Brooklyn, New York

The Brooklyn Visitation Monastery

A working monastery hidden away in Brooklyn once abutted the location of a former inebriate's home
09 Feb 2016
Zanesville, Ohio

Zanesville Y-Bridge

A favorite of Amelia Earhart, ranking among those rare bridges that can be crossed without changing sides of the river
08 Feb 2016
Th Nimmanhaemin, Thailand

The World Museum of Insects and Natural Wonders

This extensive collection of dead bugs may be the world's most idiosyncratic and personal insect museum
08 Feb 2016
Alexandria, Virginia

P.O. Box 1142 Memorial

This simple stone memorial remembers a secret, Geneva Convention-defying interrogation base from WWII
08 Feb 2016
Lane County, Oregon

Proxy Falls

This frequently-photographed waterfall takes only a short hike to visit
05 Feb 2016
Fürstenfeldbruck, Germany

Jeweled Skeletons of the Fürstenfeld Abbey

These blingy, baubled skeletons lie in glass boxes inside a baroque Bavarian church
05 Feb 2016

Atlas Additions

Members who have added the most places in the past 30 days
Most Recently Added Place
Rila Monastery

Rila Monastery

added by daratheodora

Places Edited

Members who have edited the most places in the past 30 days
Most Recently Edited Place
Etowah Indian Mounds

Etowah Indian Mounds

edited by Mom0ja

Places Visited

Members who have marked Been Here the most in the past 30 days
Most Recently Marked "Been Here"
Pinson Mounds State Archeological Park

Pinson Mounds State Archeological Park

marked by DJ Tone Def


Behind The Custom-Tailored Ritual That Has Powered Congress Since 1774

by Cara Giaimo / 08 Feb 2016


T.H. Matheson's rendition of "The First Prayer in Congress," given by Reverend Jacob Duché at the First Constitutional Convention in 1744. (Image: Josve05a/WikiCommons Public Domain

It’s a typical day on Capitol Hill. President Obama asked for $3 billion dollars to fight the Zika virus. The Senate is arguing about the Affordable Care Act. The House held a pro forma session, gathering briefly in order to agree to reconvene tomorrow.

But before any of that–unseen by all but their in-person audience and the most devout C-SPAN watchers–the House and Senate each kicked things off with the legislative branch’s daily aperitif: a one-minute prayer.

Senate Chaplain Barry Black asked God to “use our lawmakers today as ambassadors of reconciliation and renewal.” Guest Chaplain Reverend George Schommer prayed, on behalf of the House of Representatives, for “the wisdom and understanding of all law: natural, human, and divine.” Each prayer was recorded in the Congressional Record, where they joined thousands of other daily distillations of national feeling and concern.

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