Now, a law librarian at Yale, using new databases of archival documents, has found newspaper clippings and a book from as far back as 1936 that quote close versions of the prayer. The quotations are from civic leaders all over the United States — a Y.W.C.A. leader in Syracuse, a public school counselor in Oklahoma City — and are always, interestingly, by women.
Some refer to the prayer as if it were a proverb, while others appear to claim it as their own poetry. None attribute the prayer to a particular source. And they never mention Reinhold Niebuhr.
For the Yale Alumni Magazine article by Fred Shapiro cited in the Times story, click here.