Thursday, July 24, 2008
American Minute for July 24th:
Tennessee's Constitutional Convention composed its State Constitution in 1796. The U.S. Congress accepted it and President George Washington signed the bill admitting Tennessee as the 16th State on June 1, 1796. The Tennessee Constitution, Article XI, Section III, stated: "All men have a natural and indefeasible right to worship Almighty God according to the dictates of their own consciences." Though Article XI, Section IV, stated: "No religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under this State," Article VIII, Section II, stated: "No person who denies the being of God, or a future state of rewards and punishments, shall hold any office in the civil department of this State." After the Civil War, Tennessee was the first State readmitted to the Union on JULY 24, 1866. President Andrew Johnson issued a Proclamation of Amnesty and Pardon to former Confederates on September 7, 1867: "Every person who shall seek to avail himself of this proclamation shall take the following oath...'I do solemnly swear, in the presence of Almighty God, that I will henceforth faithfully support...the Constitution of the United States...So help me God.'"