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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October 15, 1880: Germany's Cologne cathedral is completed, 633 years after construction began.

October 15, 1900: Charles Fox Parham opens Bethel Bible Institute in Topeka, Kansas, where Agnes Ozman and other students would speak in tongues and begin the Pentecostal movement (see issue 58: Pentecostalism).

October 15, 1932: A small party of supporters gathers in Liverpool, England, to send Gladys Aylward, a 28-year-old parlormaid, off on a dangerous missionary journey to China. Though she'd been turned ...

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