[Ads-l] New York Times Article on Discoveries by Barry Popik and Myself
fred.shapiro at YALE.EDU
Sat Apr 2 11:47:28 UTC 2022
There is a large article in tomorrow's New York Times about a sensational discovery by Barry Popik and my discoveries following up on Barry's. The discoveries relate to the Pledge of Allegiance. Barry's initial discovery may be the best such finding since Allen Walker Read's uncovering of the etymology of "O.K." in 1963.
A socialist minister named Francis Bellamy has been credited for a century as the author of the Pledge of Allegiance. Francis Bellamy stated many times, including in sworn affidavits, that he wrote the Pledge in August 1892. However, Barry recently found a May 21, 1892 article in a Kansas newspaper describing an April 1892 school ceremony using words virtually identical to the Pledge of Allegiance. My contribution to the research and analysis included recognizing the August 1892 dating and the resulting inference that Francis Bellamy fabricated his detailed story of origination. In addition, by searching for "Francis Bellamy" and "Kansas" in Newspapers.com, I stumbled on the fact that there is a strong tradition in Kansas of maintaining that the true author of the Pledge was a 13-year-old Cherryvale, Kansas schoolboy named (amazingly) Frank E. Bellamy. "Putting two and two together," I and Barry believe that Frank E. Bellamy's claim is likely true.
Frank E. Bellamy died from aftereffects of disease contracted while fighting in the Spanish-American War. His story about penning the Pledge of Allegiance was rejected outside of his home state because he had no documentation. Barry's discovery, however, gives new credibility to the Frank E. account. My only quibble with the New York Times story is that I think it understates the obvious mendaciousness of Francis Bellamy, which seems to have included stealing credit from Frank E. (Frank E. maintained that he had submitted the words of the Pledge to a magazine contest run by a magazine where Francis worked).
We Know the Pledge. Its Author, Maybe Not.<https://www.nytimes.com/2022/04/02/obituaries/pledge-of-allegiance-author.html?searchResultPosition=1>
More than a century after a Baptist minister from upstate New York took credit for writing the Pledge of Allegiance, new evidence suggests the possibility of a very different story.
The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
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