‘Turning to Almighty God’: 5 profound Memorial Day proclamations


President Harry S. Truman issued a prayer for peace proclamation on May 22, 1950, declaring Tuesday, May 30, a day “to unite the Nation in a universal prayer for permanent peace.”

At the time, Memorial Day was always observed on May 30.

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It was not until 1968 that U.S. Congress passed the Uniform Monday Holiday Act, making Memorial Day the last Monday in May. The change went into effect in 1971. 

“It was the hope of mankind that with the cessation of hostilities of World War II the way would be open to founding a permanent peace,” stated the Truman proclamation.

“Instead, that war has left the world in a state of continued unrest. Accordingly, we feel the need of turning in humble suppliance to Almighty God for help and guidance.”

Truman also proclaimed each "succeeding Memorial Day" as a "day of prayer for permanent peace."

"And I designate the hour beginning at eleven o'clock in the morning of that day, Eastern Daylight Saving Time, as a period in which all our people may unite in prayer, each in accordance with his own religious faith, for divine aid in bringing enduring peace to a troubled world," Truman stated. 

Truman not only called on individual Americans to pray for peace but also “the agencies of the press, radio, television, and other media of public information.”

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