Saturday, January 2, 2010

The incredible WOW! Washington National Cathedral

The dream of a national cathedral dates to the days of George Washington’s presidency. Memorable moments in the life of the Cathedral include President Theodore Roosevelt’s 1907 speech, the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s last sermon, and President Ronald Reagan’s State Funeral.

The longest-running construction project in Washington, D.C., history officially began on September 29, 1907, when workmen laid the Cathedral’s foundation stone. President Theodore Roosevelt and the Bishop of London spoke to a crowd of ten thousand. The stone itself came from a field near Bethlehem and was set into a larger piece of American granite. On it was the inscription: “The Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us” (John 1:14).

On January 24, 1791, President George Washington commissioned Major Pierre L’Enfant to create a visionary plan for the nation’s capital. It was L’Enfant who first imagined “a great church for national purposes.” Not until a century later, with support from community leaders such as Charles C. Glover, did plans for building Washington National Cathedral gain momentum. A monument of Washington greets you upon entering.

1912–1969: History under construction

After Bethlehem Chapel opened for services in 1912, the Cathedral quickly became a place for services of national focus, even as it remained under construction.

* 1918 – President Woodrow Wilson attends official thanksgiving service for the enof the First World War.
* 1921 – President Warren G. Harding leads all 34 delegates to the Washington Conference on Limitation of Armaments to a special Cathedral service through the “Way of Peace” entrance by Bethlehem Chapel.
* 1928 – President Calvin Coolidge opens the General Convention of the Episcopal Church at the Cathedral.
* 1941 – Monthly services begin on behalf of a united people in a time of emergency; community memorial services are held at the Cathedral for World War II soldiers.
* 1956 – President Woodrow Wilson’s tomb in the Cathedral is dedicated.
* 1968 – The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., preaches his last Sunday sermon from the Canterbury Pulpit.
* 1969 – World leaders gather for President Dwight D. Eisenhower’s State Funeral.

1 comment:

Thanks for visiting today. Carpe Diem!