May 16, 583 (traditional date): Brendan the Navigator, founder of a Celtic monastery in Clonfert, Ireland, dies. Some Irish scholars have asserted that Brendan was among the first Europeans to reach America, nine centuries before Columbus (see issue 60: How the Irish Were Saved).
May 16, 1805: Henry Martyn, a well-educated Englishman, arrives in India to aid William Carey with translation work (see issue 36: William Carey).
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.