Today in Christian History

November 19

November 19, 1861: At the suggestion of her minister, abolitionist Julia Ward Howe wrote "some good words to that tune" of the popular song "John Brown's Body." In February, "The Battle Hymn of the Republic" was published in the Atlantic Monthly and became very popular, especially after the Civil War (see issue 33: Christianity and the Civil War).

November 19, 1862: Baseball player-turned-revivalist William (Billy) Sunday is born in Iowa. An estimated 100 million people attended his 300 revivals, and he claimed that at least one million of them "hit the sawdust trail" to come forward and profess their conversion to Christ as a result of his preaching.

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June 18, 1464: Pope Pius II begins a crusade against the Turks. He died on the way to a rendezvous with his allies, and the crusading mentality died with him.

June 18, 1546: Protestant Anne Askew is condemned in England for denying the doctrine of transubstantiation (the idea that sacramental bread and wine turn into the body and blood of Christ). When asked by her accuser, "Sayest thou that priests cannot make the body of Christ?" she answered, "I have read that God made man; but that man can make ...

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