February 20, 1895 – Fredrick Douglass

Fredrick Douglass is one of the most-recognized ex-slaves in American history and at one time he made some remarks about religion. Believe it or not – he was misquoted. Before his death on February 20, 1895, he set the record straight: “What I have said respecting and against religion, I mean strictly to apply to the ‘slave holding religion’ of …

February 19, 1414 – Archbishop Thomas Arundel

What do you have to do to make the list of the 10 Worst Brits in the last 1,000 years? The BBC (British Broadcasting Corporation) History Magazine compiled a list and Thomas Arundel, the former Archbishop of Canterbury who died on February 19, 1414, joined the ranks of Jack the Ripper and King John (undoubtedly the worst king of England …

February 18, 1546/1564 – Martin Luther and Michelangelo

People who like American history consider it quite ironic that two of the Founding Fathers (John Adams and Thomas Jefferson) both died on July 4th. But even more of a coincidence is they died on the same day in 1826 and they had this odd “love/hate” relationship (not really hate). Martin Luther and Michelangelo both died on February 18 – …

February 17, 2001 – Voice of the Martyrs

Way before anyone was worried about the internet, “mass communication” was best done via the radio airwaves. Voice of the Martyrs reached millions for decades behind the Iron Curtain of the message of Christ because of the efforts of its founder Richard Wurmbrandt who died on February 17, 2001.

February 16, 1921 – B.B. Warfield

If there was a Reformed Theology Hall of Fame my guess is Benjamin Breckinridge (B.B.) Warfield would be an immediate unanimous inductee. One of the last theology professors at Princeton who believed in the authority of the Bible, he wrote extensively and one of his stand-out works was on the canon of Scripture. On Christmas eve in 1920 he became …

February 15, 1905 – Lew Wallace

How would you like these titles: New Mexico territorial governor. Ambassador to the Ottoman Empire. Union Army General. Author of “the most influential Christian book of the 19th century”? Lew Wallace gets all of these and more. You probably guessed by the picture which influential book he wrote but did you know the full title is Ben-Hur: A Tale of …

February 14, 278 – St. Valentine

The story of St. Valentine is so hard to correctly nail down that the Catholic Church removed it from the list of feasts to be celebrated and took St. Valentine’s Day off the calendar in 1969. The best story seems to be that during Roman Emperor Claudius the Cruel’s reign around AD 270 the emperor was having trouble getting men …

February 13, 1793 – Christian Schwartz

Much discussion has been given to William Carey’s mission work in India, and rightly so, but another missionary also did amazing work. Christian Schwartz was a Lutheran missionary from Prussia who immersed himself in the Indian culture by learning several languages including Urdu so he could talk with Muslims. He died on February 13, 1793 after ensuring the following generation …

February 12, 1663 – Cotton Mather

In addition to having a cool name, Cotton Mather was one of the most famous writers of his day.  He wrote a detailed description of the Salem Witch Trials, was a founder of Yale University, and was pastor of Boston’s Second Church (just like his father Increase Mather had been).  He was born on February 12, 1663.

February 11, 1482 – Spanish Inquisition

One of the darkest spots in the history of Christianity was the Spanish Inquisition. King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella wanted to force people to be Christians and if they weren’t sincere enough, they would often resort to torture. The priest Tomas de Torquemada (tork-a-mada) was the chief torturer and was appointed to his post as “inquistioner” on February 11, 1482 …