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).
September 26, 1460: Pope Pius II assembles European leaders, then delivers a three-hour sermon to inspire them to launch a new crusade against the Turks. The speech works, but then another speaker, Cardinal Bessarion, adds a three-hour sermon of his own. After six hours of preaching, the European princes lose all interest in the cause; they never mount the called-for crusade.
September 26, 1897: Charles C. Overton, a Sunday school superintendent at Brighton Chapel, Staten Island, spontaneously promotes ...