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President Johnson Speaks at Prayer Breakfast

Feb. 5, 1964 - President Johnson said today that “a fitting memorial to the God that made us all” should be established in Washington. Speaking at the annual Presidential prayer breakfast, Mr. Johnson asked the several hundred participants to take the lead in raising funds for a house of prayer that would be open to persons of all faiths at all times. In addition to the President, several Cabinet members represented the executive branch at the breakfast. Chief Justice Earl Warren headed those from the judiciary. Speaker John McCormack, Massachusetts Democrat, was the ranking member of the big delegation from Capitol Hill.

President Johnson said: “No man could live in the house where I live and work at the desk where I work without needing and seeking the support of earnest and frequent prayer. Prayer has helped me to bear the burdens of the first office, which are too great to be borne by anyone alone.” He said that separation of church and state had served the nation well, but that men of government had not separated themselves from prayer and faith.

The Rev. Dr. Billy Graham was introduced by Sen. Frank Carlson, Republican of Kansas. The Senator said Dr. Graham was one of Christ’s truly great ambassadors. Dr. Graham called for a moral and spiritual awakening, and added: “We turn in every direction for solution of our problems — except God.” In closing, the evangelist turned to President Johnson and said, “God bless you, sir.”

After addressing the prayer breakfast, President Johnson moved across the hall to greet the annual Congressional wives’ prayer breakfast, which Mrs. Johnson attended.


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