The British invaded Washington, D.C. The Capitol was burned. President James and Dolly Madison fled the White House. On SEPTEMBER 1, 1814, President Madison wrote: "The enemy by a sudden incursion has succeeded in invading the capitol of the nation... During their possession...though for a single day only, they wantonly destroyed the public edifices.... An occasion which appeals so forcibly to the...patriotic devotion of the American people, none will forget." Madison continued: "Independence...is now to be maintained...with the strength and resources which...Heaven has blessed." Less than 3 months later, November 1814, President Madison wrote: "The two Houses of the National Legislature having by a joint resolution expressed their desire that in the present time of public calamity and war a day may be recommended to be observed by the people of the United States as a day of public humiliation and fasting and of prayer to Almighty God for the safety and welfare of these States, His blessing on their arms, and a speedy restoration of peace." Madison concluded: "I have deemed it proper...to recommend...a day of...humble adoration to the Great Sovereign of the Universe."