July 7, 1647: Thomas Hooker, Puritan pastor, political theorist, and founder of Connecticut dies on his sixty-first birthday (see issue 41: American Puritans).
July 7, 1874: Popular New England preacher Henry Ward Beecher demands an investigation by his church into the charges of adultery brought by Theodore Tilton, who later sued Beecher for "alienating his wife's affections." The jury could not decide whether a sexual affair had really taken place.
July 7, 1946: Mother Frances Xavier Cabrini (1850-1917), founder of the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart, becomes the first American to be canonized by the Roman Catholic Church.
August 3, 1492: Christopher Columbus sets sail from Spain for the "Indies." Though the explorer was in part driven by a quest for gold and glory, he also saw himself as a missionary. He thought, if there were a shortcut to the East by sea, missionaries could be sent there faster, thus enabling Christians to meet the provision for world evangelization before the Lord could return (see issue 35: Christopher Columbus).