December 12, 1917

On this day in 1917, Irish priest Father Edward J. Flanagan founded what would become known as “Boys Town” in Omaha, Nebraska. Beginning as a home for troubled and neglected children, only six boys entered the home upon its establishment. Flanagan, who had previously run the Workingman’s Hotel, a haven for downtrodden workers, understood that neglected orphans were at a higher risk to turn to crime in their later years. After its establishment, “Boys Town” enrollment soared to over 100 boys and a school was built. The institution remains today and has since changed its name to “Boys and Girls Town” due to its now co-ed enrollment.

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