Last updated on: 7/16/2010 | Author:

Did You Know?

1. The US Pledge of Allegiance was written in 1892 by Francis Bellamy, a Socialist and a Baptist minister. It read: "I Pledge allegiance to my Flag and the Republic for which it stands; one nation indivisible, with liberty and Justice for all."
2. The Pledge was officially endorsed by the US government on June 22, 1942.
3. Before December 1942 reciters saluted the flag in a straight arm salute. This arm motion was eliminated by Congress in its revised Flag Code during WWII because of the similarity to the Nazi salute.
4. President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed on June 14, 1954 a joint-party Congressional act which added the words "under God" to the text of the Pledge of Allegiance.
5. Michael A. Newdow, an emergency room physician with a law degree from the University of Michigan, filed multiple lawsuits arguing that the words "under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance are unconstitutional. In the 2002 case Newdow v. US Congress the US 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled 3-0 in Newdow's favor, however the court changed its position and voted 2-1 in the 2010 case Newdow v. Carey.
6. Seven of seven national polls from 2002 to 2005 have shown over 65% support for keeping "under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance.
7. The 1796 "Treaty of Tripoli," ratified by the Senate and signed by President John Adams, stated that "the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion."
8. 115 American Revolution-era figures are considered "Founding Fathers" of the United States. The term "Founding Fathers" usually refers to the signers of the 1776 Declaration of Independence, the delegates to the 1787 US Constitutional Convention, and US Supreme Court justices who served from 1789 to 1795.
9. As of Aug. 2006, the word "God" appeared in the US Code of Laws 68 times. 46 are references to "acts of God" and 22 mention "God" in other capacities.
10. "In God We Trust" became the official national motto on July 30, 1956 when President Dwight Eisenhower signed Joint Resolution P.L. 84-140. The phrase "In God We Trust" had previously appeared on United States coins starting in 1864, and it was added to paper currency on Oct. 1, 1957.
11. All 50 state constitutions in the United States refer to "God" or some higher power.
12. There are approximately 313 religions and denominations practiced in the United States. Christianity is the country's largest religion with about 159 million members.
13. There are three different versions of the 10 Commandments (Catholic, Jewish, and Protestant) as well as a Muslim version of sorts.