PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE TO THE FLAG
The Pledge of Allegiance received official recognition by Congress in an Act approved on June 22, 1942. However, the pledge was first published in 1892 in the Youth's Companion magazine in Boston, Massachusetts to celebrate the 400th anniversary of the discovery of America, and was first used in public schools to celebrate Columbus Day on October 12, 1892.
In its original version, the pledge read "my flag" instead of "the flag of the United States." The change in the wording was adopted by the National Flag Conference in 1923. The rationale for the change was that it prevented ambiguity among foreign-born children and adults who might have the flag of their native land in mind when reciting the pledge.
The phrase "under God" was added to the pledge by a Congressional act approved on June 14, 1954. At that time, President Eisenhower said:
THE AMERICAN'S CREED
The Creed was written in 1918 by William Tyler Page of Friendship Heights, Maryland in the course of a nationwide contest on the subject. Page was a descendent of President Tyler, and Representative John Page, who served in the Congress from 1789-97.
William Tyler Page began his government career as a Congressional page in December of 1881. In 1919, he was elected Clerk of the House of Representatives, and held that position until December of 1931. A new post, Emeritus Minority Clerk, was then created for him which he occupied until his death on October 20, 1942.
Last Updated: 16-Feb-2010