November 28, 1628: English preacher John Bunyan, author of more than 60 books, including the famous Pilgrim's Progress, is born in Elstow, England (see issue 11: John Bunyan).
November 28, 1757: English Christian mystic William Blake is born in London. A poet, sculptor, and engraver, he was unschooled but fascinated with Milton, Shakespeare, Dante, and the Bible. He experienced visions all his life, beginning at age 4 when he saw God looking in his window.
November 28, 1863: The the first annual national Thanksgiving Day is celebrated. Back in October, President Lincoln had proclaimed the fourth Thursday of each November from that time forward as a national day of thanks.
January 23, 1786: John Carroll, who would become America's first Roman Catholic bishop, founds the Catholic academy that is now Georgetown University.
January 23, 1893: Episcopal minister Phillips Brooks, bishop of Massachusetts, staunch abolitionist, substitute evangelist for D.L. Moody, and author of "O Little Town of Bethlehem," dies. He was considered the most "considerable American preacher of his generation."