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Today in Christian History
According to Jewish historian Josephus, 967 Jewish zealots committed mass suicide within the fortress of Masada on this last night before the walls were breached by the attacking Roman Tenth Legion. (Two women and five children survived by hiding in a cistern, and were later released unharmed by the Romans.)
Ferdinand Magellan instructs and baptizes Humabon in the Philippines, and will baptize eight hundred more Filipinos in the week that follows.
At Tsar Theodore's order, Avvakum, one of Russia's Old Believers, and his fellow prisoners are locked in a log cabin which is burned over them.
Death in England of Joseph Swain who wrote the hymn "O Thou in Whose Presence My Soul takes Delight" and other hymns.
J.C. Penney opens his first Golden Rule Store (in Kemmerer, Wyoming), committing himself to the highest ethical standards. He seeks to run his business on biblical principles: giving each customer only quality merchandise at a fair price, taking no more than a fair profit, and transacting business for cash only.
The Azusa Street Revival -- proto-mission out of which the modern Pentecostal movement spread world-wide -- officially began when the services led by black evangelist William J. Seymour, 36, moved into the building at 312 Azusa Street in Los Angeles.
Death of Henry Beard Delany, first African-American bishop of North Carolina and the second African-American bishop in the Episcopal Church within the United States (a suffragan, or assistant, bishop). His daughters, the "Delany Sisters," will author the popular book Having Our Say.
Detroit radio priest, Father Charles E. Coughlin was censured for anti-Semitism. Coughlin's broadcasts had railed against "godless capitalists, the Jews, the Communists, international bankers and plutocrats."
Mitsuo Fuchida, who had radioed "Tora, Tora, Tora" from Pearl Harbor, becomes a Christian.
Death from lymphoma of Joseph C. Wong, Chinese-born pastor in Minnesota, founder of the North Central Chinese Winter Conference, and general secretary of the Chinese Christian Mission. He once wrote "The Gospel is not designed to be expressed by the culture in which it blossoms, but its purpose is to transform the very culture in which it blooms."
© 1987-2020, William D. Blake. Portions used by permission of the author, from "Almanac of the Christian Church"