A newsletter of campus news and events

Wellesley in the News
A synopsis of media accounts mentioning Wellesley, its faculty, students and alumnae

Wellesley Wire
Interested in receiving regular news about Wellesley? An occasional e-mail digest of noteworthy news and announcements plus information about Wellesley faculty, students and alumnae in the news

President's Page
Kim Bottomly named Wellesley's 13th president

America the Beautiful

"America The Beautiful" was written by Katharine Lee Bates, Wellesley Class of 1880, in its original form in the summer of 1893 after a trip to Colorado Springs. It first appeared in print in The Congregationalist two years later, and within a few months Silas G. Pratt set it to music. In 1904, after receiving many requests for use in publications and special services, Katharine Lee Bates rewrote it to simplify the text. She made one additional change in the wording of the third stanza a few years later, to give us the version we know today.

Over sixty original musical settings, some by distinguished musicians, have been written for the hymn. The music by S.A. Ward became the most widely accepted version and is the one still used today.

Amazed by its immediate and lasting success, Katharine Lee Bates wrote: "That the hymn has gained, in these twenty odd years, such a hold as it has upon our people, is clearly due to the fact that Americans are at heart idealists, with a fundamental faith in human brotherhood."

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