Lyndon B. Johnson photo

Remarks Upon Signing Proclamation "National Day of Prayer, 1965"

October 07, 1965

Distinguished clergy, ladies and gentlemen:

Today I am signing a proclamation, setting aside Wednesday, October 20, as the National Day of Prayer of 1965. In so doing, I remind all Americans of the line from "The Star-Spangled Banner": "In God is our trust."

Those are not just ringing words of poetry. They reflect the very soul of our great Nation: our purpose as well as our source of greatness.

In putting my name to this paper, I cannot proclaim that all Americans will pray on October 20th. Nor would I do so even if I could. But I do hope by this action that we will remind our citizens of the blessings that God has bestowed upon them. I do ask them to remember that our reliance upon Divine Providence is a far greater force for freedom in the world than all of our wealth combined.

And in remembering, let each man pray, according to the dictates of his own conscience, that we may continue to be worthy of God's blessings. And let us remember those words from our own great, late, beloved President, John Fitzgerald Kennedy: "Here on earth, God's work must truly be our own."

[At this point the President signed the proclamation. He then resumed speaking.]

Now I will read the proclamation that I have just signed.

NATIONAL DAY OF PRAYER, 1965 By the President of the United States of America a Proclamation

Even as they deliberated the conception of this Nation, our forefathers, mindful of the frailties of mortal men, turned for guidance to Almighty God.

Their humble and sincere prayer, delivered in their belief that all good things are the gift of God, established a reliance that remains unbroken.

As did our founding fathers, our people continue to place their trust in God.

Time and time again we have turned to Him for succor, and time and time again He has answered with manifestations of abundance.

In our own times, the Congress by a joint resolution of 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 at churches, in groups, and as individuals."

Now, THEREFORE, I, LYNDON B. JOHNSON, President of the United States of America, do hereby set aside Wednesday, October 20, 1965, as National Day of Prayer, 1965.

Few nations have been so favored by Almighty God, and it is altogether fitting that a day be set aside for this purpose.

Thus it is in the same spirit of humility and conviction demonstrated by our forefathers that I urge each citizen, according to his own conscience to pause on that day to acknowledge our dependence upon God.

In these days of peril and uncertainty, I urge that each of us plead for wisdom, strength and courage.

I urge that we pray for God-given vision and determination to make the sacrifices demanded by our responsibilities to our fellow men in our own Nation and in other lands of this 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 seventh day of October in the year Of our Lord nineteen hundred and sixty-five, and of the Independence of the United States of America the one hundred and ninetieth.

LYNDON B. JOHNSON

By the President:

GEORGE W. BALL

Acting Secretary of State

Note: The President spoke at 2:06 p.m. in the Cabinet Room at the White House.

Lyndon B. Johnson, Remarks Upon Signing Proclamation "National Day of Prayer, 1965" Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/241264

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