The American Bicentennial celebration in 1976 provided a focus for America to remember its history and celebrate its achievements, and the Boy Scouts used this historic event to promote Scouting’s values and contributions to American history. “Boypower ’76” was introduced in 1968, and through this National initiative, programs were introduced to Scout troops that allowed Scouts to earn special patches with Bicentennial emphasis as early as 1973. Many of our OA lodges also took advantage of this nationally unifying event to create programs and patches with Bicentennial themes. The OA's 60th Anniversary Award was also a Bicentennial award.
Until the Bicentennial, OA lodge patches were generally intended for recognition of membership or celebration of a lodge event. Bice“fever” changed that. For the first time, lodges produced patches to commemorate something other than an OA-related event, using the Bicentennial theme to create collectible memorabilia that helped promote event attendance, as well as raise funds for their lodge.
The success of these early commemorative patches helped fuel the trend for lodges to produce more patches intended as collectibles.