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Historical Writings

Today in Christian History

Tuesday, February 17

1600
Pantheist philosopher and occult practitioner Giordano Bruno is burned alive by secular authorities to whom the Roman Inquisition hands him over after an eight year investigation and trial.
1815
In deciding the legal case "Terrett v. Taylor," the U.S. Supreme Court declared unconstitutional an act of the Virginia Legislature which denied property rights to Protestant Episcopal churches in the state. The Court ruled that religious corporations, like other corporations, have rights to their property.
1816
Birth of Edward Hopper, American Presbyterian clergyman. He is remembered today as author of the hymn, "Jesus, Savior, Pilot Me."
1821
Levi Parsons arrives in Jerusalem, the first Protestant missionary to found a permanent mission in that city.
1889
Billy Sunday, 27, baseball player-turned-preacher, made his first appearance as an evangelist in Chicago. A strong fundamentalist, Sunday preached temperance and opposed scientific evolution. Over 100 million are estimated to have heard Sunday preach before his death in 1935.
1898
Death of Frances Willard, a Methodist crusader for prohibition and women's rights.
1912
Death of John Nelson "Praying" Hyde, who had served as a missionary in India. His last words were, "Shout the victory of Jesus Christ!" He had recently undergone surgery for a malignant tumor of the brain.
1969
Russian-born, Milwaukee-raised Golda Meir (nee Mabovitch [Myerson]), 70, was sworn in as Israel's first female prime minister. (She would hold the office for five embattled years.)
1977
Death of Orestes (Chornock) of Agathonikeia, who had helped draw thirty-seven Catholic uniate parishes in North America back to Orthodoxy after years of conflict with Rome, which wanted to Latinize the churches and end priestly marriages. Orestes became the first ruling bishop of the American Carpatho-Russian Orthodox Diocese.
2008
Two members of the Home Guard, bribed by a man who is furious that his wife converted to Christianity, assassinate Pastor Samson Neil Edirisinghe in Ampara, Sri Lanka, critically injuring Edirisinghe's wife and wounding their two-year-old son.

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