Today in Christian History

May 19

May 19, 804: Alcuin of York, an English scholar who became an adviser to Charlemagne and the most prominent figure in the Carolingian Renaissance (the rebirth of classical learning under Charlemagne), dies. He also devised a handwriting system using both small and capital letters for easier reading.

May 19, 1805: Joshua V. Himes, best known for promoting William Miller's Second Advent movement, is born. Miller predicted the Second Coming between 1843 and 1844. When this did not happen, many followers deserted; others reorganized themselves as Seventh-Day Adventists (see issue 61: The End of the World).

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April 22, 1418: The Council of Constance ends, having finally ended the Great Western Schism. When the schism began nearly 40 years earlier, three men had reasonable claims to the papacy. The council deposed all three and elected Martin V. (Martin then turned around and rejected further councils' right to depose a pope.) Though that part of the council is regarded as a triumph, the council also hastily condemned Jan Hus, a Bohemian preacher and forerunner of Protestantism, and sentenced him to execution ...

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