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 ORIGINS OF OUR COUNTRY

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The Origins of Our Country

The Constitution of the United States

The Federal Convention convened in the State House (Independence Hall) in Philadelphia on May 14, 1787, to revise the Articles of Confederation. Because the delegations from only two states were at first present, the members adjourned from day to day until a quorum of seven states was obtained on May 25. Through discussion and debate it became clear by mid-June that, rather than amend the existing Articles, the Convention would draft an entirely new frame of government. All through the summer, in closed sessions, the delegates debated, and redrafted the articles of the new Constitution. Among the chief points at issue were how much power to allow the central government, how many representatives in Congress to allow each state, and how these representatives should be elected--directly by the people or by the state legislators. The work of many minds, the Constitution stands as a model of cooperative statesmanship and the art of compromise. For the complete text click here.

The Declaration of Independence

Drafted by Thomas Jefferson between June 11 and June 28, 1776, the Declaration of Independence is at once the nation's most cherished symbol of liberty and Jefferson's most enduring monument. Here, in exalted and unforgettable phrases, Jefferson expressed the convictions in the minds and hearts of the American people. The political philosophy of the Declaration was not new; its ideals of individual liberty had already been expressed by John Locke and the Continental philosophers. What Jefferson did was to summarize this philosophy in "self-evident truths" and set forth a list of grievances against the King in order to justify before the world the breaking of ties between the colonies and the mother country. For complete text click here.

The National Anthem of The United States of America

"The Star Spangled Banner", was ordered played at military and naval occasions by President Woodrow Wilson in 1916, but was not designated the national anthem by an Act of Congress until 1931. The words were written in 1814 by Francis Scott Key, who had been inspired by the sight of the American flag still flying over Fort McHenry after a night of heavy British bombardment. The text was immediately set to a popular melody of the time, To Anacreon in Heaven. The National Anthem consists of four verses. On almost every occasion only the first verse is sung.

One of the goals of the League of Veteran and Military Voters is have all four verses sung at all official functions of city, state and federal functions. Our children barely know the first verse, we need to help them understand the history of our country in all of the ways we can. For the Words click here.

The Pledge of Allegiance to the flag of the United States of America

"I Pledge Allegiance to the flag of the United States of America
and to the Republic for which it stands, one Nation under God,
indivisible, with liberty and justice for all."

The Pledge of Allegiance to the Texas state flag

"Honor the Texas flag; I pledge allegiance to thee, Texas, one and indivisible."