May 5, 1988, President Ronald Reagan signed an Act of Congress designating the first Thursday in May as a National Day of Prayer. This has always been a part of American life. Indeed, President Washington declared a National Day of Prayer during his first year in office. President Madison did during the War of 1812, Lincoln during the Civil War, and President Woodrow Wilson during World War I. It was President Harry S Truman, though, who made it an annual event, saying: "In times of national crisis when we are striving to strengthen the foundations of peace ... we stand in special need of Divine support."