February 15, 1386: Jagiello, king of the Lithuanians, is baptized. His conversion, the condition of an alliance with Poland, marks the end of established paganism in Europe.
February 15, 1631: John Donne, the greatest love poet of the English language and dean of St. Paul's Cathedral, preaches his last sermon titled "Death's Duel." "We celebrate our own funeral with cries, even at our birth," preached the poet, who was seemingly obsessed with the subject for his entire life (32 of his 54 songs and sonnets are about death).
February 15, 1860: Wheaton College (formerly Illinois Institute), one of evangelicalism's top institutions of higher education, is chartered in Illinois.
February 15, 1905: Christian author Lew Wallace dies at age 77. Wallace famous Ben Hur (1880) conceived on a train ride while arguing about Christ's divinity with famous agnostic Robert Ingersoll. It sold more than 300,000 copies in a decade, making him one of the best-selling religious authors of the 1800s.
April 3, 1593: George Herbert, one of England's greatest religious poets, is born in Montgomery Castle. After shocking the country by quitting his skyrocketing political life to become rector of rural Bremerton (a post he held for three years), "Holy Mr. Herbert" died of tuberculosis. But he gained great fame after his death for two posthumous books: The Temple: Sacred Poems and Private Ejaculations, and A Priest to the Temple, or the Country Parson.