The Wall of History

Letter from President Eisenhower

Typed letter signed
President Dwight D. Eisenhower to Supreme Knight Luke E. Hart
August 6, 1954

View the Letter

On the occasion of the 72nd annual Supreme Council meeting in Louisville, President Dwight Eisenhower thanked the Order for its contribution and part in the movement in having the words under God” inserted in the Pledge of Allegiance.

The Knights of Columbus was the leading proponent of the 1954 addition of the words “under God” to the Pledge of Allegiance. U.S. Knights began including the words “under God” in the Pledge of Allegiance in 1951 after the organization’s board of directors adopted a resolution mandating that the amended pledge be formally recited in each of its 750 Fourth Degree assemblies. A year later, the Supreme Council adopted a resolution that urged Congress and the White House to add the words “under God” to the Pledge. Supreme Knight Luke Hart, who was also president of the National Fraternal Congress, persuaded the other 110 fraternal societies to support the resolution as well. The Pledge of Allegiance was formally amended by Congress and signed into law by President Dwight Eisenhower on Flag Day, June 14, 1954. In a letter following the action, President Eisenhower thanked Supreme Knight Hart for the K of C’s work in making the addition of the words “under God,” to the Pledge a reality.