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May 1, 2009

CW observes historic National Day of Prayer on May 7

On May 7, Colonial Williamsburg, the Commonwealth of Virginia and the nation will observe the 58th annual National Day of Prayer.

Unofficial national prayer days originated in the 18th century. Though a National Day of Prayer was not signed into law until 1952 by President Harry Truman, the First Continental Congress called for one in 1775. In 1988, President Ronald Reagan designated that the day would fall on the first Thursday in May annually. Each year, the president signs a proclamation encouraging all Americans to pray for the nation on this day.

At 1 p.m. at the Courthouse steps in Colonial Williamsburg’s Historic Area, costumed interpreters will read the 2009 Prayer Day proclamations of President Barack Obama, Gov. Timothy Kaine of Virginia and local officials.

Interpreters also will read the 1774 Proclamation of a Day of Fasting, Humiliation and Prayer, made by the Virginia legislature in support of Boston residents living near the port which had been closed by British authorities in response to the Boston Tea Party.

The ceremony is free and open to the public.

Established in 1926, the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation is the not-for-profit educational institution that preserves and operates the restored 18th-century Revolutionary capital of Virginia as a town-sized living history museum, telling the inspirational stories of our nation’s founding men and women. Within the restored and reconstructed buildings, historic interpreters, attired as colonial men and women from slaves to shopkeepers to soldiers, relate stories of colonial Virginia society and culture – stories of our journey to become Americans – while historic trades people research, demonstrate and preserve the 18th-century world of work and industry. As Colonial Williamsburg interprets life in the time of the American Revolution guests interact with history through “Revolutionary City®” – a dramatic live street theater presentation.

Williamsburg is located in Virginia’s Tidewater region, 20 minutes from Newport News, within an hour’s drive of Richmond and Norfolk, and 150 miles south of Washington, D.C., off Interstate 64. For more information about Colonial Williamsburg, call 1-800-HISTORY or visit Colonial Williamsburg’s Web site at

Media Contact:
Penna Rogers
(757) 220-7121