Vol. 2 Issue 2
March 2004


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The winner of the "Give Me Liberty" quotebook for March is Stephanie Cox. Congratulations!

In This Issue
  • Patriotic Holidays for March
  • Trivia Questions for March
  • Our National Anthem -- Let's All Give a Cheer for Old Glory!

Patriotic Holidays for March
March 3 -- National Anthem Day
March 15 -- President Andrew Jackson's Birthday (7th President of the US)
March 16 -- President James Madison's Birthday (4th President of the US)
March 18 -- President Grover Cleveland's Birthday (22nd & 24th President of the US)
March 27 -- Cherry Blossom Festival (Washington DC)
March 29 -- President John Tyler's Birthday (10th President of the US)

George Washington's Birthday Party --
a great success!

On President’s Day, February 16, 2004, a crowd of 1500 people in Mesa, Arizona attended the 2nd annual birthday party for George Washington. It was a smashing success! Guests enjoyed Bar-B-Q, pizza, and, of course, cherry pie. (I cannot tell a lie . . . I ate two pieces!) The children were especially enthralled with the games, crafts, and jumping cages.

Bill Norton constructed an amazing replica of Independence Hall. Not the typical tabletop variety. No, one could actually walk inside this incredible structure! Thanks, Bill!

It was fitting that at the birthday party honoring the Father of our country, several dignitaries were in attendance: The Honorable Jeff Flake, Member of Congress; Mayor Keno Hawker; members of the City Council; members of the Mesa Unified District School Board; and many more.

We were thrilled that two of Washington’s special friends were able to attend—Benjamin Franklin and Patrick Henry. And George was thrilled to see members of the American Revolution, clad in full uniform as they had when he led them to victory.

Of course, the most honored guest was George Washington himself, who strolled through the crowds shaking hands and answering questions as if he were once again welcoming fellow Americans to Mount Vernon.

See pictures from the party

Trivia Question for March
Which of the first 7 Presidents of the United States weighed not much more than 100 pounds and stood 5 foot 6 inches tall?

Trivia Question Answer

Answer: James Madison

James Madison was born March 16, 1751 -- 25 years before the Declaration of Independence would be written by his close friend, Thomas Jefferson, His parents, James and Nelly Conway Madison, were well-to-do members of the landed gentry, a slave-owing family who lived in Orange County, Virginia. James was the first of twelve children, two of which were stillborn, and he himself was small and sickly. Even as an adult, he was slight of build, never weighing much more than 100 pounds and reaching a height of only 5 feet 6 inches. Some of his friends said he was never much bigger than a half a bar of soap. (Read more about James Madison in "Founding Fathers -- Uncommon Heores" by Steven W. Allen pages 185-211. Ordering information in the sidebar on the right.)

Our National Anthem
Let's All Give a Cheer for Old Glory!

It’s an old story. Told from father to son. Told from teacher to student. Told from speaker to audience. Told and retold. Even the bare bones version is an inspiration:

In August, 1814, Francis Scott Key, a 35-year-old poet-lawyer, was helping to negotiate a prisoner of war exchange between the British and the Americans. After he successfully negotiated the prisoner’s release, Key was detained by the British while they were attacking Baltimore. During the bombardment, Key was on a boat some eight miles from Fort McHenry, where the battle was taking place.

It was from this site, on the river itself, that Key witnessed the British ships attacking Fort McHenry. Watching through the night, hoping that Fort McHenry would hold out, Key waited for dawn to break and light the sky, thus revealing the agony of defeat or the ecstacy of victory. What he witnessed inspired him to write one of the most powerfully moving poems of all time. The commander of Fort McHenry had ordered an enormous 30- by 42-foot flag to be raised. The flag—specially made as a symbol of defiance against the fort’s attackers—could be seen from the ship upon which Key was being detained. Key would later write of the moment that he saw the flag, " . . . in that hour of deliverance, my heart spoke. Does not such a country, and such defenders of their country, deserve a song?" And history was made as Key began writing "The Star-Spangled Banner."

Take a moment to read those glorious words. Take more than a moment. Feel the concern of Francis Scott Key for the infant country that he dearly loved. Share a moment with Key, and peek out his ship’s window . . .

  • Oh, say can you see, by the dawn's early light,
    What so proudly we hailed at the twilight's last gleaming?
    Whose broad stripes and bright stars, through the perilous fight,
    O'er the ramparts we watched, were so gallantly streaming?
    And the rockets' red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
    Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there.
    O say, does that star-spangled banner yet wave
    O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave?

Now, experience Key’s sharp intake of breath when red stripes and blue stars burst forth— triumphantly declaring that, Yessss! Freedom still rings. Let pride fill your bosom and joy flood over you as you listen to the heaven-inspired words that flowed from his pen . . .

  • On the shore, dimly seen through the mists of the deep,
    Where the foe's haughty host in dread silence reposes,
    What is that which the breeze, o'er the towering steep,
    As it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses?
    Now it catches the gleam of the morning's first beam,
    In full glory reflected now shines on the stream:
    'Tis the star-spangled banner! O long may it wave
    O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave.

  • And where is that band who so vauntingly swore
    That the havoc of war and the battle's confusion
    A home and a country should leave us no more?
    Their blood has wiped out their foul footstep's pollution.
    No refuge could save the hireling and slave
    From the terror of flight, or the gloom of the grave:
    And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave
    O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave.

  • Oh! thus be it ever, when freemen shall stand
    Between their loved homes and the war's desolation!
    Blest with victory and peace, may the heaven-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!

And may it ever be our motto as our beautiful flag flies over this heaven-rescued land; may we ever give credit where credit is due and be faithful to Key’s magnificent words . . . “In God is our trust.”

In 1933, the Congress of the United States of America made this song the national anthem. March 3rd was National Anthem Day. Let’s all give a cheer for Old Glory!

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