This Day in History: The first Continental Congress opens in prayer

On this day in 1774, the first Continental Congress convenes at Carpenters’ Hall in Philadelphia. Its goal was to coordinate a response to Britain’s Intolerable Acts. Delegates from every colony but Georgia would attend some portion of the proceedings. Congress immediately tackled an issue that would crop up again and again during these years: How […]

This Day in History: George Washington’s memorable words to the Jewish people

On this day in 1790, a Jewish-American man named Moses Seixas writes a letter to his President—the first President of the United States.  That letter prompts a memorable response from George Washington. Seixas was writing on behalf of his congregation in Rhode Island. The congregation wanted to welcome the President to the state! Rhode Island […]

This Day in History: George Washington, the Baptists, & religious freedom

During this month in 1789, Washington responds to a letter from the United Baptist Churches of Virginia. These Baptists were worried: Was their religious freedom in Danger? “When the constitution first made its appearance in Virginia,” the Baptists wrote, “we, as a Society, had unusual strugglings of mind; fearing that the liberty of conscience, dearer […]

This Day in History: “In God We Trust” restored to U.S. coins

On this day in 1908, Teddy Roosevelt signs an act restoring the motto “In God We Trust” to certain U.S. coins. His decision to sign this piece of legislation came in the wake of an incident in which he’d tried to have the phrase removed from U.S. currency. “In God We Trust” was on U.S. […]

This Day in History: General George Washington vs. pacifist Quakers

On this day in 1778, General George Washington writes a letter to Brigadier General John Lacey. He wanted Lacey to prevent Quakers from entering the City of Philadelphia. These Quakers were traveling to their religious meeting—and Washington wanted to put a stop to it. But why would Washington take exception to a religious meeting?! Washington […]