National Day of Prayer

May 3, 2000

Source: St. Louis Post-Dispatch

On May 3, 2000, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported that Christians, Jews, and Muslims in the St. Louis area will gather around flagpoles at more than 50 city halls in the region to pray for the nation on Thursday, May 4th, which is National Prayer Day. The tradition was started in 1952, when president Harry Truman signed a declaration calling for such a day. In 1988, President Reagan signed a declaration officially designating the first Thursday in May to be National Prayer Day. Jay Teutenberg of Webster Groves, Missouri, who helps to organize the annual event at eastern Missouri city halls, stated: "We pray for everyone, from the garbage collector to the president of the United States." Jean Latimer, coordinator for prayer day in St. Ann, MO, stated: "We usually pray that we have good thoughts about each other, because a lot of times we are hard on each other, and that causes friction...We pray for ourselves to be better parents, better brothers and sisters. If we try to be good family members, that carries over next door to being better neighbors and better citizens."