US History On This Day
George M. Cohan Was Born
July 3, 1878
songwriter may have won a Grammy, but what about a medal from
Congress? In 1940, Congress awarded George M. Cohan a special
medal for composing "Over There." Cohan wrote the song as a
patriotic tribute when the U.S. entered World War I. Have you
heard of it? If not, there's another song he wrote that you
might sing at school.
Besides "Over There,"
Cohan also wrote, "You're a Grand Old Flag" and "I'm a Yankee
Doodle Dandy." George M. Cohan was born on July 3, 1878, in
Providence, Rhode Island. He had little formal training, but he
and his sister joined their parents' vaudeville act and became
known as "The Four Cohans." Cohan had many talents. He not only
wrote songs, but also he acted and wrote plays. The movie
"Yankee Doodle Dandy" was made about his career.
Next time you're watching television, see if you can find it on
an old movie station, or rent it. Then you'll get to see the
kind of song and dance people watched before the Grammys and