Lead: In 1962, the Supreme Court of the United States ignited a firestorm of controversy when it abolished officially endorsed prayer in the public schools.

Intro.: "A Moment in Time" with Dan Roberts.

Content: The prayer in question was that sponsored by the New York Board of Regents. It was not mandated but made available to local school boards. Some required their teachers to use it, others did not. It read, "Almighty God, We acknowledge our dependence upon thee, and we beg thy blessing upon us, our parents, our teachers, and our country." The prayer itself was rather innocuous; little more than tipping one's hat in God's direction. Any religious sentiment expressed was only of the palest variety. It was a pretty artless attempt at compromise between those who would not imagine something as important as the public schools without a reference to the Deity on one hand and those who would insisted that the presence of such a prayer was an unconstitutional establishment of religion.