History Highlights 2017-05-22T20:26:19+00:00

History Highlight—Week of May 21

The Constitutional Convention, May 25, 1787
A secret cabal of rich white men — mostly slave-drivers — met secretly behind locked doors in Philadelphia to overthrow the new American government, and create a new document designed to protect their own economic interests and give themselves supreme power over the people... or so goes the current view of the Constitutional Convention from both the radical neo-Marxists and the conspiracy-theory revisionists of the right. Their constitutional convention was a coup d’état.

History Highlight—Week of May 14

The Death of St. Brendan, May 16, 587
As the patron saint of sailors and travelers, superstitious people have appealed to Saint Brendan for help and safety for more than 16 centuries. Known as “Brendan the Bold” or “Brendan the Navigator,” his epic voyages and the mythology that goes with them have inspired songs, stories, and adoration in Ireland, Scotland, and America.

History Highlight—Week of May 7

The Sinking of the RMS Lusitania, May 7, 1915
The headlines were as lurid as any in the 20th Century, and the tragedy rivaled only by the sinking of RMS Titanic three years earlier. The United States had declined to enter the world war raging in the trenches of Europe and now the dirty Hun had torpedoed an innocent passenger ship, with many Americans aboard. Many in the press and the numerous Anglophiles of the United States began baying for war against Germany.

History Highlight—Week of April 30

Stonewall Jackson’s Mortal Wounding, May 2, 1863
In the recent book The Smoothbore Volley That Doomed the Confederacy, by historian Robert Krick, we see, from a human perspective, an event that many historians, and Southerners in particular, believed changed history in such a way that subsequent events were just running out the clock after the All-American player had been removed from the team. Whether Stonewall Jackson’s death after the Battle of Chancellorsville “doomed” the nation or not, his removal from history secured his reputation and importance in Civil War historiography and American culture until recent times.

History Highlight—Week of April 23

The Easter Rising, April 24-29, 1916
Until Henry VIII, England was virtually powerless in most of Ireland. By the end of his reign, the Tudor King and his successors would possess undisputed rule of the whole island. And so it would remain, though disputed from time to time, often violently, until 1922. After Henry though, the “viceroy” would be English. After the fall of the Fitzgeralds in 1541, the Irish Parliament declared Henry VIII the King of all Ireland.

History Highlight—Week of April 16

Lexington and Concord, April 19, 1775
The Lexington Green stands silent today, surrounded by stately homes, a church, visitors’ center and Buckman tavern. At the entrance to the green, facing traffic, stands the minuteman statue, an armed man in the clothes of a farmer or townsman, grim, holding a rifle like it is a tool he normally carries to work. A marker in the center of the commons lists the names of the men who gathered to defend their homes, including the names of those who died in battle on that ground. Just up the street on a hill overlooking the town stands the reconstructed tower whose bell summoned the men to arms. While many New England villages still have a commons and a similar look to Lexington — they did not hear the “shot heard round the world.”

History Highlight—Week of April 9

American Dictionary of the English Language Published, April 14, 1828
If words are mere social constructs with no objective meaning, men and women bent on destroying Christian civilization and replacing it with subjective nonsense, myths and perversity will make great strides toward their goal. When words are defined by the social ethos of the moment, documents like the U.S. Constitution become nothing but historical curiosities, and biblical truth becomes irrelevant or evil by the lights of the humanistic cognoscenti. The ones who define the terms, win the argument. English, that most pliable and eclectic of all languages, reached its apogee of objective meaning with the publication of Noah Webster’s 1828 Dictionary.

History Highlight—Week of April 2

The Marriage of Pocahontas and John Rolfe, 1614
The 17th century Powhatan Princess Matoaka — today better known as Pocahontas — has become an iconic romantic figure to the current generation of young girls, thanks to Walt Disney studios’ cartoon epic, or she serves as the prototype feminist who took charge of her life, defied convention, and overcame the patriarchal tyrants of her day.

History Highlight—Week of March 13

Death of Saint Patrick, A.D. 461
Before the light of the Protestant Reformation dawned in the 16th century, many in the Christian Church believed that only a certain few Christians in history should be designated as “saints”, though the Bible explicitly teaches that every true believer possesses that title.

History Highlight—Week of March 6

John Chrysostom Becomes Bishop of Constantinople, 397
Today, he looks down on a congregation of tourists from a frieze in the Hagia Sophia in Istanbul, Turkey (formerly Constantinople). Dressed in white livery and holding a copy of the Scripture under his arm, the archbishop John Chrysostom is probably preparing to speak, for his name literally means “golden mouthed” in Greek. His life began in the middle of the Fourth Century A.D. and ended in 407 but his influence, wisdom, popularity and reputation is second only to Augustine of Hippo.

History Highlight—Week of February 26

The Martyrdom of Patrick Hamilton, 1528
The Reformation in Scotland did not begin with John Knox. We know that Lollards were preaching the Gospel and sharing the Scriptures centuries before. Nonetheless, there are few extant records that indicate true biblical faith in the centuries immediately before the Protestant Reformation. When the manuscripts of Martin Luther’s sermons, debates, and trials went to press, the Word spread to parts of Europe, especially among Renaissance scholars, typically monks and university professors. In Scotland a young professor at the University of St. Andrews, Patrick Hamilton, came into contact with Lutheran teaching while studying in France.

History Highlight—Week of February 19

The Battle of the Alamo, 1836
At the age of four I received my first little 45 rpm record — Tennessee Ernie Ford’s “Ballad of Davy Crockett.” I played it a thousand times (I’m not good with numbers — it was probably more). The story of the Alamo became as ingrained in my head as the grooves in the record. Sixty years later I am still remembering the heroic last stand of Travis, Bowie and Crockett.

History Highlight—Week of February 12

The Birth of Charles Darwin, February 12, 1809
Everyone recognizes the face—long white beard, intense look in his eyes, almost the prototype of a Hollywood wizard. He adorns the cover of books and stares down at you from museums. His name is evoked in debates, academic papers, and the pulpits of churches in our land. He is the high priest of evolutionary theory, Charles Darwin, whose birthday on February 12 marks the beginning of a life that would change the world.

History Highlight—Week of February 5

The Escape of Athanasius, February 8, AD 356
How would you respond if five thousand armed, sweaty Byzantine Arians surrounded your church on Sunday morning baying for your pastor’s blood, and maybe yours while they’re at it? For the third time since the Council of Nicaea, Athanasius, the pastor of the Church in Alexandria Egypt, was under siege.

History Highlight—Week of January 29

Execution of King Charles I, January 30, 1649
On January 30, 1649 King Charles I walked to the executioner’s block to face capital punishment for high treason. This unprecedented action against an English Monarch set in motion Oliver Cromwell’s ascendance to power as Lord Protector, occasioned freedom of worship in Great Britain for all Protestants, and set the stage for a period known as “The Restoration” of the monarchy upon the return to power of the Stuart dynasty.

History Highlight—Week of January 22

The Death of Sir Francis Drake, 1596
Was he a free-enterprise privateer or a rapacious pirate? Was he a Christian hero or a thieving reprobate known as “the Dragon?” Was he a bold explorer or demonic enemy of the Church? January 28 marks the death of Sir Francis Drake and, whatever the label in real life, his contribution to the furtherance of the English Empire and the providential success of his war on the water against Spain make him, perhaps unwittingly, one of the great men of his age and a key figure in the founding of English settlement in the New World.

History Highlight—Week of January 15

The Irish Free State, January 15, 1922
For centuries the Irish people fought back against English domination. Various risings, wars, rebellions and petitions had been tried, without more than temporary success; often the resistance to Royal rule met with brutal suppression. Henry VIII, Oliver Cromwell and William and Mary all hold special places of execration in the Irish history books. In 1922, the legislative relationship with England changed forever and, in the words of Michael Collins, the Irish people acquired “the freedom to obtain freedom.”

History Highlight—Week of January 8

Andrew Jackson at New Orleans, 1815
From January 8th through the 15th, a hodge-podge of an American army led by General Andrew Jackson — a Tennessee politician and militia general — prepared to stop the attempt of a British army, fresh from the defeat of Napoleon Bonaparte in Europe and led by the Duke of Wellington’s brother-in-law General Sir Richard Pakenham. The British target was the city of New Orleans. If Jackson failed, His Majesty’s redcoats would gain control of all the trade down the Mississippi River and perhaps prevent the Americans from ever expanding further westward.

History Highlight—Week of January 1

Charles Spurgeon’s Conversion—January 6, 1850
The “Prince of Preachers” did not start out that way. Charles Haddon Spurgeon’s grandfather, who preached for more than fifty years, and his father, for sixteen, were both Dissenting “Congregationalist” ministers of Puritan heritage in Essex, England. Little Charles grew up in both manses, hearing the Gospel many times and loving to read books of spiritual benefit. He easily memorized the catechism and all of Isaac Watts’ hymns. His mother taught him the Bible and prayed with and for him daily. Although taught by two Anglican rectors at the age of fourteen — both of whom pressed him with the Gospel — he still denied “owning” Christ as his Savior.

History Highlight—Week of December 25

Christmas Truce of 1914
On December 25, 1914, with the British and German troops facing each other in their respective trenches across the frozen wastes of no-man’s-land — over which both sides had already shed much blood — a remarkable phenomenon occurred about which entire books have been written. Almost spontaneously men on both sides began singing Christmas carols. Men so determined the day before to exterminate each other, probably for the last time in all of their lives, commemorated the birth of Christ in music.

History Highlight—Week of December 18

Three Ships — One Hundred Forty-Four Men, December 20, 1606
When Queen Elizabeth died in 1603, the commitment to explore north of Spanish Florida did not die with her. Her successor James I ended English piracy against Spain, but was willing to back ventures funded by private investors to pursue permanent plantations. A royal charter was granted to a diverse group of gentlemen patentees, backed by several of the nobility, to fund an expedition. Two companies, the Plymouth and the London, divided the geographical range of the coast from Maine to Georgia. They were overseen by the royal “Virginia Council” to make sure the crown’s interests were looked after.

History Highlight—Week of December 11

The Death of Washington, December 1799
Today we introduce a new feature authored by Landmark Events Historian Bill Potter. In History Highlights, Mr. Potter will draw contemporary lessons and applications from key people and events of the past. Enjoy! —Kevin Turley, President of Landmark Events