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Respectfully Quoted: A Dictionary of Quotations. 1989.

AUTHOR: Carl Sandburg (1878–1967)
QUOTATION: I see America, not in the setting sun of a black night of despair ahead of us, I see America in the crimson light of a rising sun fresh from the burning, creative hand of God. I see great days ahead, great days possible to men and women of will and vision …
ATTRIBUTION: CARL SANDBURG, interview with Frederick Van Ryn, This Week Magazine, January 4, 1953, p. 11.

Sandburg had used these words previously at a rally at Madison Square Garden, New York City, October 28, 1952, praising Adlai E. Stevenson during his 1952 presidential campaign.—The Papers of Adlai E. Stevenson, vol. 4, p. 175 (1955).

A similar prediction was made by Benjamin Franklin nearly two centuries earlier in a letter to George Washington, March 5, 1780: “I must soon quit the Scene, but you may live to see our Country flourish, as it will amazingly and rapidly after the War is over. Like a Field of young Indian Corn, which long Fair weather and Sunshine had enfeebled and discolored, and which in that weak State, by a Thunder Gust, of violent Wind, Hail, and Rain, seem’d to be threaten’d with absolute Destruction; yet the Storm being past, it recovers fresh Verdure, shoots up with double Vigour, and delights the Eye, not of its Owner only, but of every observing Traveller.”—The Writings of Benjamin Franklin, ed. Albert H. Smyth, vol. 8, p. 29 (1907).