Lincoln Bible

In honor of all of Our mothers for Mother’s Day, here are two well-known quotes from Abraham Lincoln about his (step-) mother:

“All that I am, or hope to be, I owe to my angel mother.”

“I remember my mother’s prayers and they have always followed me. They have clung to me all my life.”

A well-deserved (top) hats off to all of the mother’s out there. Thankfully, many of us can relate to the quotes above. So, birth and step-mothers, we hope you enjoy your day.

“But for it…”

Clearly, Lincoln admired his mother and his step-mother. Similarly, his quote that inspired Our Lincoln Bible shirt demonstrates his admiration for God’s Word:

Lincoln Bible t-shirt collage

On this day in 1758, the fifth President of the United States, James Monroe is born in Virginia. Monroe was the first United States Senator to be elected President.

He was a contemporary of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and James Madison. As such, he was the last American revolutionary to become president. What follows are a few remarks from both inaugural addresses of James Monroe, in 1817 and 1821 respectively.

Fervent Prayers

1817

“If we persevere in the career in which we have advanced so far and in the path already traced, we can not fail, under the favor of a gracious Providence, to attain the high destiny which seems to await us.”

“Relying on the aid to be derived from the other departments of the Government, I enter on the trust to which I have been called by the suffrages of my fellow-citizens with my fervent prayers to the Almighty that He will be graciously pleased to continue to us that protection which He has already so conspicuously displayed in our favor.”

1821

“it is obvious that other powerful causes, indicating the great strength and stability of our Union, have essentially contributed to draw you together. That these powerful causes exist, and that they are permanent, is my fixed opinion; that they may produce a like accord in all questions touching, however remotely, the liberty, prosperity, and happiness of our country will always be the object of my most fervent prayers to the Supreme Author of All Good.”

Firm Reliance

“With full confidence in the continuance of that candor and generous indulgence from my fellow-citizens at large which I have heretofore experienced, and with a firm reliance on the protection of Almighty God, I shall forthwith commence the duties of the high trust to which you have called me.”

James Monroe White House portrait 1819

 

Ulysses S. Grant

On this day in 1822, the first ever General of the U.S. Army and the 18th President of the United States Ulysses S. Grant is born in Point Pleasant, Ohio.

President Abraham Lincoln promoted Grant to the second Lieutenant General in American history. The first was George Washington.

“The influence of this book”

Later in life, just nine years before he died of cancer in 1885, Grant wrote this in regard to education:

“Hold fast to the Bible as the sheet anchor of your liberties; write its precepts on your hearts and practice them in your lives. To the influence of this book we are indebted for the progress made, and to this we must look as our guide in the future.”

Ulysses S. Grant

Harry Truman Korea

On this day in 1948, President Harry S. Truman signs the Foreign Assistance Act of 1948, more popularly known as the Marshall Plan.

Back in June 1947, Secretary of State George C. Marshall called for an enormous economic recovery program to aid the ailing economies of the war-ravaged countries in Western Europe.

Secretary Marshall’s statement on the signing described the decision as a “historic step in the foreign policy of this country.”

He went on:
“The leaders in the Congress and the membership generally have faced a great crisis with courage and wisdom, and with legislative skill, richly deserving of the approval and the determined support of the people.”

Renewed Hope

Upon signing the Act, President Truman labeled it “an outstanding example of cooperative endeavor for the common good.”

Then, Truman closed his statement, echoing his predecessor, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, by using the commonly accepted paraphrasing of Luke 2:14:

“I believe that the determination of the American people to work for conditions of enduring peace throughout the world, as demonstrated by this act, will encourage free men and women everywhere, and will give renewed hope to all mankind that there will one day be peace on earth, good will among men.”

 

Harry S. Truman signs

 

Ronald Reagan shot

On this day in 1981, in an assassination attempt, John Hinckley Jr. shoots President Ronald Reagan in the left lung as the President left the Washington Hilton hotel. The bullet narrowly misses his heart. Still, the President walks in to George Washington University Hospital under his own power.

Less than two weeks later on April 11, the resilient Reagan returned to the White House. He concluded his diary entry for that day with this powerful statement:

“Whatever happens now I owe my life to God and will try to serve him in every way I can.”

Equally Beloved

Here’s an earlier, similarly powerful portion of that same diary entry:

“Getting shot hurts. Still my fear was growing because no matter how hard I tried to breathe it seemed I was getting less & less air. I focused on that tiled ceiling and prayed. But I realized I couldn’t ask for God’s help while at the same time I felt hatred for the mixed up young man who had shot me. Isn’t that the meaning of the lost sheep? We are all God’s children & therefore equally beloved by him. I began to pray for his soul and that he would find his way back to the fold.”

President Ronald Reagan shot

 

Ike American flag Dwight D. Eisenhower

On this day in 1969, Dwight D. Eisenhower , a highly regarded general of World War II and the 34th president of the United States dies at the age of 78, in Washington, D.C.

First, here are two excerpts from his remarks for the American Legion “Back-to-God” program:

“The Founding Fathers… produced the timeless documents upon which the Nation is founded and has grown great. They, recognizing God as the author of individual rights, declared that the purpose of Government is to secure those rights.”

“Without God there could be no American form of government, nor an American way of life. Recognition of the Supreme Being is the first—and most basic—expression of Americanism. Thus, the Founding Fathers of America saw it, and thus with God’s help, it will continue to be.”

Eisenhower made “In God We Trust” our nation’s official motto. One can find an early iteration of this phrase in Francis Scott Key’s “Star-Spangled Banner,” which became Our national anthem.

Under God

Eisenhower had the words “under God” inserted in to the pledge of allegiance. On Flag Day, June 14, 1954 when he signed the bill to include the words “under God” in the pledge, he said:

“In this way we are reaffirming the transcendence of religious faith in America’s heritage and future; in this way we shall constantly strengthen those spiritual weapons which forever will be our country’s most powerful resource in peace and war.”

Then and now, that’s why we like Ike.

Like Ike Dwight D. Eisenhower

Thomas Jefferson Summary View

On this day in 1775, Thomas Jefferson is elected to the second Continental Congress.

Jefferson originally established himself in the first Continental Congress with tract entitled “Summary View of the Rights of British America.”

Inkling of Independence

Here are two excerpts from his “Summary”:

“[P]ropose to the said congress that an humble and dutiful address be presented to his majesty, begging leave to lay before him, as chief magistrate of the British empire, the united complaints of his majesty’s subjects in America; complaints which are excited by many unwarrantable encroachments and usurpations, attempted to be made by the legislature of one part of the empire, upon those rights which God and the laws have given equally and independently to all.”

“The God who gave us life gave us liberty at the same time; the hand of force may destroy, but cannot disjoin them. This, sire, is our last, our determined resolution; and that you will be pleased to interpose with that efficacy which your earnest endeavours may ensure to procure redress of these our great grievances, to quiet the minds of your subjects in British America, against any apprehensions of future encroachment, to establish fraternal love and harmony through the whole empire, and that these may continue to the latest ages of time, is the fervent prayer of all British America!”

Rights Reverberate

Of course, in early June 1776, Congress appointed a committee consisting of John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Roger Sherman, Robert R. Livingston, and Thomas Jefferson to draft what would become the Declaration of Independence. This esteemed committee chose Jefferson to compose the most important document in the history self-government. He drafted it in just a few days, at the age of 33.

As we (should) know, this is the basis of Our Declaration:

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

Jefferson seemed to suggest as much in his “Summary” two years prior. As seen above, he acknowledged “The God who gave us life gave us liberty at the same time.”

 

Thomas Jefferson Summary View

Truman Federal Council of Churches

On this day in 1949, President Harry S. Truman signs a U.S. resolution authorizing $16 million in aid for Palestinian refugees who were displaced as a result of Israel’s War of Independence in 1948.

This situation was, and still is, an exceedingly volatile and complex. Our Lost Founding has no delusions of any ability to provide an adequate summary of the conflict here. Pro- and anti-Zionist groups, Palestinian refugees, Arab oil, and the state of Israel are the major sources of on-going conflict in the Middle East.

Truman had the unenviable task of reconciling safety for the Jews and good relations with Arab states.

Men and Nations

Truman’s address to the Federal Council of Churches on March 6, 1946 are as pertinent today as they were then. It applies to the current state of affairs in the Middle East and associated terror groups. We can also apply it to the current debate surrounding religious liberties in Our own country:

“Now that we have preserved our freedom of conscience and religion, our right to live by a decent moral and spiritual code of our own choosing, let us make full use of that freedom. Let us make use of it to save a world which is beset by so many threats of new conflicts, new terror, and new destruction.”

“If men and nations would but live by the precepts of the ancient prophets and the teachings of the Sermon on the Mount, problems which now seem so difficult would soon disappear.”

Harry S. Truman Federal Council of Churches

 

Selma to Montgomery Marches

On this day in 1965, President Lyndon B. Johnson uses federal authority to call up selected units of the Alabama National Guard. The segregationist Alabama Governor George Wallace abdicated his responsibility with his reluctance to spend state funds on protecting Martin Luther King, Jr. and 50,000 demonstrators as they conducted a planned and approved civil rights march from Selma to Montgomery.

That morning, President Johnson sent a telegram to Governor Wallace. In it, he stated that “the rights of all American citizens must be protected, I intend to meet your request by providing Federal assistance to perform normal police functions.”

My hope, my expectation, my prayer

Later, during the subsequent news conference, President Johnson added:
“Over the next several days the eyes of the Nation will be upon Alabama, and the eyes of the world will be upon America. It is my prayer, a prayer in which I hope all Americans will join me earnestly today, that the march in Alabama may proceed in a manner honoring our heritage and honoring all for which America stands.

May this, the conduct of all Americans, demonstrate beyond dispute that the true strength of America lies not in arms and not in force and not in the might of the military or in the police, nor in the multitudes of marshals and State troopers but in respect and obedience to law itself.

In other times a great President–President Abraham Lincoln–said that he was confident that we would be touched by the better angels of our nature. That is my hope for you, and my expectation of all of you and my prayer to all of you today.

A nation is molded by the tests that its peoples meet and master. I believe that from the test of these days we shall emerge as a stronger nation, as a more united people, and a more just and decent society.”

 

Selma to Montgomery Marches

 

President James Madison

On this day in 1751, James Madison is born in Conway, Virginia.

He was a key drafter of the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, as well the recorder of the Constitutional Convention. Accordingly, Madison is known as the “Father of the Constitution.”
Furthermore, he was a key author of the Federalist Papers. Finally, Madison served two terms as the fourth President of the United States, from 1809 to 1817.

For all these towering achievements, James Madison stood at just 5′4″. I like him even more.

Divine Destiny

Here are portions of his Proclamation 20 – Recommending a Day of Public Thanksgiving for Peace from March 4, 1815:

“No people ought to feel greater obligations to celebrate the goodness of the Great Disposer of Events and of the Destiny of Nations than the people of the United States.”

“And to the same Divine Author of Every Good and Perfect Gift we are indebted for all those privileges and advantages, religious as well as civil, which are so richly enjoyed in this favored land.”

James Madison

Franklin Delano Roosevelt inaugural address

On this day in 1933, Franklin Delano Roosevelt is inaugurated as the 32nd president of the United States. Our nation was in the depths of the Great Depression, and Roosevelt outlined his “New Deal” and told Americans that “the only thing we have to fear is fear itself.”

Dedication of a Nation

Here’s how he closed his famous address:

“We face the arduous days that lie before us in the warm courage of national unity; with the clear consciousness of seeking old and precious moral values; with the clean satisfaction that comes from the stern performance of duty by old and young alike. We aim at the assurance of a rounded and permanent national life.

We do not distrust the future of essential democracy. The people of the United States have not failed. In their need they have registered a mandate that they want direct, vigorous action. They have asked for discipline and direction under leadership. They have made me the present instrument of their wishes. In the spirit of the gift I take it.

In this dedication of a Nation we humbly ask the blessing of God. May He protect each and every one of us. May He guide me in the days to come.” (emphasis added)

Franklin Delano Roosevelt inaugural adress March 4, 1933 Page 9