WHFD Celebrates Columbus Day
 
By Chief Robert Peacock
October 8, 2018
 

The Watch Hill Fire Department takes great pride in reciting the Pledge of Allegiance at the start of our monthly meetings. It is interesting to note that the Pledge of Allegiance is closely tied to the celebration of Christopher Columbus and his crew's historic voyage of discovery.

Did you know the Pledge was actually written by a socialist minister for a youth magazine and was written to promote citizenship and loyalty to America during a time when their were more immigrants coming into the country than births from natural-born citizens?

The Pledge of Allegiance was published September 8, 1892 by The Youth's Companion, a popular patriotic weekly of the period. It was written by Francis Bellamy, who was a Baptist socialist Minister and author. Interestingly, Bellamy believed deeply in the separation of church and state and did not include the phrase "under God" within his original oath.

The popularity of the Pledge of Allegiance was in part a result of the Celebration of Columbus Day in October of 1892. For the first time, the Pledge of Allegiance was recited at school ceremonies throughout the country and was held in conjunction with the October 19, 1892 dedication of the very well attended Chicago World's Columbia Exposition. The event marked the four-hundred anniversary of Columbus's landing in the New World... actually on the Islands of the Bahamas.

 
A old historical view of a small one room schoolhouse displaying the United States Flag.
A old historical view of a small one room schoolhouse displaying the United States Flag.