Today in Christian History

March 13

March 13, 1815: Presbyterian medical missionary James Hepburn is born in Milton, Pennsylvania. In the course of his missions work, he compiled the first Japanese-English dictionary and supervised the first complete translation of the Bible into Japanese (which was published in 1888).

March 13, 1925: Austin Peay, governor of Tennessee, signs the "Butler Bill," prohibiting any teaching that contradicted the Genesis creation story. By July, John Scopes was on trial for violating the legislation and the "trial of the century" had begun (see issue 55: The Monkey Trial and the Rise of Fundamentalism).

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June 20, 1599: The Synod of Diamper, sponsored by the Roman Catholic church, seeks to correct the errors of Christians in India and bring them into conformity with the teachings of the church.

June 20, 1885: A band of Moravian missionaries lands on the shores of Alaska and founds the Bethel Mission.

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