American Minute with Bill Federer

"MY COUNTRY 'tis of thee'
"We must not allow our creative protest to degenerate into physical violence..."

stated Martin Luther King, Jr., at
the Civil Rights March on Washington, August 28, 1963.

Martin Luther King, Jr. continued:

"I have a dream...where little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls and walk together as sisters and brothers...

This will be the day when all of God's children will be able to sing with new meaning,

'MY COUNTRY 'tis of thee,
Sweet land of liberty,
Of thee I sing.
Land where my fathers died,
Land of the Pilgrims' pride,
From every mountainside,
Let freedom ring.'"

This song, "MY COUNTRY 'tis of thee" was written by Samuel Francis Smith, who died NOVEMBER 16, 1895.

Samuel Francis Smith was a
Harvard classmate of poet Oliver Wendell Holmes.


Smith went to Andover Theological Seminary and became a Baptist minister.

While a student in 1832, Samuel Francis Smith admired a tune while translating a German Hymnal.

The same tune was used for British, Canadian, Russian, Danish, Swedish and Swiss National anthems.

Samuel Francis Smith stated:

"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."

Proclaiming "Let Freedom Ring Day," July 3, 1986, President Ronald Reagan recalled the 4th stanza of "MY COUNTRY 'tis of thee":

"As the golden glow of the Statue of Liberty's rekindled torch calls forth...throughout our land, let every American take it as a summons to re-dedication, recalling those words we sang as children:

'Our father's 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.'"

Get the book PRAYERS AND PRESIDENTS-Inspiring Faith from Leaders of the Past

21-year-old Yale graduate and patriot Nathan Hale declared before being hanged by the British, September 22, 1776:

"I only regret that I have but one life to lose for MY COUNTRY,"

In contemplating war with the King, John Adams declared:

"If it be the pleasure of Heaven that MY COUNTRY shall require the poor offering of my life, the victim shall be ready, at the appointed hour of sacrifice...

But while I do live, let me have a country, and that a free country!"

Gouverneur Morris wrote April 17, 1778:

"While MY COUNTRY calls for the exertion of that little share of abilities, which it has pleased God to bestow on me, I hold it my indispensable duty to give myself to her."

In 1775, when British General Gage attempted to intimidate Samuel Adams,  he replied:

"I trust I have long since made my peace with the King of Kings. No personal consideration shall induce me to abandon the righteous cause of MY COUNTRY.

Tell Governor Gage it is the advise of Samuel Adams to him no longer to insult the feelings of an exasperated people."

General Nathaniel Greene wrote to Samuel Ward of Rhode Island, January 4, 1776:

"Permit me, then, to recommend from the sincerity of my heart, ready at all times to bleed in MY COUNTRY's cause, a declaration of independence;

and call upon the world, and the great God who governs it, to witness the necessity, propriety and rectitude thereof...

Let us, therefore, act like men inspired with a resolution that nothing but the frowns of Heaven shall conquer us."

General George Washington wrote October 18, 1777, upon hearing of the surrender of British General Burgoyne at Saratoga::

"I most devoutly congratulate MY COUNTRY, and every well-wisher to the cause, on this signal stroke of Providence."

MIRACLES IN AMERICAN HISTORY-32 Amazing Stories of Answered Prayer

General George Washington wrote from Mount Vernon to Benjamin Lincoln, August 28, 1788:

"I trust in that Providence, which has saved us in six troubles yea seven, to rescue us again from any imminent, though unseen, dangers...

Heaven is my witness, that an inextinguishable desire (for) the felicity of MY COUNTRY may be promoted is my only motive in making these observations."

Daniel Webster stated at the Bunker Hill Monument, June 17, 1843:

"I mean to stand upon the Constitution. I need no other platform. I shall know but one country.

The ends I aim at shall be MY COUNTRY's, my God's, and Truth's. I was born an American; I will live an American; I shall die an American."

John Quincy Adams stated:

"I implore the Spirit from whom every good and perfect gift descends to enable me to render essential service to MY COUNTRY."

President Dwight Eisenhower stated in his Farewell Address, January 17, 1961:

"This evening I share a few final thoughts with you, MY COUNTRY...

We face a hostile ideology - global in scope, atheistic in character, ruthless in purpose, and insidious in method...

As we peer into society's future, we...must avoid the impulse to live only for today, plundering for our own ease and convenience the precious resources of tomorrow.

We cannot mortgage the material assets of our grandchildren without risking the loss also of their political and spiritual heritage."

Thomas Jefferson wrote in his Notes of the State of Virginia, Query XVIII, 1781:

"Can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis,

a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are of the Gift of God? That they are not to be violated but with His wrath?

Indeed, I tremble for MY COUNTRY when I reflect that God is just; that His justice cannot sleep forever."

President Ronald Reagan stated June 16, 1983:

"We're a nation under God, a living and loving God. But Thomas Jefferson warned us, 'I tremble for MY COUNTRY when I reflect that God is just.'

We cannot expect Him to protect us in crisis if we turn away from Him in our everyday living.

But you know, He told us what to do in II Chronicles...

He said, 'If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from Heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.'"

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