379 – Basil the Great Died.
He died at Caesarea in Cappadocia, where he was bishop. It is said that he was a pulpit orator, an orthodox theologian, a tender and loving shepherd of souls, and a wise beloved bishop. He died at the age of fifty. His writings included works defending the deity of Christ and the Holy Spirit.
1484 – Ulrich Zwingli Was Born.
Ulrich Zwingli was a great Swiss reformer. On his thirty-fifth birthday, January 1, 1519, he became chief pastor in the great Minster Church in Zurich, where he expounded the Scriptures to great audiences. His sermons were fearless and Scriptural. He especially attacked the celibacy of the clergy, the worship of the image of Mary, the selling of indulgences, and other abuses of the church.
Zwingli broke from Rome in 1522 and became one of the great personalities in church history. Let us thank God today for those who went before us spreading the Gospel so the message might come down to us. Thank God today for the person who led you to Christ, and for those who led that one to Christ, and for the great men and women of God who have blazed the trail before us.
1735 – The Birthday of Paul Revere.
1752 – Betsy Ross Designed and Made the First American Flag.
Let us thank God for our nation, and pray His blessings upon us. In these days of flag burners, and when patriotism seems obsolete, let us rally around the “land of the free and the home of the brave” and thank God for our heritage.
1863 – Emancipation Date.
1870 – William Evans was Born.
William Evans was an American Bible teacher born in Liverpool, England. He was considered one of the foremost Bible teachers in the nation. He offered more than forty volumes on Biblical interpretation and is supposed to have been the first graduate of Moody Institute in 1892.
1895 – J. Edgar Hoover was Born.
J. Edgar Hoover has for years been the head of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. He has given evidence that he is a Christian, and it is said that at one time he considered the ministry. He has written many articles on the value of Sunday school, etc. He was born in Washington, D.C. Let us pause for a few moments to thank God for J. Edgar Hoover, one of the “greats” of our generation. Pray for the F.B.I. and law enforcement officers everywhere.
1937 – John Gresham Mechen Died.
Mechen was a Presbyterian theologian and a great defender of the faith. He left Princeton Theological Seminary, it is said, because of modernism, and in 1929 founded the Westminister Theological Seminary. He protested against the liberalism of the Presbyterian board of Foreign Missions, and established an independent mission board. Later he left the Presbyterian Church to found the Orthodox Presbyterian Church. He was never married. He died of pneumonia on a preaching engagement in North Dakota at the age of fifty-six. Let us pray today for our Presbyterian brethren. Thank God there are some who have held faithful to the Word of God. Let us pray God’s blessings on them that their tribe may increase.
1959 – Batista forced out by Castro-led revolution
“On this day in 1959, facing a popular revolution spearheaded by Fidel Castro’s 26th of July Movement, Cuban dictator Fulgencio Batista flees the island nation. Amid celebration and chaos in the Cuban capitol of Havana, the U.S. debated how best to deal with the radical Castro and the ominous rumblings of anti-Americanism in Cuba.
The U.S. government had supported Batista, a former soldier and Cuban dictator from 1933 to 1944, who seized power for a second time in a 1952 coup. After Castro and a group of followers, including the South American revolutionary Che Guevara (1928-1967), landed in Cuba to unseat the dictator in December 1956, the U.S. continued to back Batista. Suspicious of what they believed to be Castro’s leftist ideology and worried that his ultimate goals might include attacks on the U.S.’s significant investments and property in Cuba, American officials were nearly unanimous in opposing his revolutionary movement.
Cuban support for Castro’s revolution, however, grew in the late 1950s, partially due to his charisma and nationalistic rhetoric, but also because of increasingly rampant corruption, greed, brutality and inefficiency within the Batista government. This reality forced the U.S. to slowly withdraw its support from Batista and begin a search in Cuba for an alternative to both the dictator and Castro; these efforts failed.
On January 1, 1959, Batista and a number of his supporters fled Cuba for the Dominican Republic. Tens of thousands of Cubans (and thousands of Cuban Americans in the U.S.) celebrated the end of the dictator’s regime. Castro’s supporters moved quickly to establish their power. Judge Manuel Urrutia was named as provisional president. Castro and his band of guerrilla fighters triumphantly entered Havana on January 7.
The U.S. attitude toward the new revolutionary government soon changed from cautiously suspicious to downright hostile. After Castro nationalized American-owned property, allied himself with the Communist Party and grew friendlier with the Soviet Union, America’s Cold War enemy, the U.S severed diplomatic and economic ties with Cuba and enacted a trade and travel embargo that remains in effect today. In April 1961, the U.S. launched the Bay of Pigs invasion, an unsuccessful attempt to remove Castro from power. Subsequent covert operations to overthrow Castro, born August 13, 1926, failed and he went on to become one of the world’s longest-ruling heads of state. Fulgencio Batista died in Spain at age 72 on August 6, 1973. In late July 2006, an unwell Fidel Castro temporarily ceded power to his younger brother Raul. Fidel Castro officially stepped down in February 2008.” – www.history.com/this-day-in-history/batista-forced-out-by-castro-led-revolution (Jan 1, 2012).
Of Course, Today Is New Year’s Day.
Let us make resolutions today to serve God better than ever this year. Let us resolve to pray each day, to read the Word of God each day, and to be consecrated, faithful, dedicated Christians.
1788 – Georgia was Admitted to the Union.
Pray for the Christian friends and Gospel work in the great state of Georgia.
1863 – The Battle of Murfreesboro During the Civil War.
Murfreesboro, at this writing, is the home of the SWORD OF THE LORD, founded by the great evangelist, John R. Rice.
1865 – William Lyon Phelps was Born in New Haven, Connecticut.
From 1893 to 1933 he was a member of the English Department of Yale University. Theologian Wilbur Smith says of him, “Phelps said more things about the Bible worth saying, wrote in more interesting ways about the Word of God, and wore a more definite testimony to his faith in Christ than any other one famous professor in the United States of this century.”
Pray today for college professors. Pray that God will give us more men like William Phelps. Then pray for the college students whom you know, from your family, from your church, or from your scope of friends.
1914 – Rachael Saint Was Born In Jenkintown, Pennsylvania.
She was responsible for the conversion of Dayuma, the first Auca convert. She was a Wycliffe translator, who pioneered getting the Gospel translated into the Auca language. Her brother, Nate Saint, was killed along with four others in early 1956 by these Auca Indians.
May we pause to thank God for Christian martyrs. Also let us pray today for missionaries. Pray for the ones whose names you know and whose faces come before your mind now.
1924 – Sabine Baring-Gould Died.
Here is a former Church of England clergyman, well-known for his poems and hymns. Among the bestknown are “Now the Day is Over” and the great song, “Onward, Christian Soldiers.” Why not sing some of it now.
Onward, Christian soldiers, marching as to war,
With the Cross of Jesus going on before.
Christ, the royal Master, leads against the foe;
Forward into battle, see His banners go!
Onward, Christian soldiers, marching as to war,
With the cross of Jesus going on before.
At the sign of triumph Satan’s host doth flee;
On, then Christian soldiers, on to victory!
Hell’s foundations quiver at the shout of praise;
Brothers, lift your voices, loud your anthems raise.
Like a mighty army moves the church of God;
Brothers, we are treading, where the saints have trod;
We are not divided, all one body we,
One in hope and doctrine, one in charity.
Crowns and thrones may perish, kingdoms rise and wane,
But the church of Jesus constant will remain;
Gates of hell can never ‘gainst the church prevail;
We have Christ’s own promise, and that cannot fail.
Onward, then ye people, join our happy throng,
Blend with ours your voices in the triumph song;
Glory, laud, and honor unto Christ the King,
This thro’ countless ages men and angels sing.
1942 – The Date of the United Nations Pact.
1945 – Dedanayagam Samual Azariah Died In Dornakal, India.
This was a famous missionary to India, who in 1912, at the age of thirty-eight, was given a small diocese at Dornakal with six clergy and about eight thousand Christians. It is said that he was the first Indian bishop of the Anglican church in India. It is also said that he was a strong bishop, a man of faith, a good Bible student, a strong disciplinarian, and a devout and humble Christian. To say the least, upon his death thirty-three years later, he left a Christian community of more than 400,000.
1954 – Samuel A. Fulton Died In West Allis, Wisconsin.
Some have said that he was the most active Gideon in the history of this Bible-distributing organization. He served the Gideon organization for fifty years as president, vice president, trustee, chaplain, and treasurer, and was on their cabinet for twenty-nine years. Let us pray today for the work of the Gideons and their spreading of the Word of God.
1958 – Mrs. Virgil Brock Died At Winona Lake, Indiana.
Mrs. Brock composed many beautiful hymns. Among her compositions are “He’s a Wonderful Saviour to Me,” “If You Could Know,” “Resting in His Love,” and “Sing and Smile and Pray.” Her most famous hymn, however, is “Beyond the Sunset.” This song is engraved in a huge slab of stone by her grave in Warsaw, Indiana. Why not pause in your devotions to sing this song.
Beyond the sunset, O blissful morning,
When with our Saviour heav’n is begun.
Earth’s toiling ended, O glorious dawning;
Beyond the sunset, when day is done.
Beyond the sunset, no clouds will gather,
No storms will threaten, no fears annoy;
O day of gladness, O day unending,
Beyond the sunset, eternal joy!
Beyond the sunset, a hand will guide me
To God, the Father, whom I adore;
His glorious presence, His words of welcome,
Will be my portion on that fair shore.
Beyond the sunset, O glad reunion.
With our dear loved ones who’ve gone before;
In that fair homeland we’ll know no parting,
Beyond the sunset for ever more!
1980 – U.S.-Russia detente ends
“On this day in 1980, in a strong reaction to the December 1979 Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, President Jimmy Carter asks the Senate to postpone action on the SALT II nuclear weapons treaty and recalls the U.S. ambassador to Moscow. These actions sent a message that the age of detente and the friendlier diplomatic and economic relations that were established between the United States and Soviet Union during President Richard Nixon’s administration (1969-74) had ended.
Carter feared that the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, in which an estimated 30,000 combat troops entered that nation and established a puppet government, would threaten the stability of strategic neighboring countries such as Iran and Pakistan and could lead to the USSR gaining control over much of the world’s oil supplies. The Soviet actions were labeled “a serious threat to peace” by the White House. Carter asked the Senate to shelve ratification talks on SALT II, the nuclear arms treaty that he and Soviet Premier Leonid Brezhnev had already signed, and the president called U.S. ambassador to Moscow Thomas J. Watson back to Washington for “consultation,” in an effort to let the Kremlin know that military intervention in Afghanistan was unacceptable.
When the Soviets refused to withdraw from Afghanistan, America halted certain key exports to the USSR, including grain and high technology, and boycotted the 1980 summer Olympics, which were held in Moscow. The United States also began to covertly subsidize anti-Soviet fighters in Afghanistan. During Ronald Reagan’s presidency in the 1980s, the CIA secretly sent billions of dollars to Afghanistan to arm and train the mujahedeen rebel forces that were battling the Soviets. This tactic was successful in helping to drive out the Soviets, but it also gave rise to the oppressive Taliban regime and Osama bin Laden’s al-Qaida terrorist organization.
In 1980, Jimmy Carter lost the presidency to Ronald Reagan, who favored a more aggressive anti-Communist foreign policy. Reagan dubbed the USSR the “evil empire” and believed it was America’s responsibility to save the world from Soviet repression. He dramatically increased U.S. defense spending and ramped up the nuclear arms race with the Soviets, whose faltering economy ultimately prevented them from keeping pace. The Soviet Union collapsed in 1991.” – www.history.com/this-day-in-history/us-russia-detente-ends (Jan 2, 2012).
1813 – James Calvart was Born in Pikering, England.
Calvart was a Wesleyan missionary to Fiji. He probably did more than any other person in seeing the Fiji Islands change from paganism to Christianity. He labored nearly thirty years, 1838 to 1866, in this difficult field.
Let us pray for missionaries today. May God give us some Judsons, Livingstones, and some Calvarts. Maybe, dear mother, you are rocking a Calvart today.
Somewhere I heard the story of a church that had gone an entire year without a public profession of faith. At the end of the year the board called the aged pastor on the carpet and said, “Pastor, we feel that you should resign. Not one person has come forward professing faith in Christ this year.”
The pastor said, “Yes, you are right, but there was one – wee Bobby Moffat.” The pastor resigned in failure, and perhaps should have, except that wee Bobby Moffat became one of the great missionaries of his day. You may have in your lap today a wee Bobby Moffat. In your Sunday school class Sunday there may be a wee Bobby Moffat. Pray that God will give us some faithful missionaries.
1852 – Charles Wagner was Born in Wildersdiller, Lorraine, Germany.
Wagner was a French protestant clergyman.
1878 – William Solomon Hottell was Born in Coopersburg, Pennsylvania.
He wrote Sunday school literature for forty-six years for the Union Gospel Press of Cleveland, Ohio. He spent sixty-five years in the ministry, and, it is said, had no formal education.
Perhaps few people influence our churches as much as those who write literature. Pray today that God will keep them faithful to the Word of God and to the Son of God. Be sure to see to it that the literature in your church is checked carefully and that it is still faithful to the verbal inspiration of the Scriptures, the deity of Christ, and the fundamental doctrines of the faith.
1884 – E. Stanley Jones was Born in Clarksville, Maryland.
1990 – Noriega surrenders to U.S.
“On this day in 1990, Panama’s General Manuel Antonio Noriega, after holing up for 10 days at the Vatican embassy in Panama City, surrenders to U.S. military troops to face charges of drug trafficking. Noriega was flown to Miami the following day and crowds of citizens on the streets of Panama City rejoiced. On July 10, 1992, the former dictator was convicted of drug trafficking, money laundering and racketeering and sentenced to 40 years in prison.
Noriega, who was born in Panama in 1938, was a loyal soldier to General Omar Torrijos, who seized power in a 1968 coup. Under Torrijos, Noriega headed up the notorious G-2 intelligence service, which harassed and terrorized people who criticized the Torrijos regime. Noriega also became a C.I.A. operative, while at the same time getting rich smuggling drugs.
In 1981, Omar Torrijos died in a plane crash and after a two-year power struggle, Noriega emerged as general of Panama’s military forces. He became the country’s de facto leader, fixing presidential elections so he could install his own puppet officials. Noriega’s rule was marked by corruption and violence. He also became a double agent, selling American intelligence secrets to Cuba and Eastern European governments. In 1987, when Panamanians organized protests against Noriega and demanded his ouster, he declared a national emergency, shut down radio stations and newspapers and forced his political enemies into exile.
That year the United States cut off aid to Panama and tried to get Noriega to resign; in 1988, the U.S. began considering the use of military action to put an end to his drug trafficking. Noriega voided the May 1989 presidential election, which included a U.S.-backed candidate, and in December of that year he declared his country to be in a state of war with the United States. Shortly afterward, an American marine was killed by Panamanian soldiers. President George H.W. Bush authorized “Operation Just Cause,” and on December 20, 1989, 13,000 U.S. troops were sent to occupy Panama City, along with the 12,000 already there, and seize Noriega. During the invasion, 23 U.S. troops were killed in action and over 300 were wounded. Approximately 450 Panamanian troops were killed; estimates for the number of civilians who died range from several hundred to several thousand, with thousands injured.
Today, Noriega, derogatorily nicknamed “Pineapple Face” in reference to his pockmarked skin, is serving his sentence at a federal prison in Miami.” – www.history.com/this-day-in-history/noriega-surrenders-to-us (Jan 3, 2012).
1581 – James Ussher was Born in Dublin, Ireland.
He will be remembered for his “Annuals of the Old and New Testament,” which forms the basis of the Biblical chronology in the King James Version of the Bible. Many believers still hold to the dates that he has set. He especially adhered to the fact that man was created in God’s image only six thousand years ago. Too often, I think, we take our Bibles for granted. Those who have labored in translation, etc. should be the object of our gratitude. Many languages and dialects still do not have the Bible. Let us thank God that we can buy Bibles in any bookstore, and let us read the Bible more and live by it.
1642 – Sir Isaac Newton was born.
1809 – Louis Braille was Born.
Louis Braille was a blind French teacher and the inventor of the “Braille” system. Many thousands of people could never read the Bible (or for that matter read anything) were it not for this wonderful system.
1864 – George Washington Carver was Born in Diamond Grove, Missouri.
As an African American, educator, and scientist, he is remembered by many as America’s greatest African American. He certainly was a devout Christian. He never attempted to patent any of his discoveries, but gave freely to everyone who would learn about them, saying, “My discoveries come like a direct revelation from God.” Pray today for the Christian blacks, in fact, for the black race everywhere. How long has it been since you witnessed to a black friend? It is not enough to send missionaries to Africa, when there are people from every race who need to hear that Jesus died for them.
1896 – Utah was Admitted as a State.
1904 – Willard Aldridge was Born in Tacoma, Washington.
His service has been as president of the Multnomah School of the Bible in Portland, Oregon. Pray for Bible schools, Bible colleges, and Christian colleges today. Pray for students whom you know personally in those colleges.
1999 – The euro debuts
“On this day in 1999, for the first time since Charlemagne’s reign in the ninth century, Europe is united with a common currency when the “euro” debuts as a financial unit in corporate and investment markets. Eleven European Union (EU) nations (Austria, Belgium, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Portugal and Spain), representing some 290 million people, launched the currency in the hopes of increasing European integration and economic growth. Closing at a robust 1.17 U.S. dollars on its first day, the euro promised to give the dollar a run for its money in the new global economy. Euro cash, decorated with architectural images, symbols of European unity and member-state motifs, went into circulation on January 1, 2002, replacing the Austrian schilling, Belgian franc, Finnish markka, French franc, German mark, Italian lira, Irish punt, Luxembourg franc, Netherlands guilder, Portugal escudo and Spanish peseta. A number of territories and non-EU nations including Monaco and Vatican City also adopted the euro.
Conversion to the euro wasn’t without controversy. Despite the practical benefits of a common currency that would make it easier to do business and travel throughout Europe, there were concerns that the changeover process would be costly and chaotic, encourage counterfeiting, lead to inflation and cause individual nations to loose control over their economic policies. Great Britain, Sweden and Demark opted not to use the euro. Greece, after initially being excluded for failing to meet all the required conditions, adopted the euro in January 2001, becoming the 12th member of the so-called eurozone.
The euro was established by the 1992 Maastricht Treaty on European Union, which spelled out specific economic requirements, including high degree of price stability and low inflation, which countries must meet before they can begin using the new money. The euro consists of 8 coins and 7 paper bills. The Frankfurt-based European Central Bank (ECB) manages the euro and sets interest rates and other monetary policies. In 2004, 10 more countries joined the EU—-Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia. Several of these countries plan to start using the euro in 2007, with the rest to follow in coming years.” – www.history.com/this-day-in-history/the-euro-debuts (Jan 4, 2012)
576 B.C. – The Approximate Date that the News Came that Jerusalem had been Smitten.
1779 – Stephen Decatur was Born.
It was Stephen Decatur, a naval hero, who said, “My country – right or wrong!”
1867 – Chancellor Adenauer of Germany was Born.
1933 – President Coolidge Died.
Let us pray for our President today.
1933 – Golden Gate Bridge is Born
“On January 5, 1933, construction begins on the Golden Gate Bridge, as workers began excavating 3.25 million cubic feet of dirt for the structure’s huge anchorages.
Following the Gold Rush boom that began in 1849, speculators realized the land north of San Francisco Bay would increase in value in direct proportion to its accessibility to the city. Soon, a plan was hatched to build a bridge that would span the Golden Gate, a narrow, 400-foot deep strait that serves as the mouth of the San Francisco Bay, connecting the San Francisco Peninsula with the southern end of Marin County.
Although the idea went back as far as 1869, the proposal took root in 1916. A former engineering student, James Wilkins, working as a journalist with the San Francisco Bulletin, called for a suspension bridge with a center span of 3,000 feet, nearly twice the length of any in existence. Wilkins’ idea was estimated to cost an astounding $100 million. So, San Francisco’s city engineer, Michael M. O’Shaughnessy (he’s also credited with coming up with the name Golden Gate Bridge), began asking bridge engineers whether they could do it for less.
Engineer and poet Joseph Strauss, a 5-foot tall Cincinnati-born Chicagoan, said he could.
Eventually, O’Shaughnessy and Strauss concluded they could build a pure suspension bridge within a practical range of $25-30 million with a main span at least 4,000 feet. The construction plan still faced opposition, including litigation, from many sources. By the time most of the obstacles were cleared, the Great Depression of 1929 had begun, limiting financing options, so officials convinced voters to support $35 million in bonded indebtedness, citing the jobs that would be created for the project. However, the bonds couldn’t be sold until 1932, when San-Francisco based Bank of America agreed to buy the entire project in order to help the local economy.
The Golden Gate Bridge officially opened on May 27, 1937, the longest bridge span in the world at the time. The first public crossing had taken place the day before, when 200,000 people walked, ran and even roller skated over the new bridge.
With its tall towers and famous red paint job, the bridge quickly became a famous American landmark, and a symbol of San Francisco.” –
www.history.com/this-day-in-history/golden-gate-bridge-is-born (Jan 5, 2012).
1943 – George Washington Carver Died.
As he died, he said, “They are preparing for me over there.” George Washington Carver was a slave traded for a race horse. He read his Bible every day and only God knows and eternity will reveal what contributions he made to our society. Let us pray today for our colored friends, for the faithful colored preachers, and the fine Negro Christians across America and around the world.
1412 – The Birthday of Joan of Arc.
1838 – Morse demonstrates telegraph
“On this day in 1838, Samuel Morse’s telegraph system is demonstrated for the first time at the Speedwell Iron Works in Morristown, New Jersey. The telegraph, a device which used electric impulses to transmit encoded messages over a wire, would eventually revolutionize long-distance communication, reaching the height of its popularity in the 1920s and 1930s.
Samuel Finley Breese Morse was born April 27, 1791, in Charlestown, Massachusetts. He attended Yale University, where he was interested in art, as well as electricity, still in its infancy at the time. After college, Morse became a painter. In 1832, while sailing home from Europe, he heard about the newly discovered electromagnet and came up with an idea for an electric telegraph. He had no idea that other inventors were already at work on the concept.
Morse spent the next several years developing a prototype and took on two partners, Leonard Gale and Alfred Vail, to help him. In 1838, he demonstrated his invention using Morse code, in which dots and dashes represented letters and numbers. In 1843, Morse finally convinced a skeptical Congress to fund the construction of the first telegraph line in the United States, from Washington, D.C., to Baltimore. In May 1844, Morse sent the first official telegram over the line, with the message: “What hath God wrought!”
Over the next few years, private companies, using Morse’s patent, set up telegraph lines around the Northeast. In 1851, the New York and Mississippi Valley Printing Telegraph Company was founded; it would later change its name to Western Union. In 1861, Western Union finished the first transcontinental line across the United States. Five years later, the first successful permanent line across the Atlantic Ocean was constructed and by the end of the century telegraph systems were in place in Africa, Asia and Australia.
Because telegraph companies typically charged by the word, telegrams became known for their succinct prose–whether they contained happy or sad news. The word “stop,” which was free, was used in place of a period, for which there was a charge. In 1933, Western Union introduced singing telegrams. During World War II, Americans came to dread the sight of Western Union couriers because the military used telegrams to inform families about soldiers’ deaths.
Over the course of the 20th century, telegraph messages were largely replaced by cheap long-distance phone service, faxes and email. Western Union delivered its final telegram in January 2006.
Samuel Morse died wealthy and famous in New York City on April 2, 1872, at age 80.” – www.history.com/this-day-in-history/morse-demonstrates-telegraph (Jan 6, 2012).
1850 – Charles Haddon Spurgeon was Converted.
It was during a snow storm when young Spurgeon went to a Methodist Church. There were less than fifteen people present, and the minister did not appear. A layman spoke and used as his text, Isaiah 45:22, which says, “Look unto me, and be ye saved… “
He saw Spurgeon and said, “Young man, you are in trouble. Look to Jesus. Look! Look! Look!”
Spurgeon did look and a new era in Christian circles was born.
1878 – Carl Sandburg was Born.
1882 – Sam Rayburn was Born.
1912 – New Mexico was Admitted to the Union.
Pray for those in New Mexico who serve the Lord faithfully there. One of the most beautiful states in the union is New Mexico, and some of the finest Christians in America are there. It has been my joy to preach in New Mexico many times and meet wonderful Christian brethren in this great state. Let us pray for God’s blessings upon our friends and God’s Work in New Mexico.
1919 – Theodore Roosevelt Died.
Let us pray for our President again today.
1715 – Fenelon Died.
This was a great Christian in France who, at one time, was threatened to be killed by the Pope.
1789 – First U.S. presidential election
“On this day in 1789, America’s first presidential election is held. Voters cast ballots to choose state electors; only white men who owned property were allowed to vote. As expected, George Washington won the election and was sworn into office on April 30, 1789.
As it did in 1789, the United States still uses the Electoral College system, established by the U.S. Constitution, which today gives all American citizens over the age of 18 the right to vote for electors, who in turn vote for the president. The president and vice president are the only elected federal officials chosen by the Electoral College instead of by direct popular vote.
Today political parties usually nominate their slate of electors at their state conventions or by a vote of the party’s central state committee, with party loyalists often being picked for the job. Members of the U.S. Congress, though, can’t be electors. Each state is allowed to choose as many electors as it has senators and representatives in Congress. The District of Columbia has 3 electors. During a presidential election year, on Election Day (the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November), the electors from the party that gets the most popular votes are elected in a winner-take-all-system, with the exception of Maine and Nebraska, which allocate electors proportionally. In order to win the presidency, a candidate needs a majority of 270 electoral votes out of a possible 538.
On the first Monday after the second Wednesday in December of a presidential election year, each state’s electors meet, usually in their state capitol, and simultaneously cast their ballots nationwide. This is largely ceremonial: Because electors nearly always vote with their party, presidential elections are essentially decided on Election Day. Although electors aren’t constitutionally mandated to vote for the winner of the popular vote in their state, it is demanded by tradition and required by law in 26 states and the District of Columbia (in some states, violating this rule is punishable by $1,000 fine). Historically, over 99 percent of all electors have cast their ballots in line with the voters. On January 6, as a formality, the electoral votes are counted before Congress and on January 20, the commander in chief is sworn into office.
Critics of the Electoral College argue that the winner-take-all system makes it possible for a candidate to be elected president even if he gets fewer popular votes than his opponent. This happened in the elections of 1876, 1888 and 2000. However, supporters contend that if the Electoral College were done away with, heavily populated states such as California and Texas might decide every election and issues important to voters in smaller states would be ignored.” – www.history.com/this-day-in-history/first-us-presidential-election (Jan 7, 2012).
1800 – The Birthday of Millard Fillmore.
Millard Fillmore was the thirteenth President of our Nation. Once again, let us pause to pray for our President.
1832 – T. DeWitt Talmage was born.
1879 – The First National Election for President was Held.
Let us thank God for our free election system and the measure of freedom we enjoy in America. Pray that God will preserve our democracy.
1902 – Hyman Appelman was born.
1927 – The First Transatlantic Commercial Telegraph Service.
Let us thank God for this means of communication and the wonderful way we have today of communicating with each other.
2007 – Dr. Tom Malone died.
1790 – Washington’s First Message to Congress.
Pray for our President today.
1815 – The Battle of New Orleans.
1865 – Charles Spurgeon was Married.
At the time he was already pastoring one of London’s largest churches. He surprised his people by announcing that he was marrying one of his parishioners. This turns our attention today toward young couples who serve the Lord together. Perhaps you’re thinking now of some young preacher and his wife for whom you ought to pray. Maybe a letter of encouragement would be just what they need today. Perhaps you should even consider sending an offering to them.
Mrs. Spurgeon, for many years of her life, was an invalid. Pray today for invalids that you know. Pray for those who are shut-ins; lonely and often forgotten.
Why not make a visit today to someone who is shut in. One day a young lady was offered a contract to sing around the world. She signed for such a tour. Just before leaving, she found that her father had become an invalid and there was no one but her to care for him. She canceled her singing tour and cared for her father. For a while she was bitter. One day in her bitterness, the thought came to her that she could not carry her light around the world but she could brighten the corner where she was. She wrote the words to the song that has blessed so many people, “Brighten the Corner Where You Are. Someone far from harbor you may guide across the bar if you’ll brighten the corner where you are.”
Perhaps your world is only a corner today. You can brighten it. You can also brighten someone else’s world who has only a corner.
1867 – Congress Passed a Law Granting Suffrage to Blacks.
Let us turn our thoughts toward our black friends and pray the blessings of God to rest upon them. Especially pray for black pastors and churches.
1877 – Crazy Horse fights last battle
“On this day in 1877, Crazy Horse and his warriors–outnumbered, low on ammunition and forced to use outdated weapons to defend themselves–fight their final losing battle against the U.S. Cavalry in Montana.
Six months earlier, in the Battle of Little Bighorn, Crazy Horse and his ally, Chief Sitting Bull, led their combined forces of Sioux and Cheyenne to a stunning victory over Lieutenant Colonel George Custer (1839-76) and his men. The Indians were resisting the U.S. government’s efforts to force them back to their reservations. After Custer and over 200 of his soldiers were killed in the conflict, later dubbed “Custer’s Last Stand,” the American public wanted revenge. As a result, the U.S. Army launched a winter campaign in 1876-77, led by General Nelson Miles (1839-1925), against the remaining hostile Indians on the Northern Plains.
Combining military force with diplomatic overtures, Nelson convinced many Indians to surrender and return to their reservations. Much to Nelson’s frustration, though, Sitting Bull refused to give in and fled across the border to Canada, where he and his people remained for four years before finally returning to the U.S. to surrender in 1881. Sitting Bull died in 1890. Meanwhile, Crazy Horse and his band also refused to surrender, even though they were suffering from illness and starvation.
On January 8, 1877, General Miles found Crazy Horse’s camp along Montana’s Tongue River. U.S. soldiers opened fire with their big wagon-mounted guns, driving the Indians from their warm tents out into a raging blizzard. Crazy Horse and his warriors managed to regroup on a ridge and return fire, but most of their ammunition was gone, and they were reduced to fighting with bows and arrows. They managed to hold off the soldiers long enough for the women and children to escape under cover of the blinding blizzard before they turned to follow them.
Though he had escaped decisive defeat, Crazy Horse realized that Miles and his well-equipped cavalry troops would eventually hunt down and destroy his cold, hungry followers. On May 6, 1877, Crazy Horse led approximately 1,100 Indians to the Red Cloud reservation near Nebraska’s Fort Robinson and surrendered. Five months later, a guard fatally stabbed him after he allegedly resisted imprisonment by Indian policemen.
In 1948, American sculptor Korczak Ziolkowski began work on the Crazy Horse Memorial, a massive monument carved into a mountain in South Dakota. Still a work in progress, the monument will stand 641 feet high and 563 feet long when completed.” – www.history.com/this-day-in-history/crazy-horse-fights-last-battle (Jan 8, 2012).
1493 – Colombus mistakes manatees for mermaids
“On this day in 1493, Italian explorer Christopher Columbus, sailing near the Dominican Republic, sees three “mermaids”–in reality manatees–and describes them as “not half as beautiful as they are painted.” Six months earlier, Columbus (1451-1506) set off from Spain across the Atlantic Ocean with the Nina, Pinta and Santa Maria, hoping to find a western trade route to Asia. Instead, his voyage, the first of four he would make, led him to the Americas, or “New World.”
Mermaids, mythical half-female, half-fish creatures, have existed in seafaring cultures at least since the time of the ancient Greeks. Typically depicted as having a woman’s head and torso, a fishtail instead of legs and holding a mirror and comb, mermaids live in the ocean and, according to some legends, can take on a human shape and marry mortal men. Mermaids are closely linked to sirens, another folkloric figure, part-woman, part-bird, who live on islands and sing seductive songs to lure sailors to their deaths.
Mermaid sightings by sailors, when they weren’t made up, were most likely manatees, dugongs or Steller’s sea cows (which became extinct by the 1760s due to over-hunting). Manatees are slow-moving aquatic mammals with human-like eyes, bulbous faces and paddle-like tails. The three species of manatee (West Indian, West African and Amazonian) and one species of dugong belong to the Sirenia order. As adults, they’re typically 10 to 12 feet long and weigh 800 to 1,200 pounds. They’re plant-eaters, have a slow metabolism and can only survive in warm water.
Manatees live an average of 50 to 60 years in the wild and have no natural predators. However, they are an endangered species. In the U.S., the majority of manatees are found in Florida, where scores of them die or are injured each year due to collisions with boats.” – www.history.com/this-day-in-history/columbus-mistakes-manatees-for-mermaids (Jan 9, 2012).
1724 – Isaac Backus was born.
1788 – Connecticu was Admitted to the Union.
It has been my privilege to speak in Connecticut and to meet some fine Christians there. Let us pray for the saints in Connecticut. Especially, let us pray for God’s servants who labor there and for the churches who preach the true Gospel of Christ.
1793 – The First United States Balloon Flight.
1861 – The First Shot in the Civil War was Fired.
Let us pray for peace in our nation today. Let those in the South pray for those in the North and those in the North pray for those in the South. Let us pray that we may have love one for another and that all the seeds and fruit of strife shall be withdrawn from our hearts.
1913 – Richard Nixon was Born.
Richard Nixon barely missed being President of our Nation in 1964, and he was a great Vice-President. Perhaps, then, we should spend some time praying for our Vice-President today. Someone has said that our Vice-President is only one heartbeat away from our White House. This is certainly true. Pray for God’s blessing in his life today and thank God for the contribution to our nation by Richard Nixon.
Later Mr. Nixon was elected President of our country. Pray for your President today. He needs your prayers.
590 B.C. – The Approximate Date of the Building of Forts Around the City of Jerusalem.
590 B.C. – The Approximate Date when Ezekiel Started His Preaching of Doom to the People of God.
Ezekiel 24:1, 2
1702 – The First Daily Newspaper was Delivered.
This took place in England. I have often said the best bargain in the world is the daily newspaper. One of the first things I do every morning is to turn to mine. We should not take this for granted but should thank God for the daily newspaper. How long has it been since you have done so? Do it today.
1901 – Gusher signals start of U.S. oil industry
“On this day in 1901, a drilling derrick at Spindletop Hill near Beaumont, Texas, produces an enormous gusher of crude oil, coating the landscape for hundreds of feet and signaling the advent of the American oil industry. The geyser was discovered at a depth of over 1,000 feet, flowed at an initial rate of approximately 100,000 barrels a day and took nine days to cap. Following the discovery, petroleum, which until that time had been used in the U.S. primarily as a lubricant and in kerosene for lamps, would become the main fuel source for new inventions such as cars and airplanes; coal-powered forms of transportation including ships and trains would also convert to the liquid fuel.
Crude oil, which became the world’s first trillion-dollar industry, is a natural mix of hundreds of different hydrocarbon compounds trapped in underground rock. The hydrocarbons were formed millions of years ago when tiny aquatic plants and animals died and settled on the bottoms of ancient waterways, creating a thick layer of organic material. Sediment later covered this material, putting heat and pressure on it and transforming it into the petroleum that comes out of the ground today.
In the early 1890s, Texas businessman and amateur geologist Patillo Higgins became convinced there was a large pool of oil under a salt-dome formation south of Beaumont. He and several partners established the Gladys City Oil, Gas and Manufacturing Company and made several unsuccessful drilling attempts before Higgins left the company. In 1899, Higgins leased a tract of land at Spindletop to mining engineer Anthony Lucas. The Lucas gusher blew on January 10, 1901, and ushered in the liquid fuel age. Unfortunately for Higgins, he’d lost his ownership stake by that point.
Beaumont became a “black gold” boomtown, its population tripling in three months. The town filled up with oil workers, investors, merchants and con men (leading some people to dub it “Swindletop”). Within a year, there were more than 285 actives wells at Spindletop and an estimated 500 oil and land companies operating in the area, including some that are major players today: Humble (now Exxon), the Texas Company (Texaco) and Magnolia Petroleum Company (Mobil).
Spindletop experienced a second boom starting in the mid-1920s when more oil was discovered at deeper depths. In the 1950s, Spindletop was mined for sulphur. Today, only a few oil wells still operate in the area.1920 – The League of Nations Began.” – www.history.com/this-day-in-history/gusher-signals-start-of-us-oil-industry (Jan 10, 2012).
1946 – The League of Nations was Dissolved.
We see once again that the answer of peace is not in outward organization but only in the hearts of men. The condition of the world is a reflection of the condition of the hearts of the people. Strife in the world pictures strife in the heart. Peace in the world pictures peace in the heart. The need is for hearts to be right. Peace will never be organized. Let us pray for God to give us peace.
1954 – The Coldest Temperature Recorded in History of Our Nation.
It was seventy degrees below zero at Rogers Pass, Montana. Let us thank God today for warmth – warm clothing, warm homes, and warm beds.
1757 – The Birthday of AJexander Hamilton.
Alexander Hamilton was the first Secretary of the Treasury of our nation and established the Bank of the United States. How long has it been since you thanked God for your bank and the banking system we enjoy? Let us do so today.
1842 – William James was Born.
1843 – Francis Scott Key Died.
It was Francis Scott Key who wrote the National Anthem. Why not pause now to sing it and pray that God will help our nation to remain strong and free.
1878 – Milk was Delivered For the First Time in Bottles.
This was done in Brooklyn, New York. Oh, how prone we are to take for granted such conveniences. Let us thank God today for pasteurized milk and for the convenient way in which we receive it.
1908 – Theodore Roosevelt makes Grand Canyon a national monument
“On January 11, 1908, U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt declares the massive Grand Canyon in northwestern Arizona a national monument.
Though Native Americans lived in the area as early as the 13th century, the first European sighting of the canyon wasn’t until 1540, by members of an expedition headed by the Spanish explorer Francisco Vasquez de Coronado. Because of its remote and inaccessible location, several centuries passed before North American settlers really explored the canyon. In 1869, geologist John Wesley Powell led a group of 10 men in the first difficult journey down the rapids of the Colorado River and along the length of the 277-mile gorge in four rowboats.
By the end of the 19th century, the Grand Canyon was attracting thousands of tourists each year. One famous visitor was President Theodore Roosevelt, a New Yorker with a particular affection for the American West. After becoming president in 1901 after the assassination of President William McKinley, Roosevelt made environmental conservation a major part of his presidency. After establishing the National Wildlife Refuge to protect the country’s animals, fish and birds, Roosevelt turned his attention to federal regulation of public lands. Though a region could be given national park status–indicating that all private development on that land was illegal–only by an act of Congress, Roosevelt cut down on red tape by beginning a new presidential practice of granting a similar “national monument” designation to some of the West’s greatest treasures.
In January 1908, Roosevelt exercised this right to make more than 800,000 acres of the Grand Canyon area into a national monument. “Let this great wonder of nature remain as it now is,” he declared. “You cannot improve on it. But what you can do is keep it for your children, your children’s children, and all who come after you, as the one great sight which every American should see.”
Congress did not officially outlaw private development in the Grand Canyon until 1919, when President Woodrow Wilson signed the Grand Canyon National Park Act. Today, more than 5 million people visit the canyon each year. The canyon floor is accessible by foot, mule or boat, and whitewater rafting, hiking and running in the area are especially popular. Many choose to conserve their energies and simply take in the breathtaking view from the canyon’s South Rim–some 7,000 feet above sea level–and marvel at a vista virtually unchanged for over 400 years.” – www.history.com/this-day-in-history/theodore-roosevelt-makes-grand-canyon-a-national-monument (Jan 11, 2012).
588 B.C. – The Approximate Date that Ezekiel Preached the Jews would be Regathered and that Egypt would be Brought Down.
1628 – The Birthday of Charles Perrault.
Charles Perrault was the author of “Cinderella,” “Sleeping Beauty,” etc.
1723 – On This Day Jonathan Edwards Said, “I made salvation the main business of my life.”
It was Jonathan Edwards who was the great scholar, preacher, and evangelist of his day. It was Jonathan Edwards who preached the great sermon, “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God,” in such power that men would hang on to the pillars of the building begging for God not to cast them into Hell. What a preacher!
1737 – The Birthday of John Hancock.
1876 – The Birthday of Jack London.
Jack London was the famous author of “Call of the Wild,” etc.
1914 – William Jennings Bryan Wrote Billy Sunday a Letter This Day.
William Jennings Bryan, the great Christian statesman, who was at the time Secretary of State, wrote Billy Sunday a letter of appreciation after attending his meeting in Pittsburgh. William Jennings Bryan was a great defender of the faith; especially was he active in opposing the false theory of evolution. Would God we had some more of his stature today.
1926 – Original Amos n Andy debuts on Chicago radio
“On this day in 1926, the two-man comedy series “Sam ‘n’ Henry” debuts on Chicago’s WGN radio station. Two years later, after changing its name to “Amos ‘n’ Andy,” the show became one of the most popular radio programs in American history.
Though the creators and the stars of the new radio program, Freeman Gosden and Charles Carrell, were both white, the characters they played were two black men from the Deep South who moved to Chicago to seek their fortunes. By that time, white actors performing in dark stage makeup–or “blackface”–had been a significant tradition in American theater for over 100 years. Gosden and Carrell, both vaudeville performers, were doing a Chicago comedy act in blackface when an employee at the Chicago Tribune suggested they create a radio show.
When “Sam ‘n’ Henry” debuted in January 1926, it became an immediate hit. In 1928, Gosden and Carrell took their act to a rival station, the Chicago Daily News’ WMAQ. When they discovered WGN owned the rights to their characters’ names, they simply changed them. As their new contract gave Gosden and Carrell the right to syndicate the program, the popularity of “Amos ‘n’ Andy” soon exploded. Over the next 22 years, the show would become the highest-rated comedy in radio history, attracting more than 40 million listeners.
By 1951, when “Amos ‘n’ Andy” came to television, changing attitudes about race and concerns about racism had virtually wiped out the practice of blackface. With Alvin Childress and Spencer Williams taking over for Gosden and Carrell, the show was the first TV series to feature an all-black cast and the only one of its kind for the next 20 years. This did not stop African-American advocacy groups and eventually the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) from criticizing both the radio and TV versions of “Amos ‘n’ Andy” for promoting racial stereotypes. These protests led to the TV show’s cancellation in 1953.
The final radio broadcast of “Amos ‘n’ Andy” aired on November 25, 1960. The following year, Gosden and Carrell created a short-lived TV sequel called “Calvin and the Colonel.” This time, they avoided controversy by replacing the human characters with an animated fox and bear. The show was canceled after one season.” – www.history.com/this-day-in-history/original-amos-n-andy-debuts-on-chicago-radio (Jan 12, 2012).
1128 – Pope recognizes Knights Templar
On this day in 1128, Pope Honorius II grants a papal sanction to the military order known as the Knights Templar, declaring it to be an army of God.
Led by the Frenchman Hughes de Payens, the Knights Templar organization was founded in 1118. Its self-imposed mission was to protect Christian pilgrims on their way to the Holy Land during the Crusades, the series of military expeditions aimed at defeating Muslims in Palestine. The Templars took their name from the location of their headquarters, at Jerusalem’s Temple Mount. For a while, the Templars had only nine members, mostly due to their rigid rules. In addition to having noble birth, the knights were required to take strict vows of poverty, obedience and chastity. In 1127, new promotional efforts convinced many more noblemen to join the order, gradually increasing its size and influence.
While the individual knights were not allowed to own property, there was no such restriction on the organization as a whole, and over the years many rich Christians gave gifts of land and other valuables to support the Knights Templar. By the time the Crusades ended unsuccessfully in the early 14th century, the order had grown extremely wealthy, provoking the jealousy of both religious and secular powers. In 1307, King Philip IV of France and Pope Clement V combined to take down the Knights Templar, arresting the grand master, Jacques de Molay, on charges of heresy, sacrilege and Satanism. Under torture, Molay and other leading Templars confessed and were eventually burned at the stake. Clement dissolved the Templars in 1312, assigning their property and monetary assets to a rival order, the Knights Hospitalers. In fact, though, Philip and his English counterpart, King Edward II, claimed most of the wealth after banning the organization from their respective countries.
The modern-day Catholic Church has admitted that the persecution of the Knights Templar was unjustified and claimed that Pope Clement was pressured by secular rulers to dissolve the order. Over the centuries, myths and legends about the Templars have grown, including the belief that they may have discovered holy relics at Temple Mount, including the Holy Grail, the Ark of the Covenant or parts of the cross from Christ’s crucifixion. The imagined secrets of the Templars have inspired various books and movies, including the blockbuster novel and film The Da Vinci Code. – www.history.com/this-day-in-history/pope-recognizes-knights-templar (Jan 13, 2012).
1691 – George Fox Died.
It was George Fox who founded the Quakers. George Fox was so desirous to receive the power of God that he went alone, fasted, prayed, and stayed almost in a trance for fifteen days. When he returned, people said he was not the same. The power of God had come upon him, and he was ready to become a great leader.
1735 – Georgia was Settled.
Pray for Christian friends in Georgia and the work of the Gospel there. Thank God for friends that you know in Georgia and for preachers who serve faithfully in this great state.
1777 – The Virginia Statute for Religious Liberty was Drawn.
Pray for God to give us continued religious liberty.
1834 – The Birthday of Horatio Alger.
1846 – The Mexican War Started.
1864 – Stephen Foster Died in the Belview Hospital in New York City.
His total possessions equaled thirty-five cents.
1887 – Wealthy C. T. Studd Disposed of All His Worldly Goods.
C. T. Studd’s worldly goods totaled $150,000.00. He gave $25,000.00 to Moody, who used it to begin Moody Bible Institute. Studd later became a missionary to China, India, and Africa, and one of the great Christians of all history.
1741 – This is the Birthday of Benedict Arnold.
We think of Benedict Arnold as being the great traitor. How about those today who take the Bible out of our public school systems and those who take prayer from the public schoolroom? How about those today that would sell America to communism? How about those who would lead us toward socialism? Let us pray to God to raise up in America some faithful, loyal, patriotic citizens who will call us back to God and the America that we once knew.
1846 – The Magnetic Telegraph Company was Formed.
Let us thank God for such mediums of communications as the telephone, the telegraph, etc. These are things that we often take for granted. May we pause today to thank God for them and their convenience.
1875 – The Birthday of Albert Schweitzer.
“The theologian, musician, philosopher and Nobel Prize-winning physician Albert Schweitzer is born on this day in 1875 in Upper-Alsace, Germany (now Haut-Rhin, France).
The son and grandson of ministers, Schweitzer studied theology and philosophy at the universities of Strasbourg, Paris and Berlin. After working as a pastor, he entered medical school in 1905 with the dream of becoming a missionary in Africa. Schweitzer was also an acclaimed concert organist who played professional engagements to earn money for his education. By the time he received his M.D. in 1913, the overachieving Schweitzer had published several books, including the influential The Quest for the Historical Jesus and a book on the composer Johann Sebastian Bach.
Medical degree in hand, Schweitzer and his wife, Helene Bresslau, moved to French Equatorial Africa where he founded a hospital at Lambarene (modern-day Gabon). When World War I broke out, the German-born Schweitzers were sent to a French internment camp as prisoners of war. Released in 1918, they returned to Lambarene in 1924. Over the next three decades, Schweitzer made frequent visits to Europe to lecture on culture and ethics. His philosophy revolved around the concept of what he called “reverence for life”–the idea that all life must be respected and loved, and that humans should enter into a personal, spiritual relationship with the universe and all its creations. This reverence for life, according to Schweitzer, would naturally lead humans to live a life of service to others.
Schweitzer won widespread praise for putting his uplifting theory into practice at his hospital in Africa, where he treated many patients with leprosy and the dreaded African sleeping sickness. Awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for 1952, Schweitzer used his $33,000 award to start a leprosarium at Lambarene. From the early 1950s until his death in 1965, Schweitzer spoke and wrote tirelessly about his opposition to nuclear tests and nuclear weapons, adding his voice to those of fellow Nobelists Albert Einstein and Bertrand Russell.” – www.history.com/this-day-in-history/albert-schweitzer-born (Jan 14, 2012).
Though Albert Schweitzer was a liberal, he did minister to suffering people. At least, this should call our attention to faithful missionaries who help suffering AND preach the true Gospel of Jesus Christ. Pray for medical missionaries today. Pray for missionary hospitals that they will not only alleviate pain but also alleviate sin by carrying the Gospel to their patients.
1778 – The Hawaiian Islands were Discovered.
Though Hawaii is a part of the United States, it is certainly a great mission field. Let us pray for the Christians in Hawaii and also for the missionaries who labor there.
1782 – The First United States Mint was Proposed.
1915 – Talk was Made by Alexander Graham Bell from New York to San Francisco by Telephone.
How long has it been since you thanked God for the telephone? Anyone in America (or around the world for that matter) is at your finger-tip. Let us thank God for this marvelous invention that has so changed the life of America.
1915 – Mary Slessor Died.
Mary Slessor was a missionary to Africa and to the cannibals. She wore no shoes. She slept on the ground. She lived as they lived. She patterned her life after David Livingstone. Her last words were, “Day must be dawning.” Could we not spend a few moments today thanking God for faithful missionaries and wishing God’s blessings upon their labors. No doubt, they often get discouraged, lonely, and homesick. Let us pray for them. Perhaps you know some missionary in Africa today whose name you could call before the throne of grace. Take time to do so.
1967 – Packers face Chiefs in first Super Bowl
“On this day in 1967, at the Los Angeles Coliseum, the Green Bay Packers beat the Kansas City Chiefs in the first-ever world championship game of American football.
In the mid-1960s, the intense competition for players and fans between the National Football League (NFL) and the upstart American Football League (AFL) led to talks of a possible merger. It was decided that the winners of each league’s championship would meet each year in a single game to determine the “world champion of football.”
In that historic first game–played before a non-sell-out crowd of 61,946 people–Green Bay scored three touchdowns in the second half to defeat Kansas City 35-10. Led by MVP quarterback Bart Starr, the Packers benefited from Max McGee’s stellar receiving and a key interception by safety Willie Wood. For their win, each member of the Packers collected $15,000: the largest single-game share in the history of team sports.
Postseason college games were known as “bowl” games, and AFL founder Lamar Hunt suggested that the new pro championship be called the “Super Bowl.” The term was officially introduced in 1969, along with roman numerals to designate the individual games. In 1970, the NFL and AFL merged into one league with two conferences, each with 13 teams. Since then, the Super Bowl has been a face-off between the winners of the American Football Conference (AFC) and the National Football Conference (NFC) for the NFL championship and the coveted Vince Lombardi Trophy, named for the legendary Packers coach who guided his team to victory in the first two Super Bowls.
Super Bowl Sunday has become an unofficial American holiday, complete with parties, betting pools and excessive consumption of food and drink. On average, 80 to 90 million people are tuned into the game on TV at any given moment, while some 130-140 million watch at least some part of the game. The commercials shown during the game have become an attraction in themselves, with TV networks charging as much as $2.5 million for a 30-second spot and companies making more expensive, high-concept ads each year. The game itself has more than once been upstaged by its elaborate pre-game or halftime entertainment, most recently in 2004 when Janet Jackson’s infamous “wardrobe malfunction” resulted in a $225,000 fine for the TV network airing the game, CBS, and tighter controls on televised indecency.” – www.history.com/this-day-in-history/packers-face-chiefs-in-first-super-bowl (Jan 15, 2012).
1795 – The University of North Carolina was Opened.
1883 – Civil Service Began.
1919 – Prohibition takes effect
“The 18th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, prohibiting the “manufacture, sale, or transportation of intoxicating liquors for beverage purposes,” is ratified on this day in 1919 and becomes the law of the land.
The movement for the prohibition of alcohol began in the early 19th century, when Americans concerned about the adverse effects of drinking began forming temperance societies. By the late 19th century, these groups had become a powerful political force, campaigning on the state level and calling for total national abstinence. In December 1917, the 18th Amendment, also known as the Prohibition Amendment, was passed by Congress and sent to the states for ratification.
Prohibition took effect in January 1919. Nine months later, Congress passed the Volstead Act, or National Prohibition Act, over President Woodrow Wilson’s veto. The Volstead Act provided for the enforcement of prohibition, including the creation of a special unit of the Treasury Department. Despite a vigorous effort by law-enforcement agencies, the Volstead Act failed to prevent the large-scale distribution of alcoholic beverages, and organized crime flourished in America. In 1933, the 21st Amendment to the Constitution was passed and ratified, repealing prohibition.” – www.history.com/this-day-in-history/prohibition-takes-effect (Jan 16, 2012).
1920 – The Date of the Prohibition Amendment.
One of the great curses in America has been the alcohol curse. For years it was illegal to sell liquor in America. Would God we had that much Christian character today. Someone has said that America is drowning herself with alcoholic beverages. Think of the waste; think of the broken homes; think of the broken health; think of the ruined lives. Here at the First Baptist Church we operate a rescue mission. Every week we see the results of this awful sin. One of the tragic things of our day is that we have come to look upon alcoholism as a sickness. If alcoholism is a sickness, at least sin is the germ that causes it. Take some time today to teach your boys and girls the evil of alcohol, and let us pray for God to shake some sense back into our nation concerning this dread menace.
1944 – General Eisenhower Assumed the Allied Command in England.
Someone has said that General Eisenhower was a good President and a great General. Perhaps this is true. At least, none of us would doubt that he was a great General. Let us thank God for the victories that He gave us through General Eisenhower. Pray for God to bless the men who lead us in our military battles today.
1706 – This is the Birthday of Benjamin Franklin.
On the tombstone of Benjamin Franklin, it is supposedly written, “Here lies all that could die of Benjamin Franklin.” Someone has said that he wrote before his death something like this. “Here lies the body of Benjamin Franklin like an old book, tattered and worn, but it shall appear again in a new edition as revised and corrected by the Author.” Though these are not the exact words, this is the idea. To my way of thinking, Benjamin Franklin was one of the great Americans. Scientist, statesman, scholar, patriot, as well as a God-fearing man, was this one of our forefathers. There are so many things for which we find ourselves indebted to his life. Let us thank God for him and pray for our leaders today.
1829 – Catherine Booth was born.
1863 – David Lloyd George was Born.
1950 – Boston thieves pull off historic robbery
“On this day in 1950, 11 men steal more than $2 million from the Brinks Armored Car depot in Boston, Massachusetts. It was the perfect crime–almost–as the culprits weren’t caught until January 1956, just days before the statute of limitations for the theft expired.
The robbery’s mastermind was Anthony “Fats” Pino, a career criminal who recruited a group of 10 other men to stake out the depot for 18 months to figure out when it held the most money. Pino’s men then managed to steal plans for the depot’s alarm system, returning them before anyone noticed they were gone.
Wearing navy blue coats and chauffeur’s caps–similar to the Brinks employee uniforms–with rubber Halloween masks, the thieves entered the depot with copied keys, surprising and tying up several employees inside the company’s counting room. Filling 14 canvas bags with cash, coins, checks and money orders–for a total weight of more than half a ton–the men were out and in their getaway car in about 30 minutes. Their haul? More than $2.7 million–the largest robbery in U.S. history up until that time.
No one was hurt in the robbery, and the thieves left virtually no clues, aside from the rope used to tie the employees and one of the chauffeur’s caps. The gang promised to stay out of trouble and not touch the money for six years in order for the statute of limitations to run out. They might have made it, but for the fact that one man, Joseph “Specs” O’Keefe, left his share with another member in order to serve a prison sentence for another burglary. While in jail, O’Keefe wrote bitterly to his cohorts demanding money and hinting he might talk. The group sent a hit man to kill O’Keefe, but he was caught before completing his task. The wounded O’Keefe made a deal with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to testify against his fellow robbers.
Eight of the Brinks robbers were caught, convicted and given life sentences. Two more died before they could go to trial. Only a small part of the money was ever recovered; the rest is fabled to be hidden in the hills north of Grand Rapids, Minnesota. In 1978, the famous robbery was immortalized on film in The Brinks Job, starring Peter Falk.” – www.history.com/this-day-in-history/boston-thieves-pull-off-historic-robbery (Jan 17, 2012).
Re-Examine Your New Year’s Resolutions.
This would be a good day for us to re-examine our New Year’s resolutions and see how it is with our lives. Perhaps we have stumbled a bit and failed a little. Let us rededicate ourselves to them today.
1782 – The Birthday of Daniel Webster.
Daniel Webster was a great Christian. It is said that on his deathbed he lifted himself up and sang the great song, “There Is a Fountain Filled with Blood.” Sing it now.
There is a fountain filled with blood drawn from Immanuel’s veins;
And sinners, plunged beneath that flood, lose all their guilty stains:
Lose all their guilty stains, lose all their guilty stains;
And sinners, plunged beneath that flood, lose all their guilty stains.
The dying thief rejoiced to see that fountain in his day;
And there may I, though vile as he, wash all my sins away;
Wash all my sins away, wash all my sins away;
And there may I, though vile as he, wash all my sins away.
Dear dying Lamb, Thy precious blood shall never lose its power,
Till all the ransomed Church of God be saved, to sin no more:
Be saved, to sin no more, be saved, to sin no more;
Till all the ransomed Church of God be saved, to sin no more.
E’er since, by faith, I saw the stream Thy flowing wounds supply,
Redeeming love has been my theme, and shall be till I die;
And shall be till I die, and shall be till I die;
Redeeming love has been my theme, and shall be till I die.
Then in a nobler, sweeter song, I’ll sing Thy power to save,
When this poor lisping, stammering tongue lies silent in the grave:
Lies silent in the grave, lies silent in the grave;
When this poor lisping stammering tongue lies silent in the grave.
1861 – Vassar College was Incorporated.
1919 – Post-World War I peace conference begins in Paris
“On this day in Paris, France, some of the most powerful people in the world meet to begin the long, complicated negotiations that would officially mark the end of the First World War.
Leaders of the victorious Allied powers–France, Great Britain, the United States and Italy–would make most of the crucial decisions in Paris over the next six months. For most of the conference, U.S. President Woodrow Wilson struggled to support his idea of a “peace without victory” and make sure that Germany, the leader of the Central Powers and the major loser of the war, was not treated too harshly. On the other hand, Prime Ministers Georges Clemenceau of France and David Lloyd George of Britain argued that punishing Germany adequately and ensuring its weakness was the only way to justify the immense costs of the war. In the end, Wilson compromised on the treatment of Germany in order to push through the creation of his pet project, an international peacekeeping organization called the League of Nations.
Representatives from Germany were excluded from the peace conference until May, when they arrived in Paris and were presented with a draft of the Versailles Treaty. Having put great faith in Wilson’s promises, the Germans were deeply frustrated and disillusioned by the treaty, which required them to forfeit a great deal of territory and pay reparations. Even worse, the infamous Article 231 forced Germany to accept sole blame for the war. This was a bitter pill many Germans could not swallow.
The Treaty of Versailles was signed on June 28, 1919, five years to the day after a Serbian nationalist’s bullet ended the life of Austrian Archduke Franz Ferdinand and sparked the beginning of World War I. In the decades to come, anger and resentment of the treaty and its authors festered in Germany. Extremists like Adolf Hitler’s National Socialist (Nazi) Party capitalized on these emotions to gain power, a process that led almost directly to the exact thing Wilson and the other negotiators in Paris in 1919 had wanted to prevent–a second, equally devastating global war.” – www.history.com/this-day-in-history/post-world-war-i-peace-conference-begins-in-paris (Jan 18, 2012).
1736 – James Watt, the Inventor of the Steam Engine, was Born.
1807 – The Birthday of Robert E. Lee.
Robert E. Lee was the great southern General of the Civil War.
1809 – The Birthday of Edgar Allen Poe.
“On this day in 1809, poet, author and literary critic Edgar Allan Poe is born in Boston, Massachusetts.
By the time he was three years old, both of Poe’s parents had died, leaving him in the care of his godfather, John Allan, a wealthy tobacco merchant. After attending school in England, Poe entered the University of Virginia (UVA) in 1826. After fighting with Allan over his heavy gambling debts, he was forced to leave UVA after only eight months. Poe then served two years in the U.S. Army and won an appointment to West Point. After another falling-out, Allan cut him off completely and he got himself dismissed from the academy for rules infractions.
Dark, handsome and brooding, Poe had published three works of poetry by that time, none of which had received much attention. In 1836, while working as an editor at the Southern Literary Messenger in Richmond, Virginia, Poe married his 13-year-old cousin, Virginia Clemm. He also completed his first full-length work of fiction, Arthur Gordon Pym, published in 1838. Poe lost his job at the Messenger due to his heavy drinking, and the couple moved to Philadelphia, where Poe worked as an editor at Burton’s Gentleman’s Magazine and Graham’s Magazine. He became known for his direct and incisive criticism, as well as for dark horror stories like “The Fall of the House of Usher” and “The Tell-Tale Heart.” Also around this time, Poe began writing mystery stories, including “The Murders in the Rue Morgue” and “The Purloined Letter”–works that would earn him a reputation as the father of the modern detective story.
In 1844, the Poes moved to New York City. He scored a spectacular success the following year with his poem “The Raven.” While Poe was working to launch The Broadway Journal–which soon failed–his wife Virginia fell ill and died of tuberculosis in early 1847. His wife’s death drove Poe even deeper into alcoholism and drug abuse. After becoming involved with several women, Poe returned to Richmond in 1849 and got engaged to an old flame. Before the wedding, however, Poe died suddenly. Though circumstances are somewhat unclear, it appeared he began drinking at a party in Baltimore and disappeared, only to be found incoherent in a gutter three days later. Taken to the hospital, he died on October 7, 1849, at age 40.” – www.history.com/this-day-in-history/edgar-allan-poe-is-born (Jan 19, 2012).
Oftentimes we take poetry for granted, and poets go unnoticed. Someone has said that a poem is the expression of a soul. Let us read some good poems today and thank God for good poetry.
1881- The Organization of the Western Union Company.
What a tremendous blessing this is. How long has it been since you thanked God for Western Union and the ability to contact someone around the world in a matter of minutes. Let us thank God for the privilege of the telegram and for this great company that makes the world so much smaller. We are often unthoughtful about little things. We are so prone to forget the commonplace blessings. We are so prone to pick up our telephone. drop a letter in the mailbox, plug in the iron, turn on the radio, etc., without any thought or gratitude to God for these blessings.
1897 – Mel Trotter was saved at Pacific Garden Mission in Chicago.
1669 – Susannah Wesley was Born.
Susannah Wesley, to my way of thinking, was one of the great characters of all history. She, of course, was the mother of John and Charles Wesley. She was born the twenty-fifth child in her family. She was a preacher’s wife, a preacher’s daughter, and a preacher’s mother. She had nineteen children. The fifteenth was John, and the seventeenth was Charles. It is said that Susannah Wesley had a weekly conference with each child. John’s time was Thursday evening. At these conferences, she would teach her children the way to live and the kind of people to be. What a tremendous influence she ought to be on all mothers everywhere. Behind a Moses, there was a Jochebed; behind a Samuel, there was a Hannah; behind a John the Baptist, there was an Elizabeth; behind great men are great mothers. Someone has said, “Show me the mother and I will show you the man.” Napoleon once said, “The great need of France is mothers.” Let us pray for our mothers today and thank God for mothers like Susannah Wesley.
1783 – The American Revolution Ended.
Let us thank God for our freedom.
1981 – Iran Hostage Crisis ends
“Minutes after Ronald Reagan’s inauguration as the 40th president of the United States, the 52 U.S. captives held at the U.S. embassy in Teheran, Iran, are released, ending the 444-day Iran Hostage Crisis.
On November 4, 1979, the crisis began when militant Iranian students, outraged that the U.S. government had allowed the ousted shah of Iran to travel to New York City for medical treatment, seized the U.S. embassy in Teheran. The Ayatollah Khomeini, Iran’s political and religious leader, took over the hostage situation, refusing all appeals to release the hostages, even after the U.N. Security Council demanded an end to the crisis in an unanimous vote. However, two weeks after the storming of the embassy, the Ayatollah began to release all non-U.S. captives, and all female and minority Americans, citing these groups as among the people oppressed by the government of the United States. The remaining 52 captives remained at the mercy of the Ayatollah for the next 14 months.
President Jimmy Carter was unable to diplomatically resolve the crisis, and on April 24, 1980, he ordered a disastrous rescue mission in which eight U.S. military personnel were killed and no hostages rescued. Three months later, the former shah died of cancer in Egypt, but the crisis continued. In November 1980, Carter lost the presidential election to Republican Ronald Reagan. Soon after, with the assistance of Algerian intermediaries, successful negotiations began between the United States and Iran. On the day of Reagan’s inauguration, the United States freed almost $8 billion in frozen Iranian assets, and the hostages were released after 444 days. The next day, Jimmy Carter flew to West Germany to greet the Americans on their way home.” – www.history.com/this-day-in-history/iran-hostage-crisis-ends (Jan 20, 2012).
Pray for our President today.
1824 – The Birthday of Stonewall Jackson.
Stonewall Jackson was a great southern General. He also was a great Christian. Many stories have been told about his faith in God and how he trusted in God to lead him. The Bob Jones University has published a film about him and about his faith in God. Let us thank God today for men like Stonewall Jackson and pray God to give us more leaders, both in politics as well as the military field, who are born-again men.
Witness to someone today about Jesus Christ. How long has it been since you told someone how to be saved and led him to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ? Why not attempt today?
1924 – Lenin Died.
It is said that the line of Red Square is unbelievably long, constantly filled with people waiting to see the remains of Lenin. Let us thank God that our Christ lives and our God is the God of the empty tomb.
1954 – This Is the Date of the First Atomic Submarine.
Thank God today for the tremendous stride that has been made concerning vessels that travel on water. We perhaps do not realize how affected our lives have been by this blessing.
1977 – President Carter pardons draft dodgers
“On this day in 1977, U.S. President Jimmy Carter grants an unconditional pardon to hundreds of thousands of men who evaded the draft during the Vietnam War.
In total, some 100,000 young Americans went abroad in the late 1960s and early 70s to avoid serving in the war. Ninety percent went to Canada, where after some initial controversy they were eventually welcomed as immigrants. Still others hid inside the United States. In addition to those who avoided the draft, a relatively small number–about 1,000–of deserters from the U.S. armed forces also headed to Canada. While the Canadian government technically reserved the right to prosecute deserters, in practice they left them alone, even instructing border guards not to ask too many questions.
For its part, the U.S. government continued to prosecute draft evaders after the Vietnam War ended. A total of 209,517 men were formally accused of violating draft laws, while government officials estimate another 360,000 were never formally accused. If they returned home, those living in Canada or elsewhere faced prison sentences or forced military service. During his 1976 presidential campaign, Jimmy Carter promised to pardon draft dodgers as a way of putting the war and the bitter divisions it caused firmly in the past. After winning the election, Carter wasted no time in making good on his word. Though many transplanted Americans returned home, an estimated 50,000 settled permanently in Canada, greatly expanding the country’s arts and academic scenes and pushing Canadian politics decidedly to the left.
Back in the U.S., Carter’s decision generated a good deal of controversy. Heavily criticized by veterans’ groups and others for allowing unpatriotic lawbreakers to get off scot-free, the pardon and companion relief plan came under fire from amnesty groups for not addressing deserters, soldiers who were dishonorably discharged or civilian anti-war demonstrators who had been prosecuted for their resistance.
Years later, Vietnam-era draft evasion still carries a powerful stigma. Though no prominent political figures have been found to have broken any draft laws, Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush and Vice-Presidents Dan Quayle and Dick Cheney–none of whom saw combat in Vietnam–have all been accused of being draft dodgers at one time or another. Although there is not currently a draft in the U.S., desertion and conscientious objection have remained pressing issues among the armed forces during the recent wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.” – www.history.com/this-day-in-history/president-carter-pardons-draft-dodgers (Jan 21, 2012).
1561 – Francis Bacon’s Birthday.
1673 – The First Postal Service Route was Made.
Let us thank God for postal service today.
Why not choose this day to witness to your postman. Is your postman a Christian? Have you asked him? Witness to your postman today.
1788 – Lord Byron was Born.
1789 – The First United States National Election was Conducted.
1789 – The First United States Novel was Published.
Its title was “The Power of Sympathy.” Let us thank God today for good books. In these days of radio and television, reading is often overlooked. Read a book today. Spend some time educating yourself and enlarging your scope of knowledge.
1901- Queen Victoria Died.
Let us pray for kings and queens everywhere who govern the lives and affairs of millions of people. How easy for one wicked person to destroy millions. How easy it is for one good person to bless and lead millions aright. Let us pray for those in authority today.
1998 – Ted Kaczynski pleads guilty to bombings
“On this day in 1998, in a Sacramento, California, courtroom, Theodore J. Kaczynski pleads guilty to all federal charges against him, acknowledging his responsibility for a 17-year campaign of package bombings attributed to the “Unabomber.”
Born in 1942, Kaczynski attended Harvard University and received a PhD in mathematics from the University of Michigan. He worked as an assistant mathematics professor at the University of California at Berkeley, but abruptly quit in 1969. In the early 1970s, Kaczynski began living as a recluse in western Montana, in a 10-by-12 foot cabin without heat, electricity or running water. From this isolated location, he began the bombing campaign that would kill three people and injure more than 20 others.
The primary targets were universities, but he also placed a bomb on an American Airlines flight in 1979 and sent one to the home of the president of United Airlines in 1980. After federal investigators set up the UNABOM Task Force (the name came from the words “university and airline bombing”), the media dubbed the culprit the “Unabomber.” The bombs left little physical evidence, and the only eyewitness found in the case could describe the suspect only as a man in hooded sweatshirt and sunglasses (depicted in an infamous 1987 police sketch).
In 1995, the Washington Post (in collaboration with the New York Times) published a 35,000-word anti-technology manifesto written by a person claiming to be the Unabomber. Recognizing elements of his brother’s writings, David Kaczynski went to authorities with his suspicions, and Ted Kaczynski was arrested in April 1996. In his cabin, federal investigators found ample evidence linking him to the bombings, including bomb parts, journal entries and drafts of the manifesto.
Kaczynski was arraigned in Sacramento and charged with bombings in 1985, 1993 and 1995 that killed two people and maimed two others. (A bombing in New Jersey in 1994 also resulted in the victim’s death.) Despite his lawyers’ efforts, Kaczynski rejected an insanity plea. After attempting suicide in his jail cell in early 1998, Kaczynski appealed to U.S. District Judge Garland Burrell Jr. to allow him to represent himself, and agreed to undergo psychiatric evaluation. A court-appointed psychiatrist diagnosed paranoid schizophrenia, and Judge Burrell ruled that Kaczynski could not defend himself. The psychiatrist’s verdict helped prosecutors and defense reach a plea bargain, which allowed prosecutors to avoid arguing for the death penalty for a mentally ill defendant.
On January 22, 1998, Kaczynski accepted a sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole in return for a plea of guilty to all federal charges; he also gave up the right to appeal any rulings in the case. Though Kaczynski later attempted to withdraw his guilty plea, arguing that it had been involuntary, Judge Burrell denied the request, and a federal appeals court upheld the ruling. Kaczynski was remanded to a maximum-security prison in Colorado, where he is serving his life sentence.” – www.history.com/this-day-in-history/ted-kaczynski-pleads-guilty-to-bombings (Jan 22, 2012).
The Farmer’s Almanac Says That Joseph and Mary were Married on This Day.
1755 – On This Day John Fletcher was Saved.
It is said that this great man of prayer literally “stained his wall” with the breath of his prayers. John Wesley said that for twenty years and upward before his death, none ever saw him out of temper.
This should lead us to do two things today: First, we should pledge God that we are going to pray more.
‘Ere you left your room this morning
Did you think to pray?
In the name of Christ our Saviour
Did you sue for loving favor
As a shield today?
Oh, how praying rests the weary,
Prayer will change the night to day,
So when life seems dark and dreary
Don’t forget to pray.
Then we ought to remember what Wesley said about Fletcher and ask God to help us to restrain ourselves from losing our tempers and having displays of a lack of patience.
1845 – Election Day was Set.
Election day was set in 1845. Let us pray for free elections to to be part of our society always.
1903 – Dallas Billington was born.
1957 – Toy company Wham-O produces first Frisbees
“On this day in 1957, machines at the Wham-O toy company roll out the first batch of their aerodynamic plastic discs–now known to millions of fans all over the world as Frisbees.
The story of the Frisbee began in Bridgeport, Connecticut, where William Frisbie opened the Frisbie Pie Company in 1871. Students from nearby universities would throw the empty pie tins to each other, yelling “Frisbie!” as they let go. In 1948, Walter Frederick Morrison and his partner Warren Franscioni invented a plastic version of the disc called the “Flying Saucer” that could fly further and more accurately than the tin pie plates. After splitting with Franscioni, Morrison made an improved model in 1955 and sold it to the new toy company Wham-O as the “Pluto Platter”–an attempt to cash in on the public craze over space and Unidentified Flying Objects (UFOs).
In 1958, a year after the toy’s first release, Wham-O–the company behind such top-sellers as the Hula-Hoop, the Super Ball and the Water Wiggle–changed its name to the Frisbee disc, misspelling the name of the historic pie company. A company designer, Ed Headrick, patented the design for the modern Frisbee in December 1967, adding a band of raised ridges on the disc’s surface–called the Rings–to stabilize flight. By aggressively marketing Frisbee-playing as a new sport, Wham-O sold over 100 million units of its famous toy by 1977.
High school students in Maplewood, New Jersey, invented Ultimate Frisbee, a cross between football, soccer and basketball, in 1967. In the 1970s, Headrick himself invented Frisbee Golf, in which discs are tossed into metal baskets; there are now hundreds of courses in the U.S., with millions of devotees. There is also Freestyle Frisbee, with choreographed routines set to music and multiple discs in play, and various Frisbee competitions for both humans and dogs–the best natural Frisbee players.
Today, at least 60 manufacturers produce the flying discs–generally made out of plastic and measuring roughly 20-25 centimeters (8-10 inches) in diameter with a curved lip. The official Frisbee is owned by Mattel Toy Manufacturers, who bought the toy from Wham-O in 1994.” – www.history.com/this-day-in-history/toy-company-wham-o-produces-first-frisbees (Jan 23, 2012).
1848 – The Discovery of Gold in the United States.
Perhaps we do not realize the effect gold has on our lives. Gold is considered the most precious of all possessions. In the Bible, we have many things listed as being more precious than gold, which means they are the most precious things. Check your Bible concordance. Look up the word. Find the things that the Scriptures tell us are more precious than gold: then seek to place them in their proper perspective. So often we are prone to think that the end of life is accumulating and making money and riches. This is certainly far from the truth. Life is far holier and loftier than this, and our goals and purposes should be far above the making of money. Someone has said, “Too many of us are making a living when we ought to be making a life.” Did not our Saviour say He would add all these things to us? Did not He remind us that He feeds the birds of the air and clothes the lilies of the field? Did not He remind us that Solomon could not purchase the kind of beauty with which Jesus clothes a little lily? May God help us to trust Him for the physical needs and may we seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness.
1908 – The First Boy Scout Troop was Organized in England.
Well do I remember when I was a member of Troop 107 in Dallas, Texas. The Scout oath, Scout pledge, Scout honor, etc. were a part of my life. I suspect that I have never been as proud as I was the day I wore my Boy Scout uniform down the street for the first time. Let us pray for Boy Scouts. Let us pray for boys everywhere and for God’s blessings to rest upon them. If you have a boy, pray for him. If you have a grandson, pray for him.
One of the great days of my life was when I became the father of a son. I pray God will use him and bless him for His glory.
1935 – First canned beer goes on sale
“Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise” (Proverbs 20:1).
Canned beer makes its debut on this day in 1935. In partnership with the American Can Company, the Gottfried Krueger Brewing Company delivered 2,000 cans of Krueger’s Finest Beer and Krueger’s Cream Ale to faithful Krueger drinkers in Richmond, Virginia. Ninety-one percent of the drinkers approved of the canned beer, driving Krueger to give the green light to further production.
By the late 19th century, cans were instrumental in the mass distribution of foodstuffs, but it wasn’t until 1909 that the American Can Company made its first attempt to can beer. This was unsuccessful, and the American Can Company would have to wait for the end of Prohibition in the United States before it tried again. Finally in 1933, after two years of research, American Can developed a can that was pressurized and had a special coating to prevent the fizzy beer from chemically reacting with the tin.
The concept of canned beer proved to be a hard sell, but Krueger’s overcame its initial reservations and became the first brewer to sell canned beer in the United States. The response was overwhelming. Within three months, over 80 percent of distributors were handling Krueger’s canned beer, and Krueger’s was eating into the market share of the “big three” national brewers–Anheuser-Busch, Pabst and Schlitz. Competitors soon followed suit, and by the end of 1935, over 200 million cans had been produced and sold.
The purchase of cans, unlike bottles, did not require the consumer to pay a deposit. Cans were also easier to stack, more durable and took less time to chill. As a result, their popularity continued to grow throughout the 1930s, and then exploded during World War II, when U.S. brewers shipped millions of cans of beer to soldiers overseas. After the war, national brewing companies began to take advantage of the mass distribution that cans made possible, and were able to consolidate their power over the once-dominant local breweries, which could not control costs and operations as efficiently as their national counterparts.
Today, canned beer accounts for approximately half of the $20 billion U.S. beer industry. Not all of this comes from the big national brewers: Recently, there has been renewed interest in canning from microbrewers and high-end beer-sellers, who are realizing that cans guarantee purity and taste by preventing light damage and oxidation.
“Look not thou upon the wine when it is red, when it giveth his colour in the cup, when it moveth itself aright” (Proverbs 23:31). Take the opportunity this week to preach on the subject of temperance.
Apostle Paul was Converted.
This is supposed to have been the date of the conversion of the Apostle Paul, known then as Saul of Tarsus.
Read the ninth chapter of the book of Acts today and relive his conversion. Thank God for his contributions to us.
1759 – The Birthday of Robert Burns, the Famous Scottish Poet.
1830 – The Beginning of the Webster-Haines Debate.
1858 – The Wedding March was Played for the First Time.
Relive your own wedding. Recapture the experiences surrounding it. Then pray for God to bless your home.
1905 – World’s largest diamond found
“On January 25, 1905, at the Premier Mine in Pretoria, South Africa, a 3,106-carat diamond is discovered during a routine inspection by the mine’s superintendent. Weighing 1.33 pounds, and christened the “Cullinan,” it was the largest diamond ever found.
Frederick Wells was 18 feet below the earth’s surface when he spotted a flash of starlight embedded in the wall just above him. His discovery was presented that same afternoon to Sir Thomas Cullinan, who owned the mine. Cullinan then sold the diamond to the Transvaal provincial government, which presented the stone to Britain’s King Edward VII as a birthday gift. Worried that the diamond might be stolen in transit from Africa to London, Edward arranged to send a phony diamond aboard a steamer ship loaded with detectives as a diversionary tactic. While the decoy slowly made its way from Africa on the ship, the Cullinan was sent to England in a plain box.
Edward entrusted the cutting of the Cullinan to Joseph Asscher, head of the Asscher Diamond Company of Amsterdam. Asscher, who had cut the famous Excelsior Diamond, a 971-carat diamond found in 1893, studied the stone for six months before attempting the cut. On his first attempt, the steel blade broke, with no effect on the diamond. On the second attempt, the diamond shattered exactly as planned; Asscher then fainted from nervous exhaustion.
The Cullinan was later cut into nine large stones and about 100 smaller ones, valued at millions of dollars all told. The largest stone is called the “Star of Africa I,” or “Cullinan I,” and at 530 carats, it is the largest-cut fine-quality colorless diamond in the world. The second largest stone, the “Star of Africa II” or “Cullinan II,” is 317 carats. Both of these stones, as well as the “Cullinan III,” are on display in the Tower of London with Britain’s other crown jewels; the Cullinan I is mounted in the British Sovereign’s Royal Scepter, while the Cullinan II sits in the Imperial State Crown.” – www.history.com/this-day-in-history/worlds-largest-diamond-found (Jan 25, 2012).
1915 – The First Trans-Continental Telephone Call.
Let us thank God for our telephones today. Mine is ringing now. Sometimes I would like to take it and throw it in the ocean and have one conversation with Alexander Graham Bell so I could tell him what I think of his invention. Most of the time, however, I am grateful for the telephone. Let us thank God today for this convenience.
Pick it up now. Call a shut-in, a lonely friend, or a discouraged soul and tell him that you care.
1934 – John Dillinger Was Captured.
1787 – The Date of the Shays Rebellion.
1788 – Australia Day
“On January 26, 1788, Captain Arthur Phillip guides a fleet of 11 British ships carrying convicts to the colony of New South Wales, effectively founding Australia. After overcoming a period of hardship, the fledgling colony began to celebrate the anniversary of this date with great fanfare.
Australia, once known as New South Wales, was originally planned as a penal colony. In October 1786, the British government appointed Arthur Phillip captain of the HMS Sirius, and commissioned him to establish an agricultural work camp there for British convicts. With little idea of what he could expect from the mysterious and distant land, Phillip had great difficulty assembling the fleet that was to make the journey. His requests for more experienced farmers to assist the penal colony were repeatedly denied, and he was both poorly funded and outfitted. Nonetheless, accompanied by a small contingent of Marines and other officers, Phillip led his 1,000-strong party, of whom more than 700 were convicts, around Africa to the eastern side of Australia. In all, the voyage lasted eight months, claiming the deaths of some 30 men.
The first years of settlement were nearly disastrous. Cursed with poor soil, an unfamiliar climate and workers who were ignorant of farming, Phillip had great difficulty keeping the men alive. The colony was on the verge of outright starvation for several years, and the marines sent to keep order were not up to the task. Phillip, who proved to be a tough but fair-minded leader, persevered by appointing convicts to positions of responsibility and oversight. Floggings and hangings were commonplace, but so was egalitarianism. As Phillip said before leaving England: “In a new country there will be no slavery and hence no slaves.”
Though Phillip returned to England in 1792, the colony became prosperous by the turn of the 19th century. Feeling a new sense of patriotism, the men began to rally around January 26 as their founding day. Historian Manning Clarke noted that in 1808 the men observed the “anniversary of the foundation of the colony” with “drinking and merriment.”
Finally, in 1818, January 26 became an official holiday, marking the 30th anniversary of British settlement in Australia. And, as Australia became a sovereign nation, it became the national holiday known as Australia Day. Today, Australia Day serves both as a day of celebration for the founding of the white British settlement, and as a day of mourning for the Aborigines who were slowly dispossessed of their land as white colonization spread across the continent.” – www.history.com/this-day-in-history/australia-day (Jan 26, 2012).
1837 – Michigan was Admitted to the Union.
Let us pray for our Christian friends and God’s servants in Michigan. Michigan is a great Gospel state. I have preached in many of its cities and thank God for the Gospel influence in Michigan.
1880 – The Birthday of General Douglas MacArthur.
Here, in my way of thinking, is one of the great Americans in all history. A great General and a great patriot was Douglas MacArthur. There are some who think he could have been a great President. Here is a man of character. The published prayer for his son was one of the classics. Let us thank God for Douglas MacArthur and pray God to give us more men in leadership with his character.
1896 – Moody’s Mother Died.
On the tombstone was this epitaph: Mark 14:8. “She hath done what she could.” Let us thank God for our mothers today. If your mother is alive, write her a letter – go see her – call her on the phone – or in some way tell her of your love and appreciation for her. Let us thank God for mothers.
1756 – Mozart was Born.
Thank God for his music and for all good music. In these days of perverted musical appetites, let us thank God for good music.
1832 – The Birthday of Lewis Carroll.
Lewis Carroll was the creator of “Alice in Wonderland.”
1855 – The Birthday of Henry Crowell.
Henry Crowell was one of the great men in the history of Moody Bible Institute. Pray today for Moody Bible Institute and Bible Institutes everywhere that God will keep them faithful to the truth and keep the fires of evangelism burning in them.
1880 – Edison Patented the Electric Incandescent Lamp.
My, what a blessing this is! Thank God for electric lights. Think what life would be without them. Here is another thing that we often take for granted.
1885 – The Birthday of Jerome Kern.
1888 – National Geographic Society founded
“On January 27, 1888, the National Geographic Society is founded in Washington, D.C., for “the increase and diffusion of geographical knowledge.”
The 33 men who originally met and formed the National Geographic Society were a diverse group of geographers, explorers, teachers, lawyers, cartographers, military officers and financiers. All shared an interest in scientific and geographical knowledge, as well as an opinion that in a time of discovery, invention, change and mass communication, Americans were becoming more curious about the world around them. With this in mind, the men drafted a constitution and elected as the Society’s president a lawyer and philanthropist named Gardiner Greene Hubbard. Neither a scientist nor a geographer, Hubbard represented the Society’s desire to reach out to the layman.
Nine months after its inception, the Society published its first issue of National Geographic magazine. Readership did not grow, however, until Gilbert H. Grosvenor took over as editor in 1899. In only a few years, Grosvenor boosted circulation from 1,000 to 2 million by discarding the magazine’s format of short, overly technical articles for articles of general interest accompanied by photographs. National Geographic quickly became known for its stunning and pioneering photography, being the first to print natural-color photos of sky, sea and the North and South Poles.
The Society used its revenues from the magazine to sponsor expeditions and research projects that furthered humanity’s understanding of natural phenomena. In this role, the National Geographic Society has been instrumental in making possible some of the great achievements in exploration and science. To date, it has given out more than 1,400 grants, funding that helped Robert Peary journey to the North Pole, Richard Byrd fly over the South Pole, Jacques Cousteau delve into the sea and Jane Goodall observe wild chimpanzees, among many other projects.
Today, the National Geographic Society is one of the world’s largest non-profit scientific and educational institutions. National Geographic continues to sell as a glossy monthly, with a circulation of around 9 million. The Society also sees itself as a guardian of the planet’s natural resources, and in this capacity, focuses on ways to broaden its reach and educate its readers about the unique relationship that humans have with the earth.” – www.history.com/this-day-in-history/national-geographic-society-founded (Jan 27, 2012).
1907 – The Birthday of Theodore Epp.
Theodore Epp is the founder of the famous “Back to the Bible” broadcast. Someone has said that Theodore Epp speaks to more people every day than does any living man. Theodore Epp’s favorite Scripture is Psalms 37:4, 5. “Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart. Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in him: and he shall bring it to pass.”
1929 – The Birthday of Jim Lyons.
For twelve years, Jim Lyons served with me in some capacity in the Lord’s work. As deacon, music director, associate pastor, we served together. He is now, at this writing, an evangelist. Pray for God’s blessings upon him and all faithful evangelists everywhere.
1596 – Sir Francis Drake Died.
1856 – The Birthday of R. A. Torrey.
R. A. Torrey is said to be the father of Bible Institutes in America. He was president of the famous Moody Institute and at one time Pastor of the famous Moody Church. It is said that he attempted suicide once in his hotel but through the prayers of a praying mother he came to Christ. He is legend to Christian people everywhere.
1878 – The First Telephone Exchange was Opened.
Pick up the telephone today and call someone and tell him about Jesus Christ. Use your telephone for God today.
1882 – The First Cable Street Railway was Opened in Chicago.
Let us thank God today for public transportation and modern conveyances.
1906 – Oswald Smith was Converted.
Oswald Smith was for years the famous pastor of the People’s Church in Toronto, Canada, and a great missionary leader around the world. While on a recent visit to Toronto, it was my joy to become better acquainted with his work. Many of his songs, we sing; many of his books, we read; many of his missionary endeavors, we enjoy.
I have preached in the famous People’s Church. Pray for this work and its pastor, Dr. Paul Smith.
1986 – Challenger explodes
“At 11:38 a.m. EST, on January 28, 1986, the space shuttle Challenger lifts off from Cape Canaveral, Florida, and Christa McAuliffe is on her way to becoming the first ordinary U.S. civilian to travel into space. McAuliffe, a 37-year-old high school social studies teacher from New Hampshire, won a competition that earned her a place among the seven-member crew of the Challenger. She underwent months of shuttle training but then, beginning January 23, was forced to wait six long days as the Challenger‘s launch countdown was repeatedly delayed because of weather and technical problems. Finally, on January 28, the shuttle lifted off.
Seventy-three seconds later, hundreds on the ground, including Christa’s family, stared in disbelief as the shuttle exploded in a forking plume of smoke and fire. Millions more watched the wrenching tragedy unfold on live television. There were no survivors.
In 1976, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) unveiled the world’s first reusable manned spacecraft, the Enterprise. Five years later, space flights of the shuttle began when Columbia traveled into space on a 54-hour mission. Launched by two solid-rocket boosters and an external tank, only the aircraft-like shuttle entered into orbit around Earth. When the mission was completed, the shuttle fired engines to reduce speed and, after descending through the atmosphere, landed like a glider. Early shuttles took satellite equipment into space and carried out various scientific experiments. The Challenger disaster was the first major shuttle accident.
In the aftermath of the explosion, President Ronald Reagan appointed a special commission to determine what went wrong with Challenger and to develop future corrective measures. The presidential commission was headed by former secretary of state William Rogers, and included former astronaut Neil Armstrong and former test pilot Chuck Yeager. The investigation determined that the explosion was caused by the failure of an “O-ring” seal in one of the two solid-fuel rockets. The elastic O-ring did not respond as expected because of the cold temperature at launch time, which began a chain of events that resulted in the massive explosion. As a result of the explosion, NASA did not send astronauts into space for more than two years as it redesigned a number of features of the space shuttle.
In September 1988, space shuttle flights resumed with the successful launching of theDiscovery. Since then, the space shuttle has carried out numerous important missions, such as the repair and maintenance of the Hubble Space Telescope and the construction of the International Space Station.
On February 1, 2003, a second space-shuttle disaster rocked the United States whenColumbia disintegrated upon reentry of the Earth’s atmosphere. All aboard were killed. Despite fears that the problems that downed Columbia had not been satisfactorily addressed, space-shuttle flights resumed on July 26, 2005, when Discovery was again put into orbit.” – www.history.com/this-day-in-history/challenger-explodes (Jan 28, 2012).
1737 – The Birthday of Thomas Paine, the Notorious Atheist.
Thomas Paine once said that by the time his generation was past, there would be no Bibles in print. The same machine on which he printed this statement was used to print Bibles after his death. The story is told about Thomas Paine addressing an audience in a great auditorium. After completing his moving speech, he challenged anyone to disprove what he had said. It is said that a young lady in the balcony began to sing in a beautiful voice:
Stand up, stand up for Jesus
Ye soldiers of the Cross,
Lift high His royal banner,
It must not suffer loss.
From victory unto victory,
His army shall He lead,
Till every foe is vanquished
And Christ is Lord indeed.
It wasn’t long until the entire crowd was singing together this great song. After the song was finished, someone asked what had happened to the speaker on the platform. Thomas Paine had slipped out the side door, according to the story.
1843 – The Birthday of William McKinley.
Pray for our President today.
1861 – Kansas was Admitted to the Union.
Let us pray for our friends in Kansas who serve the Lord there. I am thinking now of many of my own personal preacher friends and Christian friends who labor in Kansas. May God bless them.
1874 – The Birthday of John D. Rockefeller.
Many folks have benefited because of the generosity of this man. His foundation has helped many benevolent institutions and good works.
1936 – U.S. Baseball Hall of Fame elects first members
“On January 29, 1936, the U.S. Baseball Hall of Fame elects its first members in Cooperstown, New York: Ty Cobb, Babe Ruth, Honus Wagner, Christy Matthewson and Walter Johnson.
The Hall of Fame actually had its beginnings in 1935, when plans were made to build a museum devoted to baseball and its 100-year history. A private organization based in Cooperstown called the Clark Foundation thought that establishing the Baseball Hall of Fame in their city would help to reinvigorate the area’s Depression-ravaged economy by attracting tourists. To help sell the idea, the foundation advanced the idea that U.S. Civil War hero Abner Doubleday invented baseball in Cooperstown. The story proved to be phony, but baseball officials, eager to capitalize on the marketing and publicity potential of a museum to honor the game’s greats, gave their support to the project anyway.
In preparation for the dedication of the Hall of Fame in 1939–thought by many to be the centennial of baseball–the Baseball Writers’ Association of America chose the five greatest superstars of the game as the first class to be inducted: Ty Cobb was the most productive hitter in history; Babe Ruth was both an ace pitcher and the greatest home-run hitter to play the game; Honus Wagner was a versatile star shortstop and batting champion; Christy Matthewson had more wins than any pitcher in National League history; and Walter Johnson was considered one of the most powerful pitchers to ever have taken the mound.
Today, with approximately 350,000 visitors per year, the Hall of Fame continues to be the hub of all things baseball. It has elected 278 individuals, in all, including 225 players, 17 managers, 8 umpires and 28 executives and pioneers.” – www.history.com/this-day-in-history/us-baseball-hall-of-fame-elects-first-members (Jan 29, 2012).
1882 – Franklin D. Roosevelt was Born.
Many people about my age remember him as being the President of our nation for so long, especially in the tragic days of World War II.
1933 – Hitler Became Chancellor of Germany.
1948 – The Assassination of Mohandas Gandhi.
“Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, the political and spiritual leader of the Indian independence movement, is assassinated in New Delhi by a Hindu fanatic.
Born the son of an Indian official in 1869, Gandhi’s Vaishnava mother was deeply religious and early on exposed her son to Jainism, a morally rigorous Indian religion that advocated nonviolence. Gandhi was an unremarkable student but in 1888 was given an opportunity to study law in England. In 1891, he returned to India, but failing to find regular legal work he accepted in 1893 a one-year contract in South Africa.
Settling in Natal, he was subjected to racism and South African laws that restricted the rights of Indian laborers. Gandhi later recalled one such incident, in which he was removed from a first-class railway compartment and thrown off a train, as his moment of truth. From thereon, he decided to fight injustice and defend his rights as an Indian and a man. When his contract expired, he spontaneously decided to remain in South Africa and launched a campaign against legislation that would deprive Indians of the right to vote. He formed the Natal Indian Congress and drew international attention to the plight of Indians in South Africa. In 1906, the Transvaal government sought to further restrict the rights of Indians, and Gandhi organized his first campaign of satyagraha, or mass civil disobedience. After seven years of protest, he negotiated a compromise agreement with the South African government.
In 1914, Gandhi returned to India and lived a life of abstinence and spirituality on the periphery of Indian politics. He supported Britain in the First World War but in 1919 launched a new satyagraha in protest of Britain’s mandatory military draft of Indians. Hundreds of thousands answered his call to protest, and by 1920 he was leader of the Indian movement for independence. He reorganized the Indian National Congress as a political force and launched a massive boycott of British goods, services, and institutions in India. Then, in 1922, he abruptly called off the satyagraha when violence erupted. One month later, he was arrested by the British authorities for sedition, found guilty, and imprisoned.
After his release in 1924, he led an extended fast in protest of Hindu-Muslim violence. In 1928, he returned to national politics when he demanded dominion status for India and in 1930 launched a mass protest against the British salt tax, which hurt India’s poor. In his most famous campaign of civil disobedience, Gandhi and his followers marched to the Arabian Sea, where they made their own salt by evaporating sea water. The march, which resulted in the arrest of Gandhi and 60,000 others, earned new international respect and support for the leader and his movement.
In 1931, Gandhi was released to attend the Round Table Conference on India in London as the sole representative of the Indian National Congress. The meeting was a great disappointment, and after his return to India he was again imprisoned. While in jail, he led another fast in protest of the British government’s treatment of the “untouchables”–the impoverished and degraded Indians who occupied the lowest tiers of the caste system. In 1934, he left the Indian Congress Party to work for the economic development of India’s many poor. His protege, Jawaharlal Nehru, was named leader of the party in his place.
With the outbreak of World War II, Gandhi returned to politics and called for Indian cooperation with the British war effort in exchange for independence. Britain refused and sought to divide India by supporting conservative Hindu and Muslim groups. In response, Gandhi launched the “Quit India” movement it 1942, which called for a total British withdrawal. Gandhi and other nationalist leaders were imprisoned until 1944.
In 1945, a new government came to power in Britain, and negotiations for India’s independence began. Gandhi sought a unified India, but the Muslim League, which had grown in influence during the war, disagreed. After protracted talks, Britain agreed to create the two new independent states of India and Pakistan on August 15, 1947. Gandhi was greatly distressed by the partition, and bloody violence soon broke out between Hindus and Muslims in India.
In an effort to end India’s religious strife, he resorted to fasts and visits to the troubled areas. He was on one such vigil in New Delhi when Nathuram Godse, a Hindu extremist who objected to Gandhi’s tolerance for the Muslims, fatally shot him. Known as Mahatma, or “the great soul,” during his lifetime, Gandhi’s persuasive methods of civil disobedience influenced leaders of civil rights movements around the world, especially Martin Luther King Jr. in the United States.” – www.history.com/this-day-in-history/gandhi-assassinated (Jan 30, 2012).
Mohandas Gandhi supposedly made a statement that is one of the most striking I have ever heard. He is quoted as saying, “I would be a Christian if it weren’t for Christians.” If this statement is true, what an indictment! Mohandas Gandhi saw nothing in Christians that made him want to become a Christian. Probably in his day he influenced the lives and eternity of more people than any living man. If Mohandas Gandhi had become a Christian, millions of people would have turned to Jesus Christ. I wonder how many others are not Christians because of Christians – the way we talk, the places we go, our bad attitudes, our ugly spirits, our vindictive personalities. God help us to be the kind of Christians that makes folks want to become Christians, rather than makes them say, “I would be a Christian, if it weren’t for Christians.”
1797 – The Birthday of Franz Schubert.
1892 – The Death of Charles Spurgeon, the “Prince of Preachers.”
His mother had preceded him in death. Upon hearing of the death of his son, Charles Spurgeon’s father said, “What a happy meeting there has been between Charles and his mother.”
Charles Spurgeon is supposed to have said at one time that he wanted to be the kind of Christian that when he looked up to Heaven and said, “I love you, Jesus,” Jesus would look back and say, “I know it, Charles.”
Thank God for this great man.
1950 – President Truman Ordered the Development of the Hydrogen Bomb.
“U.S. President Harry S. Truman publicly announces his decision to support the development of the hydrogen bomb, a weapon theorized to be hundreds of times more powerful than the atomic bombs dropped on Japan during World War II.
Five months earlier, the United States had lost its nuclear supremacy when the Soviet Union successfully detonated an atomic bomb at their test site in Kazakhstan. Then, several weeks after that, British and U.S. intelligence came to the staggering conclusion that German-born Klaus Fuchs, a top-ranking scientist in the U.S. nuclear program, was a spy for the Soviet Union. These two events, and the fact that the Soviets now knew everything that the Americans did about how to build a hydrogen bomb, led Truman to approve massive funding for the superpower race to complete the world’s first “superbomb,” as he described it in his public announcement on January 31.
On November 1, 1952, the United States successfully detonated “Mike,” the world’s first hydrogen bomb, on the Elugelab Atoll in the Pacific Marshall Islands. The 10.4-megaton thermonuclear device, built upon the Teller-Ulam principles of staged radiation implosion, instantly vaporized an entire island and left behind a crater more than a mile wide. The incredible explosive force of Mike was also apparent from the sheer magnitude of its mushroom cloud–within 90 seconds the mushroom cloud climbed to 57,000 feet and entered the stratosphere. One minute later, it reached 108,000 feet, eventually stabilizing at a ceiling of 120,000 feet. Half an hour after the test, the mushroom stretched 60 miles across, with the base of the head joining the stem at 45,000 feet.
Three years later, on November 22, 1955, the Soviet Union detonated its first hydrogen bomb on the same principle of radiation implosion. Both superpowers were now in possession of the “hell bomb,” as it was known by many Americans, and the world lived under the threat of thermonuclear war for the first time in history.” – www.history.com/this-day-in-history/truman-announces-development-of-h-bomb (Jan 31, 2012).
Let us pray that God will help us to use the power that we have for constructive purposes. Certainly, it is a tragedy that the lives of so many hang in the balance because wicked men have come into such power.
1958 – The First United States Satellite was Launched – Explorer I.
We hear a lot of talk about going to the moon. It seems to me we ought to do something with the planet on which we live. With all of the sin, murder, rape, thefts, assault, battery, divorces, drunkeness, mental illness, and diseases, it seems that we should do something with the planet we have now. I have often said that if other planets are inhabited, I hope they will never find out about us and let us influence them to be what we are.