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Historical Writings

Today in Christian History

Friday, May 20

1277
Scholarly Pope John XXI is crushed to death at Viterbo, Italy, when his study ceiling collapses on him.
1506
Death of Christopher Columbus at Valladolid, Spain. The explorer had opened the Americas to colonization and considered it his mission to bring Christianity to the New World.
1560
The scholar John Feckenham is taken to the Tower of London in England for refusing to take the oath of supremacy. He will spend twenty-four years there.
1690
Death of John Eliot, missionary to the American Indians, in the parsonage at Roxbury. He had translated the entire Bible into the Algonquin Indian language and published the first Bible printed in America.
1732
Death at Ettrick, Scotland, of Thomas Boston, an influential Scottish minister and author of The Crook in the Lot.
1754
Columbia University in New York City was chartered as King's College, under sponsorship of the Episcopal Church. The institution adopted its present name in 1896.
1878
William R. Featherstone died at the age of 32. A Canadian Methodist who spent his life in Montreal, it was Featherstone who authored the hymn, "My Jesus, I Love Thee."
1930
Three days after sentencing him to death, Soviets shoot Mark Arsenyevich Dannik, warden of the Orthodox church in Ustyanka, Loktevsky Region. He is executed for anti-Soviet and counter-revolutionary propaganda and agitation - that is, for speaking against the wickedness of the Soviet regime.
1937
Jesse Overholtzer founds Child Evangelism Fellowship in Chicago.
1943
Smith College awards Wu Yi-fang, first Chinese woman to head a Chinese college (Ginling Women's College), an honorary Doctor of Law degree.

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