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December 9, 1608: English poet John Milton is born in London. Though most famous for his epic Paradise Lost, he also penned an exposition of Christian doctrine, a plan for Christian education, and various political writings.

December 9, 1840: Unable to go to China, David Livingstone sets sail from London as a missionary to southern Africa (see issue 56: David Livingstone).

December 9, 1843: The first Christmas cards—actually more like postcards—are created and sold for a shilling.

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