By the President of the United States of America
As we begin the celebration of our Bicentennial, it is fitting to recall that it was a profound faith in God which inspired the Founders of our Nation. Two hundred years ago, on June 12, 1775, the Second Continental Congress called upon the inhabitants of all the Colonies to unite, on a designated Thursday in July, in "humiliation, fasting, and prayer." This was our first national day of prayer.
Americans on that day were asked to address their prayers to the "Great Governor of the World" to preserve their new Union and secure civil and religious liberties.
Those first prayers were answered in full measure. The Union survives. The liberties for which our forefathers prayed were never so secure as they are today. But material progress and human achievement often beckon mankind away from the spiritual virtues.
As we prepare to mark the 200th anniversary of the birth of our Nation, it is my fervent hope that Americans will not forget that it was prayer that helped to forge our freedoms and foster our liberties.
Let us now pray-as we have done throughout our history, and as the Congress has requested (66 Stat. 64)-for the wisdom to continue the American pilgrimage, striving toward a nobler existence for all humanity. Let us ask for the strength to meet the challenges that face our Nation. Let us give thanks to God for the many blessings granted to America throughout these two centuries. And let us express the hope that our lives may continue to be enriched by the grace of our Maker.
Now, Therefore, I, Gerald R. Ford, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim Thursday, July 24, 1975, as National Day of Prayer, 1975.
I call upon all Americans to pray that day, each after his or her own manner and convictions, for unity and the blessings of Freedom throughout our land and for peace on earth.
In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand this twelfth day of June, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred seventy-five, and of the Independence of the United States of America the one hundred ninety-ninth.
GERALD R. FORD