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Timeline: Pledge boycott controversy unfolds

Morton Grove Park Commissioner Dan Ashta responds to criticism over his decision not to stand for the Pledge of Allegiance. Asha said government shouldn't require citizens to give praise.  |  Rick Kambic~Sun-Times Media
Library Board member Arthur Goldstein accuses member Cathy Peters of bringing personal feelings into her argument against a $3,000 donation that could benefit the library. | Rick Kambic/Sun-Times Media
Library Board member Cathy Peters points to allegedly insensitive comments on Hemant Mehta's blog and Facebook page, and argues the library should not accept his $3,000 donation. | Rick Kambic/Sun-Times Media
<p>Hemant Mehta runs <a href="http://friendlyatheist.com" target="_blank">friendlyatheist.com</a> and he's fundraising $2,600 to replace the money American Legion Post 134 is pulling from the Morton Grove Park District out of protest. | Photo courtesy of Hemant Mehta</p>
Commander Joseph Lampert tells members of American Legion Post 134 that he confronted Morton Grove Park Commissioner Dan Ashta and relayed the Legion's wish to halt funding.  |  Rick Kambic/Sun-Times Media
Morton Grove Park Commissioner Dan Ashta defends his decision to not stand during the Pledge of Allegiance, saying the First Amendment also affords freedom to not talk.  |  Rick Kambic/Sun-Times Media
Joseph Lampert, the commander for American Legion Post 134, confronts Morton Grove Park Commissioner Dan Ashta, for not standing during the Pledge of Allegiance. The Legion has pulled its funding from Park District programs because of Ashta's stance.  |  Rick Kambic/Sun-Times Media
American Legion color guards Kurt Lepinski, left, and John Mahoney present the flag while general members recite the Pledge of Allegiance during their Oct. 24 meeting.  |  Rick Kambic/Sun-Times Media

Nearly six months ago, the Morton Grove park commissioner was criticized for not standing during the pledge. Controversy truly unfolded after the American Legion yanked cash from the park district due to the pledge boycott. The Morton Grove Champion reported on this topic every step of the way. Check out the media timeline below to learn more about how this story unfolds:

July 18, 2013: Park commissioner criticized for not standing during Pledge

Aug. 15, 2013: Morton Grove Park Board member defends silence during Pledge of Allegiance

Oct. 24, 2013: American Legion yanks cash from Morton Grove Park District due to pledge boycott

Oct. 30, 2013: Atheist teacher supports board member's decision to boycott pledge

Nov. 7, 2013: Letter to the editor: Congrats to American Legion for standing up for pledge

Nov. 21, 2013: Letter to the editor: Park commissioner who won't say pledge 'either very confused or very self-centered'

Nov. 21, 2013: Park commissioner doesn't back down on pledge boycott

Dec. 2, 2013: Morton Grove Park District returns donation to atheist blogger

Dec. 19, 2013: Morton Grove Library Board rejects $3,000 donation from atheist

Dec. 27, 2013: Atheist blogger now plans to donate $3,000 to food pantry

Dec. 31, 2013: "Letter to the editor: "Why a 'no' vote for atheists' donation is a 'yes' for Morton Grove"

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