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A Project of The Annenberg Public Policy Center

Day of Prayer Proclamation, Right on Schedule

On April 29, we wrote that there was no evidence that President Obama would cancel the National Day of Prayer and that, in fact, the White House had announced plans to recognize it. Still, we received skeptical e-mails over the weekend from people who had heard a recycled rumor claiming Obama wasn’t going to acknowledge the day.

Today, one e-mailer complained about the phrasing in a quote we had cited, in which the chairman of the National Day of Prayer Task Force, Shirley Dobson, said that “it is our understanding” that Obama would be recognizing the day. Our reader thought this was weaselly: ” ‘It is our understanding’ means NO, Obama will not be signing a proclamation again this year,” this person wrote.

In fact, Obama had already signed a proclamation recognizing the National Day of Prayer when that e-mail was written. He did so on Friday, April 30, the day after our story was published. The proclamation reads, in part:

I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and laws of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim May 6, 2010, as a National Day of Prayer.  I call upon the citizens of our Nation to pray, or otherwise give thanks, in accordance with their own faiths and consciences, for our many freedoms and blessings, and I invite all people of faith to join me in asking for God’s continued guidance, grace, and protection as we meet the challenges before us.

Correction, May 4: We originally called Shirley Dobson the “National Day of Prayer founder.” She’s the chairman of the National Day of Prayer Task Force.