Friday, June 15, 2012

I Am An American Day

When I was a kid growing up everyone celebrated I Am An American Day. It was a national holiday. Everyone celebrated. There were parades that most "everyone" attended. 

I lived  in The Bronx. We usually went downtown to see the parade on Fifth Avenue. At times i think we may have also had a parade on the Grand Concourse and attended that one.We all wore a pin (big metal button) with a picture of an American Flag and the words  "I Am An American Day" emblazoned on the top the pin. All of us had American flags, about 8 x 10 or so in size, on a white round wood stick pole with a gold colored point at the top, and we waved them vigorously at the parade. We may have typically bought our flag at Sol and Moe's, our corner candy store on Kingsbridge Road corner Morris Avenue.

I Am An American Day was a very special day and celebration of which we all were very, very, proud to be Americans. We all had strong feelings for our country, particularly on this very, special day when a feeling of Patriotism permeated the air, our country, and our citizens one and ALL. I can recall feeling as everyone, really very, very proud of being an American.

Ask folks who were kids in the nineteen forties if they remember celebrating I Am An American Day and what their memories are, and ask them to tell you about the day and importantly, the patriotic times and let me know what you hear and are told please.

In 1939, William Randolph Hearst advocated, through his chain of daily newspapers, the creation of a holiday to celebrate citizenship. In 1940, Congress designated the third Sunday in May as I am an American Day. By 1949, governors of all 48 states had issued Constitution Day proclamations. On February 29, 1952, Congress moved that observance to September 17th and renamed it "Citizenship Day".