Jacob Duche was born this day, Jan. 31, 1738. He was the Anglican clergyman who, at the request of the Continental Congress, opened the first session of Congress with prayer. Conscious of the impending British attack, Rev. Duche read Psalm 35, which begins: "Plead my cause, Oh, Lord, with them that strive with me, fight against them that fight against me. ... Let those be turned back and humiliated who devise evil against me." Of that reading, John Adams wrote in a letter to his wife: "I never saw a greater effect upon an audience. It seem as if heaven had ordained that Psalm to be read on that morning."