On October 15, 1949, American icon and evangelist Billy Graham was improbably launched onto the national stage after what began as a quiet crusade in Los Angeles for his Youth for Christ Movement became a shared national experience that lasted eight weeks through Autumn of that same year.
Thrust by the hand of infamous newspaper publisher William Randolph Hearst, Graham became an instantly recognizable religious figure whose hopeful message would resonate to millions over the course of his career. More importantly, Graham’s brand of Christian revivalism transformed modern protestantism and tailored evangelicalism into the conscience of mainstream America.
Graham’s national appeal would also lead to long standing relationships with many of America’s leaders as he became a spiritual adviser to many of the nation’s Presidents beginning with Dwight Eisenhower.
Graham was particularly fond of Richard Nixon, who he believed was destined to become President.
Below is an excerpt of Grahams eulogy of Nixon at his funeral on April 27, 1994:
The great king of ancient Israel, David, said on the death of Saul, who had been a bitter enemy: “Know ye not that there is a prince and a great man fallen this day in Israel.” Today, we remember that with the death of Richard Nixon, a great man has fallen. We have heard that the world has lost a great citizen, and America has lost a great statesman. And those of us that knew him have lost a personal friend.
Filed under: This Day in History |