�THE AMERICAN�S CREED,� A ONE-HOUR SPECIAL PRODUCED BY FAITH & VALUES MEDIA WHICH OFFERS HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE OF ESSAYIST WILLIAM TYLER PAGE�S LANDMARK WORDS (AND THEIR EFFECT ON AMERICA TODAY) PREMIERES EXCLUSIVELY IN THE U.S. ON HALLMARK CHANNEL JUNE 25
William Tyler Page�s The American�s Creed was adopted by the United States House
of Representatives in 1918. The American�s Creed defines what it means to be American,
both in faith and responsibility to the nation, its flag and its symbols. In historical context,
The American�s Creed confronted a nation divided over war, in conflict at home and abroad,
and is often viewed as a companion to the Pledge of Allegiance because it promotes the
country�s fervor for a belief statement that spurs nationalism and staves off America�s
foreign enemies. Is that statement relevant today?
Dissecting that question is the mission of �The American�s Creed,� a one-hour
special, produced in association with Faith & Values Media, which premieres exclusively on
Hallmark Channel, Sunday, June 25 (10pm/9c).
In the summer of 1917, Gen. John J. Pershing�s American Expeditionary Force was
landing in Europe. But even as Col. Charles E. Stanton declared at the tomb of
Revolutionary War hero Marquis de Lafayette, �Lafayette, we are here,� trouble was
brewing at home. Congress� new program of conscription under the Selective Service Act
was mandating registration for military service by every American man between the ages of
21 and 30. Not since the Civil War had the country been so divided.
While George M. Cohan wrote patriotic songs like Over There (penned on April 6,
1917, the same day Congress passed the Declaration of War), other citizens began to
protest American involvement in �Europe�s troubles� and the forced draft of soldiers under
the Selective Service Act. By the summer of 1918, the war in Europe had forced the
Government to take control of industry, railroads, food and fuel production.
Taxes were raised significantly to pay for the war, postal rates went up, and
censorship of some mail was being officially conducted. In May, 1918, Congress passed the
Sedition Act which allowed war and draft protesters to be jailed. More than 2,000
Americans were already behind bars for interfering with the draft, including former United
States Congressman Victor Berger (WI).
In the midst of domestic turmoil and dissension, a nationwide essay contest was
held to develop an American's Creed. The winning entry was submitted by William Tyler
Page of Friendship Heights, MD. Page, a descendent of President John Tyler and former
Congressman John Page, served in Congress as a Congressional Page in 1881. Page�s
winning essay, the words that have guided several generations of Americans, established
The American's Creed with the following words:
"I believe in the United States of America as a government of the people, by the
people, for the people; whose just powers are derived from the consent of the governed, a
democracy in a republic, a sovereign Nation of many sovereign States; a perfect union, one
and inseparable; established upon those principles of freedom, equality, justice, and
humanity for which American patriots sacrificed their lives and fortunes.
"I therefore believe it is my duty to my country to love it, to support its Constitution,
to obey its laws to respect its flag, and to defend it against all enemies."
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