Who wrote the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag?
The Pledge was written by Francis Bellamy.
Is there anything else we should know about Bellamy?
Yes. He was a Socialist.
He must have been a patriot as well.
Not really. He was more a capitalist. He was a traveling Baptist minister before going to work for the publisher of The Youth’s Companion, a circular.
The magazine sold American flags as a sideline. The publisher’s goal was to see a flag hanging from every American school house. By 1892 the magazine had sold flags to 26,000 schools.
Bellamy’s crusade saturated the market. Flag sales began to flag (oops). Bellamy wrote the Pledge of Allegiance and scripted a dog and pony show that went from school to school, dedicating flags, teaching the pledge and promoting congressional adoption of the same.
“One Nation under God” was added later at President Eisenhower’s request.
• • •
Everyone knows that no matter who’s in Austin, Bob Wills is still the king. But what is Wills’ claim to fame?
James Robert Wills (March 6, 1905 to May 13, 1975) was born in Limestone County, Texas. He spent his early youth picking cotton and playing with black children and learning the blues.
He learned to play the guitar, fiddle and mandolin, a modest achievement for any child reared in the Wills’ home. He was still a teenager when he left home and started playing with a series of bands.
He found fame fronting for the Texas Playboys. He played blues, country western, country swing and country rock ’n’ roll until his death.
His greatest claim to fame was the invention of the “Ah ha.”
• • •
When did Lincoln free the slaves?
Before his election in 1860, Lincoln promised he would not free the slaves. He kept this promise until Robert E. Lee’s Confederate army threatened to invade the north and take Washington, D.C.
In a play for the growing abolitionist vote, Lincoln penned the Emancipation Proclamation.
Aware that Americans would likely see the issue of the freedom document as a purely political move, Lincoln waited for the Union Army to improve its lot. When the tide of battle turned, he issued the famous executive order.
The Emancipation Proclamation freed not a single slave. It proclaimed the freedom of slaves in areas held by the Confederates. Slaves in areas held by the Union Army were unaffected.
• • •
Who was the 23rd president of the United States? Some scholars say Grover Cleveland, but we’re not buying that response. Do the arithmetic.
Cleveland was elected in 1884 and 1892, making him the 22nd and 24th president. He had the most votes in 1888, but Benjamin Harrison won the Electoral College.
After Cleveland’s second term, he was followed by William McKinley, Theodore Roosevelt and William Howard Taft.
Woodrow Wilson won the White House in 1912. Warren G. Harding, Calvin Coolidge and Herbert Hoover followed him. Franklin Delano Roosevelt won four terms in a row, dying during the last one.