3¢ 4-H Clubs
Issue Date: January 15, 1952
City: Springfield, OH
Printed by: Bureau of Engraving and Printing
Printing Method: Rotary Press
Perforations: 11 x 10½
Color: Blue green
U.S. #1005 was issued to honor the 4-H Club movement. The stamp pictures the club’s symbol – a four-leaf clover. Also pictured are farm buildings and a teenage boy and girl.
Founding the 4-H Club
4-H is the largest informal educational program for young people in the U.S. The organization’s slogan is “Learn by Doing,” and its members acquire skills through working on various projects and activities. The four H’s stand for head, heart, hands, and health.
On January 15, 1902, A. B. Graham, the superintendent of schools in Clark County, Ohio, started one of the first clubs to resemble today’s 4-H clubs – the Springfield Township Agricultural Experiment Club. Graham’s club held regular meetings and had a planned program designed to teach youths through hands-on practical experience. The club’s members worked on projects dealing with vegetables, flowers, and soil testing. The Ohio State University Agricultural Experiment Station furnished the club with varieties of corn for the youths to grow.
Also important to the 4-H movement was Jessie Field Shambaugh. As a teacher in Page County, Jessie created agricultural clubs and competitions to increase student interest in farming. By 1906, Jessie was superintendent of the 130 schools in Page County. She and her teachers formed the “Page County Progressives” and soon all Page County Schools had Boys Corn Clubs and Girls Home Clubs.
In 1908, the National Educational Bulletin declared Page County schools “The Best Rural Schools in America.” Superintendents quickly flocked to the area to learn more about this new approach. By 1910, similar programs were sprouting up across the country. Jessie’s work, along with similar work throughout the U.S., turned into the 4-H Club of America. Jessie also designed the clover emblem that symbolizes the organization to this day.
The 4-H Club movement was sponsored by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, to teach rural youngsters modern farming methods.