January 24, 1076: Germany's Henry IV convenes the Synod of Worms to secure the deposition of Pope Gregory VII. The Synod charged the pope with serious crimes, called upon Rome to depose him, and issued other anti-papal statements. The pope quickly excommunicated Henry. One year later, Henry traveled to Canossa, Italy, and stood three days in the snow in an attempt to gain Gregory's forgiveness. Gregory granted it, but the two men soon fought again; Henry set up an antipope in Gregory's place.
January 24, 1573: English poet and preacher John Donne, dean of St. Paul's Cathedral in London, is born. One of the most prominent preachers of his day and one of the greatest English poets, he is known for such famous lines as "No man is an island," "For whom does the bell toll? It tolls for thee," and "Death be not proud.
January 23, 1786: John Carroll, who would become America's first Roman Catholic bishop, founds the Catholic academy that is now Georgetown University.
January 23, 1893: Episcopal minister Phillips Brooks, bishop of Massachusetts, staunch abolitionist, substitute evangelist for D.L. Moody, and author of "O Little Town of Bethlehem," dies. He was considered the most "considerable American preacher of his generation."