October 3, 1226: Francis of Assisi, preacher and mystic who created monastic communities for men and women devoted to poverty and serving the poor, dies (see issue 42: Francis of Assisi).
October 3, 1692: Puritan clergy in Salem, Massachusetts, agree there would be no more executions resulting from the witch trials. More than 150 suspected witches had been put on trial in the previous year, and 19 had been hanged (see issue 41: The American Puritans).
October 3, 1789: George Washington names November 26 as a day of national thanksgiving for the ratification of the Constitution. On the same date in 1863, Abraham Lincoln designates the last Thursday in November as Thanksgiving Day.
December 8, 1691: English Puritan minister Richard Baxter dies in London. One of England's most renowned preachers and author of nearly 200 works (including several hymns), he was known as a peacemaker who sought unity among Protestants.
December 8, 1934: American missionaries John and Betty Stam are beheaded by Chinese communists. The couple had met while attending Moody Bible Institute and married just the year before their death. Publication of their biography prompted hundreds to volunteer ...