Statement from Kate Smith Commemorative Society

The recent news regarding the New York Yankees ill-considered, knee-jerk decision to drop the use of Kate Smith's recording of "God Bless America" is both shocking and disturbing. Shocking because it seemingly came out of nowhere after someone discovered a couple of obscure and long-forgotten recordings done 90 years ago and apparently was offended. The Philadelphia Flyers quickly followed suit and even went as far as to actually remove the statue of Kate they had erected some years ago to honor her support of their team.

We find this unfortunate turn of events disturbing as well, for it is yet another example of the harmful excesses of the questionable concept of "political correctness," and the unfair and all-too-frequent tendency to judge events of the past by the standards and sensibilities of the present. And in this case especially, as it threatens the memory and legacy of a beloved American entertainer and patriot.

It would be impossible to cite all the causes and charities Kate Smith supported, and the awards she received during the course of her remarkable 50-year career. Additionally, her tireless efforts in supporting the nation's cause during the difficult years of World War II are legendary. Her classic rendition of "God Bless America" inspired and encouraged all Americans, both on the home-front and the battle-front.

Please know that we have received countless messages of support for Our Kate, and equally numerous expressions of outrage at what has been allowed to occur.

Therefore, on behalf of our membership--and all fans of Kate Smith--we strongly urge both the New York Yankees and the Philadelphia Flyers to restore Kate Smith and "God Bless America" before further undeserved harm is done to the memory of this Great Lady...and to your teams as well.

And be assured that when she again sings out in New York and Philadelphia--and she must!--she will be met with resounding ovations, as will your apologies.

For additional reading:

Kate Smith, a product of her era, put the fliers in a no-win situation: An open letter to Kate Smith, Philadelphia Inquirer, April 20, 2019

Kate Smith called for racial tolerance in this forgotten 1945 radio address, April 25, 2019

God Bless America, Claremont Review of Books, Spring 2019

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Last Updated September 2, 2020