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Old 11 December 2011, 10:01 PM
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snopes snopes is offline
Join Date: 18 February 2000
Location: California
Posts: 109,660
Icon106 Irving Berlin's gift of 'God Bless America'

Berlin instructed attorneys to draw up papers. He wanted to guarantee that every cent "God Bless America" ever earned went to a place that he thought would help to make the country's future brighter and stronger. In those months leading up to the U.S. entry into World War II, he selected the Boy Scouts and the Girl Scouts to receive the song's earnings -- specifically, he wanted the royalties to go to Boy Scout and Girl Scout programs in impoverished and disadvantaged areas.

His binding legal instructions are in effect to this day, 73 years after "God Bless America" was first sung by Kate Smith and 22 years after Berlin's death. So far, there has been more than $10 million distributed to Scouting programs, and it's still coming in.
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