Today in Christian History

February 18

February 18, 1546: German reformer Martin Luther dies in Eisleben. In one of his pockets he had placed the beginning of a projected manuscript against Roman Catholics. In another pocket was a slip of paper reminding him, "We are beggars, that's the truth" (see issue 39: Luther's Later Years).

February 18, 1564: Michelangelo Buonarroti, the Italian Renaissance artist whose works include the frescoes in the Sistine Chapel, dies.

February 18, 1678: Puritan preacher John Bunyan publishes The Pilgrim's Progress, the best-selling book (apart from the Bible) in history. The allegorical tale, which describes Bunyan's own conversion process, begins, "I saw a man clothed with rags … a book in his hand and a great burden upon his back" (see issue 11: John Bunyan).

February 18, 1688: Quakers in Germantown, Pennsylvania, issue America's first formal protest of slavery.

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February 13, 1633: Called to trial by the Inquisition, Italian astronomer Galileo Galilei arrives in Rome ready to explain his belief that the earth revolves around the sun. He was compelled to recant the view, and was placed under house arrest until his death in 1642 (see issue 76: Christian Face of the Scientific Revolution).

February 13, 1826: The American Temperance Society (later renamed the American Temperance Union) is founded in Boston to promote total (but voluntary) abstinence from distilled ...

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