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.
|William Tyler Page|
While the Great War was still under way, the House of Representatives honored William Tyler Page, a longtime Congressional employee and future Clerk of the House, for his authorship of the “American’s Creed.” In 1916, on the eve of the U.S. entry into World War I, Henry Sterling Chapin, the editor of an educational journal, devised a national writing competition to foster patriotism and civic responsibility among U.S. citizens.
Of the more than 3,000 submissions for an American Creed, Page’s winning entry was described as “brief and simple but remarkably comprehensive of the best in American ideals, history, and tradition, as expressed by the founders of the Republic and its greatest statesmen and writers.”
The House ceremony to recognize Page included Speaker of the House James Beauchamp (Champ) Clark of Missouri and former Speaker Joe Cannon of Illinois. Members of Congress paid tribute to the veteran employee—who began his career as a House Page in 1881—for his service to the institution and his country. Page, who received $1,000 for his winning entry, recited the “American’s Creed” on the Capitol steps which ended with the declaration, “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.” In further recognition of Page’s accomplishment, the House placed a bronze tablet of the “American’s Creed” in the Capitol.
Sources: USHistory.org; U.S. House of Representatives Website