Daily readings about people, places, and events in American history.
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December 30th
The Test of the Year Ahead
President Dwight D. Eisenhower offered the following words to the nation during the Christmas season of 1956. His closing quote, “with charity for all, with firmness in the right,” comes from Abraham Lincoln’s second inaugural address.

“Peace on earth, good will to men.” These are hallowed words. Through ages they have heartened and moved mankind, even though their message of peace is far too often drowned by the strident voices of the fearful or the arrogant, who fill our minds with doubt and pessimism. . . .

The spirit of Christmas returns, yet again, to enable us to gain understanding of each other; to help each other; to obey the elemental precepts of justice; to practice good will toward all men of every tongue and color and creed; to remember that we are all identical in our aspirations for a peaceful, a decent, a rewarding life.

In the warm glow of the Christmas tree, it is easy to say these things, but when the trees come down and the lights are put away – as they always are – then we have a true testing of the spirit. That testing will be answered, throughout the year ahead, by the success each of us experiences in keeping alive the inspiration and exultation of this moment.We must proceed by faith, knowing the light of Christmas is eternal, though we cannot always see it. We must believe that the truth of Christmas is constant; that men can live together in peace as Lincoln said, “with charity for all, with firmness in the right.”
American History Parade
1853
James Gadsden, minister to Mexico, signs the Gadsden Purchase, in which the United States buys nearly 30,000 square miles of land from Mexico.

1862
The ironclad USS Monitor sinks in a storm off Cape Hatteras, North Carolina.

1924
Astronomer Edwin Hubble announces evidence of the existence of a galaxy outside our own.

1940
California opens its first freeway, the Arroyo Seco Parkway, connecting Los Angeles and Pasadena.

1951
The TV western The Roy Rogers Show debuts.
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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