February 3, 865 (traditional date): Anskar, the first archbishop of Hamburg and called the "Apostle of the North," dies. Missionary to Denmark and Sweden, he converted many, including the King of Jutland (see issue 63: Conversion of the Vikings).
February 3, 1468: Johannes Gutenberg, who developed a printing press with movable type that helped the Protestant Reformation (by allowing the easy dissemination of reformers' writings), dies at age 67 (see issue 34: Luther's Early Years).
February 3, 1809: German composer Felix Mendelssohn, a very devout Lutheran, is born in Hamburg. His "Elijah" oratorio is considered second only to Handel's "Messiah," and he is responsible for rediscovering Bach, whose music had been forgotten for 80 years.
February 3, 1864: The Christian Union, composed of Protestant congregations opposed to "political preaching" during the Civil War, is formed in Columbus, Ohio.
March 24, 1208: After England's irreligious King John opposed his choice for Archbishop of Canterbury, Pope Innocent III places Britain under an interdict. Innocent had all religious services canceled, churches closed, and the dead were not given Christian burials until John surrendered. Soon after, the king signed the Magna Carta, in which the first article affirms "That the Church of England shall be free . . .
March 24, 1816: Methodist Bishop Francis Asbury, age 71, preaches his last sermon. ...