CLERIC who got 'under God' into Pledge dies
A church official says the clergyman credited with helping to push Congress to insert the phrase "under God" into the Pledge of Allegiance has died. The Rev. George M. Docherty was 97. Nancy Taylor, historian for the Huntingdon Presbyterian Church, says Rev. Docherty died on Thanksgiving (Nov. 27, 2008) at his home in Alexandria, with his wife, Sue, by his side. Rev. Docherty delivered a sermon saying the pledge should acknowledge God in 1952 at Washington's New York Avenue Presbyterian Church, just blocks from the White House. On Feb. 7, 1954, he delivered it again after learning that President Dwight Eisenhower would be at the church. Congress inserted the words a few months later.
Knot tied, couple finally get to kiss
Won't kiss on the first date? How about waiting until marriage? Chicagoans Melody LaLuz and Claudaniel Fabien shared their first kiss Saturday at the altar. The two teach abstinence at the city's public schools, and the Chicago Tribune reported that the couple had never kissed and had never been alone together in a house. A friend of LaLuz says wedding guests cheered and stomped during the two-minute smooch between the 28-year-old bride and the 30-year-old groom. LaLuz and Fabien said they have no worries about how they will spend their honeymoon in the Bahamas.
Downturn drives military rolls up
In these doom-and-gloom times, there is someone who's hiring: your local military recruiter. The economic downturn and rising unemployment rate are making the military a more attractive option, Pentagon officials say. The active-duty Army, which like other branches has increased benefits and added recruiters, said last month that it had recruited more than 80,000 soldiers during the past fiscal year, the third year in a row it has met its recruiting goals. Measures taken in recent years to boost recruitment include raising the maximum age for recruits from 35 to 42 and increasing enlistment bonuses.
GARDEN CITY, N.Y.
Pumpkin drop gets smashing crowd
What is the sound that a falling pumpkin makes when it hits the ground? Hundreds of people know the answer on Long Island. They paid $9 admission for a "smashing pumpkins" event at the Cradle of Aviation Museum. The crowd cheered Friday as several hundred overripe pumpkins were dropped from a second-story balcony to burst and splatter in a moist explosion of seeds and pulp. The largest weighed several hundred pounds. Eleven-year-old Brian Scala said it was "really cool." The pumpkins will be reused as compost, event sponsors said.
5 deer die in jump from overpass
Police in Indiana said five deer that wandered onto a highway overpass jumped to their deaths on Interstate 69, one of them crashing through a tractor-trailer's windshield. Indiana Department of Natural Resources spokesman John Salb said the deer may have been spooked by cars as they were crossing the overpass Friday. They fell 20 to 30 feet onto the highway. The driver of the tractor-trailer was not injured.