Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Happy Birthday America

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Fourth of July, a holiday in which we celebrate our country's birthday. Families and friends getting together to grill out, make red white and blue foods, and maybe have some cocktails. [drink responsibly] America did have to endure many trials and tribulations to get where we are today, but freedom is worth it, right? During this daring journey, there have been many historical stories, songs, and change created.

Did you know that America the Beautiful, written by Katherine Lee Bates, was originally a poem named Pikes Peak? Bates traveled the country by train and when she was standing on top of Pikes Peak the words of the poem began coming to mind. It was published two years later on the 4th of July, in a church pamphlet call TheCongregationalist. The poem gained popularity quickly and when combined with a hymn Materna, written by Samuel A. Ward, became America the Beautiful in 1910. Now there has been some debate about whether this song should replace the national anthem.

The national anthem Star Spangled Banner, written by Francis Scott Key. This song and its history are quite famous, but I will pontificate anyway. Key wrote this song after witnessing the Battle of Baltimore, during the War of 1812. The fact that our flag kept standing throughout the bombardment from the Royal Navy had an enormous impact on Key. I love that part of the song. This song became our anthem in 1931. There were a few other songs we used until a bill was signed by Herbert Hoover. 

One of those songs was My Country 'Tis of Thee written by Samuel Francis Smith in 1831. This song was written in 30 minutes and has 13 different verses. Originally, it had four, but there were nine added after some time, and the last part is about ridding our country of tyranny and slavery. I had no idea it was that long and honestly only knew the original song. I think it lost the song battle because the tune was the same as God Save the Queen for the UK. We needed our own song for our own country and Star Spangled Banner fits!

Happy Birthday, America! Happy 4th to all!   

Source: wikipedia.org

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