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As our nation’s Founders designed their plan for a more perfect union, they understood that the success of a modern republic would require more than a political document like the Constitution. From their study of history, the Founders had learned of the pitfalls of republics before this one. They concluded that even the Constitution alone could not curb individual selfishness. They believed that virtues were necessary for sustaining the American experiment. Their fervent prayers were an integral part of the birth of our nation.

This Week in History

June 14, 1777 – American Flag Resolution Sent to Congress

John Adams introduced a resolution before Congress making a United States flag, stating, “…the flag of the thirteen United States shall be thirteen stripes, alternate red and white, that the union be thirteen stars, white on a blue field, representing a new constellation.”

Over time, more resolutions and provisions were added to the United States Code, adopting the Pledge of Allegiance, the display and use of the flag, and rules for respect.

Congress later established June 14 as National Flag Day, and it became public law in December 1942.

Interestingly, at the same time, rules set out for the playing of the National Anthem and conduct during its presentation were also included.

    Presidential Quote of the Week

    Rutherford B. Hayes (1822 – 1893), 19th President of the United States

    PresidentialQouteO Lord our Heavenly Father who has safely brought us to the beginning of this day: defend us in the same by Thy Almighty power. Grant that we may not fall into any danger and keep us from evil. May all our doings be ordered by Thy governance so that all we do may be righteous in Thy sight. Amen.

    – President and Mrs. Hayes said this prayer with their family every morning. Mrs. Hayes brought moving prayer to the White House. On Sunday evenings, cabinet members and congressmen joined in the Sunday evening hymn singing with the President and his wife.

    Rutherford Birchard Hayes was born in Delaware, Ohio, in October 1822. His father, a storekeeper, died ten weeks before his birth. An uncle, Sardis Birchard, lived with the family and served as Hayes’ guardian, becoming a father figure for him.

    He attended common schools and the Methodist Academy in Norwalk, and graduated from Kenyon College in Gambier, Ohio at the top of his class. He studied law for two years at Columbus and then graduated from Harvard Law School. After being admitted to the Ohio Bar, he was involved in the private practice of law in Lower Sandusky and Cincinnati. The Ohio governor appointed him as a major of the Ohio Volunteer Infantry, and he was shortly promoted to Lieutenant Colonel and proved competent as a field commander during the Civil War.

    While still in the Shenandoah, Hayes was nominated to the U.S. Congress from Cincinnati. Although he did not leave his post to campaign, he was elected and served for two years. Following that, he served as Governor of Ohio. His service as Governor brought him national attention, and in 1876, he was elected President. The election had been contentious and highly disputed, and he was elected by just one electoral vote. His inauguration was held in secret.

    During his four years as president, he ordered federal troops to suppress the Great Railroad Strike of 1877, and he ended Reconstruction. He also was responsible for legislation that allowed female attorneys to argue before the Supreme Court. He did not run for re-election.

    Hayes was married to Lucy Ware Webb, and they had eight children, seven sons and a daughter. Mrs. Hayes was the first presidential wife to be known as the First Lady. She was also the first president’s wife to have a college education. His wife predeceased him. President Hayes died of complications from a heart attack in Ohio in January 1893, and is interred at the Spiegel Grove State Park. He listed his religion as Methodist.