June 24, 64: Roman Emperor Nero begins persecuting Christians (see issue 27: Persecution in the Early Church).
June 24, 1178: Five Canterbury monks report something exploding on the moon, the only recorded time an asteroidal impact has been observed with the naked eye.
June 24, 1519: Theodore Beza, one of the great statesmen of the Reformation and John Calvin's successor at Geneva, is born in Vezelay, France (see issue 12: John Calvin).
June 24, 1542: Roman Catholic reformer, mystic, and poet John of the Cross is born in Spain. A student of Teresa of Avila, he attained fame for his poems "The Dark Night [of the Soul]" and "Spiritual Canticle.
June 24, 1813: Henry Ward Beecher, abolitionist and Congregational clergyman, is born in Litchfield, Connecticut (see issue 33: Christianity and the Civil War).
October 16, 1311: The Council of Vienne opens to decide if the Templars, a military order sworn to protect Christian pilgrims, are heretical and too wealthy. Pope Clement V decided to suppress the order. Its leader was burned and members' possessions taken by the church. That decision was adamantly derided by the poet Dante and by later historians (see issue 40: The Crusades).
October 16, 1555: English reformers Hugh Latimer and Nicholas Ridley are burned at the stake at the order of Roman Catholic ...