Daily readings about people, places, and events in American history.
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June 21st
The Great Seal of the United States - Back Side
The back of the Great Seal is sometimes called its spiritual side. It shows a pyramid built of thirteen levels of stone, representing the thirteen original states in the union. Since ancient times, pyramids have been symbols of strength and duration. As the poet Walt Whitman suggested, the pyramid is shown as unfinished because although the architects of the United States laid its foundations, each generation has the duty of building a strong, good nation.

Above the pyramid is a triangle containing the eye of Providence, which watches over the Union. The Latin motto Annuit Coeptis means “He [God] has favored our undertakings.”

On the base of the pyramid is the Roman numeral MDCCLXXVI (1776), the date of the Declaration of Independence. Beneath the pyramid a scroll reads Novus Ordo Seclorum, meaning “A New Order of the Ages,” signifying that 1776 marked the beginning of the American era.

American History Parade
1788
The U.S. Constitution becomes the law of the land when New Hampshire becomes the ninth and final state needed to ratify it.

1834
Cyrus McCormick of Virginia patents the first successful mechanical grain reaper.

1893
The first Ferris wheel opens at the World Columbian Exposition in Chicago.

2004
SpaceShipOne, piloted by Mike Melvill, becomes the first privately built spacecraft to carry a human into space.
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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