Monthly Archives: December 2014

God Bless America–a New Year’s Prayer

I espouse the cause of human unity and am inclined to eschew anything that promotes nationalism, sectarian attitudes and class separation. The 1940s America that I grew up in was a place where children were taught that Americans adhered to a higher standard of humanistic values and tolerance than was the global norm. But the America of my adulthood has been greatly disappointing in that regard. Perhaps that is why I sobbed as I read this story and listened once again to Kate Smith sing this song.

My New Year’s prayer is that America will once again find its way–to set for itself a higher standard of peace and fellowship and lead by example, not by force. –t.h.g.

From an anonymous source:

You may or may not know the history of this song…
A GOOD REMINDER TO  BE THANKFUL FOR AMERICA 
Frank Sinatra considered Kate Smith the best singer of her time and said that when he  and a million other guys first heard her sing “God Bless America” on the radio, they all pretended to have dust in their eyes as they wiped away a tear or two.
Here are the facts… The link at the bottom will take you to a video showing the  very first public singing of “GOD BLESS AMERICA”. But before you watch it, you should also know the story behind the first public showing of the song.
The  time was 1940. America was still in a terrible economic depression. Hitler was  taking over Europe and Americans were afraid we’d have to go to war. It was a  time of hardship and worry for most Americans.
This was the era just  before TV, when radio shows were HUGE, and American families sat around their radios in the evenings, listening to their favorite entertainers, and no  entertainer of that era was bigger than Kate Smith.
Yes, Kate was also large. A “Plus Size: as we now say and the popular phrase still used today is in deference to her.
Kate Smith might not have made it big in the age of TV, but with her voice coming over the radio, she was the biggest star of her time.
Kate was also patriotic. It hurt her to see  Americans so depressed and afraid of what the next day would bring. She had hope for America and faith in her fellow Americans. She wanted to do something  to cheer them up, so she went to the famous American song-writer, Irving Berlin  (who also wrote “White Christmas”) and asked him to write a song that would make  Americans feel good again about their country. When she described what she was looking for, he said he had just the song for her.
He went to his files and found a song that he had written, but never published, 22 years before – way  back in 1917. He gave it to her and she worked on it with her studio orchestra.  She and Irving Berlin were not sure how the song would be received by the  public, but both agreed they would not take any profits from God Bless America. All profits would go to the Boy Scouts of America. Over the years, the  Boy Scouts have received millions of dollars in royalties from this song.
This video starts out with Kate Smith coming into the radio studio with the orchestra and an audience. She introduces the new song for the very first time and starts singing. After the first couple verses, with her voice in the  background still singing, scenes are shown from the 1940 movie, “You’re In The  Army Now.” At the 4:20 mark of the video you see a young actor in the movie, sitting in an office, reading a paper.  It’s Ronald Reagan.
To this day, God Bless America stirs our patriotic feelings and pride in our country. Back in 1940, when Kate went looking for a song to raise the spirits of her fellow Americans, I doubt whether she realized just how successful the results would be  for her fellow Americans during those years of hardship and worry….. and for  many generations of Americans to follow.
Now that you know the story of the song, I hope you’ll enjoy  and treasure it even more.
Many  people don’t know there’s a lead-in to the song since it usually starts with “God Bless America ….” So here’s the entire song as originally sung:

 

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Did I read that sign right?

I got this list in an email. I don’t know the origin, but surely good for a few laughs. –t.h.g.
 
Did I read that sign right?
TOILET OUT OF ORDER. PLEASE USE FLOOR BELOW
In a Laundromat:
AUTOMATIC WASHING MACHINES: PLEASE REMOVE ALL YOUR CLOTHES WHEN THE LIGHT GOES OUT

In a London department store:
BARGAIN BASEMENT UPSTAIRS

In an office:
WOULD THE PERSON WHO TOOK THE STEP LADDER YESTERDAY PLEASE BRING IT BACK OR FURTHER STEPS WILL BE TAKEN

In an Office:
AFTER TEA BREAK STAFF SHOULD EMPTY THE TEAPOT AND STAND UPSIDE DOWN ON THE DRAINING BOARD

Outside a second hand shop:
WE EXCHANGE ANYTHING – BICYCLES, WASHING MACHINES, ETC. WHY NOT BRING YOUR WIFE ALONG AND GET A WONDERFUL BARGAIN?

Notice in health food shop window:
CLOSED DUE TO ILLNESS

Spotted in a safari park:(I sure hope so)
ELEPHANTS PLEASE STAY IN YOUR CAR

Seen during a conference:
FOR ANYONE WHO HAS CHILDREN AND DOESN’T KNOW IT, THERE IS A DAY CARE ON THE 1ST FLOOR

Notice in a farmer’s field:
THE FARMER ALLOWS WALKERS TO CROSS THE FIELD FOR FREE, BUT THE BULL CHARGES.

Message on a leaflet:
IF YOU CANNOT READ, THIS LEAFLET WILL TELL YOU HOW TO GET LESSONS

On a repair shop door:
WE CAN REPAIR ANYTHING. (PLEASE KNOCK HARD – THE BELL DOESN’T WORK)

Proofreading is a dying art, wouldn’t you say?

Man Kills Self Before Shooting Wife and Daughter
This one I caught in the SGV Tribune the other day and called the Editorial Room and asked who wrote this. It took two or three readings before the editor realized that what he was reading was impossible!!! They put in a correction the next day.

Something Went Wrong in Jet Crash, Expert Says
Really?
Ya think?
—————————————————————————-
Police Begin Campaign to Run Down Jaywalkers
Now that’s taking things a bit far!
———————————————————–
Panda Mating Fails; Veterinarian Takes Over
What a guy!
—————————————————————
Miners Refuse to Work after Death
Good-for-nothing’ lazy so-and-so’s!
——————————————————
Juvenile Court to Try Shooting Defendant
See if that works any better than a fair trial!
———————————————————-
War Dims Hope for Peace
I can see where it might have that effect!
—————————————————————-
If Strike Isn’t Settled Quickly, It May Last Awhile
Ya think?!
———————————————————————–
Cold Wave Linked to Temperatures
Who would have thought!
—————————————————————-
Enfield (London ) Couple Slain; Police Suspect Homicide
They may be onto something!
————————————————————————
Red Tape Holds Up New Bridges
You mean there’s something stronger than duct tape?
———————————————————-
Man Struck By Lightning Faces Battery Charge
He probably IS the battery charge!
———————————————-
New Study of Obesity Looks for Larger Test Group
Weren’t they fat enough?!
———————————————–
Astronaut Takes Blame for Gas in Spacecraft
That’s what he gets for eating those beans!
———————————
Kids Make Nutritious Snacks
Do they taste like chicken?
****************************************
Local High School Dropouts Cut in Half
Chainsaw Massacre all over again!
***************************************************
Hospitals are Sued by 7 Foot Doctors
Boy, are they tall!
*******************************************
And the winner is….
Typhoon Rips Through Cemetery; Hundreds Dead
Did I read that right?
***************************************************
Now that you’ve smiled at least once, it’s your turn to spread the
stupidity and send this to someone you want to bring a smile to
…(maybe even a chuckle).
We all need a good laugh, at least once a day!