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House of Representatives
Session of 2013 - 2014 Regular Session


Posted: November 8, 2013 09:53 AM
From: Representative John D McGinnis
To: All House members
Subject: Recognition of the 60th anniversary of the legislation that added “under God” to the American Pledge of Allegiance
I will soon be introducing a resolution to recognize February 10, 2014 as the 60th Anniversary of the legislation that added the words, “under God,” to the American Pledge of Allegiance.
On February 7, 1954 President Dwight D. Eisenhower made the recommendation that “under God” be added to the Pledge of Allegiance, which had first been adopted by Congress in 1942. Three days later on February 10, 1954, U.S. Senator Homer Ferguson of Michigan, a native Pennsylvanian, introduced legislation to include “under God” in the Pledge of Allegiance. Senator Ferguson selected this day for introduction of his proposal because it was the fifth anniversary of the imprisonment of Cardinal Joseph Mindszenty of Hungary, who was tortured by Communists for his sermons exposing the goal of Communism to eradicate all religion.
Upon the introduction of his legislation on February 10, 1954, Senator Ferguson echoed the sentiments of President Eisenhower: “Our nation is founded on a fundamental belief in God, and the first and most important reason for the existence of our government is to protect the God-given rights of our citizens. Spiritual values are every bit as important to the defense and safety of our nation as are military and economic values.”
The vote to add “under God” to the Pledge of Allegiance was unanimous in both houses of Congress and signed into law by President Eisenhower on Flag Day, June 14, 1954.
The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania was founded on a commitment to free worship of the Divine and our Constitution affirms the reality of His blessings of civil and religious liberty and invokes His continuing guidance. Our oaths of office attest to the same and it is entirely proper that we recognize the important legislation of February 10, 1954, that instantiates our Judeo-Christian heritage.

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Introduced as HR555