all the people who work in Missouri politics. Not only did I learn about politics but I learned a lot about myself."

-- Jordan Rasmussen '07
Sedgewickville, MO

Press Release

April 1, 2004

For more Information Contact:
Contact Missouri Boys State


J.C. Watts(Warrensburg, MO) -- Former U.S. Representative J. C. Watts will accept the 16th Annual George W. Lehr Memorial Speakers Chair and deliver the keynote address at the general assembly of the 65th session of The American Legion Boys State of Missouri, Inc. on Tuesday evening, June 15th at Central Missouri State University in Warrensburg.

Congressman Watts will address nearly 1,000 of Missouri’s finest high school juniors who are participating in a week-long citizenship and leadership training program sponsored by the Missouri American Legion.

Congressman Watts plans an address entitled “If We Have the Will to Change, We Will Change Lives for the Better”. In his address, Congressman Watts will trace his journey from a small town in Oklahoma to the corridors of our Nation’s Capitol. He will speak of what Patriotism means to him and why the foundation of our country must be laid upon strong family values, unflappable character and the determination to make life better for every citizen regardless of race or creed. Drawing from his experiences as congressman, quarterback of the Oklahoma Sooners and ordained minister, he will explore everyday leadership practices and tactical steps that Boys State participants can use to achieve their goals and dreams. His exemplary record in public service and his extraordinary life experiences make him an excellent choice for the George W. Lehr Speakers Chair.

The George W. Lehr Memorial Speakers Chair was established in 1988 as part of the 50th Anniversary celebration of the Missouri Boys State program. The Lehr Chair was created to honor the late Missouri State Auditor George W. Lehr, who was a Boys State participant in his youth and a tireless supporter of Missouri Boys State during his public life. The Lehr Chair was designed to assist the Boys State program in bringing the finest names in public service to the yearly Boys State session to interact with its participants.

The American Legion Boys State of Missouri will be held on the campus of Central Missouri State University in Warrensburg, MO beginning on Saturday, June 12 and concluding on June 19, 2004. The participants must have completed their junior year in high school and must have distinguished themselves as leaders in their high school and community.

Other speakers scheduled to participate during the week-long program are Missouri Governor Bob Holden, Missouri Secretary of State Matt Blunt, U.S. Representative Kenny Hulshof and General Ralph E. “Ed” Eberhart of U.S. Northern Command, Peterson AFB, Colorado.

George W. Lehr Memorial Speakers Chair

2004 J.C. Watts
Former U.S. Representative and College Football Star

2003 Mike Peters
Syndicated Political Cartoonist and Creator of Mother Goose and Grimm comic strip.
[press release]

2002 Bill Bradley
Former Presidential Candidate and Former U.S. Senator
[press release]

2001 William S. Cohen
Former Secretary of Defense
[press release]

2000 Lisa Myers
National Correspondent for NBC News - Washington

1999 Rev. Emmanuel Cleaver
Minister and Former Mayor of Kansas City

1998 David R. Gergen
Former U.S. Presidential Advisor

1997 William J. Perry
Former U.S. Secretary of Defense

1996 Lamar Alexander
Former Presidential Candidate and Former U.S. Secretary of Education

1995 Dr. Robert M. Gates
Former Director of the Central Intelligence Agency

1994 Paul E. Tsongas
Former Presidential Candidate and Senator from Massachusetts

1993 Edward D. "Chip" Robertson
Missouri Supreme Court Chief Justice

1992 Senator Christopher "Kit" Bond
Former MO Attorney General, Governor and current senior U.S. Senator

1991 Thomas DeFrank
Author and White House Correspondent for Newsweek Magazine

1990 Robert F. Hyland
Corporate Vice-President CBS Radio, St. Louis

1989 William Proxmire
Former U. S. Senator from Wisconsin


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