Here is one of the few histories that explain the Star-Spangled Banner that seldom mentions its author. This short column will tell you about Sam Smith, the Militia general who kept the flag at Fort McHenry waving throughout that "perilous fight".
Do you fail to recall the words to our national anthem time and again? You're not alone - a quick glance at Google's records indicate that in the silence of their rooms, thousands of your fellow Americans suffer from the same malady (and smirk at others who make their memory loss public). To say that the Americans of today are not as patriotic as they used to be is an understatement to be sure - but some of you will no doubt be relieved to know that the Americans of yore, vintage 1941, didn't know the lyrics to The Star Spangled Banner any better than we do - as you can tell by the attached verses which were penned over seventy years ago about his fellow Americans and their inability to keep the words of Francis Scott Key in their heads.
When this article first appeared, the Boy Scouts of America, as an institution, was barely thirty-five years old:
"The truth is that never in the history of mankind has a simple idea - an idea, incidentally, born in South Africa - so seized the imagination of boys the world over as has Scouting."
Both Boy Scots and Girl Scouts were active in the Japanese-American internment camps during W.W. II. Click here to read about that subject...
"WHO, WHAT, AND WHY is the average American [man]? What does he eat? What does he wear? What does he worry about? These questions and more like them have taken us on a long journey through the realm of statistics. Out of the discoveries of the Department of Commerce, the Census Bureau and Dr. Gallup's polls, we've succeeded in piecing together an uncommon portrait of the common man."
Norman Rockwell (1894 1978) once remarked in an interview:
The view of life I communicate in my pictures excludes the sordid and the ugly. I paint life as I would like it to be.
- and his vision was shared with millions of Americans. He had a fondness for depicting everyday life in small town America, childhood friendships, family life, middle school sporting events and (as discussed in the attached article) the Boy Scouts. He knew who he was; he never referred to himself as an artist, he called himself an illustrator.
In an effort to show how American thought can vary between decades, a retired pollster from the Gallup organization collected the data gleaned from various opinion polls that were launched between 1929 on up through the dawn of the Atomic Age in order to show what a different people we had become. The topics that were addressed were
Women in the work place