Tatiana Androsov
3 min readApr 30, 2024


The National Day of Prayer is on Thursday, May 2

National Day of Prayer

and (?) Contemplation

If you didn’t know, and many don’t, the day after tomorrow, Thursday, May 2, is the National Day of Prayer. Go to any search engine, put it in, and you will find hundreds of sites and articles on that. Oh, there is even a Presidential Proclamation!

I should know. Years ago, though I hate to admit that as it points to my position as an ‘old person’, I was the president of a great little organization known as the Thanks-Giving Foundation which runs a unique place called Thanks-Giving Square. It is in Dallas, Texas.

Without TGF/TGS we might have had National Days of Prayer, but they might not fall at the same time each year, that is the first Thursday in May.

You see we had National Days of Prayer all the way back to the founding of our country, but they were most often held during great times of trouble, for instance the war of 1812. However, as the Cold War descended upon a world that had just come through World War II, Congress asked in 1952 that the President declare one every year. However, these were held at different times.

When the Thanks-Giving Foundation came into being in 1964, it started looking back into our history as it geared up to building Thanks-Giving Square. As it went into the history of our Thanksgiving, it also delving into the history of our national prayers. In doing so, it discovered that in the beginning, that is in the years after our independence, those days tended to be in the spring.

Now, that went with so much of what had been traditional in so many places among various cultures and religions in the northern hemisphere, where the vast majority of humans live. It corresponded to the prayers that were made in the springtime asking the Divine to bring rain and favorable conditions for the crops that were being sown and then, in the fall the thanks, the thanksgivings, for the crops that were reaped.

What Thanks-Giving did next was to give the result of that research to a lady who was at that time part of the Thanks-Giving Foundation, Anne Armstrong who had been the first woman ambassador to the United Kingdom. She presented that to President-Elect Regan. Once in office, he proclaimed the first Thursday in May the National Day of Prayer. That same year, 1981, the Thanks-Giving Foundation held its first National Day of Prayer gathering.

President Regan continued with an annual declaration of the National Day of Prayer on the first Thursday in May and many organizations and places in our country started doing the same, so that in 1988 Congress made it into law.

It has grown ever since that time as you can see for yourself on our worldwide web.

This year as a former retired president of Thanks-Giving, I will be at our annual gathering, which will bring together hundreds of people from diverse parts and layers of our community. Unfortunately, it is not something that does attract everyone, especially the growing percentage who choose to be outside of any faith group.

For those, I wonder if it is not the time to consider adding a word to the designation. Could it not be the ‘national day of prayer and contemplation’?

At a crucial time, one full of challenges and divisions, don’t we need to deeply consider what we want and what we are willing to do for the common good? It is just like Thanksgiving, which though it can be very religious, does not exclude anyone, as all can try to look at what they can be grateful for in even a half empty glass which in fact is a ‘half full’ glass.

By the way, I am not the one who came up with the idea but owe it to a wonderful unnamed friend.



Tatiana Androsov

A novelist on the sea of life coming, cresting and breaking having traveled near & far from a post WWII immigrant childhood to a UN world of poverty and riches.