National Day of Prayer – Dwight D. Eisenhower

National Day of Prayer – Dwight D. Eisenhower

Dwight D Eisenhower prayer

Remarks at the Dedicatory Prayer Breakfast of the International Christian Leadership.
February 5, 1953

Mr. Chairman, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen:
This has been a wholly enjoyable occasion for me except for the one second when I opened the little blue slip and found that it said there would be an address by the President. I assure you, both for your sakes and for mine, there will not be.

There are a few thoughts, though, that crowd into my mind. With your permission I will attempt to utter them in a very informal and homely way.

First, there is a need we all have in these days and times for some help which comes from outside ourselves as we face the multitude of problems that are part of this confusing situation. I do not mean merely help for your leaders or the people in Congress, in the Cabinet and others in authority, because these problems are part of all of us. They face each one of us because we are a free country. Each of us realizes that he has responsibilities that are equal to his privileges and to his rights.

So, as he approaches them at times, he says: “If we only had the simple, the good old days, how easy all this would be. What a nice life.”

Once in a while it might be a good thing for us to turn back to history. Let us study a little bit of what happened at the founding of this Nation.

It is not merely the events that led up to the Revolutionary War. All of the confused problems that we were then called upon to solve were as difficult as those we face now. Did you ever stop to think, for example, that the first year of that war was fought in order that we might establish our right to be free British citizens, not to be independent. From April 1775 until July 4, 1776, there was no struggle for independence. It was a struggle to make people understand that we were free British citizens. So you can understand the confusion of thought that was going on.

So when we came down to the Declaration of Independence, our forefathers had difficulty in meeting their problems which was probably as great for them as we feel our problems today. In the Declaration they acknowledged the need to respect public opinion. They said, “When in the course of human events”-and they went on to say a decent respect for mankind impelled them to declare the decisions which led to the separation. They realized that the good opinion of the whole world was necessary if this venture was to succeed. At least they felt that an understanding of this venture should be abroad in the world.

They went on to try to explain it. What did they say? The very basis of our government is: “We hold that all men are endowed by their Creator” with certain rights.

When we came to that turning point in history, when we intended to establish a government for free men and a Declaration and Constitution to make it last, in order to explain such a system we had to say: “We hold that all men are endowed by their Creator.”

In one sentence we established that every free government is imbedded soundly in a deeply-felt religious faith or it makes no sense. Today if we recall those things and if, in that sense, we can back off from our problems and depend upon a power greater than ourselves, I believe that we begin to draw these problems into focus.

As Benjamin Franklin said at one time during the course of the stormy consultation at the Constitutional Convention, because he sensed that the convention was on the point of breaking up: “Gentlemen, I suggest that we have a word of prayer.” And strangely enough, after a bit of prayer the problems began to smooth out and the convention moved to the great triumph that we enjoy today–the writing of our Constitution.

Today I think that prayer is just simply a necessity, because by prayer I believe we mean an effort to get in touch with the Infinite. We know that even our prayers are imperfect. Even our supplications are imperfect. Of course they are. We are imperfect human beings. But if we can back off from those problems and make the effort, then there is something that ties us all together. We have begun in our grasp of that basis of understanding, which is that all free government is firmly founded in a deeply-felt religious faith.

As we sympathize with our great friends in Holland and Britain today in this distressing disaster that has overtaken them, it is good to know that the American soldiers, the American Navy, the American airmen, are sharing those disasters and are moving in as units and as individuals to help. I have had messages from both of those countries expressing their great thanks to America for the work they are doing. They, to my mind, are part of this understanding that a government such as ours hopes to produce people who are moved by sympathy, by all of those wonderful qualities that are implicit in a deeply-felt religious faith. They are living up to what we hope for our government, both as units and as individuals.

I think my little message this morning is merely this: I have the profound belief that if we remind ourselves once in a while of this simple basic truth that our forefathers in 1776 understood so well, we can hold up our heads and be certain that we in our time are going to be able to preserve the essentials, to preserve as a free government and pass it on, in our turn, as sound, as strong, as good as ever. That, it seems to me, is the prayer that all of us have today.

It has been very wonderful to meet you. Until I started over I had the picture, which Frank Carlson gave me last summer, of a small Congressional group of Congressmen and Senators who met on a morning each week. I had an idea of coming over to see 20 or 25 or maybe 50 people. I had no idea that our host had such a party as this. I do hope I may speak for all of you in thanking him for such a breakfast, the like of which I have not had in 10 years. As long as you feed me grits and sausage, everything will be all right.

Thank you.

Proclamation 3016 – Prayer for Peace, Memorial Day, 1953
May 21, 1953

By the President of the United States of America
A Proclamation

Whereas the bodies of our war dead lie buried in hallowed plots throughout the land, and it has long been our custom to decorate their graves on Memorial Day in token of our respect for them as beloved friends and kinsmen and of our aspiration that war may be removed from the earth forever; and

Whereas it is fitting that, while remembering the sacrifices of our countrymen, we join in united prayers to Almighty God for peace on earth; and

Whereas the Congress, in a joint resolution approved May 11, 1950, provided that Memorial Day should thenceforth be set aside nationally as a day of prayer for permanent peace and requested that the President issue a proclamation calling upon the people of the United States to observe each Memorial Day in that manner:

Now, Therefore, I, Dwight D. Eisenhower, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim Memorial Day, Saturday, May 30, 1953, as a day of prayer for permanent peace, and I designate the hour beginning at eleven o’clock in the morning of that day, Eastern Daylight Saving Time, as a period in which all the people of the Nation, each according to his religious faith, may unite in solemn prayer.

Let us make that day one of twofold dedication. Let us reverently honor those who have fallen in war, and rededicate ourselves through prayer to the cause of peace, to the end that the day may come when we shall never have another war—never another Unknown Soldier.

In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Seal of the United States of America to be affixed.

DONE at the City of Washington this twenty-first day of May in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and fifty-three, and of the Independence of the United States of America the one hundred and seventy-seventh.

DWIGHT D. EISENHOWER

By the President:
WALTER B. SMITH,
Acting Secretary of State

Proclamation 3023 – National Day of Prayer, 1953
June 23, 1953
By the President of the United States of America
A Proclamation

Whereas, at the very beginning of our national existence, the signers of the Declaration of Independence invoked “the protection of divine Providence” with faith and with humility; and

Whereas, since then, we as a Nation have been wont to turn to Almighty God for guidance and strength, especially in times of national stress; and

Whereas, in the words of Abraham Lincoln, penned on one such occasion in the year 1863, “it is the duty of nations as well as of men to own their dependence upon the overruling power of God, to confess their sins and transgressions in humble sorrow, yet with assured hope that genuine repentence will lead to mercy and pardon;” and

Whereas, in recognition of our continuing need for divine aid, the Congress, by a joint resolution approved on April 17, 1952, 66 Stat. 64, provided that the President should set aside and proclaim a suitable day each year, other than a Sunday, as a National Day of Prayer, on which the people of the United States may turn to God in prayer and meditation:

Now, Therefore, I, Dwight D. Eisenhower, President of the United States of America, do hereby designate Saturday, July 4, 1953—the one hundred and seventy-seventh anniversary of the adoption of the Declaration of Independence in firm reliance on God’s transcendent power—as a National Day of Penance and Prayer; and I request all of our people to turn to Him in humble supplication on that day, in their homes or in their respective places of worship. With contrite hearts, let us pray for God’s help in solving the grave problems which confront us, and render thanks to Him for watching over our Nation throughout its history.

In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Seal of the United States of America to be affixed.

DONE at the City of Washington this twenty-third day of June in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and fifty-three, and of the Independence of the United States of America the one hundred and seventy-seventh.

 

Message Recorded for the Observance of World Day of Prayer.
March 2, 1954

 

My friends in many lands:

It is profoundly moving to realize that the 1954 World Day of Prayer is to be observed, in appropriate services, by many millions of people around the globe. These services, beginning in New Zealand and the Tonga Islands, west of the international date line, follow the sun throughout the day, and end 24 hours later, in St. Lawrence Island in Alaska.

Prayer seems to bring closer together in mutual understanding, the people who unite in its practice.

At the very beginning of our own national life, at a time when the Constitutional Convention was plagued by dissension and on the point of breaking up, Benjamin Franklin suggested that all join him in a moment of prayer. After that silent moment, the delegates suddenly seemed to be united in their purposes, and there was born the great document by which we live.

Throughout the history of this country, all the men and women we most revere as inspired leaders constantly sought Divine Guidance in the discharge of their public responsibilities.

Today the innermost longing of mankind is for peace; peace for all nations, for all men, everywhere.

The hosts of people who take part in this World Day of Prayer are seeking the help of the Almighty to find the way toward the goal of peace, toward the triumph of freedom and the unity of men.

In this noble purpose all men of good will may devoutly join.

 

Proclamation 3056 – Prayer for Peace, Memorial Day, 1954
May 27, 1954

By the President of the United States of America
A Proclamation

Whereas May thirtieth has long been a day of public memorial, dedicated to paying homage to our friends and relatives who gave their lives in war for their country and for the cause of peace; and

Whereas in memory of their sacrifices in this noble cause, we should keep faith with our heroic dead by humbly and devoutly supplicating Almighty God for guidance in our efforts to achieve a peaceful world; and

Whereas in manifestation of our longing for concord among nations, the Congress provided, in a joint resolution approved May 11, 1950, that Memorial Day should be set aside as a day for Nationwide prayer for permanent peace, and requested the President to issue a proclamation calling upon the people of the United States to observe each Memorial Day in that manner:

Now, Therefore, I, Dwight D. Eisenhower, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim Memorial Day, Sunday, the thirtieth of May, 1954, as a day of prayer for permanent peace, and I designate the hour beginning in each locality at eleven o’clock in the morning as a period in which the people of the United States may solemnly join in prayer for God’s help in reaching the coveted goal of amity among nations.

In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Seal of the United States of America to be affixed.

DONE at the City of Washington this 27th day of May in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and fifty-four, and of the Independence of the United States of America the one hundred and seventy-eighth.

DWIGHT D. EISENHOWER

By the President:
JOHN FOSTER DULLES,
Secretary of State

Proclamation 3064 – National Day of Prayer, 1954
August 11, 1954
By the President of the United States of America
A Proclamation

Whereas the Congress, by a joint resolution approved on April 17, 1952 (66 Stat. 64), provided that the President “shall set aside and proclaim a suitable day each year, other than a Sunday, as a National Day of Prayer, on which the people of the United States may turn to God in prayer and meditation”; and

Whereas Americans of every generation have sought and found in Almighty God help and guidance in their personal and national problems; and

Whereas it is fitting that all Americans should unite in prayer on one day of each year in reaffirmation of our reliance upon divine support and our faith in the power of prayer:

Now, Therefore, I, Dwight D. Eisenhower, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim Wednesday, September 22, 1954, as a National Day of Prayer, when all of us may give thanks for blessings received, and beseech God to strengthen us in our efforts toward a peaceful world.

In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Seal of the United States of America to be affixed.

DONE at the City of Washington this eleventh day of August in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and fifty-four, and of the Independence of the United States of America the one hundred and seventy-ninth.

Statement by the President: National Day of Prayer.
September 21, 1954
IN COMMON WITH religious people everywhere, we in America know that the true cure for the tensions that threaten and too often produce war lies not in guns and bombs but in the spirits and minds of men. We are firm in the belief that faith is the mightiest force that man has at his command. On September twenty-second, we are therefore observing, with an act of faith, a national day of prayer. Throughout the United States of America, whatever our ancestry, whatever our religious affiliation, we shall offer simultaneously to the Almighty our personal prayers for the devotion, wisdom and stamina to work unceasingly for a just and lasting peace for all mankind.

I most earnestly hope that men and women, boys and girls over all the world will join us on that day in that act of faith. May the many millions of people shut away from contact and communion with peoples of the free world join their prayers with ours. May the world be ringed with an act of faith so strong as to. annihilate the cruel, artificial barriers erected by little men between the peoples who seek peace on earth through the Divine Spirit.

Proclamation 3096 – Prayer for Peace, Memorial Day, 1955
May 24, 1955

By the President of the United States of America
A Proclamation

Whereas Memorial Day each year serves as a solemn reminder of the scourge of war and its bitter aftermath of sorrow; and

Whereas this day has traditionally been devoted to paying homage to loved ones who lie in hallowed graves throughout the land, having sacrificed their lives that war might end; and

Whereas in tribute to these silent dead it is fitting that we lift up our voices together in supplication to Almighty God for wisdom in our search for an enduring peace; and

Whereas the Congress, in a joint resolution approved May 11, 1950, provided that Memorial Day should be set aside as a day of prayer for permanent peace, and requested the President to issue a proclamation calling upon the people of the United States to observe each Memorial Day in that manner:

Now, Therefore, I, Dwight D. Eisenhower, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim Memorial Day, Monday, the thirtieth of May, 1955, as a day of Nation-wide prayer for permanent peace, and I designate the hour beginning in each locality at eleven o’clock in the morning as a period in which the people of this Nation may unite in beseeching God to guide the nations of the world into the ways of peace.

In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Seal of the United States of America to be affixed.

DONE at the City of Washington this twenty-fourth day of May in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and fifty-five, and of the Independence of the United States of America the one hundred and seventy-ninth.

DWIGHT D. EISENHOWER

By the President:
JOHN FOSTER DULLES,
Secretary of State

Proclamation 3120 – National Day of Prayer, 1955
October 18, 1955
By the President of the United States of America
A Proclamation

Whereas all of those whom we have revered as leaders throughout our history have been wont to turn to Almighty God in thanks for His providence and in suppliance for His guidance; and

Whereas it is fitting that we of this generation, who are the heirs of their handiwork, should emulate those inspired builders of our Nation and should turn our hearts and minds to things spiritual; and

Whereas, recognizing that prayer has been a vital force in the growth and development of our country, the Congress, by a joint resolution approved on April 17, 1952, provided that the President should set aside and proclaim a suitable day each year, other than a Sunday, as a National Day of Prayer, on which the people of the United States might turn to God in prayer and meditation:

Now, Therefore, I, Dwight D. Eisenhower, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim Wednesday, the twenty-sixth day of October, 1955, as a National Day of Prayer; and I ask each of our people on that day wherever he may be—at church, home, factory, or office—to pray particularly for God’s blessing upon the councils of those who labor for increased international understanding, and upon the efforts of all men who strive for a just and lasting peace.

In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Seal of the United States of America to be affixed.

DONE at the City of Washington this eighteenth day of October in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and fifty-five, and of the Independence of the United States of America the one hundred and eightieth.

Proclamation 3136 – Prayer for Peace, Memorial Day, 1956
May 15, 1956

By the President of the United States of America
A Proclamation

Whereas mankind throughout the ages has constantly sought for an enduring peace founded on mercy and justice; and

Whereas we are humbly aware that only through divine guidance can we find the course which we should follow to achieve permanent peace, and the strength and courage to pursue that course patiently and unceasingly until the goal is attained; and

Whereas it is eminently fitting that on May 30, Memorial Day, an anniversary devoted to the memory of our heroic dead who gave their lives in the cause of peace, we should turn to Almighty God in concerted prayer for wisdom in our striving for harmony among the nations of the world; and

Whereas in evidence of our longing for such harmony, the Congress provided, in a joint resolution approved May 11, 1950, that Memorial Day should thenceforth be observed as a day of Nationwide prayer for permanent peace:

Now, Therefore, I, Dwight D. Eisenhower, President of the United States of America, do hereby call upon the people of this Nation to observe Memorial Day, May 30, 1956, as a day on which all of us, in our churches, in our homes, and in our hearts, may beseech God to guide our steps into the paths leading to permanent peace; and I designate the hour beginning in each locality at eleven o’clock in the morning as a period in which we may unite in humble petition for His help in reaching that goal.

In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Seal of the United States of America to be affixed.

DONE at the City of Washington this 15th day of May in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and fifty-six, and of the Independence of the United States of America the one hundred and eightieth.

DWIGHT D. EISENHOWER

By the President:
JOHN FOSTER DULLES,
Secretary of State

Proclamation 3150 – National Day of Prayer, 1956
August 29, 1956
By the President of the United States of America
A Proclamation

Whereas, as a people, we are greatly blessed, both materially and spiritually, and it is fitting that we should recognize the hand of God in every matter affecting us individually and as a Nation; and

Whereas, with this precept in mind, the Congress, by a joint resolution approved April 17, 1952, provided that the President “shall set aside and proclaim a suitable day each year, other than a Sunday, as a National Day of Prayer, on which the people of the United States may turn to God in prayer and meditation”; and

Whereas the appointed day is one on which to give solemn thought to the mercies bestowed upon us, to lift up our voices in unified thanks for the spiritual blessings we enjoy, especially the profound blessing of freedom, and to acknowledge in all things the presence of Almighty God:

Now, Therefore, I, Dwight D. Eisenhower, President of the United States of America, in consonance with the Congressional resolution, do hereby proclaim Wednesday, September 12, 1956, as a National Day of Prayer, on which all of us, in our places of business, in our places of worship, in our homes, and in our hearts, may beseech God to continue to watch over us in our daily lives and in the conduct of our national affairs. Let us also render thanks to Him for the manifold bounties vouchsafed us throughout our history.

In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Seal of the United States of America to be affixed.

DONE at the City of Washington this 29th day of August in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and fifty-six, and of the Independence of the United States of America the one hundred and eighty-first.

Proclamation 3185 – Prayer for Peace, Memorial Day, 1957
May 21, 1957

By the President of the United States of America
A Proclamation

Whereas Memorial Day each year has long provided a fitting occasion upon which to honor our fellow citizens who have given their lives for us in war; and

Whereas the remembrance of their endless sacrifice impels us to seek divine guidance as we continue their search for a just and lasting peace; and

Whereas to this end the Congress, in a joint resolution approved May 11, 1950 (64 Stat. 158), provided that May 30, Memorial Day, should thenceforth be set aside nationally as a day of prayer for permanent peace, and requested that the President issue a proclamation calling upon the people to observe each Memorial Day in that manner:

Now, Therefore, I, Dwight D. Eisenhower, President of the United States of America, do hereby designate Memorial Day, Thursday, the thirtieth of May, 1957, as a day of prayer for permanent peace. I call upon all the people of the Nation to dedicate that day to prayer; and I designate the hour beginning in each locality at eleven o’clock in the morning as a period in which all of us, wherever we may be, may lift up our voices in thanksgiving for the courage of our fallen, in supplication for God’s aid in averting war and in dedication to unceasing work for the attainment of a peaceful world.

In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Seal of the United States of America to be affixed.

DONE at the City of Washington this 21st day of May in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and fifty-seven, and of the Independence of the United States of America the one hundred and eighty-first.

DWIGHT D. EISENHOWER

By the President:
JOHN FOSTER DULLES,
Secretary of State

Proclamation 3194 – National Day of Prayer, 1957
August 8, 1957
By the President of the United States of America
A Proclamation

Whereas, we are grateful for the faith in which our fathers found their strength, and for the hope which has guided our Nation from the earliest days; and

Whereas, it is a good thing for a people unitedly to remember their heritage of spirit, and to refresh themselves daily in the Divine Truth which is their most precious inheritance; and

Whereas, in our steady drive for enduring peace among men we must always seek the aid of the Father of mankind; and

Whereas, the Congress, by a joint resolution approved April 17, 1952, has provided that the President “shall set aside and proclaim a suitable day each year, other than a Sunday, as a National Day of Prayer, on which the people of the United States may turn to God in prayer”:

Now, Therefore, I, Dwight D. Eisenhower, President of the United States of America, do hereby set aside Wednesday, the second day of October 1957, as a National Day of Prayer; and I call upon our citizens, each according to his own faith, to unite in prayer and meditation on that day.

In constant dependence upon our Creator for the spiritual gifts required in the conduct of our affairs as individuals and as a Nation, let us now ask for wisdom and strength to fulfill the high purposes for which we are called, seeking the welfare of all peoples through a just and lasting peace across the face of the earth, bringing happiness to the home of the humblest family and to the courts of the Almighty. Let us pray with eager expectation that we may be inspired to sacrifice, at home and abroad, to achieve a life worthy of the children of God, for all men, everywhere.

In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Seal of the United States of America to be affixed.

DONE at the City of Washington this eighth day of August in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and fifty-seven, and of the Independence of the United States of America the one hundred and eighty-second.

 

Proclamation 3242 – Prayer for Peace, Memorial Day, 1958
May 17, 1958

By the President of the United States of America
A Proclamation

It has long been our custom, on Memorial Day of each year, to visit the graves of those who have served our Nation in battle, and to pay homage to their memory.

Remembering their sacrifices, and knowing the ever-present threat of war which casts its shadow across the future, our hearts are filled with a yearning for peace.

Acknowledging in truth that only through divine guidance can we secure the requisite groundwork of justice and understanding for the attainment of a peaceful world, we turn to Almighty God in suppliance for His aid.

In manifestation of this need, the Congress provided, in a joint resolution approved May 11, 1950, that Memorial Day should be set aside as a day for Nation-wide prayer for permanent peace, and requested the President to issue a proclamation calling upon the people of the United States to observe each Memorial Day in that manner.

Now, Therefore, I, Dwight D. Eisenhower, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim Memorial Day, Friday, the thirtieth day of May, 1958, as a day of prayer for permanent peace, and I designate the hour beginning in each locality at eleven o’clock in the morning as the period in which all of us may unite in prayer for strength to work unceasingly toward the goal of permanent peace on earth.

In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Seal of the United States of America to be affixed.

DONE at the City of Washington this 17th day of May in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and fifty-eight, and of the Independence of the United States of America the one hundred and eighty-second.

DWIGHT D. EISENHOWER

By the President:
JOHN FOSTER DULLES,
Secretary of State

Proclamation 3252 – National Day of Prayer, 1958
August 1, 1958
By the President of the United States of America
A Proclamation

Our fathers trusted in God, and they were not confounded. Believing that all men are “endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights,” they conquered the wilderness, built homes, charted the course of free institutions, and defended their liberties against forces which threatened from within and from without.

In our time, buffeted by unprecedented changes and challenged by an aggressive denial of Divine Providence, we have continuing need of the wisdom and strength that come from God, and we shall always find our highest satisfaction in a steadfast purpose to know and to do His will.

In this spirit, the Congress, by a joint resolution approved April 17, 1952 (66 Stat. 64), has provided “That the President shall set aside and proclaim a suitable day each year, other than a Sunday, as a National Day of Prayer, on which the people of the United States may turn to God in prayer and meditation at churches, in groups, and as individuals.”

It is a privilege to carry out this resolution, and I accordingly set aside Wednesday, the first day of October 1958, as a National Day of Prayer; and I call upon my fellow Americans and all who may be visitors in our country, each according to his own faith, to join in prayer for our Nation and for all mankind, and especially:

First, that we may be humbly mindful that this Nation, under God, arrived at its present position by the toil and sacrifice of many citizens who subordinated personal interests to the common welfare and passed on to us a heritage with which we are singularly blessed;

Second, that we may have Divine guidance in our efforts to lead our children in the paths of truth and to provide a healthy environment in which they may grow in body, mind, and spirit;

Third, that we may ever exercise a compassionate concern for human suffering, whether at home or in distant lands, and that we may strive to alleviate hunger, eradicate disease, and advance the well-being of our neighbors;

Fourth, that we may be saved from blinding pride and from any act hurtful to the concord of free nations joined in building a just and durable peace under the guiding hand of Almighty God;

And, finally, that we may have courage to move forward in the unconquerable spirit of a free people, strong in faith, having a will to endure the burdens which have been given us to carry in our day, and to work toward goals of human betterment which may be attained only beyond our span of years.

In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Seal of the United States of America to be affixed.

DONE at the City of Washington this first day of August in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and fifty-eight, and of the Independence of the United States of America the one hundred and eighty-third.

Proclamation 3293 – Prayer for Peace, Memorial Day, 1959
May 20, 1959

By the President of the United States of America
A Proclamation

Whereas history records that our Nation was born in struggle and turbulence; that it has survived recurring crises which have tried the souls of men; and that the maintenance of our freedom has required constant vigilance, unified strength, and the willingness of our people to make all necessary sacrifices; and

Whereas we are accustomed to join together on one day of each year in grateful tribute to our forebears and to our fellow citizens who have given their lives for us on the field of battle; and

Whereas, since we must seek to know, to accept, and to accomplish the will of Almighty God, and since we believe it to be His will that peace on earth shall some day prevail, it is fitting that we pray for Divine help in building a world in which the families of men may prosper together in justice and in honor; and

Whereas the Congress, by a joint resolution approved May 11, 1950 (64 Stat. 158), authorized and requested the President to issue a proclamation calling upon the people of the United States to observe May 30 of each year, which is Memorial Day, by praying, each in accordance with his own religious faith, for permanent peace:

Now, Therefore, I, Dwight D. Eisenhower, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim Memorial Day, Saturday, May 30, 1959, as a day of prayer for permanent peace, and I designate the hour beginning in each locality at eleven o’clock in the morning as the time to unite in such prayer.

I call upon the newspapers, radio, television, and other media of information to assist in this observance. And I urge the people of the United States to join with one another in asking our Creator to bestow His benediction upon our fallen heroes, and in beseeching Him to give us the strength to go forward in confidence with what we have come to think we know—and in the right God gives us to see.

In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Seal of the United States of America to be affixed.

DONE at the City of Washington this 20th day of May in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and fifty-nine, and of the Independence of the United States of America the one hundred and eighty-third.

DWIGHT D. EISENHOWER

By the President:
DOUGLAS DILLON,
Acting Secretary of State.

 

Proclamation 3305 – National Day of Prayer, 1959
July 30, 1959
By the President of the United States of America
A Proclamation

Whereas this continent was chosen by men and women of profound religious conviction, seeking a free land where they and their children might worship God and follow His commandments as they understood them; and

Whereas our Nation was conceived in the same faith and dedicated to the same purpose; and

Whereas in this tradition, by a joint resolution approved April 17, 1952 (66 Stat. 64), the Congress has provided that “the President shall set aside and proclaim a suitable day each year, other than a Sunday, as a National Day of Prayer, on which the people of the United States may turn to God in prayer and meditation at churches, in groups, and as individuals.”:

Now, Therefore, I, Dwight D. Eisenhower, President of the United States of America, do hereby set aside Wednesday, the seventh day of October, as a National Day of Prayer; and I call upon my fellow Americans to join in prayer on that day.

Let us give thanks for the bounty of Providence which has made possible the growth and promise of our land.

Let us give thanks for the heritage of free inquiry, sound industry, and boundless vision which have enabled us to advance the general welfare of our people to unprecedented heights.

Let us remember that our God is the God of all men, that only as all men are free can liberty be secure for any, and that only as all prosper can any be content in their good fortune.

Let us join in vigorous concern for those who now endure suffering of body, mind or spirit, and let us seek to relieve their distress and to assist them in their way toward health, well-being, and enlightenment.

Finally, let us rededicate ourselves and our Nation to the highest loyalties which we know; and let us breathe deeply of the clean air of courage, preparing ourselves to meet the obligations of our day in trust, in gratitude, and in the supreme confidence of men who have accomplished much united under God.

In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Seal of the United States of America to be affixed.

DONE at the City of Washington this thirtieth day of July in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and fifty-nine, and of the Independence of the United States of America the one hundred and eighty-fourth.

 

Proclamation 3348 – Prayer for Peace, Memorial Day, 1960
May 13, 1960

By the President of the United States of America
A Proclamation

Whereas on Memorial Day of each year it is our custom to honor our fore-fathers and our compatriots who have laid down their lives that we might live in freedom; and

Whereas we are forever grateful to them for their heroic sacrifice; and

Whereas in today’s world we face a challenge which demands of us the same qualities of strength, high courage, and love of country that characterized our heroes of the past; and

Whereas the Congress, by a joint resolution approved May 11, 1950 (64 Stat. 158), authorized and requested the President to issue a proclamation “calling upon the people of the United States to observe each May 30, Memorial Day, by praying, each in accordance with his religious faith, for permanent peace”:

Now, Therefore, I, Dwight D. Eisenhower, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim Memorial Day, Monday, May 30, 1960, as a day of prayer for permanent peace, and I designate the hour beginning in each locality at eleven o’clock in the morning of that day as the time to unite in such prayer.

I urge the newspapers, the broadcasting facilities of radio and television, and all other media of public information to participate in this observance.

And I call upon the people of the United States to join with one another, at the appointed time, in churches and other appropriate places in asking the blessing of God on those who have given their lives for the Nation, in offering thanks for God’s manifold mercies, and in beseeching His aid in the building of a world based on freedom and justice, where all men may live in friendship and war shall be no more.

In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Seal of the United States of America to be affixed.

DONE at the City of Washington this thirteenth day of May in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and sixty, and of the Independence of the United States of America the one hundred and eighty-fourth.

DWIGHT D. EISENHOWER

By the President:
DOUGLAS DILLON,
Acting Secretary of State.

 

Proclamation 3359 – National Day of Prayer, 1960
July 22, 1960
By the President of the United States of America
A Proclamation

Whereas by the grace of God we live in a good land where each citizen can enjoy the blessings of liberty; and

Whereas our forebears did establish in this land a Nation whose law defends and whose spirit ever nourishes that liberty; and

Whereas the Congress, by a joint resolution approved April 17, 1952 (66 Stat. 64), sought to remind our citizens of this heritage by providing that the President “shall set aside and proclaim a suitable day each year, other than a Sunday, as a National Day of Prayer, on which the people of the United States may turn to God in prayer and meditation”:

Now, Therefore, I, Dwight D. Eisenhower, President of the United States of America, do hereby set aside Wednesday, the fifth day of October 1960, as a National Day of Prayer; and I call upon my countrymen to observe it, remembering:

First, that it is not by our strength alone, nor by our own righteousness, that we have deserved the abundant gifts of our Creator;

Second, that the heritage of a faith born of hope and raised in sacrifice lays upon its heirs the high calling of being generous and responsible stewards in our own and among the kindred nations of the earth;

Third, that in this time of testing we shall ever place our trust in the keeping of God’s commandments, knowing that He who has brought us here requires Justice and mercy in return;

And finally, that as we lift our thankful hearts to Him, we will see clearly the vision of the world that is meant to be and set our hearts resolutely toward the achievement of it.

In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Seal of the United States of America to be affixed.

DONE at the City of Washington this twenty-second day of July in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and sixty, and of the Independence of the United States of America the one hundred and eighty-fifth.

 

National Day of Prayer

 

Prayer Breakfasts – Dwight Eisenhower

blessing 4

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