Today is National
#WinnieThePoohDay , the birthday of author AA Milne. Pooh first appeared on the printed page in 1926, with friends Piglet, Tigger and Eeyore. All of them were based on toys owned by the author’s son, who also featured in the famous stories as Christopher Robin.
Together with the other First Amendment guarantees–of free speech, a free press, and the rights to assemble and petition–the Religion Clauses were designed to safeguard the freedom of conscience and belief that those immigrants had sought. They embody an idea that was once considered radical: Free people are entitled to free and diverse thoughts, which government ought neither to constrain nor to direct.
~Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, concurring in McCreary County v. ACLU of Kentucky, 545 U.S. 844 (2005)
The greater the importance of safeguarding the community from incitements to the overthrow of our institutions by force and violence, the more imperative is the need to preserve inviolate the constitutional rights of free speech, free press and free assembly in order to maintain the opportunity for free political discussion, to the end that government may be responsive to the will of the people and that changes, if desired, may be obtained by peaceful means. Therein lies the security of the Republic, the very foundation of constitutional government.
~Chief Justice Charles Evans Hughes, De Jonge v. Oregon, 299 U.S. 353 (1937)
It must never be forgotten, however, that the Bill of Rights was the child of the Enlightenment. Back of the guarantee of free speech lay faith in the power of an appeal to reason by all the peaceful means for gaining access to the mind. It was in order to avert force and explosions due to restrictions upon rational modes of communication that the guarantee of free speech was given a generous scope. But utterance in a context of violence can lose its significance as an appeal to reason and become part of an instrument of force. Such utterance was not meant to be sheltered by the Constitution.
~Justice Felix Frankfurter, Milk Wagon Drivers Union of Chicago, Local 753 v. Meadowmoor Dairies, Inc., 312 U.S. 287, 293 (1941)
Andrew Jackson, Savior of New Orleans
As God called Gideon from winepress floor
To war against the Midianites, so He
Called Jackson–lawyer, judge–from courthouse doors
To lead his rag-tag men to victory.
Not sword nor bullet stopped Old Hickory,
Not dysentery or a barefoot walk
For forty miles, not orders from D.C.
To have his troops disperse, nor to corral a throng
Of rich and poor, and blacks and whites, along
With Choctaw braves and pirates in New Orleans.
He set a battle plan with separate prongs,
Drilled them, prepared, for he was born for storms.
A leader, resolute, with strategy
Can meet and overwhelm a mighty foe:
He placed his sharpshooters to hide yet see
The British soldiers at the morning glow.
Men fired from ramparts at the British red,
Bright targets in the rising fog who fell
Like stalks of sugarcane in rain and spread
Across the battlefield while Jackson yelled
Encouragement to men to overcome
The enemy, who finally retreated,
For the King of England’s fighting force,
Strong, well-equipped, had to admit defeat.
With strategy, Old Hickory had won.
The Savior of New Orleans, kind and fierce,
Told his admirers that “we shall become
The strongest nation in the universe.”
Song by Johnny Horton
With shadows of leaves
On the wall behind her, she feeds
The quacking ducks.
Photograph by André Kertész (1894–1985)
National Religious Freedom Day commemorates the Virginia General Assembly‘s adoption of Thomas Jefferson‘s landmark Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom on January 16, 1786. That statute became the basis for the establishment clause of the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution and led to freedom of religion for all Americans.
Religious Freedom Day is officially proclaimed on January 16 each year by an annual statement by the President of the United States.
Could’ve, Should’ve, and Would’ve
Could’ve, Should’ve, and Would’ve
Knocked on my back door.
I said, “I’m going forward,
I don’t want you anymore.”
They moaned and whine and cried,
Stamped their feet and sighed.
I quickly closed the door
And waved to them, “Goodbye.”