Today’s American Minute

By Bill Federer

As recorded in the Journals of the Continental Congress, at nine o’clock in the morning, on this day, Sept. 7, 1774, in Carpenter’s Hall, Philadelphia, the very first act of Congress was to open with prayer. John Adams wrote: “[Reverend Duche’] … read several prayers in the established form and … the thirty-fifth Psalm. … I never saw a greater effect upon an audience. It seemed as if heaven had ordained that Psalm to be read on that morning. After this, Mr. Duche’, unexpectedly to every body, struck out into an extemporary prayer, which filled the bosom of every man present. I must confess, I never heard a better prayer.”