9 things you didn't know about "America the Beautiful"

America the Beautiful is my favorite song about our great nation. On a recent vacation to Colorado, we learned that Katharine Lee Bates wrote the lyrics to the song after traveling to the top of Pike's Peak. When we were on the Cog Railway to make our descent down the mountain, riders spontaneously started singing America the Beautiful. It was, in fact, beautiful and a sweet moment to share with my tween.

Click through for 9 facts about the writing of the patriotic song and its place in American history as well as the America the Beautiful lyrics. I need to hear the Ray Charles version of the song (find it at #8) every Independence Day for it to feel like the holiday. Please share your favorite version in the comments.

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