American Minute with Bill Federer
“In 1775, the Continental Congress proclaimed the first National Day of Prayer…
In 1783, the Treaty of Paris officially ended the long, weary Revolutionary War during which a National Day of Prayer had been proclaimed every spring for eight years.”
– President Reagan, January 27, 1983
President Washington declared a National Day of Prayer after the Whiskey Rebellion.
President John Adams declared a two National Days of Prayer and Fasting when France threatened war.
President Madison two National Day of Prayer and a National Day of Prayer and Fasting during the War of 1812.
President Tyler proclaimed a National Day of Prayer and Fasting when President Harrison died in office.
President Taylor declared a National Day of Fasting and Prayer during a cholera epidemic.
President Buchanan declared a National Day of Prayer and Fasting to avert civil strife.
In 1863, Lincoln stated in his National Day of Prayer and Fasting Proclamation:
“The awful calamity of civil war, which now desolates the land, may be but a punishment inflicted upon us for our presumptuous sins…
We have forgotten God. We have forgotten the gracious Hand which preserved us in peace, and multiplied and enriched and strengthened us; and we have vainly imagined, in the deceitfulness of our hearts, that all these blessings were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own.
Intoxicated with unbroken success, we have become too self-sufficient to feel the necessity of redeeming and preserving grace, too proud to pray to the God that made us!
It behooves us then to humble ourselves before the offended Power, to confess our national sins and to pray for clemency and forgiveness.”
When Lincoln was shot, President Andrew Johnson proclaimed a Day of Prayer.
When President McKinley was shot, President Theodore Roosevelt declared a National Day of Prayer.
In 1918, when the U.S. entered World War I, President Wilson proclaimed a National Day of Prayer and Fasting:
“Whereas…in a time of war humbly…to acknowledge our dependence on Almighty God and to implore His aid…
I, Woodrow Wilson, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim…a day of public humiliation, prayer and fasting, and do exhort my fellow-citizens…to pray Almighty God that He may forgive our sins.”
Coolidge declared a National Day of Prayer at the death of Warren Harding.
On December 21, 1941, President Franklin D. Roosevelt stated:
“I have set aside a Day of Prayer, and in that Proclamation I have said: ‘The year 1941 has brought upon our Nation a war of aggression by powers dominated by arrogant rulers whose selfish purpose is to destroy free institutions….
Therefore, I…do hereby appoint the first day of the year 1942 as a Day of Prayer, of asking forgiveness for our shortcomings of the past, of consecration to the tasks of the present, of asking God’s help in days to come.'”
In 1952, President Truman made the National Day of Prayer an annual event, stating:
“In times of national crisis when we are striving to strengthen the foundations of peace…we stand in special need of Divine support.”
President Eisenhower had a Back-to-God Program and put “under God” into the Pledge of Allegiance.
President Nixon had a National Day of Prayer when Apollo 13 had a life-threatening explosion in space.
President Reagan made the National Day of Prayer the first Thursday in May, saying:
“Americans in every generation have turned to their Maker in prayer…
We have acknowledged both our dependence on Almighty God and the help He offers us as individuals and as a Nation…
Now, Therefore, I, Ronald Reagan, President of the United States… do… proclaim MAY 5, 1988, as a National Day of Prayer. I call upon the citizens of our great Nation to gather together on that day in homes and places of worship to pray.”
World War II in Europe ended on VE Day (Victory-in-Europe), MAY 7, 1945.
National Socialist Workers Party emissaries unconditionally surrendered to the Supreme Allied Commander General Dwight Eisenhower at his headquarters in a schoolhouse at Reims, France.
Less than four months later, World War II ended in the Pacific.
In total, an estimated 75 million people died in the War, including 20 million soldiers and 40 million civilians.
Following World War II, the United States and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics emerged as rival superpowers, beginning the Cold War.
Dwight Eisenhower became a Presidential Candidate in the 1952 election.
Addressing the Communist threat, Dwight Eisenhower stated in Virginia’s Religious Herald, January 25, 1952:
“What is our battle against Communism if it is not a fight between anti-God and a belief in the Almighty?…
Communists…have to eliminate God from their system. When God comes, Communism has to go.”
Born in Denison, Texas, Eisenhower grew up in Abilene, Kansas, where the Eisenhower Museum is located.
Laying the cornerstone of the Museum, Dwight Eisenhower stated, as recorded in TIME Magazine, June 5, 1952:
“In spite of the…problems we have, I ask you this one question:
If each of us in his own mind would dwell more upon those simple virtues – integrity, courage, self-confidence and unshakable belief in his Bible – would not some of these problems tend to simplify themselves?…
Free government is the political expression of a deeply felt religious faith.”
TIME Magazine published an article titled “Faith of the Candidates,” September 22, 1952, in which Dwight Eisenhower stated:
“You can’t explain free government in any other terms than religious.
The founding fathers had to refer to the Creator in order to make their revolutionary experiment make sense; it was because ‘all men are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights’ that men could dare to be free.”
Dwight Eisenhower was quoted in the TIME Magazine article, “Eisenhower on Communism,” October 13, 1952:
“The Bill of Rights contains no grant of privilege for a group of people to destroy the Bill of Rights.
A group – like the Communist conspiracy – dedicated to the ultimate destruction of all civil liberties, cannot be allowed to claim civil liberties as its privileged sanctuary from which to carry on subversion of the Government.”
Dwight Eisenhower was elected the 34th President by the largest number of votes in history to that date.
On February 7, 1954, President Eisenhower supported the American Legion “Back-to-God” Program, broadcasting from the White House:
“As a former soldier, I am delighted that our veterans are sponsoring a movement to increase our awareness of God in our daily lives.
In battle, they learned a great truth-that there are no atheists in the foxholes. They know that in time of test and trial, we instinctively turn to God for new courage…
Whatever our individual church, whatever our personal creed, our common faith in God is a common bond among us.”
In the next year’s “Back-to-God” Program, February 20, 1955, President Eisenhower stated:
“Without God, there could be no American form of Government, nor an American way of life.
Recognition of the Supreme Being is the first – the most basic – expression of Americanism.”
Bill Federer www.AmericanMinute.com