On January 25, 1941, President Franklin D. Roosevelt offered an encouraging prologue to a Gideon Bible for the Armed Forces. This special edition of the New Testament and Psalms, printed by the National Bible Press in Philadelphia, was distributed to military personnel as they entered the service. The prologue stated:
“As Commander-in-Chief, I take pleasure in commending the reading of the Bible to all who serve in the armed forces of the United States. Throughout the centuries men of many faiths and diverse origins have found in the Sacred Book words of wisdom, counsel and inspiration. It is a fountain of strength and now, as always, an aid in attaining the highest aspirations of the human soul.”*
President Roosevelt’s commendation of the Bible to the Armed Forces just months before World War II began is another lost episode in American history.
*Source Citation: Gideon New Testament and Psalms (Philadelphia: National Bible Press, 1941), prologue page.