SOURCE: National Bible Association

October 30, 2008 17:42 ET

J. Willard Marriott, Jr., New National Bible Week Chairman

NEW YORK CITY, NY--(Marketwire - October 30, 2008) - J.W. "Bill" Marriott, Jr., Chairman and CEO of Marriott International, Inc. will be the new National Bible Week Chairman for 2008. President George W. Bush and First Lady Laura Bush will be Honorary Co-Chairs for National Bible Week, hosted by the National Bible Association in November of this year. National Bible Week will take place from November 23 to November 30, 2008, the week of Thanksgiving.

The Honorable Andrew Card, Jr., former Secretary of Transportation, and Chief of Staff for President George W. Bush from 2000-2006, will be the keynote speaker at the National Bible Week Gala Dinner which kicks off National Bible Week for 2008.

As National Bible Week Chairman, Mr. Marriott will be involved in the planning, promotion and presentation of National Bible Week and its underlying purpose, to encourage Bible reading more widely in the United States.

"I am honored to be chosen as one who regularly reads and believes in the Bible," said Mr. Marriott. "It is dear to my heart and basic beliefs, and I salute the National Bible Association for its purpose and effort to encourage Bible reading throughout the United States."

Each year, leaders of various government entities join in supporting National Bible Week. This year, in addition to the President, these leaders are:

For the Senate: Senator Daniel K. Akaka

For the House of Representatives: Congressman W. Todd Akin

For the Governors: Governor Rod Blagojevich of Illinois

For the Mayors: Mayor Jim Naugle of Ft. Lauderdale, FL

Each annual National Bible Week, Members of Congress enter statements about the importance of the Bible into the Congressional Record. Governors and mayors proclaim National Bible Week in their states and towns. Public libraries, civic clubs, bookstores, congregations and individuals schedule community events.

The National Bible Association was created in 1940 by business and professional leaders in New York City. Their purpose was to find hope for America while war raged in Europe. In 1941 these individuals agreed that the Bible, a proven source of hope and encouragement throughout history, should be the focus of their efforts.

December 8 through 14, 1941 was set as the very first National Bible Week. President Roosevelt agreed to host celebratory events at the White House. That year, the event was canceled because of the attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. National Bible Week has been celebrated each year since that beginning. It remains the signature event of the National Bible Association.

J. W. "Bill" Marriott, Jr. will also provide a special video message at the National Bible Week Gala Dinner in New York City. This year's dinner will take place on Thursday, November 20th, 2008 at the Essex House Grand Ballroom, on Central Park South, New York, NY - 6:00 p.m. Reception, 7:00 p.m. Dinner.

For more information on National Bible Week or The National Bible Association, visit our Web site at

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