American Minute with Bill Federer
President Washington declared a National Day of Prayer after the Whiskey Rebellion, as did President John Adams when France threatened war, and President Madison during the War of 1812.
President Tyler declared a Day of Prayer when President Harrison died, and as did President Taylor during a cholera epidemic.
President Buchanan proclaimed a Day of Prayer to avert civil strife, as did Lincoln during the Civil War.
President Andrew Johnson proclaimed a Day of Prayer when Lincoln was shot, as did President Wilson during World War I.
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 Reagan made it 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."