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St. John's Church, Lafayette Square: The History and Heritage of the Church of the Presidents

St. John's Episcopal Church in Washington, D.C., is unique among churches in the United States. A National Historic Landmark, located just north of Lafayette Square and in clear view of the White House, it has witnessed the presence within its walls of more notable civilian and military leaders of the United States than any other church in the nation. Aside from the White House, St. John's Church is the oldest building adjacent to Lafayette Square. It was designed, and its construction supervised, by Benjamin Henry Latrobe, a leading architect of the early national period. From its opening in October 1816, every president, beginning with James Madison, has attended St. John's at least once. Several presidents have been members. Thus, St. John's is called "the Church of the Presidents." Speaker Biography: Richard Grimmett is a specialist in international security with the Congressional Research Service of the Library of Congress. He is also a member of St. John's and the National Trust for Historic Preservation.
Length: 46:14

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