History of the Pledge

Posted: Thursday, September 21, 2000

The members of Knights of Columbus Council 1760 in Juneau fully support the state law requiring the daily recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance.

We have noticed in recent letters and articles that there is some controversy over the words "under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance. It was at the urging of the Knights of Columbus that a resolution by Congressman Louis C. Rabaut of Michigan was adopted adding the words "under God" after the words "one Nation." President Eisenhower signed that resolution into law on Flag Day, June 14, 1954, and acknowledged the role of the Knights of Columbus.

Prior to 1951, the Pledge of Allegiance contained no reference to God. In that year the Board of Directors of the Knights of Columbus adopted a resolution to amend the Pledge to include the words "under God" when the Pledge was recited at the beginning of each meeting.

At their 1952 annual meeting, the Knights of Columbus adopted a resolution urging that the change be made part of the public law relating to the use of the flag. Copies of this resolution were sent to the president, the vice president (as presiding officer of the Senate) and the speaker of the House.

When no response was received, the Knights of Columbus repeated its resolution in 1953, this time sending copies to all members of both houses of Congress. The response was overwhelming and 17 separate resolutions were submitted. One was the resolution of Congressman Rabaut that eventually became law.

Just as the Knights of Columbus begin each of our gatherings with the Pledge of Allegiance, so we support the recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance at the beginning of each school day.

Tim Mooney for Knights

of Columbus Council 1760

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