On this day in 1893, a professor stands atop Pikes Peak. She is struck by the beauty around her and is inspired to write a poem. Her poem is later set to music. Today, we all know that song as “America the Beautiful.”
The song nearly became America’s national anthem! And it all started because a professor accepted a summer teaching position in Colorado.
(read the rest of the story at TaraRoss.com – link above) The story concludes:
The poem was paired with many different tunes over the years until, finally, one particular melody by Samuel Ward stuck.
Interestingly, Bates and Ward never met each other. And neither of them really made any money on the song. Instead, the result of their accidental partnership has simply been a great gift to the country.