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Very Reverend Randolph Hollerith and Reverend Canon Jan Naylor Cope
49 minutes

Washington National Cathedral sits atop the highest point in Washington, D.C. and is the sixth largest cathedral in the world. This splendid example of Gothic architecture is not only the home to an Episcopal congregation but a house of prayer for all people from around the United States and the world. When President George Washington commissioned Major Pierre L'Enfant in 1791 to create a plan for the new capital city, L'Enfant included in his design a great church for national purposes. The idea never happened as L'Enfant envisioned, instead it would be more than 100 years before Congress granted a charter authorizing a cathedral dedicated to religion, education, and charity. Construction began in 1907 and the Washington National Cathedral took shape during two World Wars, the Great Depression and 16 presidencies - from President Theodore Roosevelt to President George H.W. Bush. We know it today as a sacred place which holds state funerals of presidents, memorial services of great Americans, as well as national prayer services. There’s even one president buried at the Cathedral. White House Historical Association president Stewart McLaurin is joined by the Very Reverend Randolph Hollerith, the 11th Dean of Washington National Cathedral, and Reverend Canon Jan Naylor Cope, the Provost of Washington National Cathedral, to discuss the role the Cathedral has played in America’s history and the indelible link it has to those who hold the office of the President of the United States. We also go on a tour of the Cathedral and see where Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. gave his final Sunday sermon, where a stone taken from the White House during the Truman renovation is embedded into a wall of the Cathedral, and many more treasures.

The podcast host

Stewart McLaurin, Host

President of the White House Historical Association

As President of the White House Historical Association Stewart McLaurin leads the nonpartisan, nonprofit in its mission to preserve, protect, and provide access to White House history. As a lifelong student of history, Stewart is an avid reader, author, and storyteller. Drawing on his own experiences, relationships, and knowledge he provides listeners with a front row seat to history at the White House.