In the summer of 1893, an English instructor named Katharine Lee Bates from Wellesley College went west to teach a short summer course at Colorado College. And one day a group of teachers took a covered wagon ride to Pikes Peak. Miss Bates was worn out from the wagon ride and the walk to an observation deck at the pinnacle. But when she looked out and saw the sight, she was so thrilled and inspired that she pulled a piece of paper out of her bag and started writing a poem which she called Pikes Peak to be published two years later in the Fourth of July edition of The Congregationalist newspaper. The poem has been engraved on a monument at that viewpoint.
We were lucky enough to be able to visit Pike's Peak last year. It is beautiful up there!
Ray Charles is one of my favorite musical artist. My town, Albany Georgia, boast of being his birthplace. When I listened to the different versions of America The Beautiful on You Tube that Ray Charles sang, this version is the one that I thought really brought out the "soul" of the song.