Daily readings about people, places, and events in American history.
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April 15th
The Patriot as a Citizen of the World
In April 1910 Theodore Roosevelt gave a speech in Paris in which he reflected on patriotism in a world that was just beginning to resemble what we today might call a “global village.” A century later, his words are worth pondering.

I believe that a man must be a good patriot before he can be, and as the only possible way of being, a good citizen of the world. Experience teaches us that the average man who protests that his international feeling swamps his national feeling, that he does not care for his country because he cares so much for mankind, in actual practice proves himself the foe of mankind; that the man who says that he does not care to be a citizen of any one country, because he is a citizen of the world, is in very fact usually an exceedingly undesirable citizen of whatever corner of the world he happens at the moment to be in. . . . [I]f a man can view his own country and all other countries from the same level with tepid indifference, it is wise to distrust him, just as it is wise to distrust the man who can take the same dispassionate view of his wife and his mother. However broad and deep a man’s sympathies, however intense his activities, he need have no fear that they will be cramped by love of his native land.

Now, this does not mean in the least that a man should not wish to do good outside of his native land. On the contrary, just as I think that the man who loves his family is more apt to be a good neighbor than the man who does not, so I think that the most useful member of the family of nations is normally a strongly patriotic nation.

American History Parade
1850
The city of San Francisco is incorporated by California’s legislature.

1865
Andrew Johnson takes the oath as the seventeenth U.S. president a few hours after Abraham Lincoln dies.

1892
The General Electric Company is established.

1912
The British liner Titanic sinks en route from Southampton, England, to New York City, killing approximately 1,500 people.

1955
Ray Kroc opens his first McDonald’s restaurant in Des Plaines, Illinois.
This content is courtesy of The American Patriot's Almanac
© 2008, 2010 by William J. Bennett and John T.E. Cribb
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