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America! Let Freedom Ring

Samuel Smith is translating a patriotic hymn from the German when he is suddenly overcome with the need to write a patriotic song of his own. He picks up a scrap of paper and within a few minutes, he has written a song that will be sung by school children and adults alike for years to come... "America" or as it has come to be known in the modern day, "My Country, 'tis of Thee". My favorite arrangement is sung by Abby Anderson. Tears fill my eyes every time I hear her sing it. ([Click Here]) [1]

My country, 'tis of thee,
Sweet land of liberty,
Of thee I sing;
Land where my fathers died,
Land of the pilgrims' pride,
From ev'ry mountainside
Let freedom ring!
Our fathers' God to Thee,
Author of liberty,
To Thee we sing.
Long may our land be bright,
With freedom's holy light,
Protect us by Thy might,
Great God our King. [2]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
My daughter-in-law is a high school teacher. She was surprised to learn that I sang this song every morning as a schoolboy after reciting the Pledge of Allegiance. She surprised me by reciting the Texas Pledge of Allegiance by heart. She is a real Texas gal. [3] [4] [5] [6]
Honor the Texas flag; I pledge allegiance to thee, Texas, one state under God, one and indivisible. [7]

Clausewitz "On War"

The cholera pandemic carries away the great Prussian strategist, Carl von Clausewitz. He spoke of "the fog of war". That is where the phrase comes from. He will be quoted again and again. Here are a few classics... [8] [9] [10]

  • Everything in war is simple, but the simplest thing is difficult. [11]
  • The enemy of a good plan is the dream of a perfect plan. [12]
  • War is such a dangerous business that mistakes that come from kindness are the very worst. [13]
  • The conqueror is always a lover of peace; he would prefer to take over our country unopposed. [12]
  • To secure peace is to prepare for war. [14]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
My father became a pacifist after he returned from the Korean War. My memories of him as a child convince me that he suffered some terrible trauma... several traumas. One morning, he pulled a dead man from the wire. The man was a Korean, the enemy. He carried a picture of his wife and child. My father knew that this man would have killed him if he could have. That was why he had been working his way through the wire, and yet, the picture made him seem so normal. My father explained to me that this incident moved him to become a pacifist. He had seen the worst, done his duty and he knew his own mind. I respected his decision. I loved my father but his efforts to make me hate the gun did not work. I have no love for the gun, but I have seen enough evil to know my duty. My family is counting on me, and I don't want my last full measure of devotion to be wasted throwing pebbles. I know my father would respect that decision.

Nat Turner's Slave Rebellion and Loving Your Enemies

Nat Turner is a slave and he is going to meet his Maker. Nat is not a wicked man. He believes in the Lord and preaches the Gospel. A few years ago he was visited by the Holy Spirit and told that he was to bear the sins of man just as his Savior had done and that Nat was to "fight against the Serpent" meaning the white slave owners. Then in February of this year, a total eclipse was taken as a sign that his preparations for rebellion should begin. He collected weapons and brought some fellow slaves into his plan. Then, on that August day, the Sun took on a strange color. It was a sign, Nat thought. They began their work killing the slave owners, leaving aside only those homes where humble white people lived. He freed hundreds of slaves and killed around 65 white men, women and children before the militia put them down. 56 slaves were hanged including Nat Turner, who expressed no regrets. Maybe a hundred or more were killed during the fighting. It is the worst slave rebellion is US history, and the consequences for the future are incalculable. In the weeks that follow, hundreds more slaves are killed by mobs. The slave owners are riding the tiger and there is no way off. [15]

My Take by Alex Shrugged
During the civil rights protests of the 1960s, the Reverend Martin Luther King emphasized the importance of passive resistance. His niece, Dr. Alveda King, participated in a passive protest as a young girl, but she stepped out of line and was arrested. She had broken her pledge, so they left her in jail. Though the offense was small, discipline had to be maintained. The Kings were holding the reigns on a riot. If they let go, they could lose it all. Many of King's supporters wanted revenge, but he knew that calmer heads must prevail. I am wondering when that time will come.
Don't get panicky. Don't do anything panicky. Don't get your weapons. If you have weapons, take them home. He who lives by the sword will perish by the sword. Remember that is what Jesus said. We are not advocating violence. We want to love our enemies. I want you to love our enemies. Be good to them. This is what we must live by. We must meet hate with love.
-- Reverend Martin Luther King, during the bus boycott after Rosa Parks was denied a seat on the bus. [16] [17] [18]

In Other News

  • Charles Darwin sets out on HMS Beagle as a naturalist. Upon his return, he will put his notes in order, and realize that natural selection explains the difference he sees from species to species. [19]
  • Victor Hugo publishes his novel, The Hunchback of Notre-Dame. He wrote it so that more people would appreciate Gothic architecture rather than tearing it down. [20]
  • The inventor of Coca-Cola is born. After John Pemberton became addicted to morphine, he cured it with a mixture of COCAINE and alcohol. Later he came up with a non-alcoholic version with carbonation but THE COCAINE STAYED... until 1903. [21]

This Year in Wikipedia

Year 1831, Wikipedia.

See Also


  1. My Country, 'Tis of Thee. HymnTime.com. Retrieved on 2014. “I instantly felt the impulse to write a patriotic hymn of my own, adapted to the tune. Picking up a scrap of waste paper which lay near me, I wrote at once, probably within half an hour, the hymn 'America' as it is now known everywhere. The whole hymn stands today as it stood on the bit of waste paper.”
  2. My Country, 'Tis of Thee - Wikipedia, 2014 [last update]
  3. Flag of Texas - Wikipedia, 2014 [last update] quote:"Honor the Texas flag; I pledge allegiance to thee, Texas, one state under God, one and indivisible"
  4. Ritz, Erica. The Incredible Thing That Made a 17-Year-Old Singer Break Down on Live TV - TheBlaze.com. June 13,2014 [last update]
  5. Let Freedom Ring ( My Country 'Tis of Thee ) Abby Anderson - with Lyrics -. YouTube (2016). Retrieved on 19 July 2016. “Accompaniment video for 'Let Freedom Ring'. Sung by 17 year old Abby Anderson. A new arrangement of 'My Country 'Tis of Thee'.”
  6. Alex Shrugged notes: Proceeds from the sale of Abby Anderson's rendition go to a veterans fund. You can find it on iTunes. I did.
  7. Pledge of Allegiance to the State Flag - Texas - TSLAC. tsl.texas.gov (2016). Retrieved on 19 July 2016. “According to The Handbook of Texas Online, 'In 1933 the legislature passed a law establishing rules for the proper display of the flag and providing for a pledge to the flag: 'Honor the Texas Flag of 1836; I pledge allegiance to thee, Texas, one and indivisible.' The pledge erroneously referred to the 1836 national flag, known as David G. Burnet's flag, instead of the Lone Star Flag. Senator Searcy Bracewell introduced a bill to correct this error in 1951, but the legislature did not delete the words 'of 1836' until 1965.' The pledge was again amended by House Bill 1034 during the 80th Legislature with the addition of 'one state under God.' The revised wording became effective on June 15, 2007.”
  8. Clausewitz, Carl Von. On War. Sonshi.com. 1832. 2011 [last update] (ONLINE DOCUMENT)
  9. On War - Wikipedia, 2014 [last update]
  10. Carl von Clausewitz - Wikipedia, 2014 [last update]
  11. Carl von Clausewitz - Wikiquote (2014). Retrieved on 3 November 2014.
  12. 12.0 12.1 Carl von Clausewitz Quotes (Author of On War, Indexed Edition). goodreads.com (2016). Retrieved on 19 July 2016. “The enemy of a good plan is the dream of a perfect plan.”
  13. Carl von Clausewitz - Wikiquote (2014). Retrieved on November 3, 2014.
  14. Karl von Clausewitz quotes. thinkexist.com (2016). Retrieved on 19 July 2016. “To secure peace is to prepare for war.”
  15. Nat Turner's slave rebellion - Wikipedia (2016). Retrieved on 20 July 2016. “The rebellion was quashed within two days. In the aftermath of the revolt, officials tried forty-eight black men and women on charges of conspiracy, insurrection, and treason. In total, the state executed 56 people, banished many more, and acquitted 15. The state reimbursed the slaveholders for their slaves. But in the hysterical climate that followed the rebellion, close to 200 black people were killed by white militias and mobs.”
  16. Montgomery bus boycott - Wikipedia (2016). Retrieved on 20 July 2016. “The Montgomery bus boycott, a seminal event in the Civil Rights Movement, was a political and social protest campaign against the policy of racial segregation on the public transit system of Montgomery, Alabama. The campaign lasted from December 5, 1955—when Rosa Parks, an African American woman, was arrested for refusing to surrender her seat to a white person—to December 20, 1956, when a federal ruling, Browder v. Gayle, took effect, and led to a United States Supreme Court decision that declared the Alabama and Montgomery laws requiring segregated buses to be unconstitutional. Many important figures in the Civil Rights Movement took part in the boycott, including Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. and Ralph Abernathy.”
  17. Branch, Taylor. Parting the Waters: America in the King Years 1954-63. Simon and Schuster. ISBN 9781416558682. “King walked out onto the front porch. Holding up his hand for silence, he tried to still the anger by speaking with an exaggerated peacefulness in his voice. Everything was all right, he said. "Don't get panicky. Don't do anything panicky. Don't get your weapons. If you have weapons, take them home. He who lives by the sword will perish by the sword. Remember that is what Jesus said. We are not advocating violence. We want to love our enemies. I want you to love our enemies. Be good to them. This is what we must live by. We must meet hate with love." By then the crowd of several hundred people had quieted to silence, and feeling welled up in King to an oration. "I did not start this boycott," he said. "I was asked by you to serve as your spokesman. I want it to be known the length and breadth of this land that if I am stopped, this movement will not stop. If I am stopped, our work will not stop. For what we are doing is right. What we are doing is just. And God is with us."” 
  18. Pt 1 Beck Dr ALVEDA KING & Pastor STEPHEN BRODEN on CIVIL RIGHTS (jump to 7 minutes 50 seconds) (2016). Retrieved on 20 July 2016. “7 minutes 50 seconds into the video, Dr. Alveda King explains the tactics of violence of the Black Panthers vs Rev. Martin Luther King's talk of love.”
  19. Inception of Darwin's theory - Wikipedia (2016). Retrieved on 19 July 2016. “The inception of Darwin's theory occurred during an intensively busy period which began when Charles Darwin returned from the survey voyage of the Beagle, with his reputation as a fossil collector and geologist already established. He was given an allowance from his father to become a gentleman naturalist rather than a clergyman, and his first tasks were to find suitable experts to describe his collections, write out his Journal and Remarks, and present papers on his findings to the Geological Society of London.”
  20. The Hunchback of Notre-Dame - Wikipedia (2016). Retrieved on 19 July 2016. “Victor Hugo began writing Notre-Dame de Paris in 1829, largely to make his contemporaries more aware of the value of the Gothic architecture, which was neglected and often destroyed to be replaced by new buildings, or defaced by replacement of parts of buildings in a newer style.”
  21. John Pemberton - Wikipedia (2016). Retrieved on 19 July 2016. “In April 1865, while serving as a lieutenant colonel of the Confederate Army's Third Georgia Cavalry Battalion, Georgia State Guard, Pemberton was wounded in the Battle of Columbus, Georgia. He sustained his injury from a saber with which he was slashed across his chest, and like many wounded veterans of many wars, he became addicted to the morphine used to ease the pain.[4][5][6] As the pharmacist that he was in civilian life, Pemberton sought a cure for his addiction.”

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