a billy graham center archives exhibit
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Select chronology of the 1957 Billy Graham New York City Crusade.

1951
January 2




New York - Graham met with Billy Graham Crusade Breakfast committee, a group of clergy and laity that hoped to arrange a NYC crusade. Plans were discussed to hold a crusade in New York City October 5-26, 1952. But eventually the invitation was declined by the BGEA.
1954



Graham declined an invitation from the Protestant Council of New York City, but encouraged them to expand the inviting group to include Protestant churches outside the Council.
1955 March 3 Graham was guest speaker at Word of Life 15th Anniversary Rally in Madison Square Garden.
Summer

Second invitation from the Protestant Council of New York City to hold an evangelistic campaign in the city.
December 9


Graham met with the crusade committee of the Protestant Council of New York City and reached agreement to hold an evangelistic campaign. The committee was expanded to include representation from non-Council members
December 10



Graham and the Protestant Council of the City of New York announced that he has accepted an invitation from the Council to hold an evangelistic campaign in New York City, starting May 15, 1957.
1956
January 11

George Champion of the Protestant Council and Willis Haymaker and Jerry Beaven of the BGEA met in New York City to begin planning for the crusade.
April 4


First meeting of the Billy Graham Crusade Committee, which was the incorporated group legally responsible for the crusade.
April 9

Graham talked to a minsters meeting at Waldorf-Astoria Hotel.
April 23

First meeting of the executive committee, which had the actual direction of the crusade.
June


Around this time Armin Gesswein and others began recruiting prayer groups around the world to pray for the New York City Crusade.
July 18 Graham had lunch with the editors of Life magazine.
September 17



Dinner for Billy Graham at the Commodore Hotel given by the New York Crusade Committee at which he discussed the plans for the crusade.
December 3


First meeting of the General Crusade Committee, which was advisory, at Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church in Manhattan.
1957
February 8
Graham talked to Episcopal clergy of New York.
February 8-9
Graham visited New York City to assist in the preparation for the crusade.
February 24
Prayer retreat for the BGEA evangelistic team at Wainwright House, Long Island Sound, New York.
March 11

Beginning of a nine week series of classes to train 5,000 counselors for the crusade.
April 1






The 15 minute program Crusade Prayertime began broadcasting Monday through Friday on WABC radio station. Cliff Barrows served as master of ceremonies.

Graham replied to critics of the crusade in an article in Christianity Today magazine.
April 2


First of a series of cottage prayer meeting held in homes and businesses through the New York area to support the crusade.
April 21

New York Times Magazine carried a article about Graham and the crusade.
May 6-7

Coordination and instruction meetings for ushers at 227 West 46th Street.
May 9




Rehearsal for 1500 voice crusade choir at the Salvation Army Temple.
May 10


Graham met with President Dwight D. Eisenhower in Washington, D.C., a meeting that included a report on the New York Crusade.
May 11









Graham in New York City arrived by train at Pennsylvania Station.

Press conference at the Hotel New Yorker.

Rehearsal for 1500 voice crusade choir at the Salvation Army Temple.

Graham interviewed by Walter Cronkite on the CBS Evening News television program.
May 12

Graham attended services at Calvary Baptist Church on West 57th Street.
May 13







Graham met with the New York Crusade executive committee; the BGEA team meeting was the same day.

Beginning of nightly broadcasts (11:30pm on WPIX, channel 11, Monday through Friday) of the television program Impact, with news and stories about the crusade and an invitation for people to call in to talk to telephone counselors.
May 14







Rehearsal for 1500 voice crusade choir at Madison Square Garden.

Dedication service for crusade at Madison Square Garden.

All night prayer meetings for the crusade at ten churches throughout the NYC area.
May 15





Graham interviewed by David Garroway on The Today Show television program.

First service of the New York Crusade, held in Madison Square Garden (attendance approximately 18,000).
May 16


Graham spoke at a morning meeting at Warner Cinerama Theatre (6000 present), opening a series of workshops for ministers on evangelism.
May 19


Afternoon crusade service at Lief Ericksen Square in Brooklyn in celebration of Norwegian Independence Day.
May 20


The first Morning Bible Hour (starting at 10am at the New York Center), led by Paul Rees. These meetings were held Monday through Friday throughout the crusade.
May 25

Crusade service at West Side Tennis Stadium on Long Island.
May

Workshops in Evangelism for ministers led during this week by Tom Allan.
June 1


Live broadcasts of the Saturday evening services began over ABC and continued for the next 16 weeks.
June 3

Executive committee voted to extend the crusade to June 20.
June 6

Graham marched in the Sunday School Anniversary Parade.
June 8 BGEA team meeting.
June 9

Graham appeared on the Meet the Press television program, NBC Studios
June 10

Graham spoke at the Christianity Today luncheon, Waldorf-Astoria Hotel.
June 12

Cumulative attendance at the crusade passed the 500,000 mark.
June 13

John Stott spoke at workshops on evangelism for ministers.
June 17




Graham has his first day of rest during the campaign, when Madison Square Garden is relinquished for one day to the annual Calvacade of Stars to raise money for the Institute of Retarded Children.
June 22

Graham and some associates walked through the Bowery district.
June 24

Workshops in Evangelism for ministers led during this week by Rev. Robert B. Munger.
June 26

Press conference held by Graham at the New Yorker Hotel to discuss the crusade thus far.
June 30


Open air rally held in Harlem on the steps of the Salem Methodist Church at the corner of 7th Avenue and 129th Street.
July 1
Life magazine had a cover article about the crusade.
July 2

All-night prayer services for the crusade held in ten churches throughout the NYC areas.
July 7

Open air meeting held at the Bandshell on the Mall in Central Park.
July 10

Outdoor service held on Wall Street (estimated 30,000 in crowd).
July 13

Crusade afternoon service at the Garden held in Spanish, Graham preaching through an interpreter.
July 14


Open air rally in Brooklyn on the steps of the Cornerstone Church at the corner of Lewis and Madison Streets.
July 18

Martin Luther King Jr. gave the opening prayer at the crusade service in Madison Square Garden
July 19


Roger Hull, chairman of the executive committee, announced the crusade will be extended to August 10.
July 20


Crusade service in Yankee Stadium. Vice President Richard M. Nixon was a guest speaker. Estimated 100,000 attended, with 20,000 unable to get in.
August 3






Roger Hull, chairman of the executive committee, announced the crusade will be extended to September 1.

Crusade office at 165th West 46th Street burgularized and a petty cash box taken, containing $2000.
August 11-18
Series of teen-emphasis services at Madison Square Garden.
August 13

Paul Mickelson resigned as organist to enter the ministry.
August 24


College conference, held at Hudson house in Upper Nyack, New York for college students who had made decisions for Chirst during the crusade.
September 1 Final service of the crusade is held in Times Square.
September 2
Graham arrived back home in Montreat, North Carolina for rest.
September 24



Graham spoke to a breakfast meeting of New York clergy to discuss the plans for Visitation Evangelism week. Also at the meeting was a preview of the film Miracle in Manhattan about the crusade.
September 25

Graham spoke at an evangelistic rally on Roosevelt Field near Mineola, Long Island.
September 26

Graham spoke at an evangelistic rally held on the campus of Stony Brook School in Suffolk County, New York.
September 27
Graham spoke at an evangelistic rally at the Armory in Teaneck, New Jersey.
September 28
Graham spoke at an evangelistic rally in Tompkinsville, Staten Island, New York.
September 29
Graham spoke at an evangelistic rally at Boyle Field in Stamford, Connecticut.
September 30
Graham spoke at an evangelistic rally at the Armory in Trenton, New Jersey.
October 1 Graham spoke at an evangelistic rally in White Plains, New York.
October 20-27


Visitation Evangelism Week, when participating churches followed up on crusade inquirers in their area and a final evangelsitic service was held at the Polo Groundsr
October 24





Graham spoke to students in the Education Building auditorium at New York University

Graham addressed the New York Christian Arts Fellowship in the evening (a group founded by the work of associate evangelist Lane Adams among entertainers).
October 25

Graham spoke in St. Paul’s Chapel in Columbia University.
October 26

Graham was a guest speaker at the Word of Life Rally in Town Hall.
October 27

Graham spoke at Reformation Day Service held at the Polo Grounds.
October 28


Graham was the guest of honor at a banquet at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel thrown by the Protestant Council of the City of New York.
October 29

Graham spoke at Colgate Rochester Divinity School in Rochester, New York.
October 31 Crusade office on 165 W. 46th Street closed.
December 18

Executive committee issued its final report to the public, which included the final audit by Price Waterhouse & Co.
1958
May 15
The Protestant Council held a follow-up rally in Madison Square Garden attended by 17,500.

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