The 1937 booklet for Radio Orphan Annie's Secret Society was sent to children who joined the club that year. Little Orphan Annie started life, of course, as a comic strip, first published in 1924. Starting in 1930, a radio show began airing. The Radio Orphan Annie's Secret Society radio show started in 1934. If you're not old enough to have joined the Radio Orphan Annie's Secret Society, you might be familiar with it from a funny scene from the 1983 movie, A Christmas Story, in which the main character, Ralphie, receives his secret decoder from the Radio Orphan Annie Secret Society.
Because our rituals policy permits us to share once-secretive information for fraternal organizations that have gone out of existence, we can share with you the passwords and signs for the Radio Orphan Annie's Secret Society from 1937. But remember, these must be used with care, as Annie herself reminds you in the booklet that accompanies this information:
"Sometimes outsiders may pretend that they are members of Radio Orphan Annie's Secret Society when they're really not members at all. So whenever you want to find out for sure if anyone is a 1937 member - ask him to give the password to prove it.
You say to him: "Give me the 1937 secret password."
He should answer: "SIM-COR." (This new password is made up of the first syllables of the two words, "Simmons Corners" - the town were Annie lives with her foster parents, Mr. and Mrs. Silo.)"
The signs, of course, are pictured at the top of this post.
Top and bottom:
Radio Orphan Annie's Secret Society, 1937.
Call number: PN 6728 .L55 R3 1937
Gift of Robert A. Frank
Center: Radio Orphan Annie Decoder, 1935, National Heritage Museum Collection, Gift of Robert A. Frank, 2006.013.5