The Cathedral: Chronology

Original Plan

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The Cathedral accepts silver altar vessels from London's Chapel Royal for safekeeping for the duration of the war (thus giving rise to the urban legend that the Cathedral housed the Crown Jewels).

Thousands fill the Cathedral for services of thanksgiving for the end of the war.

Unveiling of John Angel's sculpture of St. John on the trumeau on the west front. Bishop Manning retires and is succeeded by Charles Gilbert, 11th Bishop of New York.

Dedication of John Angel's tympanum on the west front, depicting the Second Coming of Christ.

Bishop Gilbert dies and is succeeded by Horace Donegan, 12th Bishop of New York. Special prayer service for race relations in New York.

First telecast of Cathedral services. An ecumenical service marks including many Eastern Orthodox church leaders marks the 1,500th anniversary of the Council of Chalcedon.

James Albert Pike is named Dean. Under Dean Pike and Bishop Donegan, the Cathedral's pulpit becomes a forum for important national issues such as civil rights, McCarthyism and the Cold War. ABC-TV begins weekly live broadcasts of "The Dean Pike Show," an early venture in religious broadcasting that will run for six years.

Dean Pike sparks a controversy by declining an honorary Doctor of Divinity degree from the University of the South. Castigating the school's all-white admissions policy, Pike refuses to accept "a degree in white divinity."

The Aeolian-Skinner Organ Company expands the Great Organ from its original 5,000 pipes to the present size of 8,035 pipes arranged in 141 ranks. The State Trumpets are mounted on the wall at the west end of the nave, 500 feet from the console, one of the most powerful organ stops in the world. Nine English tapestries based on the Acts of the Apostles after cartoons by Raphael are hung in the nave, where four may still be seen.

The Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. preaches at an ecumenical service marking the second anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court decision in the landmark desegregation case Brown v. Board of Education.

Based on information from the Cathedral's Web Page