January 15, 345 (traditional date): Paul of Thebes, traditionally considered the first Christian hermit and an inspiration for Antony of Egypt and later Christian monasticism, dies (see issue 64: Antony and the Desert Fathers).
January 15, 1697: Massachusetts citizens observe a day of fasting and repentance for the Salem witch trials of 1692, in which 19 suspected witches were hanged and more than 150 imprisoned. The day was declared "That so all of God's people may offer up fervent supplications unto him, that all iniquity may be put away, which hath stirred God's holy jealousy against this land; that he would show us what we know not, and help us, wherein we have done amiss, to do so no more" (see issue 41: American Puritans).
January 15, 1844: The University of Notre Dame, America's premiere Roman Catholic institution of higher learning, is chartered in South Bend, Indiana.
January 15, 1929: Baptist minister Martin Luther King, Jr., America's most visible civil rights leader from 1955 until his assassination in 1968, is born in Atlanta.
January 16, 1545: George Spalatin, Martin Luther's close friend and go-between with Frederick The Wise, dies (see issue 34: Luther's Early Years).
January 16, 1604: Puritan John Rainolds suggests " . . . that there might bee a newe translation of the Bible, as consonant as can be to the original Hebrew and Greek." England's King James I granted his approval the following day, leading to the 1611 publication of the Authorized (King James) version of the Bible (see issue 43: How ...