Saturday, February 6, 2010

Andrew Johnson Declares Day of Prayer in Honor of President Lincoln

The assassination of President Abraham Lincoln was a national tragedy that still pains our country to this day. The country reacted and paid tribute in much the same way as we would today, or that we did after President Kennedy's death. There were solemn parades, songs of mourning were written, speeches were given, etc.

One difference from what might happen today was that the new President, Andrew Jackson, declared a national day of fasting and prayer to honor the former President. I think such an act today might be met with protestations in many circles, accompanied by claims that such an act violates the so-called "separation of church and state." There is a misconception about our Constitution, and those who think such a day of prayer is unconstitutional are mistaken and perhaps not aware of our history.

Here is a little more detail on the events following Lincoln's death, as collected by the Smithsonian Institution.

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