The Presidency: TheWeek

THE PRESIDENCY

On the Sunday nearest George Washington's birthday, U.S. Presidents generally attend services at Christ Episcopal Church in Alexandria, Va., where Washington himself was a vestryman. John Kennedy was one exception, and for a while it appeared that Lyndon Johnson would be another: he informed the Rev. William Sydnor, rector of the 192-year-old church, that he would be unable to appear, then suddenly changed his mind.

Escorting the President into the church, Sydnor took him to Pew No. 60, which has been restored to its original condition, right down to a place for the heated bricks that Washington and his family...