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Tuesday, August 12, 2008

America the Beautiful

American Minute from William J. Federer

"O Beautiful, For Spacious Skies, For Amber Waves of Grain..." Almost the National Anthem, "America the Beautiful" was written by Katherine Lee Bates, born AUGUST 12, 1859.

Daughter of a Congregational minister, Katherine Lee Bates taught high school, then English literature at Wellesley College.

Of her 1893 Colorado journey, Katherine Lee Bates wrote: "Some of the other teachers and I decided to go on a trip to 14,000-foot Pikes Peak. We hired a prairie wagon. Near the top we had to leave the wagon and go the rest of the way on mules. I was very tired. But when I saw the view, I felt great joy. All the wonder of America seemed displayed there, with the sea-like expanse."

Printed in The Congregationalist, July 4, 1895, Katharine Lee Bates wrote: "America! America! God shed his grace on thee, And crown thy good with brotherhood, From sea to shining sea!"

Meeting with South Korean President Chun Doo Hwan, November 14, 1983, President Reagan said: "At the worship service Sunday morning with our soldiers...less than a mile from one of the most tyrannical regimes on Earth...a choir of little girls...all orphans...closing the service, singing 'America, the Beautiful' in our language, was a spiritual experience."

William J. Federer is a nationally recognized author, speaker, and president of Amerisearch, Inc, which is dedicated to researching our American heritage. The American Minute radio feature looks back at events in American history on the dates they occurred, is broadcast daily across the country and read by thousand on the internet.


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