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September 29, 1907: An American Cornerstone Gets Laid

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The Cathedral Church of Saint Peter and Saint Paul, commonly known as the Washington National Cathedral, is a remarkable and iconic landmark in the United States. Located in Washington, D.C., this Gothic-style cathedral has a rich history dating back to its inception in the early 20th century. Designed by architect George Frederick Bodley and later revised by Henry Vaughan, construction began on September 29, 1907.

Although the cornerstone was laid in 1907, the cathedral’s construction progressed slowly due to interruptions during World War I and financial difficulties. In 1941, during World War II, President Franklin D. Roosevelt laid the final stone, and the building’s structure was completed. However, it wasn’t until 1990 that the last of its intricate decorative elements were finished.

The cathedral has played a significant role in American life throughout its history. It has been the site of numerous national events, including state funerals for prominent figures like President Dwight D. Eisenhower and Senator John McCain. The cathedral has also hosted notable events such as the National Prayer Service for the presidential inauguration. Additionally, it has been a center for interfaith dialogue and has welcomed leaders from various religious traditions.

The Washington National Cathedral has become a symbol of American spirituality and a place of worship for people of all backgrounds. Its breathtaking architecture and beautiful stained glass windows attract tourists and pilgrims alike, while its dedication to social justice issues continues to make it a relevant and impactful institution in modern American society. Today, it is a testament to the craftsmanship and spiritual values that have shaped the nation.

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