The following documents reveal the origins and usage of these terms, in chronological order.
Francis Scott Key. An Oration. Maryland Gazette, March 24, 1814.
"He who submits to be guided by the divine light of revelation has learned the nature and condition of man, the engagements, to which he is called, and the dangers that oppose him. He has heard of his high original, of his wretched fall, of his glorious redemption, of the awful and everlasting destiny which awaits him -- Grateful for his deliverance, thankful for all the blessings of life, and exulting in the hopes of eternity, he has acknowledged the Almighty as his Lord, and devoted himself to his service."
n.g. "Star Spangled Banner." Daily Cleveland Herald, October 12, 1839. Third column. Detail on the circumstances of composing "The Star Spangled Banner."
"One of our contemporaries, in re-publishing a day or two ago the justly admired and well known poetical effusion under this title, stated that its author, FRANCIS S. KEY Esq. was a prisoner on board one of the British bomb ships inthe Patapaco, when he wrote it. This is a mistake. The song in question was originally published, we find on reference to our files, in the American of the 21st September 1814 -- a week after the bombardment of Fort McHenry, and the circumstances under which it was composed are thus stated in the introductory editorial paragraph which then accompanied it. Mr. KEY now fills the office of U.S. District Attorney for the District of Columbia:--Balt. American." See article for annexed editorial, "Defence of Baltimore."
"Thanksgiving," in column two. Thanksgiving days are appointed by Gov. Everett of Massachusetts and Gov. Ellsworth of Connecticut. "This time-honored New England custom of setting apart a day of general thanksgiving after the in-gathering of the harvest, is worthy of imitation throughout the land."
F. W. Cole. Poetry Temperance Hymn . Vermont Chronicle (Bellows Falls, VT) Wednesday, March 08, 1843; pg. 40; Issue 10; col A.
Our Emblems. Southport American (South Port, WI) Wednesday, October 10, 1849, p. 1. col D.
In God is our Trust. From Cleveland Daily Herald, May 25, 1861. Second column. "The pupils of the district free schools in Cincinnati, numbering one thousand children, called upon Major Anderson. As the Major entered the reception room the whole force struck up the Star Spangled Banner. Major Anderson, in response to the song, said: 'I call your attention, children, to one expression in the song you have just sung, 'In God is our trust.' To be successful in this life, we must put our trust in God. If you will obey his commands, you will be good men, good citizens, and good soldiers. At Fort Sumter I placed my trust in God, and through Him I obtained my safe deliverance. Trust in God, children, while you live'."
Summary of News. The Daily Cleveland Herald (Cleveland, OH) Saturday, April 23, 1864; col B.
Various Items. New Haven Daily Palladium (New Haven, CT) Tuesday, May 03, 1864; Issue 131; col C.
Things in General. New Hampshire Statesman (Concord, NH) Friday, May 06, 1864; Issue 2240; col C.
Multiple News Items. Daily Evening Bulletin (San Francisco, CA) Monday, May 16, 1864; pg. 6; Issue 33; col A.
"God Our Trust". Daily Evening Bulletin, (San Francisco, CA) Friday, June 03, 1864; pg. 2; Issue 49; col A.
... "The new two cent coin is described as about the size of a two-bit piece, with less nickel than the nickel cent contains, more copper and some tin. On one face is stamped "United States of America," and "2 cents," surrounded by a wreath of wheat; on the other the shield of iberty and the words 'God our Trust.' This is notable as the first coin of United States issue which bears any recognition of the God of our fathers, the author of our liberties, our victories and our Union. For the legend's sake the coin will be received with gratitude. The people wish to carry with them, to circulate, to pass from hand to hand, to exchange for the smaller necessaries of life, and to complete their bargains with the mutual assurance that God is our Trust."
The Fourth of July. Daily Evening Bulletin (San Francisco, CA) Saturday, July 02, 1864; pg. 2; Issue 75; col A.
The Chancellor of the Exchequer acknowledges/American Coinage. The Times. Saturday, April 8, 1865; pg. 9; Issue 25154; col F.
"A Canadian paper mentions that the coins of the United States are in future to bear the motto, 'In God we trust.' This is perhaps as near to our 'Dieu et mon Droit' as it might be thought well to go."
Sermon Delivered Before the Garrison on Governor's Island. On the assassination of President Lincoln. By Rev. James A. M. La Tourette. New York Times, Friday, April 21, 1865, p. 2. Column C. "'In God we trust' is one motto of our nation. From the blood of righteous Abel, to the death of the proto-martyr St. Stephen, through the long line of ages to the present time, men have died in the mysterious dispensation of Divine Providence, as martyrs in the cause of right and truth. The path of duty is often covered with thorns and unseen pitfalls."
ON THE DEDICATION; HENRY WATTERSON'S ORATION MARKING THE EVENT. The Speaker Indulges in a Glowing Tribute to the United States and the Many Trials Through Which the Country Has Successfully Passed--The Curse of Slavery Obliterated and a United Country Re-established--The Pride of the Country Is Its Army of School Children. Magnitude of the Theme. The Retrospect. The Occasion. True American Polity. Meaning of It. A Welcome to Mankind. Children and the Flag. "The Star Spangled Banner." Hail Columbia. Chicago Tribune, October 22, 1892. p. 10.
n.g., Frederick, Maryland. Francis Scott Key; Monument to the Author of "Star Spangled Banner". The Shaft Uncovered by a Grand-daughter of Key -- Patriotic Oration by Colonel Henry Watterson. From The Morning Oregonian, August 10, 1898.
"In every turn of fortune, God has stood by the republic; not less in the strange vicissitudes of the wars of the Revolution and of 1812, than in those of the war of sections: in the raising up of Paul Jones and Perry, of Preble and Hull, when, discouraged upon the land, the sea was to send God's people messages of victory, and in the striking down of Albert Sidney Johnston and Stonewall Jackson, when they were sweeping all before them. Inscrutable are the ways of Providence to man. Philosophers may argue as they will, and rationalism may draw its conclusions; but the mysterious power unexplained by either has, from the beginning of time, ruled the destinies of men."
MEMORIAL HONORS FRANCIS SCOTT KEY; Tablet Unveiled in Washington Cathedral to Author of National Anthem. GIFT OF WOMEN'S GROUP United Daughters of 1812 Hold Ceremony--Inscription Quotes the Lines of "Star-Spangled Banner" . Special to The New York Times. New York Times, April 27, 1931. p. 43.
President Franklin D. Roosevelt. 151. Thanksgiving Day Proclamation. November 19, 1938.
Our Fathers set aside such a day as they hewed a nation from the primeval forest. The observance was consecrated when George Washington issued a Thanksgiving proclamation in the first year of his presidency. Abraham Lincoln set apart "a Day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the heavens."
Thus from our earliest recorded history, Americans have thanked God for their blessings. In our deepest natures, in our very souls, we, like all mankind since the earliest origin of mankind, turn to God in time of trouble and in time of happiness. "In God We Trust."
For the blessings which have been ours during the present year we have ample cause to be thankful.
Our lands have yielded a goodly harvest, and the toiler in shop and mill receives a more just return for his labor.
We have cherished and preserved our democracy.
We have lived in peace and understanding with our neighbors and have seen the world escape the impending disaster of a general war.
In the time of our fortune it is fitting that we offer prayers for unfortunate people in other lands who are in dire distress at this our Thanksgiving Season.
Let us remember them in our families and our churches when, on the day appointed, we offer our thanks to Almighty God. May we by our way of living merit the continuance of His goodness.
4th Stanza of Anthem Ordered Sung in Schools. New York Times, January 6, 1942. p. 25.
TO POPULARIZE ANTHEM; Writers Suggest Public Sing Last Stanza More Often. New York Times, October 15, 1942. p. 25.
Topics of The Times. New York Times, December 29, 1943. p. 16.
CARDINAL STRESSES U.S. WOMEN'S TASK; Tells Club Group America Will Be Strong Only if Homes Are Made Happy. New York Times, February 8, 1947. p. 9.
President Harry S. Truman. 246. - Radio Address as Part of the Program "Religion in American Life". October 30th, 1949.
The United States has been a deeply religious Nation from its earliest beginnings. The need which the founders of our country felt--the need to be free to worship God, each man in his own way--was one of the strongest impulses that brought men from Europe to the New World. As the pioneers carved a civilization from the forest, they set a pattern which has lasted to our time. First, they built homes and then, knowing the need for religion in their daily lives, they built churches. When the United States was established, its coins bore witness to the American faith in a benevolent deity. The motto then was "In God We Trust." That is still our motto and we, as a people, still place our firm trust in God.
Building on this foundation of faith, the United States has grown from a small country in the wilderness to a position of great strength and great responsibility among the family of nations. Other countries look today to the United States for leadership in the ways of peace, and it is our task to meet that challenge.
I am convinced that we are strong enough to meet the challenge. We are strong enough because we have a profound religious faith. The basic source of our strength as a nation is spiritual. We believe in the dignity of man. We believe that he is created in the image of God, who is the Father of us all.
It is this faith that makes us determined that every citizen in our own land shall have an equal right and an equal opportunity to grow in wisdom and in stature, and to play his part in the affairs of our Nation.
It is this faith that makes us respect the right of men everywhere to worship as they please and to live their own lives free from the fear of tyranny and strife.
It is this faith that inspires us to work for a world in which life will be more worthwhile--a world of tolerance, unselfishness, and brotherhood--a world that lives according to the precepts of the Sermon on the Mount.
I believe that every problem in the world today could be solved if men would only live by the principles of the ancient prophets and the Sermon on the Mount.
Each one of us can do his part by a renewed devotion to his religion. If there is any danger to the religious life of our Nation, it lies in our taking our religious heritage too much for granted. Religion is not a static thing. It exists not in buildings, but in the minds and hearts of our people.
Religion is like freedom. We cannot take it for granted. Man--to be free--must work at it. And man--to be truly religious--must work at that, too. Unless men live by their faith, and practice that faith in their daily lives, religion cannot be a living force in the world today.
That is why each of us has a duty to participate-actively-in the religious life of his community and to support generously his own religious institutions.
Just as an active faith sustained and guided the pioneers in conquering the wilderness, so today an active faith will sustain and guide us as we work for a just peace, freedom for all, and a world where human life is truly held sacred.
Religious faith and religious work must be our reliance as we strive to fulfill our destiny in the world.
President Dwight D. Eisenhower. 32. - Remarks Broadcast as Part of the American Legion "Back to God" Program. February 7th, 1954. The President's remarks were broadcast from the White House at 2:30 p.m. as part of an American Legion program originating in New York City.
AS A FORMER SOLDIER, I am delighted that our veterans are sponsoring a movement to increase our awareness of God in our daily lives.
In battle, they learned a great truth--that there are no atheists in the foxholes. They know that in time of test and trial, we instinctively turn to God for new courage and peace of mind.
All the history of America bears witness to this truth.
Out of faith in God, and through faith in themselves as His children, our forefathers designed and built this Republic.
We remember from school days that, aboard a tiny ship of destiny called the Mayflower, self-government on our continent was first conceived by the Pilgrim Fathers. Their immortal compact began with the words, "In the name of God, Amen."
We remember the picture of the Father of our Country, on his knees at Valley Forge seeking divine guidance in the cold gloom of a bitter winter. Thus Washington gained strength to lead to independence a nation dedicated to the belief that each of us is divinely endowed with indestructible rights.
We remember, too, that three-fourths of a century later, on the battle-torn field of Gettysburg, and in the silence of many a wartime night, Abraham Lincoln recognized that only under God could this Nation win a new birth of freedom.
And we remember that, only a decade ago, aboard the transport Dorchester, four chaplains of four faiths together willingly sacrificed their lives so that four others might live.
In the three centuries that separate the Pilgrims of the Mayflower from the chaplains of the Dorchester, America's freedom, her courage, her strength, and her progress have had their foundation in faith.
Today as then, there is need for positive acts of renewed recognition that faith is our surest strength, our greatest resource.
This "Back to God" movement is such a positive act.
As we take part in it, I hope that we shall prize this thought:
Whatever our individual church, whatever our personal creed, our common faith in God is a common bond among us. In our fundamental faith, we are all one. Together we thank the Power that has made and preserved us a nation. By the millions, we speak prayers, we sing hymns--and no matter what their words may be, their spirit is the same--"In God is our trust."
Text of President's Talk on Faith. New York Times, February 8, 1954. p. 11.
Eisenhower Cites Nation's Need of Faith. The Washington Post, Feb 8, 1954. p. 12.
President Dwight D. Eisenhower. 76. - Remarks at Ceremony Marking the Issuance of the First Stamp Bearing the Motto "In God We Trust." April 8th, 1954.
Throughout its history, America's greatness has been based upon a spiritual quality, which seems to me is best symbolized by the stamp that will be issued today, and in honor of which issuance we are here gathered.
The Flame of Liberty symbolizes the determination of America always to remain free, to remain a haven of the oppressed and a ready acknowledgement that all men in the attainment of human aspirations and worthy aspirations are dependent upon an Almighty.
It seems to me in these two concepts we have a true description of the greatness of America.
The reason that I was particularly honored to come here today, aside from the opportunity of meeting with friends, was to be a part of the ceremony which now gives to every single citizen of the United States, as I see it, the chance to send a message to another. Regardless of any eloquence of the words that may be inside the letter, on the outside he places a message: "Here is the land of liberty and the land that lives in respect for the Almighty's mercy to us." And to him that receives that message, the sender can feel that he has done something definite and constructive for that individual.
I think that each of us, hereafter, fastening such a stamp on a letter, cannot fail to feel something of the inspiration that we do whenever we look at the Statue of Liberty, or read "In God We Trust."
President Dwight D. Eisenhower. 77. - Remarks at Luncheon Meeting of the National Conference of Republican Women. April 8th, 1954.
I have just come from assisting in the dedication of a new stamp. Sounds like a very commonplace and ordinary sort of thing to do. It was thrilling--and I will tall you why it was to me. Not only because of the company there gathered--representatives of all the great religious groups of the United States, and of our Government, and of others. The stamp has on it a picture of the Statue of Liberty, and on it also is stated "In God We Trust."
By putting on the Flame of Liberty, it seems to me it places America before the world, not as the greatest nation because of its tall buildings and its automobiles, but because it represents a concept of human dignity, that here all the world can enjoy this liberty, all of those who come to her shores; and also a Nation whose greatness is based on a firm unshakeable belief that all of us mere mortals are dependent upon the mercy of a Superior Being.
Now the reason this seems so thrilling is not just those thoughts, but the opportunity it gives to every single individual who buys the stamp to send a message--regardless of the content of a letter. You may, by placing that stamp on a letter, send a message of hope to those who are oppressed, or let us say, of inspiration and reawakening to our own friends and those among us who will be reminded thereby that this is the land of the free and in God we trust. So each of those stamps, I think, is a worthy messenger of the American system. And as I can see this, every proper, every dedicated political worker is exactly the same.
The Republican Party is by no means a conspiracy among people who simply thirst for power. The Republican Party is an agency of America, which means an agency for spreading further in the world this concept of the dignity of the human, our dependence upon a Superior Being.
President Dwight D. Eisenhower. 305. - Remarks Recorded for Program Marking the 75th Anniversary of the Incandescent Lamp. October 24th, 1954.
It is faith that has made our Nation--has made it, and kept it free. Atheism substitutes men for the supreme creator and this leads inevitably to domination and dictatorship. But we believe--and it is because we believe that God intends all men to be free and equal that we demand free government. Our Government is servant, not master, our chosen representatives are our equals, not our czars or commissars.
We must jealously guard our foundation in faith. For on it rests the ability of the American individual to live and thrive in this blessed land-and to be able to help other less fortunate people to achieve freedom and individual opportunity. These we take for granted, but to others they are often only a wistful dream. "In God we trust." Often have we heard the words of this wonderful American motto. Let us make sure that familiarity has not made them meaningless for us.
We carry the torch of freedom as a sacred trust for all mankind. We do not believe that God intended the light that He created to be put out by men.
Soon we will be celebrating one of our holidays, one that typifies for me much of what we mean by the American freedom. That will be Halloween. On that evening I would particularly like to be, of course, with my grandchildren, for Halloween is one of those times when we Americans actually encourage the little individuals to be free to do things rather as they please. I hope you and your children have a gay evening and let's all give a little prayer that their childish pranks will be the only kind of mischief with which we Americans must cope. But it can be a confident kind of a prayer too, for God has made us strong and faith has made and kept us free.
George Sokolsky. These Days ...; "In God We Trust". The Washington Post and Times Herald, September 2, 1955. p. 21.
ANTHEM'S PRAISE OF DEITY IS CITED; Msgr. Greene at St. Patrick's Would Have Final Stanza Sung More Often. New York Times, July 2, 1956. p. 22.
Franklin Bruns Jr. Fourth 'Credo' Stamp Salutes Key's Words. The Washington Post, Times Herald, June 19, 1960. p. B12.
President John F. Kennedy. 26. - Remarks at the Dedication Breakfast of International Christian Leadership, Inc. February 9th, 1961.
No man who enters upon the office to which I have succeeded can fail to recognize how every President of the United States has placed special reliance upon his faith in God. Every President has taken comfort and courage when told, as we are told today, that the Lord "will be with thee. He will not fail thee nor forsake thee. Fear not--neither be thou dismayed."
While they came from a wide variety of religious backgrounds and held a wide variety of religious beliefs, each of our Presidents in his own way has placed a special trust in God. Those who were strongest intellectually were also strongest spiritually.
President Lyndon B. Johnson. 557. - Remarks Upon Signing Proclamation "National Day of Prayer, 1965". October 7th, 1965. The President spoke at 2:06 p.m. in the Cabinet Room at the White House.
Distinguished clergy, ladies and gentlemen:
Today I am signing a proclamation, setting aside Wednesday, October 20, as the National Day of Prayer of 1965. In so doing, I remind all Americans of the line from "The Star-Spangled Banner": "In God is our trust."
Those are not just ringing words of poetry. They reflect the very soul of our great Nation: our purpose as well as our source of greatness.
In putting my name to this paper, I cannot proclaim that all Americans will pray on October 20th. Nor would I do so even if I could. But I do hope by this action that we will remind our citizens of the blessings that God has bestowed upon them. I do ask them to remember that our reliance upon Divine Providence is a far greater force for freedom in the world than all of our wealth combined.
And in remembering, let each man pray, according to the dictates of his own conscience, that we may continue to be worthy of God's blessings. And let us remember those words from our own great, late, beloved President, John Fitzgerald Kennedy: "Here on earth, God's work must truly be our own."
[At this point the President signed the proclamation. He then resumed speaking.]
Now I will read the proclamation that I have just signed.
NATIONAL DAY OF PRAYER, 1965 By the President of the United States of America a Proclamation
Even as they deliberated the conception of this Nation, our forefathers, mindful of the frailties of mortal men, turned for guidance to Almighty God.
Their humble and sincere prayer, delivered in their belief that all good things are the gift of God, established a reliance that remains unbroken.
As did our founding fathers, our people continue to place their trust in God.
Time and time again we have turned to Him for succor, and time and time again He has answered with manifestations of abundance.
In our own times, the Congress by a joint resolution of April 17, 1952, provided--that the President "shall set aside and proclaim a suitable day each year, other than a Sunday, as a National Day of Prayer, on which the people of the United States may turn to God in prayer and meditation at churches, in groups, and as individuals."
Now, THEREFORE, I, LYNDON B. JOHNSON, President of the United States of America, do hereby set aside Wednesday, October 20, 1965, as National Day of Prayer, 1965.
Few nations have been so favored by Almighty God, and it is altogether fitting that a day be set aside for this purpose.
Thus it is in the same spirit of humility and conviction demonstrated by our forefathers that I urge each citizen, according to his own conscience to pause on that day to acknowledge our dependence upon God.
In these days of peril and uncertainty, I urge that each of us plead for wisdom, strength and courage.
I urge that we pray for God-given vision and determination to make the sacrifices demanded by our responsibilities to our fellow men in our own Nation and in other lands of this world.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Seal of the United States of America to be affixed.
DONE. at the City of Washington this seventh day of October in the year Of our Lord nineteen hundred and sixty-five, and of the Independence of the United States of America the one hundred and ninetieth.
LYNDON B. JOHNSON
By the President:
GEORGE W. BALL
Acting Secretary of State
President Gerald R. Ford. 694. - Remarks for Thanksgiving Day. November 26th, 1975.
AS AMERICANS celebrate Thanksgiving Day, we once more count our bountiful blessings. We give thanks, first and foremost, to the Supreme Creator. We are thankful that our Nation is at peace.
This holiday reminds us of our duty to provide responsibly for the needs of our families and of our neighbors--the same values that guided those who celebrated our first Thanksgiving.
We recognize anew our national motto which proclaims "In God We Trust." We continue to trust. Our faith has been vindicated as we approach a bicentennial of national thanksgiving.
President Gerald R. Ford. 19 - Address Before a Joint Session of the Congress Reporting on the State of the Union. January 19th, 1976.
I have heard many inspiring Presidential speeches, but the words I remember best were spoken by Dwight D. Eisenhower. "America is not good because' it is great," the President said. "America is great because it is good."
President Eisenhower was raised in a poor but religious home in the heart of America. His simple words echoed President Lincoln's eloquent testament that "right makes might." And Lincoln in turn evoked the silent image of George Washington kneeling in prayer at Valley Forge.
So, all these magic memories which link eight generations of Americans are summed up in the inscription just above me. How many times have we seen it? "In God We Trust."
Let us engrave it now in each of our hearts as we begin our Bicentennial.
President Gerald R. Ford. 100. - Remarks at the Professional Athletes Prayer Brunch. February 15th, 1976.
If God is on your side--and he will be if you are on His--no man, no woman. can ever defeat you. As the Bible said, "God be for us, who can be against us." As President and as one who has been in the political arena for 27 years, I have had my share of political victories--as the minority leader in the House of Representatives for almost 10 years, in the House dominated by the opposition.
For most of the time I have known my full share of defeats along the way, but whenever I am discouraged or disappointed by the course of events, I know there is a place I can go for solace and for strength. That knowledge is a source of great comfort and consolation to me. It sustained me in many hours of trial and chastened me in the hour of triumph or in pride.
I sincerely, and most sincerely, believe that America is the great Nation it is today because we have, from the very first, declared our dependence on God and placed our trust in Him. "In God We Trust" is much more than a national motto. It is the testament we have followed from our earliest, earliest days in this country. The spirit of competition, so strong in America throughout our history, has been responsible for much, much of our material progress just as it has been partially responsible for your outstanding performances in the many fields of athletic competition. But there is a higher spirit, a nobler spirit which pervades our national life, and makes the quality of our lives so much more important to us than the quantity of our possessions or our individual honors.
President Jimmy Carter. Independence, Missouri Remarks and a Question-and-Answer Session at a Townhall Meeting. September 2nd, 1980.
Q. Here's my question. We know that you are a born-again Christian. Do you feel that your spiritual life has suffered because of the incredible pressures of your job?
THE PRESIDENT. No. I believe very deeply as a Baptist and a Christian that there ought to be a proper separation of the church and the state, and I've never let my beliefs interfere in my administration of the duties as President. But I've never found any incompatibility. I pray more than I did when I was not President, because the burdens on my shoulders are much greater than they were when I was a Governor or when I didn't hold public office.
This Nation is one that's been acknowledged by our Founding Fathers since the first days of the idea to be founded under God. "In God We Trust" is on our coins. It's not a bad thing for Americans to believe deeply in God, but the fact is that the Constitution gives us a right to worship God or to worship as we choose. And the Congress cannot pass any law respecting the establishment of religion.
But my own personal faith and my personal belief is stronger now than it's ever been before. I pray more than I did, and I don't find any incompatibility between being a Christian, on the one hand, and being President of this country, on the other.
President Ronald Reagan. Proclamation 4826 - National Day of Prayer, 1981. March 19th, 1981.
Our Nation's motto "In God We Trust"-was not chosen lightly. It reflects a basic recognition that there is a divine authority in the universe to which this Nation owes homage.
Throughout our history Americans have put their faith in God and no one can doubt that we have been blessed for it. The earliest settlers of this land came came in search of religious freedom. Landing on a desolate shoreline, they established a spiritual foundation that has served us ever since.
It was the hard work of our people, the freedom they enjoyed and their faith in God that built this country and made it the envy of the world. In all of our great cities and towns evidence of the faith of our people is found: houses of worship of every denomination are among the oldest structures.
While never willing to bow to a tyrant, our forefathers were always willing to get to their knees before God. When catastrophe threatened, they turned to God for deliverance. When the harvest was bountiful the first thought was thanksgiving to God.
Prayer is today as powerful a force in our Nation as it has ever been. We as a Nation should never forget this source of strength. And while recognizing that the freedom to choose a Godly path is the essence of liberty, as a Nation we cannot but hope that more of our citizens would, through prayer, come into a closer relationship with their Maker.
Recognizing our great heritage, the Congress, by Joint Resolution approved April 17, 1952 ( 36 U.S.C. 169h; 66 Stat. 64), has called upon the President to set aside a suitable day each year as a National Day of Prayer.
Now, Therefore, I, Ronald Reagan, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim Thursday, May 7, 1981, National Day of Prayer. On that day I ask all who believe to join with me in giving thanks to Almighty God for the blessings He has bestowed on this land and the protection He affords us as a people. Let us as a Nation join together before God, fully aware of the trials that lie ahead and the need, yes, the necessity, for divine guidance. With unshakeable faith in God and the liberty which is heritage, we as a free Nation will surely survive and prosper.
In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand this nineteenth day of March, in year of our Lord nineteen hundred and eighty-one, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and fifth.
[Filed with the Office of the Federal Register, 10:33 a.m., March 20, 1981]
President Ronald Reagan. Proclamation 5824--Flag Day and National Flag Week, 1988 . May 16th, 1988. Filed with the Office of the Federal Register, 10:18 a. m., May 17, 1988.
By the President of the United States
Two hundred and eleven years have now gone by since that June day in 1777 when the Continental Congress adopted a flag for the United States of America, then a brand-new Nation fighting for its independence and for the novel notion that individual liberty was everyone's God-given birthright. The banner adopted then, the beautiful Stars and Stripes, was soon raised by a rebel hand for all the world to see. Our task and our glory as Americans is to keep the flag flying high, because freedom waves in its broad stripes and bright stars.
The preservation of freedom is ours to fulfill for our children and for the hope of mankind, just as our forebears fulfilled it for us in years of peace or peril. We will succeed as our countrymen did before us, but only if we make their spirit our own; we must always revere, just as deeply as did they, the Red, White, and Blue--our battlescarred flag. The heroism, service, and sacrifice of those who have followed Old Glory on many a hard-fought field and at many a guardpost of peace make this our solemn trust. We will keep faith with them and with generations yet unborn just as long as we can sing of flag and freedom as wholeheartedly as did Francis Scott Key in the last stanza of our National Anthem, "The Star-Spangled Banner":
Oh! thus be it ever, when freemen shall stand Between their loved home and the war's desolation!
Blest with victory and peace, may the heav'n rescued land Praise the Power that hath made and preserved us a nation.
Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just, And this be our motto: "In God is our trust."
And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave.
To commemorate the adoption of our flag, the Congress, by joint resolution approved August 3, 1949 (63 Stat. 492), designated June 14 of each year as Flag Day and requested the President to issue an annual proclamation calling for its observance and for the display of the flag of the United States on all government buildings. The Congress also requested the President, by joint resolution approved June 9, 1966 (80 Stat. 194), to issue annually a proclamation designating the week in which June 14 occurs as National Flag Week and calling upon all citizens of the United States to display the flag during that week.
Now, Therefore, I, Ronald Reagan, President of the United States of America, do hereby designate June 14, 1988, as Flag Day and the week beginning June 12 as National Flag Week, and I direct the appropriate officials of the government to display the flag of the United States on all government buildings during that week. I urge all Americans to observe Flag Day, June 14, and Flag Week by flying the Stars and Stripes from their homes and other suitable places.
I also urge the American people to celebrate those days from Flag Day through Independence Day, set aside by the Congress as a time to honor America (89 Stat. 211), by having public gatherings and activities in which they can honor their country in an appropriate manner, especially by ceremonies in which all renew their dedication by publicly reciting the Pledge of 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.
In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand this sixteenth day of May, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and eighty-eight, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and twelfth.
President George W. Bush. Proclamation 8038 - 50th Anniversary of Our National Motto, "In God We Trust," 2006. July 27th, 2006.
By the President of the United States of America
On the 50th anniversary of our national motto, "In God We Trust," we reflect on these words that guide millions of Americans, recognize the blessings of the Creator, and offer our thanks for His great gift of liberty.
From its earliest days, the United States has been a Nation of faith. During the War of 1812, as the morning light revealed that the battle-torn American flag still flew above Fort McHenry, Francis Scott Key penned, "And this be our motto: `In God is our trust!"' His poem became our National Anthem, reminding generations of Americans to "Praise the Power that hath made and preserved us a nation." On July 30, 1956, President Dwight Eisenhower signed the law officially establishing "In God We Trust." as our national motto.
Today, our country stands strong as a beacon of religious freedom. Our citizens, whatever their faith or background, worship freely and millions answer the universal call to love their neighbor and serve a cause greater than self.
As we commemorate the 50th anniversary of our national motto and remember with thanksgiving God's mercies throughout our history, we recognize a divine plan that stands above all human plans and continue to seek His will.
Now, Therefore, I, George W. Bush, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim July 30, 2006, as the 50th Anniversary of our National Motto, "In God We Trust." I call upon the people of the United States to observe this day with appropriate programs, ceremonies, and activities.
In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand this twenty-seventh day of July, in the year of our Lord two thousand six, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty- first.
George W. Bush