The Atlantic

What Should the Girl Scouts Stand For?

In 1955, readers weighed in on changes made to the Girl Scout Handbook and the international objectives of the organization.
Source: Corbis / Getty

Letters from the Archives is a series in which we highlight past Atlantic stories and reactions from readers at the time.


When Juliette Gordon Low founded the Girl Scouts of the United States of America in 1912, her vision was one of international understanding and cooperation. It’s unlikely she anticipated backlash from far-right extremists. But 42 years later, in March 1954, an article in an “ultraconservative magazine” criticized the organization’s internationalism, and sparked a wave of as a result of the outside pressure.

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

Related Interests

More from The Atlantic

The Atlantic6 min readPolitics
Berlin Has Become an Unlikely Home for China’s Expat Artists
The German capital offers not only freedom, but also invites people to provoke and challenge orthodoxy.
The Atlantic3 min read
Generation Z Gets Its Coming-of-Age Classic
Refreshingly free of stereotype, Olivia Wilde’s wonderful film Booksmart should easily join the teen-movie canon.
The Atlantic9 min read
When You’re in Command, Your Job Is to Know Better
In war, the temptation to take revenge is strong. Fighting that temptation is a commanding officer’s job.