The Rev. Peter J. Marshall, 70, a conservative Christian evangelist who became a central figure in politically charged battles over school textbooks and the religious interpretation of U.S. history, died Sept. 8 after suffering a heart attack at a gym near his home in Orleans, Mass. Rev. Marshall, who was born in Washington, was the son and namesake of a Scottish-born Presbyterian minister who was chaplain of the U.S. Senate from 1947 until his death in 1949. Catherine Marshall, the chaplain’s wife, wrote a bestselling book about her husband, “A Man Called Peter,” which was made into a film in 1955 with Richard Todd. The younger Rev. Marshall began his career as a Presbyterian pastor in New England before forming an evangelistic ministry in 1977. He traveled the country to speak about what he called “America’s Christian heritage” and often said the role of Christianity among the nation’s founders had not received sufficient emphasis from historians.

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