Daily readings about people, places, and events in American history.
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August 31st
The Code of Conduct for American Soldiers
In August 1955, President Eisenhower authorized the Code of Conduct for members of the U.S. armed forces. The code is an ethical guide that instructs armed forces members when they are prisoners of war or are in danger of capture. It’s a good reminder of the solemn duty shouldered by American soldiers.

1. I am an American fighting in the forces which guard my country and our way of life. I am prepared to give my life in their defense.

2. I will never surrender of my own free will. If in command, I will never surrender the members of my command while they still have the means to resist.

3. If I am captured I will continue to resist by all means available. I will make every effort to escape and aid others to escape. I will accept neither parole nor special favors from the enemy.

4. If I become a prisoner of war, I will keep faith with my fellow prisoners. I will give no information or take part in any action which might be harmful to my comrades. If I am senior, I will take  command. If not, I will obey the lawful orders of those appointed over me and will back them up in every way.

5. When questioned, should I become a prisoner of war, I am required to give name, rank, service number, and date of birth. I will evade answering further questions to the utmost of my ability. I will make no oral or written statements disloyal to my country and its allies or harmful to their cause.

6. I will never forget that I am an American, fighting for freedom, responsible for my actions, and dedicated to the principles which made my country free. I will trust in my God and in the United States of America.
American History Parade
1842
Congress establishes the U.S. Naval Observatory, one of the nation’s oldest scientific agencies.

1886
An earthquake centered near Charleston, South Carolina, destroys much of the city, kills scores of people, and is felt in distant places such as Boston and Chicago.

1920
Station 8MK (later WWJ) in Detroit broadcasts the first news program on a U.S. radio station, an announcement of local election returns.

1955
General Motors Corporation demonstrates the world’s first solar-powered car in Chicago.
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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