After I graduated from college, I was delighted when my Texas Congressman hired me to work in his Washington office. I was in DC just in time to witness several events leading to the passage of the historic Civil Rights Act of 1964, and the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
Besides my work with the Congressman’s staff, I was also assigned to the House Doorkeeper’s office; that meant I was charged with permitting only members of Congress and authorized staff, access to the House Chamber. Looking back on my Capitol Hill career, I consider that service as one of the most fascinating jobs I ever held.
"The occasion has been judged proper for asserting, as a principle in which the rights and interests of the United States are involved, that the American continents, by the free and independent condition which they have assumed and maintain, are henceforth not to be considered as subjects for future colonization by any European powers.
"We owe it, therefore, to candor and to the amicable relations existing between the United States and those powers to declare that we should consider any attempt on their part to extend their system to any portion of this hemisphere as dangerous to our peace and safety. With the existing colonies or dependencies of any European power we have not interfered and shall not interfere. But with the Governments who have declared their independence and maintained it, and whose independence we have, on great consideration and on just principles, acknowledged, we could not view any interposition for the purpose of oppressing them, or controlling in any other manner their destiny, by any European power in any other light than as the manifestation of an unfriendly disposition toward the United States."
That’s the question that author and publisher David Bruce Smith is investigating in the Grateful American® Foundation.
Our mission is to make it fun to learn about American history,” says Smith, who borrowed the idea for the Grateful American™ Foundation from his father, developer and philanthropist Robert H. Smith. “My father always referred to himself as a Grateful American. He realized that the community and this country have been good to our family, and he wanted to give back. This Foundation is my way of doing the same.”