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A National Day of Prayer

Church members Mike and Yvonnne Broadbent pray at the start of the National Day of Prayer observance at the Church of the Cross' Buckwalter Parkway branch  Thursday evening.
Church members Mike and Yvonnne Broadbent pray at the start of the National Day of Prayer observance at the Church of the Cross' Buckwalter Parkway branch Thursday evening. JAY KARR | The Island Packet

Several events were held in the Lowcountry on Thursday to mark the National Day of Prayer, an event established 58 years ago.

Former President Harry Truman signed a bill proclaiming a National Day of Prayer in 1952, but 2010 could be the last time the event is observed if the White House fails in an appeal against a court ruling that it violates the ban on government-backed religion.

Wisconsin-based U.S. District Court Judge Barbara Crabb ruled April 15 in favor of the Freedom From Religion Foundation in a suit brought against President Barack Obama. She ruled the federal law that designates a National Day of Prayer and requires an annual presidential proclamation of the National Day of Prayer violates the establishment clause of the Constitution’s First Amendment.

Despite that ruling, several observances took place around the country and capital Thursday. In her decision, Crabb said until the defendants in the case exhaust their right to appeal the decision, observance ceremonies still could go ahead.

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