1942 December 28

Congress Officially Adopts Pledge of Allegiance

 

Most people are surprised to learn that the Pledge of Allegiance did not have status as the official American pledge until this day. Also, the commonly used salute until then was the “Bellamy Salute” (after the author of the pledge, Francis Bellamy), which was essentially the same as — are you ready for this? — the notorious Nazi salute. Here’s a question: Why did the salute last until 1942, nine years after Hitler came to power in Germany?

Francis Bellamy, who was a Christian Socialist (a fact that Americans generally do not know) wrote the pledge on October 8, 1892, and the words “under God” were not added until June 14, 1954.

Read: Richard Ellis, To the Flag: The Unlikely History of the Pledge of Allegiance (2007)

Watch newsreel footage of the Bellamy Salute: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3zweCm7smxY

Learn more about the history of the Pledge of Allegiance: Joel Westheimer, Pledging Allegiance: The Politics of Patriotism in America’s Schools (2007)

Find a Day

Go
Abortion Rights ACLU african-americans Alice Paul anti-communism Anti-Communist Hysteria Birth Control Brown v. Board of Education Censorship CIA Civil Rights Civil Rights Act of 1964 Cold War Espionage Act FBI First Amendment Fourteenth Amendment freedom of speech Free Speech Gay Rights Hate Speech homosexuality Hoover, J. Edgar HUAC Japanese American Internment King, Dr. Martin Luther Ku Klux Klan Labor Unions Lesbian and Gay Rights Loyalty Oaths McCarthy, Sen. Joe New York Times Obscenity Police Misconduct Same-Sex Marriage Separation of Church and State Sex Discrimination Smith Act Spying Spying on Americans Vietnam War Voting Rights Voting Rights Act of 1965 War on Terror Watergate White House Women's Rights Women's Suffrage World War I World War II Relocation Camps

Topics

Tell Us What You Think

We want to hear your comments, criticisms and suggestions!