On this date, March 28, 1929, Katherine L. Bates died. A daughter of a Congregationalist, minister, she was a poet and songwriter. Her most famous work, published in 1895, was the patriotic hymn “America the Beautiful.”

She said that her first draft of “American the Beautiful” was jotted down in a notebook after her trip of Pikes Pean in Colorado. She said, “when I saw the view, I felt great joy. All the wonder of America seemed displayed there, with the sea-like expanse.”

The first verse of the original poem.

O beautiful for spacious skies,

For amber waves of grain,

For purple mountain majesties

Above the enameled plain!

America! America!

God shed His grace on thee,

Till souls wax fair as earth and air

And music-hearted sea!

 

The first verse of the song as we sing it today.

O beautiful for spacious skies,

For amber waves of grain,

For purple mountain majesties

Above the fruited plain!

America! America!

God shed his grace on thee

And crown thy good with brotherhood

From sea to shining sea!

From Sea to Shining Sea

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *