Rushville Republican

Columns

October 22, 2013

Remember what it is to be an American

How many of us know the National Motto of the United States? Not many, I’ll bet. But you’ll recognize it the moment you read it. It’s “In God We Trust.” The motto originated during the Civil War, according to The World Almanac and Book of Facts, “as an inscription for U.S. coins, although it was used by Francis Scott Key in a slightly different form when he wrote ‘The Star Spangled Banner’ in 1814. On Nov. 13, 1861, when Union morale had been shaken by battlefield defeats, the Rev. M. R. Watkinson, of Ridleyville, PA, wrote to Secretary of the Treasury Salmon P. Chase, ‘From my heart I have felt our national shame in disowning God as not the least of our present disasters.’ The minister wrote, suggesting ‘recognition of the Almighty God in some form on our coins.’ Secretary Chase ordered designs prepared with the inscription ‘In God We Trust’ and backed coinage legislation that authorized use of this slogan. It first appeared on some U.S. coins in 1864, and disappeared and reappeared on various coins until 1955, when Congress ordered it placed on all paper money and all coins.”

The designation of “In God We Trust” as our national motto was finally made official by Congress in 1956.

How about The Great Seal of the United States? How many of us can describe what it looks like? Again, not many, I’ll bet. According to The World Almanac and Book of Facts, “On July 4, 1776, the Continental Congress appointed a committee consisting of Benjamin Franklin, John Adams, and Thomas Jefferson ‘to bring in a device for a seal of the United States of America.’ The designs submitted by this and a subsequent committee were considered unacceptable. After many delays, a third committee appointed early in 1782 presented a design prepared by William Barton; and Charles Thomson, the Secretary of Congress, suggested certain changes, and Congress finally approved the design on June 20, 1782. The obverse side of the seal shows an American bald eagle. In its mouth is a ribbon bearing the motto ‘e pluribus unum’ (one out of many). In the eagle’s talons are the arrows of war and an olive branch of peace. The reverse side shows an unfinished pyramid with an eye (the eye of Providence) above it.”

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Columns
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  • Habitual behavior Mary Ellen and I have been happy together for so long that we sometimes forget how much we annoy each other, so on the trip back home from our recent vacation, it was time catch up on our bad habits.For example, I told Mary Ellen that she is a relent

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  • Driving Highway 40 in the 40's My days in the 1940’s would today be extremely quiet and sedate. I have remembrances of having an enjoyable day with family and in reality doing little. On a Sunday afternoon, we would take off and head toward Dunreith and Highway 40, the only 4-lane

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  • Civil reunion My wife and I enjoy doing many things together. But when our entertainment preferences are not in sync, we can communicate openly with each other. That makes for a perfect union. But it may make for a lousy reunion. Let me explain.The Wolfsie family

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  • A capitol idea, sealed with a snog On our recent summer vacation to Annapolis, Maryland, we made sure to see as many memorable sights as we could in nearby Washington, D.C. This included a tour of the United States capitol building. Or maybe it’s the Capitol Building? – I suddenly rea

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