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Tuesday, May 1, 2012
MONDAY’S WORD was cahoot (kuh-HOOT). It means partnership, league — usually used in plural. “In a huge anti-mafia bust, 16 judges have been arrested near Naples, Italy, according to the BBC, for allegedly being in cahoots with Italy’s notorious Camorra crime syndicate.” — From a news article in The Huffington Post, March 19, 2012
TUESDAY’S WORD is spiel (SPEEL). Jonathan called the wireless company with a question about his bill; he was not expecting a spiel from a representative trying to sell him on a more expensive data plan.
Thursday is The National Day of Prayer. The website on The National Day of Prayer gives a historical summary stating that the day “is a vital part of our heritage.”
“Since the first call to prayer in 1775, when the Continental Congress asked the colonies to pray for wisdom in forming a nation, the call to prayer has continued through our history, including President Lincoln’s proclamation of a day of ‘humiliation, fasting, and prayer’ in 1863,” the site says. “In 1952, a joint resolution by Congress, signed by President Truman, declared an annual, national day of prayer. In 1988, the law was amended and signed by President Reagan, permanently setting the day as the first Thursday of every May. Each year, the president signs a proclamation, encouraging all Americans to pray on this day. Last year, all 50 state governors plus the governors of several U.S. territories signed similar proclamations.”
Fun Facts on the National Day of Prayer from the website of the same name:
1) There have been 137 national calls to prayer, humiliation, fasting and thanksgiving by presidents of the United States (1789-2011).
2) There have been 59 presidential proclamations for a “National Day of Prayer” (1952-2011).
3) Gerald Ford (1976) and George H. Bush (1989-91) are the only U.S. Presidents to sign two National Day of Prayer proclamations in the same year.
4) Every President since 1952 has signed a National Day of Prayer proclamation.
5) Thirty-four of the 44 U.S. presidents have signed proclamations for National Prayer. Three of the presidents who did not sign a proclamation died while serving in office. Two presidents not included in the count — William Howard Taft and Warren Gamaliel Harding — signed proclamations for Thanksgiving and Prayer.
6) Records indicate there have been 965 state and federal calls for national prayer since 1775.