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COMMITTEE ON THE JUDICIARY

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

SIXTY-EICHTH CONGRESS

GEORGE S. GRAHAM, Pennsylvania, Chairman LEONIDAS C. DYER, Missouri.

ROBERT Y. THOMAS, JR., Kentucky.
W. D. BOIES, Jowa.

HATTON W. SUMNERS, Texas.
C. A. CHRISTOPHERSON, South Dakota, ANDREW J. MONTAGUE, Virginia.
RICHARD YATES, Mlinois.

JAMES W. WISE, Georgia.
IRA G. HERSEY, Maine.

JOHN N. TILLMAN, Arkansas. ISRAEL M. FOSTER, Ohio.

FRED H. DOMINICK, South Carolina. EARL C. MICHENER, Michigan.

SAMUEL C. MAJOR, Missouri. ANDREW J. HICKEY, Indiana.

ROYAL H. WELLER, New York. NATHAN D. PERLMAN, New York.

PATRICK B. O'SULLIVAN, Connecticut.
OSCAR J. LARSON, Minnesota.
J. BANKS KURTZ, Pennsylvania.

GUILDFORD S. JAMOSOX, Clerk
M. D. TURTON, Assistant Clerk

LEGISLATION TO MAKE THE STAR-SPANGLED BANNER

THE NATIONAL ANTHEM

COMMITTEE ON THE JUDICIARY,

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES,

Thursday, March 20, 1924. The committee met at 10 o'clock a. m., Hon. George S. Graham (chairman) presiding.

The CHAIRMAN. The committee is assembled to hear those who desire to be heard upon H. R. 6429, to make the Star-Spangled Banner the national anthem of the United States of America, which bill was introduced by Mr. Linthicum; also House Joint Resolution 69, proposing the adoption of the Star-Spangled Banner as the national anthem. This resolution was introduced by Mr. Celler. The committee will be glad to hear what these gentlemen have to say.

STATEMENT OF HON. J. CHARLES LINTHICUM, A REPRESENTA

TIVE IN CONGRESS FROM THE STATE OF MARYLAND

Mr. LINTHICUM. Mr. Chairman, my colleague, Mr. Celler, and I have asked for the hearing this morning on House Joint Resolution 69, introduced by Mr. Celler, and bill H. R. 6429, introduced by myself. The bill and the resolution are very similar. The bill reads that:

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That the poem written by Francis Scott Key, entitled “ The Star-Spangled Banner,” with music by John Stafford Smith, be, and the same is hereby, declared to be the national anthem of the United States of America, and under its care and protection.

1

The resolution introduced by my colleague, Representative Celler, Joint Resolution 69, proposed the adoption of the Star-Spangled Banner as the national anthem. The resolution reads as follows:

[H. J. Res. 69, Sixty-eighth Congress, first session]

JOINT RESOLUTION Proposing the adoption of the Star-Spangled Banner as

national anthem

the

Whereas the Star-Spangled Banner for more than a century of use has become deeply enshrined in our hearts as the anthem of our country; and

Whereas tradition and history have always associated the melody and words of this immortal song with heroic deeds and patriotic endeavor; and

Whereas both the Army and Navy have adopted it as their anthem; and

Whereas on occasion certain musical conductors have been guilty of refusing to play it: Therefore be it

Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That the Star-Spangled Banner be adopted and authorized as the national anthem of the United States of America, and that recognition be given to it as such on all appropriate occasions.

Mr. LINTHICUM. I introduced a similar bill to the one under discussion to-day, No. 6429, on the 1st of April, 1919, and on the 2d of April, 1921.

We feel that though the Army and Navy have issued rules and regulations for the adoption of Key's anthem, the Star-Spangled Banner, it should have recognition by Congress itself. We feel that the Congress, with the approval of the Executive, should promulgate this as the national anthem of our country, just as many other countries have adopted and approved national anthems for their respective countries.

There are many songs which are perhaps easier sung and some people who think that perhaps the Star-Spangled Banner is a little hard to sing that therefore it should not be the national anthem. But while there are many songs, there has never been in the history of this country a song which sprung from the hearts of the people as did the Star-Spangled Banner, and at a time when the destiny of the country weighed in the balance.

I do not want to go too far into history, because with this committee it is like carrying coals to Newcastle.

But we can readily realize the condition of our country when in August, 1814, the National Capitol had been destroyed, the White House in this city had been destroyed, and British vessels with 7,000 troops under their control were leaving it in this devastated condition, having in a great measure dispensed practically the National Government and were then proceeding on to Baltimore.

It was the intention, as stated in the London Times on that occasion that troops should come down from Canada, that troops should proceed from Washington on to Baltimore, and having captured Baltimore should proceed on to Philadelphia and New York, and there to meet the troops from Canada and thereby capture the entire eastern coast of our country, which was practically the whole of our country

It was the indomitable courage of the men of America at North Point and at Fort McHenry who met General Ross and his troops on that memorable day on the 12th of September, at North Point, which defeated him, though the American troops were less than 3,000, only 1,700 of which went into action, while the British troops

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