Where Presidents Worship- November 1
- Thursday, November 01, 2012
On NOVEMBER 1, 1800, John Adams became the first U.S. President to move into the White House. The following day he wrote a letter to his wife, Abigail, in which he composed a beautiful prayer. A portion of that prayer was inscribed on the mantlepiece in the State Dining Room by President Franklin D. Roosevelt. It reads: "I pray Heaven to bestow the best of blessings on this house and all that shall hereafter inhabit it. May none but honest and wise men ever rule under this roof." The first building constructed on Lafayette Square after the White House was St. John's Episcopal Church. Because every President since James Madison worshipped there at some time, Pew 54 has been designated as the traditional seat for the First Family. Other historic Washington, D.C. area churches where Presidents worshipped include Christ Church in Alexandria, where President Washington attended; the National Presbyterian Church; the New York Avenue Presbyterian Church, where President Lincoln attended and where Senate Chaplain Peter Marshall pastored from 1937-1949; and Holy Trinity Catholic Church, where John F. Kennedy attended.
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