October 28, 312: According to tradition, on this date the 32-year-old Roman emperor Constantine defeated Maxentius at Milvian Bridge. Before the battle, Constantine had seen the symbol of Jesus, chi-rho, in a vision, accompanied with the words "By this sign conquer." He is considered Rome's first Christian emperor (see issue 57: Converting the Empire).
October 28, 1646: At Nonantum, Massachusetts, missionary John Eliot preaches the first worship service for Native Americans in their native language.
October 28, 1949: Jim Elliot, missionary to Ecuador's Auca Indians, writes in his journal the most famous of his sayings: "He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.
October 28, 1958: The Roman Catholic patriarch of Venice, Angelo Giuseppe Roncalli, is unexpectedly elected pope, taking the name John XXIII. Expected to be a mere caretaker in office, he became one of the Catholic church's most activist popes, convening the Second Vatican Council in 1962 (see issue 65: The Ten Most Influential Christians of the Twentieth Century).
October 28, 1992: The Korean Hyoo-go (Korean for "rapture") movement, led by prophet Lee Jang Rim, predicts that this is the day of the rapture (see issue 61: The End of the World).
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."