August 23, 1723: Increase Mather, one of Colonial America's most famous clergymen, dies. Friends and colleagues mourned him as "the patriarch . . . among us" (see issue 41: American Puritans).
August 23, 1948: The "fellowship of churches which accept our Lord Jesus Christ as God and Savior" (a.k.a. the World Council of Churches) is formally constituted in Amsterdam.
August 23, 1572: Catherine de Medici sends her son, young King Charles IX of France, into a panic with threats of an imminent Huguenot (French Protestant) insurrection. Frenzied, he yelled, "Kill them all! Kill them all!" In response, Catholics in Paris butchered the Huguenots who had come to the city for a royal wedding. Between 5,000 and 10,000 Protestants died in the St. Bartholomew's Day Massacre (see issue 71: Huguenots).
October 23, 1976: Presidential candidate Jimmy Carter responds to a public outcry over comments he made in an interview with Playboy magazine. "Christ said, 'I tell you that anyone who looks on a woman with lust has in his heart already committed adultery,'" Carter said in the interview. "I've looked on a lot of women with lust. I've committed adultery in my heart many times.