We've all said it a thousand times, if not more.
But how much do we actually know about the Pledge of Allegiance? Test your knowledge with some key facts about the most patriotic of morning school rituals, officially recognized on this day in 1946.
The original made no mention of God
Sorry Bible-thumpers. The original poem, written by Francis Bellamy in 1892, made no mention of a higher power—this despite the fact that Bellamy was a Baptist minister.
In fact, the words "under God" didn't enter into the equation until 1954, when Congress voted to include it. Why? Political pressure from the Knights of Columbus, the world's largest Catholic fraternal service organization.
We used to "Heil Hitler" while reciting
Until Franklin D. Roosevelt became president, the standard way to recite the pledge was with an arm outstretched toward the flag, palm down. Sound familiar?
To avoid any confusion with the infamous Nazi salute, FDR wisely instituted the current "hand over heart" version in 1942, during the midst of the second World War.
Bellamy was—gasp!—a socialist
That's right, Tea Partiers. The pledge that you grew up reciting was written by a well-known socialist. And it ran in the family—Bellamy's brother, Edward, wrote the third best-selling novel of the day, Looking Backward, in which a man from 1887 awakens in the year 2000 to find himself living in a socialist utopia.
But before you go calling him unpatriotic, in the novel Bellamy warns against the dangers of playing the stock market and racking up the credit cards. These days, what's more American than that?
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