The National Day of Prayer is a vital part of our heritage. Since the first call to prayer in 1775, when the Continental Congress asked the colonies to pray for wisdom in forming a nation, the call to prayer has continued through our history, including President Lincoln’s proclamation of a day of “humiliation, fasting, and prayer” in 1863. In 1952, a joint resolution by Congress, signed by President Truman, declared an annual, national day of prayer. In 1988, the law was amended and signed by President Reagan, permanently setting the day as the first Thursday of every May. Each year, the president signs a proclamation, encouraging all Americans to pray on this day. Last year, all 50 state governors plus the governors of several U.S. territories signed similar proclamations.
1952 Harry S. Truman declares a National Day of Prayer and signs into law an annual
observance there of – United States Congress passed Joint Resolution 382 on April 17, 1952/ President Truman signs Public Law 82-324 (Public Law 82-324; 66 Stat. 64—April 17, 1952).
1988 Ronald Reagan signs into law the designation of the first Thursday in May as the annual observance for the National Day of Prayer – President Reagan signs Public Law 100-307
January 25, 1988, in the Second Session of the One Hundredth Congress (Public Law 100-307—May 5, 1988).
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