Historical Writings

Today in Christian History

Wednesday, July 4

473
The remains of Martin of Tours are moved (translated) from the small church where they have lain for decades to the new and larger Church of St. Martin of Tours constructed at the instigation of Archbishop Perpetuus of Tours, who will in due course be buried at his famous predecessor's feet.
1187
Saladin defeats Christians in Palestine at the Battle of Hattin.
1648
Antoine Daniel, a Jesuit who taught the Hurons many hymns in their own language, is martyred by the Iroquois.
1765
English poet and hymnwriter William Cowper observed in a letter: 'How naturally does affliction make us Christians!'
1831
Baptist clergyman Samuel Francis Smith penned the American patriotic hymn,'America' ('My Country, 'tis of Thee'). Smith was unaware that the tune, ironically, was also that of England's national anthem: 'God Save the Queen'!
1832
The national hymn "America" is first sung in public at a children's celebration of Independence Day, at the Park St. Church, Boston. The words had been written that February by the Rev. Samuel F. Smith and are sung to the tune of "God Save the King."
1841
Death in Lexington, Missouri, of Finis Ewing, one of the founders of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church.
1844
Captain Allen Gardiner founds the Patagonian Mission. He will perish in its service in 1851.
1870
Birth of James Moffatt, Scottish New Testament scholar. Moffatt translated the New (1913) and Old (1924) Testaments into the colloquial English of his day. They were first published together in 1935.
1986
The Baptist convention of Nicaragua issues an appeal against United States intervention in Nicaragua and against an embargo of their nation's Sandinista Communist regime.

Copyright Statement
© 1987-2020, William D. Blake. Portions used by permission of the author, from "Almanac of the Christian Church"