In 1954 an Akron, Ohio, high school girl, Elizabeth Ellen Evans, wrote a prize-winning essay titled “I Speak for Democracy.” Carmon Dragon, conductor-composer of the School Broadcast, and Adrian Michael’s, the Broadcast’s program manager, read the essay and were impressed by its sincere patriotic feeling. Michaelis developed and adapted the words for musical presentation and Dragon composed the choral-orchestral background for a dramatic narration. The result: “I am an American.” It was first heard on The Standard Hour, broadcast on “I am an American Day,” September 12, 1954, from the War Memorial Opera House in San Francisco. (Narrator: Edmond O’Brien)
I Am An American
I AM AN AMERICAN…listen to my words. Listen well, for my country is a strong country, and my message is a strong message.
I AM AN AMERICAN…and I speak for democracy and the dignity of the individual.
I AM AN AMERICAN…and my ancestors have given their…
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