History Highlights 2017-07-05T17:13:15+00:00

In Landmark Events’ History Highlights, historian Bill Potter draws contemporary lessons and applications from key people and events of the past.

2017

The Death of Rev. Isaac Backus, 1806

Week of November 19
It has become fashionable among historians, including some Christian ones, to denigrate the “Great Awakening” as evidence of a mere psychological phenomenon in American history...

The Birth of Richard Baxter, 1615

Week of November 12
In God’s good providence, the seventeenth century produced many great preachers of the Gospel, especially in England and Scotland. They were born in times of persecution and trouble, to be sure...

John Hanson Elected President, 1781

Week of November 5
Three different floors in the United States Capitol display significant and representative statues of great historical characters, two from each state. Many of them are well known, like George...

The Birth of Samuel Davies, 1723

Week of October 29
His godly parents, Welsh immigrants to Colonial Delaware, named him after the prophet Samuel and dedicated him to the service of God. His mother homeschooled him to the age of ten, and by...

The Battle of Agincourt, 1415

Week of October 22
Had William Shakespeare not written Henry V (1599), the Battle of Agincourt (1415) may have remained but an obscure medieval battle between the seemingly interminable enemies, Britain...

Senate Ratifies Louisiana Purchase, 1803

Week of October 15
Many people in every American colony possessed a sense that God had allowed or even ordained, that the English-speaking immigrants would eventually possess the North American continent, even...

Abraham Kuyper Delivers “Lectures on Calvinism” at Princeton, 1898

Week of October 8
Dr. Abraham Kuyper recorded the ruling passion of his life, the purpose for which all his monumental efforts were directed...

The Hanging of the Spy John André, 1780

Week of October 1
Espionage was and is a dangerous business. When the American colonies seceded from Great Britain, intelligence-gathering networks received primary attention on both sides. At the beginning of...

Huguenot Fort Caroline Constructed in Florida, 1565

Week of September 24
The turbulent 16th century brought together opposing currents of ideas and beliefs as well as competing national aspirations and dynastic...

The Salem Witch Trial Executions, 1692

Week of September 17
The word “Puritans” often triggers the instant response of “witch burners“ among both casual and professional historians of American history. Who the Puritans actually were, and the details of the...

The American Flag at Brandywine, 1777

Week of September 10
We tend to take for granted the power of national symbols. They do not have the same grip on us that they used to, in part because they are down-played in our new multi-cultural ethos that hates our...

Peyton Randolph Elected First President of Congress, 1774

Week of September 3
George Washington was the 15th President of the United States—everyone knows that... right? The Constitution of the United States—ratified in 1789...

The Death of Saint Augustine, A.D. 430

Week of August 27
When historians of the history of Christianity examine the lives and teaching of the men who most influenced the Church and the world in the post-apostolic era, Augustine of Hippo...

Africans Arrive at Jamestown, 1619

Week of August 20
The history of Africans in America is a far more interesting and complex story than most historians care to admit. In fact, the distortions, farragos of deceit, and myths they have created, seem to...

“Old Ironsides” Defeats HMS Guerriere, 1812

Week of August 13
The young Republic fell prey to the Barbary pirates, as American merchants were set upon in the Mediterranean. George Washington reluctantly...

Francis Asbury Answers the Call, 1771

Week of August 6
"Our brethren in America cry aloud for help. Who are willing to go over and help them?” So pleaded the Rev. John Wesley on August 6, 1771 in a Methodist conference meeting in Bristol, England...

John Witherspoon Preaches on ‘The Dominion of Providence’, 1776

Week of July 30
While many of the signers of the Declaration of Independence spoke of their Christian faith and were members in good standing of...

Jenny Geddes Starts a Revolution, 1637

Week of July 24
Inside the greatest cathedral in Scotland — St. Giles in Edinburgh — are memorials one might expect to see in such a historically...

First Walk on the Moon, 1969

Week of July 17
On the 20th of July, 1969 two United States Astronauts, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin disembarked from their lunar module and...

Adoniram Judson Arrives in Rangoon, 1813

Week of July 10
It was not until the 19th Century that a significant foreign missionary movement by American evangelical Christians began in earnest...

The Death of Adams and Jefferson, 1826

Week of July 3
They could hardly have been more unlike in appearance and character. Adams was older — short, rotund, sometimes irascible...

Margaret Sanger Introduces Her ‘Negro Project’, 1939

Week of June 25
The founder of Planned Parenthood introduced her “Negro Project” on this day, just a couple months before the beginning of WWII...

Henry Laurens Is Captured by the British, 1779

Week of June 18
“At a time when liberty is under attack, decency is under assault, the family is under siege, and life itself is threatened, the good...

Battle of Bunker Hill, 1775

Week of June 11
The Breed’s Hill battlefield memorial today covers about four acres and is surrounded by upscale four-story apartments and condos, the building of which were part of the fund-raising...

Operation Overlord, 1944

Week of June 4
It was the mightiest amphibious military operation in the history of mankind. With literally millions of moving parts, the D-Day landings along the Normandy Coast marked the return...

David Livingstone Leaves for Africa, 1841

Week of May 28
In his book The Man Who Presumed, Byron Farwell records that former Confederate soldier turned journalist-explorer, Henry Morton...

The Constitutional Convention, 1787

Week of May 21
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...

The Death of St. Brendan, 587

Week of May 14
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 Sinking of the RMS Lusitania, 1915

Week of May 7
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...

Stonewall Jackson’s Mortal Wounding, 1863

Week of April 30
In the recent book The Smoothbore Volley That Doomed the Confederacy, by historian Robert Krick, we see, from a human...

The Easter Rising, 1916

Week of April 23
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...

Lexington and Concord, 1775

Week of April 16
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...

American Dictionary of the English Language Published, 1828

Week of April 9
If words are mere social constructs with no objective meaning, men and women bent on destroying Christian civilization...

The Marriage of Pocahontas and John Rolfe, 1614

Week of April 2
The 17th century Powhatan Princess Matoaka — today better known as Pocahontas — has become an iconic romantic figure to the...

The Okinawa Campaign, 1945

Week of March 26
Okinawa holds first place as the most difficult and costly military undertaking in the Pacific Theatre of World War II. Twenty-three Medals of Honor were awarded to American soldiers, which speaks of...

“Give Me Liberty, Or Give Me Death!”, 1775

Week of March 19
A red-headed eleven-year-old boy sat in the front row of the church, next to his mother. His father had come to America from Aberdeenshire, Scotland, sixteen years before the boy was born and was...

Death of Saint Patrick, A.D. 461

Week of March 12
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...

John Chrysostom Becomes Bishop of Constantinople, 397

Week of March 5
Today, he looks down on a congregation of tourists from a frieze in the Hagia Sophia in Istanbul, Turkey (formerly Constantinople). Dressed...

The Martyrdom of Patrick Hamilton, 1528

Week of February 26
The Reformation in Scotland did not begin with John Knox. We know that Lollards were preaching the Gospel and sharing the...

The Battle of the Alamo, 1836

Week of February 19
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...

The Birth of Charles Darwin, 1809

Week of February 12
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...

The Escape of Athanasius, 356

Week of February 5
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?...

Execution of King Charles I, 1649

Week of January 29
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...

The Death of Sir Francis Drake, 1596

Week of January 22
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 Irish Free State, 1922

Week of January 15
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...

Andrew Jackson at New Orleans, 1815

Week of January 8
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...

Charles Spurgeon’s Conversion, 1850

Week of January 1
The “Prince of Preachers” did not start out that way. Charles Haddon Spurgeon’s grandfather, who preached for more than fifty years years, and his father, for sixteen, were both...

2016

Christmas Truce of 1914

Week of December 25
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...

Three Ships, One Hundred Forty-Four Men, 1606

Week of December 18
When Queen Elizabeth died in 1603, the commitment to explore north of Spanish Florida did not die with her. Her successor...

The Death of Washington, 1799

Week of December 11
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...