Country fails to acknowledge two special dates
I am writing my letter to review two dates; July 30 and August 1, that are connected, but as a country we failed to acknowledge and recognize.
On July 30, 1956, President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed into law that "IN GOD WE TRUST" would become our national motto. The phrase "IN GOD WE TRUST" as a motto for currency (but not as a national motto) first appeared on United States coins in 1864.
The 1956 law was the first establishment of an official motto for the country, although E Pluribus Unum ("from many, one") had been adopted by an Act of Congress in 1782 as the motto for the great Seal of the United States, and had been used on coins and paper money since 1795. It had been unofficially considered to be the country's motto. The change from "E Pluribus Unum" to "In God We Trust" came at a challenging time given the presence of the Cold War era.
The second date is August 1, which is the birthday of Frances Scott Key (August 1, 1779-January 11, 1843) who was a lawyer, author, and amateur poet, who wrote the lyrics for our national anthem, "The Star-Spangled Banner".
Under this name, the song was adopted as the American national anthem, first by an Executive Order from President Woodrow Wilson in 1916 (which had little effect beyond requiring military bands to play it) and then by a Congressional resolution in 1931 by President Herbert Hoover.
During the War of 1812, Key found himself on the ship HMS Torrant for a prisoner exchange. Unable to return to his ship, he had to watch the bombarding of the American forces at Fort McHenry during the Battle of Baltimore on the night of September 13-14, 1814.
At dawn, Key was able to see the American flag still waving and reported this to the prisoners below deck. On the way back to Baltimore, he was inspired to write a poem describing his experience, "Defense of Fort McHenry," which he published in the Patriot on September, 20, 1814.
In the fourth stanza of our national anthem, we read the verse; "And this be our motto: "In God is our trust," and the next verse reads, "And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave."
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