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Historical Writings

Today in Christian History

Sunday, September 21

1451
Cardinal Nicholas of Cusa orders Jews of Holland to wear a yellow badge.
1452
Birth of Girolamo Savonarola, Italian reformer. A Dominican from 1474, he was famous for his religious zeal. For 14 years he led in the reformation of Florence, before attacks on Alexander VI led to his excommunication. In 1498, he was convicted of heresy, hanged and burned.
1522
Martin Luther, 36, first published his German translation of the New Testament. (Luther's translation of the entire Bible was completed in 1534 -- perhaps the greatest literary achievement of the great Reformer.)
1814
Francis Scott Key's patriotic verses, entitled "The Star Spangled Banner," were first published in "The Baltimore American." (The poem became the American National Anthem in 1931.)
1832
Death at Abbotsford of the novelist and poet Sir Walter Scott, who had also written hymns. Two of the best known were "The Day of Wrath, that Dreadful Day," and "When Israel of the Lord Beloved."
1833
Archbishop Signaie ordains Charles Chiniquy as a priest in Quebec Cathedral. After causing several scandals, Chiniquy will quit Catholicism and vilify his former church.
1848
The Arkansas Baptist State Convention was organized in Tulip, Arkansas, by 72 delegates from several area-wide Baptist churches and organizations. It was the first statewide Baptist organization in the history of Arkansas.
1933
In Germany during Hitler's rise to power, Martin Niemoeller began organizing the Pastors' Emergency League. Over 7,000 churches joined, although some 2,500 later withdrew under Nazi pressure. (The League itself gave birth to the more famous Barmen Synod, formed in May 1934.)
1935
Death of James M. Gray, who had been a Bible teacher, author, pastor (Reformed Episcopal Church), dean and president of Moody Bible Institute, an editor of the Scofield reference Bible and hymnwriter. Among his hymns was "Nor Silver Nor Gold" and "Only a Sinner."
1992
Muslim extremists attack a Christian radio station in the Philippines, killing Greg Hapalla (who is taping a program in the local language) and control operator Greg Bacabis.

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