1491 B.C. – Israel Finally Arrived at Mount Sinai.
951 B.C. – The Revival Started Under Asa.
II Chronicles 15:10
Pray for revival today.
726 B.C. – Hezekiah’s Revival Began.
II Chronicles 31:7
Read this passage and the context. Pray for revival.
588 B.C. – The Word of God Came to Ezekiel.
Pray for the Word of God to come to our preachers and leaders today.
1792 – Kentucky was Admitted to the Union.
It is my joy to pastor many fine people that were born and reared in the great state of Kentucky. They are among the most delightful people I know. Let us pray for God’s people in this great state.
1794 – Billy Bray was Born.
1796 – Tennessee was Admitted to the Union.
Pray for the saints in Tennessee. Pray for God to bless their ministry for Jesus Christ.
1980 – CNN Launches
On this day in 1980, CNN (Cable News Network), the world’s first 24-hour television news network, makes its debut. The network signed on at 6 p.m. EST from its headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia, with a lead story about the attempted assassination of civil rights leader Vernon Jordan. CNN went on to change the notion that news could only be reported at fixed times throughout the day. At the time of CNN’s launch, TV news was dominated by three major networks–ABC, CBS and NBC–and their nightly 30-minute broadcasts. Initially available in less than two million U.S. homes, today CNN is seen in more than 89 million American households and over 160 million homes internationally.
CNN was the brainchild of Robert “Ted” Turner, a colorful, outspoken businessman dubbed the “Mouth of the South.” Turner was born on November 19, 1938, in Cincinnati, Ohio, and as a child moved with his family to Georgia, where his father ran a successful billboard advertising company. After his father committed suicide in 1963, Turner took over the business and expanded it. In 1970, he bought a failing Atlanta TV station that broadcast old movies and network reruns and within a few years Turner had transformed it into a “superstation,” a concept he pioneered, in which the station was beamed by satellite into homes across the country. Turner later bought the Atlanta Braves baseball team and the Atlanta Hawks basketball team and aired their games on his network, TBS (Turner Broadcasting System). In 1977, Turner gained international fame when he sailed his yacht to victory in the prestigious America’s Cup race.
In its first years of operation, CNN lost money and was ridiculed as the Chicken Noodle Network. However, Turner continued to invest in building up the network’s news bureaus around the world and in 1983, he bought Satellite News Channel, owned in part by ABC, and thereby eliminated CNN’s main competitor. CNN eventually came to be known for covering live events around the world as they happened, often beating the major networks to the punch. The network gained significant traction with its live coverage of the Persian Gulf War in 1991 and the network’s audience grew along with the increasing popularity of cable television during the 1990s.
In 1996, CNN merged with Time Warner, which merged with America Online four years later. Today, Ted Turner is an environmentalist and peace activist whose philanthropic efforts include a 1997 gift of $1 billion to the United Nations. (www.history.com/this-day-in-history/cnn-launches)
1773 – John Randolph was Born.
1840 – The Birthday of Thomas Hardy.
1862 – General Lee was Made General of the Confederate Army.
1886 – Grover Cleveland Became the First President to Marry in the White House.
So again we turn our attention toward the President and to the White House. Again pray for him. Since this is the date of the marriage of Grover Cleveland, it would be fitting for us to pray for the President’s wife and family. Certainly, it is not easy to hold this position in the public eye. Not many of us would covet this type of life. Pray for the President’s family today.
1935 -Babe Ruth Retires
On this day in 1935, Babe Ruth, one of the greatest players in the history of baseball, ends his Major League playing career after 22 seasons, 10 World Series and 714 home runs. The following year, Ruth, a larger-than-life figure whose name became synonymous with baseball, was one of the first five players inducted into the sport’s hall of fame.
George Herman Ruth was born February 6, 1895, into a poor family in Baltimore. As a child, he was sent to St. Mary’s Industrial School for Boys, a school run by Roman Catholic brothers, where he learned to play baseball and was a standout athlete. At 19, Ruth was signed by the Baltimore Orioles, then a Boston Red Sox minor league team. Ruth’s fellow teammates and the media began referring to him as team owner Jack Dunn’s newest “babe,” a nickname that stuck. Ruth would later acquire other nicknames, including “The Sultan of Swat” and “The Bambino.”
Ruth made his Major League debut as a left-handed pitcher with the Red Sox in July 1914 and pitched 89 winning games for the team before 1920, when he was traded to the New York Yankees. After Ruth left Boston, in what became known as “the curse of the Bambino,” the Red Sox didn’t win another World Series until 2004. In New York, Ruth’s primary position changed to outfielder and he led the Yankees to seven American League pennants and four World Series victories. Ruth was a huge star in New York and attracted so many fans that the team was able to open a new stadium in 1923, Yankee Stadium, dubbed “The House That Ruth Built.”
The southpaw slugger’s final season, in 1935, was with the Boston Braves. He had joined the Braves with the hope that he’d become the team’s manager the next season. However, this dream never came to pass for a disappointed Ruth, who had a reputation for excessive drinking, gambling and womanizing.
Many of the records Ruth set remained in place for decades. His career homerun record stood until 1974, when it was broken by Hank Aaron. Ruth’s record of 60 home-runs in a single season (1927) of 154 games wasn’t bested until 1961, when Roger Maris knocked out 61 homers in an extended season of 162 games. The Sultan of Swat’s career slugging percentage of .690 remains the highest in Major League history.
Ruth died of throat cancer at age 53 on August 16, 1948, in New York City. His body lay in state at Yankee Stadium for two days and was visited by over 100,000 fans. (www.history.com/this-day-in-history/babe-ruth-retires)
1953 – Queen Elizabeth II was Crowned.
Perhaps no nation is as close to the United States as is England. What a thrill it was for me to go to England! What a thrill to see Buckingham Palace where the Queen lives! What a thrill to see the changing of the guard, Number 10 Downing Street, Westminister Abbey (where the Queen was crowned) and other famous places. Pray for our sister nation and pray for the Queen.
1808 – The Birthday of Jefferson Davis.
Pray for the South and God’s people there.
1905 – Hudson Taylor Died.
His death was one of beauty and faith. His daughter-in-law attended him and watched him die. After he had gone to Heaven, his daughter-in-law said, “It was not death.” Hudson Taylor was a great missionary.
Our attention is turned again to missionaries. Pray for them today. Pray for missionaries in general. Pray for missionaries in particular. Call the names in prayer of those that you know and love. Write them and encourage them in the work today. Imagine how it must be having to educate your own children without public schools. Imagine how it must be to go for years without seeing Mother or Father or brother or sister, or loved ones and friends at home. Imagine how discouraged they must get. Pray for them.
1963 – The Death of Pope John XXIII.
He died at the age of eighty-one. Well do I recall the headlines the next morning that said, “The leader of millions is dead.” I raised my voice and said, “Praise the Lord, my religious leader lives forever. He was dead and, yea, is alive forevermore.” Join me in praising God today for a resurrected Christ. It was my privilege to stand at the empty tomb, yea, to kneel at the empty tomb and to see the place where He lay. Praise God for a living Saviour.
1989 – Crackdown at Tiananmen Begins
With protests for democratic reforms entering their seventh week, the Chinese government authorizes its soldiers and tanks to reclaim Beijing’s Tiananmen Square at all costs. By nightfall on June 4, Chinese troops had forcibly cleared the square, killing hundreds and arresting thousands of demonstrators and suspected dissidents.
On April 15, the death of Hu Yaobang, a former Communist Party head who supported democratic reforms, roused some 100,000 students to gather at Beijing’s Tiananmen Square to commemorate the leader and voice their discontent with China’s authoritative government. On April 22, an official memorial service for Hu Yaobang was held in Tiananmen’s Great Hall of the People, and student representatives carried a petition to the steps of the Great Hall, demanding to meet with Premier Li Peng. The Chinese government refused the meeting, leading to a general boycott of Chinese universities across the country and widespread calls for democratic reforms.
Ignoring government warnings of suppression of any mass demonstration, students from more than 40 universities began a march to Tiananmen on April 27. The students were joined by workers, intellectuals, and civil servants, and by mid-May more than a million people filled the square, the site of Mao Zedong’s proclamation of the People’s Republic of China in 1949.
On May 20, the government formally declared martial law in Beijing, and troops and tanks were called in to disperse the dissidents. However, large numbers of students and citizens blocked the army’s advance, and by May 23 government forces had pulled back to the outskirts of Beijing. On June 3, with negotiations to end the protests stalled and calls for democratic reforms escalating, the troops received orders from the Chinese government to seize control of Tiananmen Square and the streets of Beijing. Hundreds were killed and thousands arrested.
In the weeks after the government crackdown, an unknown number of dissidents were executed, and hard-liners in the government took firm control of the country. The international community was outraged by the incident, and economic sanctions imposed by the United States and other countries sent China’s economy into decline. By late 1990, however, international trade had resumed, thanks in part to China’s release of several hundred imprisoned dissidents.
1777 – The National Flag was Adopted.
Thank God for the flag and for the fifty states it represents. Thank God for the nation. Let us all join in singing “God Bless America.”
God Bless America
God bless America,
Land that I love,
Stand beside her and guide her
Through the night with a light from above;
From the mountains,
To the prairies,
To the oceans white with foam,
God bless America,
My home sweet home!
God bless, America,
My home sweet home!
1896 – Henry Ford Had the First Successful Run on the Car in Detroit.
The story is told of a man who was having trouble with his Ford. He was trying to fix it beside the highway and an old man stopped his car, got out, and offered his help. “Old man,” said the flustered car owner, “I’ve been driving cars for years; in fact, I’ve been driving Fords for years. I think I am quite capable of fixing my own car.”
The old man left with a parting greeting, and as he left he said, “I’m glad to meet you, sir. My name is Henry Ford.”
There is no one that can repair an object like its maker. Oh, how prone we are to try to repair our own lives when God our Maker wants to help us. Let us yield to His help and leadership today.
1942 – The Battle of Midway Island Begins.
On this day in 1942, the Battle of Midway–one of the most decisive U.S. victories against Japan during World War II–begins. During the four-day sea-and-air battle, the outnumbered U.S. Pacific Fleet succeeded in destroying four Japanese aircraft carriers while losing only one of its own, the Yorktown, to the previously invincible Japanese navy.
In six months of offensives prior to Midway, the Japanese had triumphed in lands throughout the Pacific, including Malaysia, Singapore, the Dutch East Indies, the Philippines and numerous island groups. The United States, however, was a growing threat, and Japanese Admiral Isoruku Yamamoto sought to destroy the U.S. Pacific Fleet before it was large enough to outmatch his own.
A thousand miles northwest of Honolulu, the strategic island of Midway became the focus of his scheme to smash U.S. resistance to Japan’s imperial designs. Yamamoto’s plan consisted of a feint toward Alaska followed by an invasion of Midway by a Japanese strike force. When the U.S. Pacific Fleet arrived at Midway to respond to the invasion, it would be destroyed by the superior Japanese fleet waiting unseen to the west. If successful, the plan would eliminate the U.S. Pacific Fleet and provide a forward outpost from which the Japanese could eliminate any future American threat in the Central Pacific. U.S. intelligence broke the Japanese naval code, however, and the Americans anticipated the surprise attack.
In the meantime, 200 miles to the northeast, two U.S. attack fleets caught the Japanese force entirely by surprise and destroyed three heavy Japanese carriers and one heavy cruiser. The only Japanese carrier that initially escaped destruction, the Hiryu, loosed all its aircraft against the American task force and managed to seriously damage the U.S. carrier Yorktown, forcing its abandonment. At about 5:00 p.m., dive-bombers from the U.S. carrier Enterprise returned the favor, mortally damaging the Hiryu. It was scuttled the next morning.
When the Battle of Midway ended, Japan had lost four carriers, a cruiser and 292 aircraft, and suffered an estimated 2,500 casualties. The U.S. lost the Yorktown, the destroyer USS Hammann, 145 aircraft and suffered approximately 300 casualties.
Japan’s losses hobbled its naval might–bringing Japanese and American sea power to approximate parity–and marked the turning point in the Pacific theater of World War II. In August 1942, the great U.S. counteroffensive began at Guadalcanal and did not cease until Japan’s surrender three years later. (www.history.com/this-day-in-history/battle-of-midway-begins)
1846 – The First Telegraph Line was Installed From Philadelphia to Baltimore.
1901 – B. R. Lakin was Born.
1933 – FDR Takes the United States Off the Gold Standard.
“On June 5, 1933, the United States went off the gold standard, a monetary system in which currency is backed by gold, when Congress enacted a joint resolution nullifying the right of creditors to demand payment in gold. The United States had been on a gold standard since 1879, except for an embargo on gold exports during World War I, but bank failures during the Great Depression of the 1930s frightened the public into hoarding gold, making the policy untenable.
Soon after taking office in March 1933, Roosevelt declared a nationwide bank moratorium in order to prevent a run on the banks by consumers lacking confidence in the economy. He also forbade banks to pay out gold or to export it. According to Keynesian economic theory, one of the best ways to fight off an economic downturn is to inflate the money supply. And increasing the amount of gold held by the Federal Reserve would in turn increase its power to inflate the money supply. Facing similar pressures, Britain had dropped the gold standard in 1931, and Roosevelt had taken note.
On April 5, 1933, Roosevelt ordered all gold coins and gold certificates in denominations of more than $100 turned in for other money. It required all persons to deliver all gold coin, gold bullion and gold certificates owned by them to the Federal Reserve by May 1 for the set price of $20.67 per ounce. By May 10, the government had taken in $300 million of gold coin and $470 million of gold certificates. Two months later, a joint resolution of Congress abrogated the gold clauses in many public and private obligations that required the debtor to repay the creditor in gold dollars of the same weight and fineness as those borrowed. In 1934, the government price of gold was increased to $35 per ounce, effectively increasing the gold on the Federal Reserve’s balance sheets by 69 percent. This increase in assets allowed the Federal Reserve to further inflate the money supply.
The government held the $35 per ounce price until August 15, 1971, when President Richard Nixon announced that the United States would no longer convert dollars to gold at a fixed value, thus completely abandoning the gold standard. In 1974, President Gerald Ford signed legislation that permitted Americans again to own gold bullion.” (www.history.com/this-day-in-history/fdr-takes-united-states-off-gold-standard)
Here is something that should attract our attention. Our national debt should be considered. Our economic position should be discussed with God. It is not right for a nation to make debts that she cannot pay. It is not right for one generation to leave the next generation with a big deficit, or in plainer terms, in debt. How can we teach our boys and girls that it is right to pay their debts when as a nation we are over our heads in debt? Economic stability should be desired by all nations, but especially our great nation. None of us really realizes just how much our own way of life is affected by the financial condition of our nation. Let us pray concerning this today.
1953 – Some Give This as the Date of the Crowning of Queen Elizabeth II.
When we think of crowning we think of the day when Jesus shall be crowned. While in Jerusalem, we saw the Golden Gate through which He passed on Palm Sunday. We remembered how He came upon the foal of an ass, and people cried, “Blessed is He that cometh in the name of the Lord.” (Matthew 21:9) They tell us that this gate has not been opened since that day and will not be opened until He comes again and is crowned “King of Kings” and “Lord of Lords.” We ascended Mount Zion realizing with every step that some day the capital of the earth will be that place. Let us say with the Saviour, “Thy Kingdom come, thy will be done…” and pray that soon will come the day that “Jesus shall reign where’er the sun does his successive journeys run; His kingdom spread from shore to shore ’til moon shall wax and wane no more.”
1968 – Robert F. Kennedy Assassinated.
33 A.D. – This is the Date That Some Say was the Date of Pentecost.
Was the day of Pentecost a never-to-be-repeated day? Was it something that we can not have today? Certainly not. Dwight Moody said that Pentecost was a “speciman day.” God was showing the church that this was the kind of day they could have, and the kind of service they could have, and the kind of power they could have. Jesus said, “But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me…” Had not He promised that if they would tarry in Jerusalem He would send His power upon them? Was this promise for one time only? Certainly not. We may have the power of God today. This power is not that we might feel good, or have our sin eradicated, but it is that we might win souls and be fruitful for the Saviour.
1844 – The Date of the Founding of the YMCA.
One of my earliest childhood memories is standing outside the YMCA in the Oak Cliff section of Dallas, Texas, looking in, wishing I had enough money to join. You see, it cost six dollars a year to join, and at our house we didn’t get six dollars a year. I can recall looking through the window and watching the boys play ping-pong and wishing that I could be a member. Finally, after months, I was able to join. It was one of the happiest days of my life as a child. This reminds me to pray for my boy. Will you pray for yours? Pray for boys everywhere. Maybe you have some friends who are little fellows for whom you ought to pray. Perhaps you teach a boys Sunday school class. At least, each of us has a boy in whom we are interested. Pray for boys today.
1944 – The Date of the D-Day Invasion.
“Although the term D-Day is used routinely as military lingo for the day an operation or event will take place, for many it is also synonymous with June 6, 1944, the day the Allied powers crossed the English Channel and landed on the beaches of Normandy, France, beginning the liberation of Western Europe from Nazi control during World War II. Within three months, the northern part of France would be freed and the invasion force would be preparing to enter Germany, where they would meet up with Soviet forces moving in from the east.
With Hitler’s armies in control of most of mainland Europe, the Allies knew that a successful invasion of the continent was central to winning the war. Hitler knew this too, and was expecting an assault on northwestern Europe in the spring of 1944. He hoped to repel the Allies from the coast with a strong counterattack that would delay future invasion attempts, giving him time to throw the majority of his forces into defeating the Soviet Union in the east. Once that was accomplished, he believed an all-out victory would soon be his.
On the morning of June 5, 1944, U.S. General Dwight D. Eisenhower, the supreme commander of Allied forces in Europe gave the go-ahead for Operation Overlord, the largest amphibious military operation in history. On his orders, 6,000 landing craft, ships and other vessels carrying 176,000 troops began to leave England for the trip to France. That night, 822 aircraft filled with parachutists headed for drop zones in Normandy. An additional 13,000 aircraft were mobilized to provide air cover and support for the invasion.
By dawn on June 6, 18,000 parachutists were already on the ground; the land invasions began at 6:30 a.m. The British and Canadians overcame light opposition to capture Gold, Juno and Sword beaches; so did the Americans at Utah. The task was much tougher at Omaha beach, however, where 2,000 troops were lost and it was only through the tenacity and quick-wittedness of troops on the ground that the objective was achieved. By day’s end, 155,000 Allied troops–Americans, British and Canadians–had successfully stormed Normandy’s beaches.
For their part, the Germans suffered from confusion in the ranks and the absence of celebrated commander Field Marshal Erwin Rommel, who was away on leave. At first, Hitler, believing that the invasion was a feint designed to distract the Germans from a coming attack north of the Seine River, refused to release nearby divisions to join the counterattack and reinforcements had to be called from further afield, causing delays. He also hesitated in calling for armored divisions to help in the defense. In addition, the Germans were hampered by effective Allied air support, which took out many key bridges and forced the Germans to take long detours, as well as efficient Allied naval support, which helped protect advancing Allied troops.
Though it did not go off exactly as planned, as later claimed by British Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery–for example, the Allies were able to land only fractions of the supplies and vehicles they had intended in France–D-Day was a decided success. By the end of June, the Allies had 850,000 men and 150,000 vehicles in Normandy and were poised to continue their march across Europe.
The heroism and bravery displayed by troops from the Allied countries on D-Day has served as inspiration for several films, most famously The Longest Day (1962) and Saving Private Ryan (1998). It was also depicted in the HBO mini-series Band of Brothers (2001).” (www.history.com/this-day-in-history/d-day)
Certainly, this is a day that stands out in our minds. Being a paratrooper in World War II, I was told of the horrors of this day by many of my buddies. Though we do have boys fighting and dying in Viet Nam, at least the awful tragedy of World War II has ended. Let us pray for God to give us wisdom to avert another such catastrophe. We can also look forward to the day when Jesus shall reign in peace and men shall beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks, and nation shall not lift up sword against nation, or kingdom against kingdom, but men shall dwell at peace one with the other and the Prince of Peace shall be King over all the earth.
632 – Mohammed Died.
1873 – Moody and Sankey Sailed for England.
On this day Moody and Sankey sailed for England and their great revivals there. What a tremendous ministry they had., Someone has said that Dwight Moody lifted England with one hand and America with the other hand and raised two continents closer to God.
What a thrill it has been for me to preach in the Moody church and the Moody Institute. Oh, God, give us a Moody and bring us closer to Thee.
1891 – Spurgeon Preached His Last Sermon in the Metropolitan Tabernacle in England.
Appropriately his last message was a tribute to the people for making him. For many, many years he had preached in that great pulpit. As a lad of nineteen, he had come to London to preach. The “prince of preachers” had made his mark upon his city, his nation, and his generation as well as Christians until Jesus comes again. We still read his sermons. We are still challenged by his work.
While in London, Mrs. Hyles and I asked a cab driver to drive us to the Metropolitan Tabernacle. Though the building had been destroyed by war and had been rebuilt, it is on the same spot. I think much of the exterior is the same as it was before the destruction. A bust of Spurgeon is in the vestibule. I stood in the pulpit. A dove hovered over the pulpit on the wall behind, Oh, for the Heavenly Dove that hovered over Spurgeon.
1913 – First Successful Ascent of Mt. McKinley
On this day in 1913, Hudson Stuck, an Alaskan missionary, leads the first successful ascent of Mt. McKinley, the highest point on the American continent at 20,320 feet.
Stuck, an accomplished amateur mountaineer, was born in London in 1863. After moving to the United States, in 1905 he became archdeacon of the Episcopal Church in Yukon, Alaska, where he was an admirer of Native Indian culture and traveled Alaska’s difficult terrain to preach to villagers and establish schools.
In March 1913, the adventure-seeking Stuck set out from Fairbanks for Mt. McKinley with three companions, Harry Karstens, co-leader of the expedition, Walter Harper, whose mother was a Native Indian, and Robert Tatum, a theology student. Their arduous journey was made more challenging by difficult weather and a fire at one of their camps, which destroyed food and supplies. However, the group persevered and on June 7, Harper, followed by the rest of the party, was the first person to set foot on McKinley’s south peak, considered the mountain’s true summit. (In 1910, a group of climbers had reached the lower north peak.)
Stuck referred to the mountain by its Athabascan Indian name, Denali, meaning “The High One.” In 1889, the mountain, over half of which is covered with permanent snowfields, was dubbed Densmores Peak, after a prospector named Frank Densmore. In 1896, it was renamed in honor of Senator William McKinley, who became president that year.
Mount McKinley National Park was established as a wildlife refuge in 1917. Harry Karstens served as the park’s first superintendent. In 1980, the park was expanded and renamed Denali National Park and Preserve. Encompassing 6 million acres, the park is larger than Massachusetts.
Hudson Stuck died in Alaska on October 10, 1920. Today, over 1,000 hopeful climbers attempt to scale Mt. McKinley each year, with about half of them successfully reaching their goal. (www.history.com/this-day-in-history/first-successful-ascent-of-mt-mckinley)
1923 – Radio Networks Began.
1845 – Andrew Jackson Died.
An interesting story is told concerning Andrew Jackson. Peter Cartwright, the old Methodist circuit rider, was preaching in a Southern city. General Jackson walked in the audience and was seated. A preacher behind Peter Cartwright reminded Mr. Cartright that General Jackson had just walked in. Peter Cartwright kept on preaching the same old message he had been preaching. Again, he was warned by the preacher of General Jackson’s presence. Again Cartwright shrugged himself and kept preaching. The third time the preacher tugged at Peter Cartwright’s coat tail and reminded him that General Jackson was in the audience, Peter Cartwright turned and shouted to the top of his voice, “You tell General Jackson if he doesn’t get born again, he will go to Hell just like anybody else.” It was said that after the service was over, General Jackson asked for a conference with Mr. Cartwright, whereupon he said, “Mr. Cartwright, if I had power over my men like you have with your God, I would never lose another battle as long as I live.”
1959 – The First Mail was Delivered by Missile.
Again we think of the mail system and praise God for it. What a privilege to write a letter today and have it read across the country tomorrow, or the next day. What a day to live! What a generation to enjoy! What a day to serve God! Praise the Lord for the joy of living today in this generation.
1968 – King Assassination Suspect Arrested
James Earl Ray, an escaped American convict, is arrested in London, England, and charged with the assassination of African American civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr.
On April 4, 1968, in Memphis, King was fatally wounded by a sniper’s bullet while standing on the balcony outside his second-story room at the Motel Lorraine. That evening, a Remington .30-06 hunting rifle was found on the sidewalk beside a rooming house one block from the Lorraine Motel. During the next several weeks, the rifle, eyewitness reports, and fingerprints on the weapon all implicated a single suspect: escaped convict James Earl Ray. A two-bit criminal, Ray escaped a Missouri prison in April 1967 while serving a sentence for a holdup. In May 1968, a massive manhunt for Ray began. The FBI eventually determined that he had obtained a Canadian passport under a false identity, which at the time was relatively easy.
On June 8, Scotland Yard investigators arrested Ray at a London airport. Ray was trying to fly to Belgium, with the eventual goal, he later admitted, of reaching Rhodesia. Rhodesia (now called Zimbabwe) was at the time ruled by an oppressive and internationally condemned white minority government. Extradited to the United States, Ray stood before a Memphis judge in March 1969 and pleaded guilty to King’s murder in order to avoid the electric chair. He was sentenced to 99 years in prison.
Three days later, he attempted to withdraw his guilty plea, claiming he was innocent of King’s assassination and had been set up as a patsy in a larger conspiracy. He claimed that in 1967, a mysterious man named “Raoul” had approached him and recruited him into a gunrunning enterprise. On April 4, 1968, however, he realized that he was to be the fall guy for the King assassination and fled for Canada. Ray’s motion was denied, as were his dozens of other requests for a trial during the next 29 years.
During the 1990s, the widow and children of Martin Luther King, Jr., spoke publicly in support of Ray and his claims, calling him innocent and speculating about an assassination conspiracy involving the U.S. government and military. U.S. authorities were, in conspiracists’ minds, implicated circumstantially. FBI director J. Edgar Hoover obsessed over King, who he thought was under communist influence. For the last six years of his life, King underwent constant wiretapping and harassment by the FBI. Before his death, Dr. King was also monitored by U.S. military intelligence, who may have been called to watch over King after he publicly denounced the Vietnam War in 1967. Furthermore, by calling for radical economic reforms in 1968, including guaranteed annual incomes for all, King was making few new friends in the Cold War-era U.S. government.
Over the years, the assassination has been reexamined by the House Select Committee on Assassinations, the Shelby County, Tennessee, district attorney’s office, and three times by the U.S. Justice Department. All of these investigations have ended with the same conclusion: James Earl Ray killed Martin Luther King, Jr. The House committee acknowledged that a low-level conspiracy might have existed, involving one or more accomplices to Ray, but uncovered no evidence definitively to prove this theory. In addition to the mountain of evidence against him, such as his fingerprints on the murder weapon and admitted presence at the rooming house on April 4, Ray had a definite motive in assassinating King: hatred. According to his family and friends, he was an outspoken racist who told them of his intent to kill King. Ray died in 1998.
1009 – The Crusaders Sieged Jerusalem.
1791 – The Birthday of John Howard Payne, Who Wrote “Home, Sweet Home.”
Home, Sweet Home!
‘Mid pleasures and palaces though we may roam,
Be it ever so humble, there’s no place like home;
A charm from the sky seems to hallow us there,
Which, seek thro’ the world, is ne’er met with elsewhere.
Home! Home! sweet, sweet Home!
There’s no place like Home! there’s no place like Home!
How sweet ’tis to sit ‘neath a fond father’s smile,
And the cares of a mother to soothe and beguile!
Let others delight ‘mid new pleasures to roam,
But give me, oh, give me, the pleasures of home!
Home! Home! sweet, sweet Home!
There’s no place like Home! there’s no place like Home!
To thee I’ll return, overburdened with care;
The heart’s dearest solace will smile on me there;
No more from that cottage again will I roam;
Be it ever so humble, there’s no place like home.
Home! Home! sweet, sweet Home!
There’s no place like Home! there’s no place like Home!
Sing “Home, Sweet Home” now and dedicate your home afresh and anew to Jesus Christ today. Call the family together this evening. Plan some things for the entire family. Spend some time together at home. The foundation unit for society is the home. The only hope for America is the home. Someone has said, “The hand that rocks the cradle is the hand that rules the world.” Let us pray today for our homes.
1834 – Today is the Date Attributed to the Death of William Carey.
The shoe-cobbler missionary said, “I preach for a living and cobble shoes for expenses.” Pray for missionaries today, for God’s power to rest upon them.
1870 – Charles Dickens Died.
1956 – General Eisenhower Underwent Surgery.
1973 – Secretariat Wins Triple Crown.
With a spectacular victory at the Belmont Stakes, Secretariat becomes the first horse since Citation in 1948 to win America’s coveted Triple Crown–the Kentucky Derby, the Preakness, and the Belmont Stakes. In one of the finest performances in racing history, Secretariat, ridden by Ron Turcotte, completed the 1.5-mile race in 2 minutes and 24 seconds, a dirt-track record for that distance.
Secretariat was born at Meadow Stables in Doswell, Virginia, on March 30, 1970. He was sired by Bold Ruler, the 1957 Preakness winner, and foaled by Somethingroyal, which came from a Thoroughbred line known for its stamina. An attractive chestnut colt, he grew to over 16 hands high and was at two years the size of a three-year-old. He ran his first race as a two-year-old on July 4, 1972, a 5 1/2-furlong race at Aqueduct in New York City. He came from behind to finish fourth; it was the only time in his career that he finished a race and did not place. Eleven days later, he won a six-furlong race at Saratoga in Saratoga Springs, New York, and soon after, another race. His trainer, Lucien Laurin, moved him up to class in August, entering him in the Sanford Stakes at Saratoga, which he won by three lengths. By the end of 1972, he had won seven of nine races.
With easy victories in his first two starts of 1973, Secretariat seemed on his way to the Triple Crown. Just two weeks before the Kentucky Derby, however, he stumbled at the Wood Memorial Stakes at Aqueduct, coming in third behind Angle Light and Sham. On May 5, he met Sham and Angle Light again at the Churchill Downs track in Louisville for the Kentucky Derby. Secretariat, a 3-to-2 favorite, broke from near the back of the pack to win the 2 1/4-mile race in a record 1 minute and 59 seconds. He was the first to run the Derby in less than two minutes and his record still stands. Two weeks later, at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore, Maryland, Secretariat won the second event of the Triple Crown: the Preakness Stakes. The official clock malfunctioned, but hand-recorded timers had him running the 1 1/16-mile race in record time.
On June 9, 1973, almost 100,000 people came to Belmont Park near New York City to see if “Big Red” would become the first horse in 25 years to win the Triple Crown. Secretariat gave the finest performance of his career in the Belmont Stakes, completing the 1.5-mile race in a record 2 minutes and 24 seconds, knocking nearly three seconds off the track record set by Gallant Man in 1957. He also won by a record 31 lengths. Ron Turcotte, who jockeyed Secretariat in all but three of his races, claimed that at Belmont he lost control of Secretariat and that the horse sprinted into history on his own accord.
Secretariat would race six more times, winning four and finishing second twice. In November 1973, the “horse of the century” was retired and put to stud at Claiborne Farm in Paris, Kentucky. Among his notable offspring is the 1988 Preakness and Belmont winner, Risen Star. Secretariat was euthanized in 1989 after falling ill. An autopsy showed that his heart was two and a half times larger than that of the average horse, which may have contributed to his extraordinary racing abilities. In 1999, ESPN ranked Secretariat No. 35 in its list of the Top 50 North American athletes of the 20th century, the only non-human on the list. (www.history.com/this-day-in-history/secretariat-wins-the-triple-crown)
1752 – Benjamin Franklin Drew Lightning From Clouds With a Kite.
“On this day in 1752, Benjamin Franklin flies a kite during a thunderstorm and collects a charge in a Leyden jar when the kite is struck by lightning, enabling him to demonstrate the electrical nature of lightning. Franklin became interested in electricity in the mid-1740s, a time when much was still unknown on the topic, and spent almost a decade conducting electrical experiments. He coined a number of terms used today, including battery, conductor and electrician. He also invented the lightning rod, used to protect buildings and ships.
Franklin was born on January 17, 1706, in Boston, to a candle and soap maker named Josiah Franklin, who fathered 17 children, and his wife Abiah Folger. Franklin’s formal education ended at age 10 and he went to work as an apprentice to his brother James, a printer. In 1723, following a dispute with his brother, Franklin left Boston and ended up in Philadelphia, where he found work as a printer. Following a brief stint as a printer in London, Franklin returned to Philadelphia and became a successful businessman, whose publishing ventures included the Pennsylvania Gazette and Poor Richard’sAlmanack, a collection of homespun proverbs advocating hard work and honesty in order to get ahead. The almanac, which Franklin first published in 1733 under the pen name Richard Saunders, included such wisdom as: “Early to bed, early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise.” Whether or not Franklin followed this advice in his own life, he came to represent the classic American overachiever. In addition to his accomplishments in business and science, he is noted for his numerous civic contributions. Among other things, he developed a library, insurance company, city hospital and academy in Philadelphia that would later become the University of Pennsylvania.
Most significantly, Franklin was one of the founding fathers of the United States and had a career as a statesman that spanned four decades. He served as a legislator in Pennsylvania as well as a diplomat in England and France. He is the only politician to have signed all four documents fundamental to the creation of the U.S.: the Declaration of Independence (1776), the Treaty of Alliance with France (1778), the Treaty of Paris (1783), which established peace with Great Britain, and the U.S. Constitution (1787).
Franklin died at age 84 on April 17, 1790, in Philadelphia. He remains one of the leading figures in U.S. history.” (www.history.com/this-day-in-history/franklin-flies-kite-during-thunderstorm)
This day certainly changed our lives. The electric light, the toaster, the iron, the refrigerator, the air-conditioner, the central heating, the fan, the coffee pot, the waffle iron, the electric shaver, the electric toothbrush, the lamp, the radio, television, the phonograph, the electric saw, the lawn mower, the grass edger, and countless other things are for our enjoyment because of this step of progress. Thank God.
1935 – Alcoholics Anonymous was Organized in New York City.
This is an organization that never should exist. If our law enforcement officials had enforced prohibition, alcohol would still be illegal. Of course, the age-old answer comes that it is impossible to enforce it. NO, it is not impossible! If we spent as much time enforcing this law as we do the income tax laws and other nationwide programs, it could be enforced. God pity a nation that has to have an Alcoholics Anonymous. God pity a nation that has to raise its taxes off of poison thaf breaks up homes and lives and wrecks health. May God deliver us from the liquor traffic.
1943 – The Withholding Tax was Signed.
Let us not pay taxes grudgingly; but rather let us accept it as our price for freedom.
Why not do several things for your children today:
Pray for Them
Pray for them that God will have His will in their lives and that they will stay pure, clean, and dedicated.
Spend Time with Them
Spend some time with them today and plan to do so regularly.
Your children need you. Recently I was in a distant city and heard of a preacher who had lost contact with his son. The tie had been broken somewhat. Oh, how easy this is to do!
1292 – Roger Bacon Died at Oxford, England.
Roger Bacon was a faithful scholar and doctor. It is said that he became one of the most eminent men and scholars in medieval times. He was a defender of the Scriptures. Some have said that he was imprisoned in a monastery for ten years. To say the least, he was an intellectual giant who defended the Word of God. Let us defend the Word of God.
As a little boy my mother used to hold the Bible before me and say, “Son, this is the Word of God. The Bible is the Word of God.” Then she would have me repeat it and I would say, “Mother, the Bible is the Word of God.” Then she would impress upon me the importance of always believing such. Why not do the same thing with your children today.
1860 – Charles E. Hurlburt was Born in Dubuque, Iowa.
He was general director of the African Inland Mission from 1901 to 1926. He pioneered the work in East Africa and the Congo. Hundreds of missionaries now serve through this board. Pray for mission boards that shall be faithful to the Word of God. Again, may our attention be drawn to faithful missionaries. Pray for some by name today.
1900 – Stanley Sebaston Kresge was Born in Detroit, Michigan.
He was a great Christian layman active in the Christian Businessmen’s Committee, Youth for Christ, etc. From his family came the huge dime store chain across the country. Pray for Christian laymen. How we need strong men to stand beside the pastors and to bear witness and testimony concerning the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
1912 – David C. Cook was Born in Elgin, Illinois.
Mr. Cook is president of the David C. Cook Publishing Company, a Sunday school materials publisher. Pray for God to keep all of our Sunday school materials faithful to His Word. Pray for our pastors and churches to have the courage to leave out literature that is not faithful to the Word of God. Thank God for good literature that is faithful to the Word of God. Thank God for literature faithful to the Bible such as has been published by the David C. Cook Publishing Company.
1914 – James T. Jeremiah was Born.
He has been a great leader in the General Association of Regular Baptists and has served as a college president and faithful preacher of the Word of God.
1979 – John Wayne Dies
On this day in 1979, John Wayne, an iconic American film actor famous for starring in countless westerns, dies at age 72 after battling cancer for more than a decade.
The actor was born Marion Morrison on May 26, 1907, in Winterset, Iowa, and moved as a child to Glendale, California. A football star at Glendale High School, he attended the University of Southern California on a scholarship but dropped out after two years. After finding work as a movie studio laborer, Wayne befriended director John Ford, then a rising talent. His first acting jobs were bit parts in which he was credited as Duke Morrison, a childhood nickname derived from the name of his beloved pet dog.
Wayne’s first starring role came in 1930 with The Big Trail, a film directed by his college buddy Raoul Walsh. It was during this time that Marion Morrison became “John Wayne,” when director Walsh didn’t think Marion was a good name for an actor playing a tough western hero. Despite the lead actor’s new name, however, the movie flopped. Throughout the 1930s, Wayne made dozens of mediocre westerns, sometimes churning out two movies a week. In them, he played various rough-and-tumble characters and occasionally appeared as “Singing Sandy,” a musical cowpoke a la Roy Rogers.
In 1939, Wayne finally had his breakthrough when his old friend John Ford cast him as Ringo Kid in the Oscar-winning Stagecoach. Wayne went on to play larger-than-life heroes in dozens of movies and came to symbolize a type of rugged, strong, straight-shooting American man. John Ford directed Wayne in some of his best-known films, including Fort Apache (1948), She Wore a Yellow Ribbon (1949), Rio Grande (1950),The Quiet Man (1952) and The Man Who Shot Liberty Valence (1962).
Off-screen, Wayne came to be known for his conservative political views. He produced, directed and starred in The Alamo (1960) and The Green Berets (1968), both of which reflected his patriotic, conservative leanings. In 1969, he won an Oscar for his role as a drunken, one-eyed federal marshal named Rooster Cogburn in True Grit. Wayne’s last film was The Shootist (1976), in which he played a legendary gunslinger dying of cancer. The role had particular meaning, as the actor was fighting the disease in real life.
During four decades of acting, Wayne, with his trademark drawl and good looks, appeared in over 250 films. He was married three times and had seven children. (www.history.com/this-day-in-history/john-wayne-dies)
1843 – James Gilmour was Born.
He was a Scottish Congregationalist who became a mIssIonary to Mongolia. From 1870 to 1891 he lived a life of sacrifice and abandon for the Gospel.
1909 – The Birthdate of Charles Feinberg.
For years Charles Feinberg has been a great conservative scholar. He taught at Dallas Theological Seminary, Bible Institute of Los Angeles, and the Talbot Theological Seminary. Blessed be God for scholarly Bible teachers to whom we can send our young people, and have their faith strengthened instead of weakened. Pray for them today.
1917 – James Denny Died.
Denny was a Church of Scotland theologian. He was involved with the United Free Church of Scotland, and he was a professor of the New Testament, language, literature, and theology for a number of years.
It seems that our thinking today is toward professors and Bible teachers. It has been my privilege to speak in many of the outstanding Christian colleges, seminaries, and Bible schools across America. My heart is blessed again and again as I realize how many scholars love the Word of God and the Saviour of the Word. It would do us well to dedicate our children to the Lord and our lives to rearing them for the Lord, and to lead and influence them to attend a Christian school where they could be taught the infallibility of the Word of’ God and the happiness of the life so surrendered to its truth.
1963 – Thomas J. Bach Died.
It is said that Bach made The Evangelical Alliance Mission (TEAM) into one of the great faith missionary organizations of our time. He was general director from 1928 to 1946. At this writing over eight hundred missionaries are on the field, making it the eighth largest missionary society of the world. Again today pray for missionaries and for missionary societies. May God increase their tribe.
1987 – Reagan Challenges Gorbachev.
On this day in 1987, in one of his most famous Cold War speeches, President Ronald Reagan challenges Soviet Leader Mikhail Gorbachev to “tear down” the Berlin Wall, a symbol of the repressive Communist era in a divided Germany.
In 1945, following Germany’s defeat in World War II, the nation’s capital, Berlin, was divided into four sections, with the Americans, British and French controlling the western region and the Soviets gaining power in the eastern region. In May 1949, the three western sections came together as the Federal Republic of Germany (West Germany), with the German Democratic Republic (East Germany) being established in October of that same year. In 1952, the border between the two countries was closed and by the following year East Germans were prosecuted if they left their country without permission. In August 1961, the Berlin Wall was erected by the East German government to prevent its citizens from escaping to the West. Between 1949 and the wall’s inception, it’s estimated that over 2.5 million East Germans fled to the West in search of a less repressive life.
With the wall as a backdrop, President Reagan declared to a West Berlin crowd in 1987, “There is one sign the Soviets can make that would be unmistakable, that would advance dramatically the cause of freedom and peace.” He then called upon his Soviet counterpart: “Secretary General Gorbachev, if you seek peace–if you seek prosperity for the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe–if you seek liberalization: come here, to this gate. Mr. Gorbachev, open this gate. Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall.” Reagan then went on to ask Gorbachev to undertake serious arms reduction talks with the United States.
Most listeners at the time viewed Reagan’s speech as a dramatic appeal to Gorbachev to renew negotiations on nuclear arms reductions. It was also a reminder that despite the Soviet leader’s public statements about a new relationship with the West, the U.S. wanted to see action taken to lessen Cold War tensions. Happily for Berliners, though, the speech also foreshadowed events to come: Two years later, on November 9, 1989, joyful East and West Germans did break down the infamous barrier between East and West Berlin. Germany was officially reunited on October 3, 1990.
Gorbachev, who had been in office since 1985, stepped down from his post as Soviet leader in 1991. Reagan, who served two terms as president, from 1981 to 1989, died on June 5, 2004, at age 93.
40 A.D. – Supposed Date of the Death of the Virgin Mary.
1525 – Martin Luther Married a Former Nun.
In connection with this, Hebrews 13:4 says, “Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge.”
Martin Luther, of course, was known as the father of the Reformation. While in Rome months ago, we saw the location of the place where he lived in Rome. We saw many of his footprints and traces of his ministry. Someone asked him on his deathbed if he died in the same faith in which he lived, and he gave out a hearty, “YES.”
1963 – Public School Prayer and Bible Reading was Outlawed by the Supreme Court.
One can hardly believe this was done in America. In Russia, yes; in China, maybe; in America, unbelievable! There is no organization in America that so controls and dominates American life as does the public school system. Our children spend more hours under the influence of the teacher than under the influence of parents. The reading of the Bible and the offering of public prayers have been taken out of the most influential institution in America. How sad! It simply means that parents are going to have to emphasize the Word of God more and to pray more at home. It means that we are going to have to be sure that our children are at church every time the doors are open and that they build their lives around the House of God and the work of God. It means that we are going to have to spend more time with our children teaching them the things of God and admonishing them to serve the Lord Jesus Christ.
1966 The Miranda Rights are Established.
On this day in 1966, the Supreme Court hands down its decision in Miranda v. Arizona, establishing the principle that all criminal suspects must be advised of their rights before interrogation. Now considered standard police procedure, “You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can, and will, be used against you in court of law. You have the right to an attorney. If you cannot afford one, one will be appointed to you,” has been heard so many times in television and film dramas that it has become almost cliche.
The roots of the Miranda decision go back to March 2, 1963, when an 18-year-old Phoenix woman told police that she had been abducted, driven to the desert and raped. Detectives questioning her story gave her a polygraph test, but the results were inconclusive. However, tracking the license plate number of a car that resembled that of her attacker’s brought police to Ernesto Miranda, who had a prior record as a peeping tom. Although the victim did not identify Miranda in a line-up, he was brought into police custody and interrogated. What happened next is disputed, but officers left the interrogation with a confession that Miranda later recanted, unaware that he didn’t have to say anything at all.
The confession was extremely brief and differed in certain respects from the victim’s account of the crime. However, Miranda’s appointed defense attorney (who was paid a grand total of $100) didn’t call any witnesses at the ensuing trial, and Miranda was convicted. While Miranda was in Arizona state prison, the American Civil Liberties Union took up his appeal, claiming that the confession was false and coerced.
The Supreme Court overturned his conviction, but Miranda was retried and convicted in October 1966 anyway, despite the relative lack of evidence against him. Remaining in prison until 1972, Ernesto Miranda was later stabbed to death in the men’s room of a bar after a poker game in January 1976.
As a result of the case against Miranda, each and every person must now be informed of his or her rights when arrested. (www.history.com/this-day-in-history/the-miranda-rights-are-established)
1777 – Congress Adopts the Stars and Stripes.
During the American Revolution, the Continental Congress adopts a resolution stating that “the flag of the United States be thirteen alternate stripes red and white” and that “the Union be thirteen stars, white in a blue field, representing a new Constellation.” The national flag, which became known as the “Stars and Stripes,” was based on the “Grand Union” flag, a banner carried by the Continental Army in 1776 that also consisted of 13 red and white stripes. According to legend, Philadelphia seamstress Betsy Ross designed the new canton for the Stars and Stripes, which consisted of a circle of 13 stars and a blue background, at the request of General George Washington. Historians have been unable to conclusively prove or disprove this legend.
With the entrance of new states into the United States after independence, new stripes and stars were added to represent new additions to the Union. In 1818, however, Congress enacted a law stipulating that the 13 original stripes be restored and that only stars be added to represent new states.
On June 14, 1877, the first Flag Day observance was held on the 100th anniversary of the adoption of the Stars and Stripes. As instructed by Congress, the U.S. flag was flown from all public buildings across the country. In the years after the first Flag Day, several states continued to observe the anniversary, and in 1949 Congress officially designated June 14 as Flag Day, a national day of observance.
1910 – The Birthday of Evangelist J. Harold Smith.
J. Harold Smith, of the Radio Bible Hour and former pastor of the First Baptist Church, Fort Smith, Arkansas, for many years a well-known evangelist, gives as his favorite passage Matthew 6:33, “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.”
Oh, let’s live by this verse – put Jesus first and trust Him for our clothing, our food, and our necessities. He promises it, does He not? He reminds us that He feeds the sparrows and that He clothes the lilies of the field. Can He not provide for us? Oh, yes, He can. With childlike faith, let us look to Him for these provisions.
Today is Flag Day. Display a flag today in honor of your nation. Salute the flag and sing “America.”
My country, ’tis of thee, Sweet land of liberty,
Of thee I sing: Land where my fathers died,
Land of the pilgrim’s pride, From every mountain side
Let freedom ring!
My native country thee, Land of the noble free,
Thy name I love: I love thy rocks and rills,
Thy woods and templed hills; My heart with rapture thrills
Like that above.
Let music swell the breeze, And ring from all the trees
Sweet freedom’s song: Let mortal tongues awake;
Let all that breathe partake; Let rocks their silence break,
The sound prolong.
Our fathers’ God, to Thee, Author of liberty,
To Thee we sing: Long may our land be bright
With freedom’s holy light; Protect us by Thy might,
Great God, our King!
On this date in 1777 the stars and stripes flag was adopted by the United States. The thirteen stripes represent the original thirteen colonies, and the fifty stars, of course, represent the fifty states of the union today. Pray today for your nation. Pray for its freedom. Pray for safety from aggression. Pray that we will be morally right in our relationships with other nations. Pray as you have never prayed before for your country.
1215 – The Magna Charta was Signed and Sealed.
Following a revolt by the English nobility against his rule, King John puts his royal seal on the Magna Carta, or “Great Charter.” The document, essentially a peace treaty between John and his barons, guaranteed that the king would respect feudal rights and privileges, uphold the freedom of the church, and maintain the nation’s laws. Although more a reactionary than a progressive document in its day, the Magna Carta was seen as a cornerstone in the development of democratic England by later generations.
John was enthroned as king of England following the death of his brother, King Richard the Lion-Hearted, in 1199. King John’s reign was characterized by failure. He lost the duchy of Normandy to the French king and taxed the English nobility heavily to pay for his foreign misadventures. He quarreled with Pope Innocent III and sold church offices to build up the depleted royal coffers. Following the defeat of a campaign to regain Normandy in 1214, Stephen Langton, the archbishop of Canterbury, called on the disgruntled barons to demand a charter of liberties from the king.
In 1215, the barons rose up in rebellion against the king’s abuse of feudal law and custom. John, faced with a superior force, had no choice but to give in to their demands. Earlier kings of England had granted concessions to their feudal barons, but these charters were vaguely worded and issued voluntarily. The document drawn up for John in June 1215, however, forced the king to make specific guarantees of the rights and privileges of his barons and the freedom of the church. On June 15, 1215, John met the barons at Runnymede on the Thames and set his seal to the Articles of the Barons, which after minor revision was formally issued as the Magna Carta.
The charter consisted of a preamble and 63 clauses and dealt mainly with feudal concerns that had little impact outside 13th century England. However, the document was remarkable in that it implied there were laws the king was bound to observe, thus precluding any future claim to absolutism by the English monarch. Of greatest interest to later generations was clause 39, which stated that “no free man shall be arrested or imprisoned or disseised [dispossessed] or outlawed or exiled or in any way victimised…except by the lawful judgment of his peers or by the law of the land.” This clause has been celebrated as an early guarantee of trial by jury and of habeas corpus and inspired England’s Petition of Right (1628) and the Habeas Corpus Act (1679).
In immediate terms, the Magna Carta was a failure–civil war broke out the same year, and John ignored his obligations under the charter. Upon his death in 1216, however, the Magna Carta was reissued with some changes by his son, King Henry III, and then reissued again in 1217. That year, the rebellious barons were defeated by the king’s forces. In 1225, Henry III voluntarily reissued the Magna Carta a third time, and it formally entered English statute law.
The Magna Carta has been subject to a great deal of historical exaggeration; it did not establish Parliament, as some have claimed, nor more than vaguely allude to the liberal democratic ideals of later centuries. However, as a symbol of the sovereignty of the rule of law, it was of fundamental importance to the constitutional development of England. Four original copies of the Magna Carta of 1215 exist today: one in Lincoln Cathedral, one in Salisbury Cathedral, and two in the British Museum.
1520 – Luther was Excommunicated From the Catholic Church.
Thank God for reformers. Thank God for men who have walked alone and paved the way for us. Thank God for men like Martin Luther, who was willing to be forsaken by friends, by denomination, by family, and by race that the truth might be spread. Luther’s favorite verse was, “The just shall live by faith” (Romans 1:17). Blessed be God, the just SHALL live by faith!
1752 – This is the Day Given by Some that Benjamin Franklin Proved Electricity in Lightning in the Flying of the Kite.
Regardless of the day, let us thank God for Benjamin Franklin. He was a great American. In my way of thinking, he was one of the greatest.
1836 – Arkansas was Admitted to the Union.
It has been my privilege to travel in this beautiful and great state of Arkansas. Some of the most beautiful scenery in the world is in northwest Arkansas. There are some wonderful Christians here. Let us pray for them and for God’s blessings upon their lives and on their ministries. Did not the writer say, “God forbid that I should sin against the Lord in ceasing to pray for you” (I Samuel 12:23)? Then let us not sin against each other in ceasing to pray for God’s people.
1849 – James Polk Died.
Our thoughts are turned again to those who lead us: our President, our Vice President, our Senate, our Congress, our Supreme Court, and those who make decisions concerning our lives. Pray for them.
1752 – Joseph Butler Died.
Butler was an English theologian who lived in the “Golden Age of English Deism.” He fought deism and wrote a famous and significant book, THE ANALOGY OF RELIGION, NATURAL AND REVEALED, TO THE CONSTITUTION AND COURSE OF NATURE. It was used for years as a required text in Christian apologetics in the universities of England and America.
1872 – Norman MacLeod Died at Glascow, Scotland.
He was a Scottish clergyman and author. In 1857 he became chaplain to Queen Victoria. He was one of the founders of the Evangelical Alliance in 1847. He was a respected ministerial scholar in the 19th century. Perhaps you know some chaplain today for whom you ought to pray – maybe a faithful chaplain in the Armed Forces, maybe a chaplain in some school or penitentiary. Pray for chaplains today who are faithful to the Word of God.
1884 – First Roller Coaster in America Opens.
On this day in 1884, the first roller coaster in America opens at Coney Island, in Brooklyn, New York. Known as a switchback railway, it was the brainchild of LaMarcus Thompson, traveled approximately six miles per hour and cost a nickel to ride. The new entertainment was an instant success and by the turn of the century there were hundreds of roller coasters around the country.
Coney Island, a name believed to have come from the Dutch Konijn Eilandt, or Rabbit Island, is a tract of land along the Atlantic Ocean discovered by explorer Henry Hudson in 1609. The first hotel opened at Coney Island in 1829 and by the post-Civil War years, the area was an established resort with theaters, restaurants and a race track. Between 1897 and 1904, three amusement parks sprang up at Coney Island–Dreamland, Luna Park and Steeplechase. By the 1920s, Coney Island was reachable by subway and summer crowds of a million people a day flocked there for rides, games, sideshows, the beach and the two-and-a-half-mile boardwalk, completed in 1923.
The hot dog is said to have been invented at Coney Island in 1867 by Charles Feltman. In 1916, a nickel hot dog stand called Nathan’s was opened by a former Feltman employee and went on to become a Coney Island institution and international franchise. Today, Nathan’s is famous not only for its hot dogs but its hot dog-eating contest, held each Fourth of July in Coney Island. In 2006, Takeru Kobayashi set a new record when he ate 53.75 hot dogs with buns in 12 minutes.
Roller coasters and amusement parks experienced a decline during the Great Depression and World War II, when Americans had less cash to spend on entertainment. Finally, in 1955, the opening of Disneyland in Anaheim, California, signaled the advent of the modern theme park and a rebirth of the roller coaster. Disneyland’s success sparked a wave of new parks and coasters. By the 1970s, parks were competing to create the most thrilling rides. In 2005, Six Flags Great Adventure in Jackson, New Jersey, introduced the Kingda Ka roller coaster, the world’s tallest (at 456 feet) and fastest (at 128 mph).
By the mid-1960s, the major amusement parks at Coney Island had shut down and the area acquired a seedy image. Nevertheless, Coney Island remains a tourist attraction and home to the Cyclone, a wooden coaster that made its debut there in 1927. Capable of speeds of 60 mph and with an 85-foot drop, the Cyclone is one of the country’s oldest coasters in operation today. Though a real-estate developer recently announced the building of a new $1.5 billion year-round resort at Coney Island that will include a 4,000-foot-long roller coaster, an indoor water park and a multi-level carousel, the Cyclone’s owners have said they plan to keep the historic coaster open for business. (www.history.com/this-day-in-history/first-roller-coaster-in-america-opens)
1903 – The Ford Motor Company was Established.
This leads us to do something that we have not done for a long time. We ought to thank God for our automobiles. Think of the tremendous asset the automobiles have been to Christian work and the many things that we can do today that could never have been done had it not been for the car. Bow your head now and thank God for your car.
1917 – The Birthdate of Ford Philpot.
Philpot has served as an evangelist in large city-wide crusades. He has been associated with Asbury College and Seminary. These are days when the evangelist is not too popular. In fact, there are those who would say there is a scarcity of evangelists, and the ones that we do have are not given the place of prominence they deserve and their office deserves. Pray for evangelists today. No doubt you know some personally. Pray for God’s blessings upon them. Pray that God will raise up evangelists to call America back to God.
1700 – A Law was Passed In Massachusetts Requiring Catholic Priests to Leave in Ninety Days.
Of course, none of us would believe in this law. We believe in freedom of religion. Would God that all religions believed this. In Spain today, for example, it is illegal for a Protestant Church to have a sign, and when the congregation reaches twenty, it must disburse. Someone should tell the prevailing religion in Spain about the “freedom of religion.”
There is a religion that requires people who marry its followers to promise children away before they are born. Somebody should tell this religion about the freedom of religion for every child and every person. One great man has said, “I do not agree with you, but I will fight to the finish for you to have the right to believe what you believe.” The day could well come when we will not enjoy religious freedom we enjoy today. There are teachings abroad and hierarchies prevalent that would take away from us our freedom if they were in power. This has been proved again and again and again around the world. Pray today that freedom will always be ours here in America.
1703 – The Birthday of John Wesley.
John Wesley was born in a poor home. His father was a preacher, though not a man of real integrity and character; in fact, he was rather careless about paying his debts. He spent three months in jail one time for being slack in this regard. On the contrary, John Wesley’s mother was a wonderful woman. Susannah Wesley is one of the great women in history. She reared a large family and tooK time to train each of them. Though John Wesley founded the great Methodist movement, there came a day in England when no pulpits were open to him. He preached in the meadow, on the streets, even in the graveyard. One time he preached using his father’s tombstone as his pulpit and thousands were saved.
1775 – The Battle of Bunker Hill Day.
1859 – J. Wilbur Chapman was Born.
1885 – Statue of Liberty Arrives.
On this day in 1885, the dismantled State of Liberty, a gift of friendship from the people of France to the people of America, arrives in New York Harbor after being shipped across the Atlantic Ocean in 350 individual pieces packed in more than 200 cases. The copper and iron statue, which was reassembled and dedicated the following year in a ceremony presided over by U.S. President Grover Cleveland, became known around the world as an enduring symbol of freedom and democracy.
Intended to commemorate the American Revolution and a century of friendship between the U.S. and France, the statue was designed by French sculptor Frederic-Auguste Bartholdi (who modeled it after his own mother), with assistance from engineer Gustave Eiffel, who later developed the iconic tower in Paris bearing his name. The statue was initially scheduled to be finished by 1876, the 100th anniversary of America’s Declaration of Independence; however, fundraising efforts, which included auctions, a lottery and boxing matches, took longer than anticipated, both in Europe and the U.S., where the statue’s pedestal was to be financed and constructed. The statue alone cost the French an estimated $250,000 (more than $5.5 million in today’s money).
Finally completed in Paris in the summer of 1884, the statue, a robed female figure with an uplifted arm holding a torch, reached its new home on Bedloe’s Island in New York Harbor (between New York City and Hudson County, New Jersey) on June 17, 1885. After being reassembled, the 450,000-pound statue was officially dedicated on October 28, 1886, by President Cleveland, who said, “We will not forget that Liberty has here made her home; nor shall her chosen altar be neglected.” Standing more than 305 feet from the foundation of its pedestal to the top of its torch, the statue, dubbed “Liberty Enlightening the World” by Bartholdi, was taller than any structure in New York City at the time. The statue was originally copper-colored, but over the years it underwent a natural color-change process called patination that produced its current greenish-blue hue.
In 1892, Ellis Island, located near Bedloe’s Island (which in 1956 was renamed Liberty Island), opened as America’s chief immigration station, and for the next 62 years Lady Liberty, as the statue is nicknamed, stood watch over the more than 12 million immigrants who sailed into New York Harbor. In 1903, a plaque inscribed with a sonnet titled “The New Colossus” by American poet Emma Lazarus, written 20 years earlier for a pedestal fundraiser, was placed on an interior wall of the pedestal. Lazarus’ now-famous words, which include “Give me your tired, your poor/Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,” became symbolic of America’s vision of itself as a land of opportunity for immigrants.
Some 60 years after President Calvin Coolidge designated the statue a national monument in 1924, it underwent a multi-million-dollar restoration (which included a new torch and gold leaf-covered flame) and was rededicated by President Ronald Reagan on July 4, 1986, in a lavish celebration. Following the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, the statue was closed; its base, pedestal and observation deck re-opened in 2004, while its crown re-opened to the public on July 4, 2009. (For safety reasons, the torch has been closed to visitors since 1916, after an incident called the Black Tom explosions in which munitions-laden barges and railroad cars on the Jersey City, New Jersey, waterfront were blown up by German agents, causing damage to the nearby statue.)
Today, the Statue of Liberty is one of America’s most famous landmarks. Over the years, it has been the site of political rallies and protests (from suffragettes to anti-war activists), has been featured in numerous movies and countless photographs, and has received millions of visitors from around the globe. (www.history.com/this-day-in-history/statue-of-liberty-arrives)
1744 – The First Methodist Conference was Conducted.
This conference lasted for five days. John Wesley said, “Give me brethren who desire nothing but to save their souls and those that hear them.” Mobs and violence followed the Methodist movement, and opposition arose. People said, “Methodists disturb the peace of the Parish.” Wesley was called, “One who tells all drunkards, whoremongers, and swearers, ‘You are on the high road to Hell.'” Pray for Methodism to rise to its former heights. John Wesley preached the new birth. George Whitefield, a great Methodist, preached over 3,000 times on the new birth. Someone inquired as to why he preached so often on “Ye Must Be Born Again.” He replied, “Because you must be born again!”
Praise the Lord for the history of the Methodist movement.
1812 – The War with England Begins.
The day after the Senate followed the House of Representatives in voting to declare war against Great Britain, President James Madison signs the declaration into law–and the War of 1812 begins. The American war declaration, opposed by a sizable minority in Congress, had been called in response to the British economic blockade of France, the induction of American seaman into the British Royal Navy against their will, and the British support of hostile Indian tribes along the Great Lakes frontier. A faction of Congress known as the “War Hawks” had been advocating war with Britain for several years and had not hidden their hopes that a U.S. invasion of Canada might result in significant territorial land gains for the United States.
In the months after President Madison proclaimed the state of war to be in effect, American forces launched a three-point invasion of Canada, all of which were decisively unsuccessful. In 1814, with Napoleon Bonaparte’s French Empire collapsing, the British were able to allocate more military resources to the American war, and Washington, D.C., fell to the British in August. In Washington, British troops burned the White House, the Capitol, and other buildings in retaliation for the earlier burning of government buildings in Canada by U.S. soldiers.
In September, the tide of the war turned when Thomas Macdonough’s American naval force won a decisive victory at the Battle of Plattsburg Bay on Lake Champlain. The invading British army was forced to retreat back into Canada. The American victory on Lake Champlain led to the conclusion of U.S.-British peace negotiations in Belgium, and on December 24, 1814, the Treaty of Ghent was signed, formally ending the War of 1812. By the terms of the agreement, all conquered territory was to be returned, and a commission would be established to settle the boundary of the United States and Canada.
British forces assailing the Gulf Coast were not informed of the treaty in time, and on January 8, 1815, the U.S. forces under Andrew Jackson achieved the greatest American victory of the war at the Battle of New Orleans. The American public heard of Jackson’s victory and the Treaty of Ghent at approximately the same time, fostering a greater sentiment of self-confidence and shared identity throughout the young republic.
1815 – Napoleon Fought the Battle of Waterloo.
1834 – Charles H. Spurgeon was Born in Kalveden, Essex, England.
On this day Charles Spurgeon was born; with him was born a new day in Baptist history. Charles Spurgeon, one of the few men who stayed and preached day after day and week after week in the same spot and yet could shake a nation and, yea, a world for God. Charles Spurgeon, the great author of books and the great pastor of preachers – oh, for a Spurgeon today! Let us thank God for the memory we have of Spurgeon and the writings he left to us. Truly, “He being dead yet speaketh” (Hebrews 11:4b).
1868 – The Foundation was Laid For Spurgeon’s Orphanage.
It is interesting, is it not, what one man can do with his life. Each of us has one life to live. Let us fill it in service for God and others. When a life is lived like Spurgeon’s – so full, so rich, so dedicated, so powerful – we see what God can do with a man dedicated to His cause and His work. All of us cannot be Spurgeons. Maybe none of us can, but each of us can be his best. Each of us can be his best self. We cannot give to God all that others can give but we can give as much of ourselves as others can give of themselves. May we do it today.
1885 – The Statue of Liberty Arrived in the United States.
Mrs. Hyles and I stood on Manhattan and looked out at the Statue of Liberty. “She” beaconed to us and to all the world that this is the “Land of Liberty.” There is a certain feeling that one gets as he looks at this landmark of American freedom. Pray that America will be free and that liberty will always prevail here, that the tide of Communism and Socialism may be thwarted and stopped, and that this will always be “the land of the free and the home of the brave.”
1953 – Rosenbergs Executed.
On this day in 1953, Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, who were convicted of conspiring to pass U.S. atomic secrets to the Soviets, are executed at Sing Sing Prison in Ossining, New York. Both refused to admit any wrongdoing and proclaimed their innocence right up to the time of their deaths, by the electric chair. The Rosenbergs were the first U.S. citizens to be convicted and executed for espionage during peacetime and their case remains controversial to this day.
Julius Rosenberg was an engineer for the U.S. Army Signal Corps who was born in New York on May 12, 1918. His wife, born Ethel Greenglass, also in New York, on September 28, 1915, worked as a secretary. The couple met as members of the Young Communist League, married in 1939 and had two sons. Julius Rosenberg was arrested on suspicion of espionage on June 17, 1950, and accused of heading a spy ring that passed top-secret information concerning the atomic bomb to the Soviet Union. Ethel was arrested two months later. The Rosenbergs were implicated by David Greenglass, Ethel’s younger brother and a former army sergeant and machinist at Los Alamos, the secret atomic bomb lab in New Mexico. Greenglass, who himself had confessed to providing nuclear secrets to the Soviets through an intermediary, testified against his sister and brother-in-law in court. He later served 10 years in prison.
The Rosenbergs vigorously protested their innocence, but after a brief trial that began on March 6, 1951, and attracted much media attention, the couple was convicted. On April 5, 1951, a judge sentenced them to death and the pair was taken to Sing Sing to await execution.
During the next two years, the couple became the subject of both national and international debate. Some people believed that the Rosenbergs were the victims of a surge of hysterical anti-communist feeling in the United States, and protested that the death sentence handed down was cruel and unusual punishment. Many Americans, however, believed that the Rosenbergs had been dealt with justly. They agreed with President Dwight D. Eisenhower when he issued a statement declining to invoke executive clemency for the pair. He stated, “I can only say that, by immeasurably increasing the chances of atomic war, the Rosenbergs may have condemned to death tens of millions of innocent people all over the world. The execution of two human beings is a grave matter. But even graver is the thought of the millions of dead whose deaths may be directly attributable to what these spies have done.” (www.history.com/this-day-in-history/rosenbergs-executed)
1542 – De Soto Died.
1736 – George Whitefield was Ordained.
The sermon was, “Let No Man Despise Thy Youth.” It is said that Whitefield could make people weep simply by pronouncing the word “Mesopotamia.” He must have been some preacher. Whitefield said that he was filled with the Holy Spirit when he was ordained to preach. When Bishop Benson laid his hands upon George Whitefield, there was such a yielding to the Holy Spirit of God that he was then and there filled with the Holy Spirit. Whitefield was a contemporary of Wesley, and he worked very closely with Wesley. Some give him much credit for Wesley’s ministry and success. He could preach to 20,000 people without microphone or public address system.
1863 – West Virginia Entered the Union.
It is fitting that this would be today, for in just a few days I will be traveling to West Virginia to preach. Pray for the brothers and sisters who serve God in this great state.
1915 – The Birthday of Myron Cedarholm.
At this writing Myron Cedarholm is the president of Maranatha Baptist College in Watertown, Wisconsin.
1920 – The Date of the Conversion of Myron Cedarholm.
This is interesting, is it not? He was saved on the same date that he was born, just a few years later. A similar experience took place in my family. My father-in-law, Mr. C. M. Slaughter, was saved on his 70th birthday. It was my joy to lead him to Jesus Christ. He was baptized at 11:00 at night at the Galilean Baptist Church in Dallas, Texas, where I baptized him in the beautiful sacred waters of baptism as we sang, “Happy Birthday to You.” He said, “I have two birthdays on the same day, don’t I?”
1975 – Jaws Released
On this day in 1975, Jaws, a film directed by Steven Spielberg that made countless viewers afraid to go into the water, opens in theaters. The story of a great white shark that terrorizes a New England resort town became an instant blockbuster and the highest-grossing film in movie history until it was bested by 1977’s Star Wars. Jaws was nominated for an Academy Award in the Best Picture category and took home three Oscars, for Best Film Editing, Best Original Score and Best Sound. The film, a breakthrough for director Spielberg, then 27 years old, spawned three sequels.
The film starred Roy Scheider as principled police chief Martin Brody, Richard Dreyfuss as a marine biologist named Matt Hooper and Robert Shaw as a grizzled fisherman called Quint. It was set in the fictional beach town of Amity, and based on a best-selling novel, released in 1973, by Peter Benchley. Subsequent water-themed Benchley bestsellers also made it to the big screen, including The Deep (1977).
With a budget of $12 million, Jaws was produced by the team of Richard Zanuck and David Brown, whose later credits include The Verdict (1982), Cocoon (1985) and Driving Miss Daisy (1989). Filming, which took place on Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts, was plagued by delays and technical difficulties, including malfunctioning mechanical sharks.
Jaws put now-famed director Steven Spielberg on the Hollywood map. Spielberg, largely self-taught in filmmaking, made his feature-length directorial debut with The Sugarland Express in 1974. The film was critically well-received but a box-office flop. Following the success of Jaws, Spielberg went on to become one of the most influential, iconic people in the film world, with such epics as Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977), Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981), ET: the Extra-Terrestrial (1982), Jurassic Park (1993), Schindler’s List (1993) and Saving Private Ryan (1998). E.T., Jaws and Jurassic Park rank among the 10 highest-grossing movies of all time. In 1994, Spielberg formed DreamWorks SKG, with Jeffrey Katzenberg and David Geffen. The company has produced such hits as American Beauty (1999), Gladiator (2001) and Shrek (2001).
1788 – U.S. Constitution Ratified.
New Hampshire becomes the ninth and last necessary state to ratify the Constitution of the United States, thereby making the document the law of the land.
By 1786, defects in the post-Revolutionary War Articles of Confederation were apparent, such as the lack of central authority over foreign and domestic commerce. Congress endorsed a plan to draft a new constitution, and on May 25, 1787, the Constitutional Convention convened at Independence Hall in Philadelphia. On September 17, 1787, after three months of debate moderated by convention president George Washington, the new U.S. constitution, which created a strong federal government with an intricate system of checks and balances, was signed by 38 of the 41 delegates present at the conclusion of the convention. As dictated by Article VII, the document would not become binding until it was ratified by nine of the 13 states.
Beginning on December 7, five states–Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Georgia, and Connecticut–ratified it in quick succession. However, other states, especially Massachusetts, opposed the document, as it failed to reserve undelegated powers to the states and lacked constitutional protection of basic political rights, such as freedom of speech, religion, and the press. In February 1788, a compromise was reached under which Massachusetts and other states would agree to ratify the document with the assurance that amendments would be immediately proposed. The Constitution was thus narrowly ratified in Massachusetts, followed by Maryland and South Carolina. On June 21, 1788, New Hampshire became the ninth state to ratify the document, and it was subsequently agreed that government under the U.S. Constitution would begin on March 4, 1789. In June, Virginia ratified the Constitution, followed by New York in July.
On September 25, 1789, the first Congress of the United States adopted 12 amendments to the U.S. Constitution–the Bill of Rights–and sent them to the states for ratification. Ten of these amendments were ratified in 1791. In November 1789, North Carolina became the 12th state to ratify the U.S. Constitution. Rhode Island, which opposed federal control of currency and was critical of compromise on the issue of slavery, resisted ratifying the Constitution until the U.S. government threatened to sever commercial relations with the state. On May 29, 1790, Rhode Island voted by two votes to ratify the document, and the last of the original 13 colonies joined the United States. Today the U.S. Constitution is the oldest written constitution in operation in the world. – U.S. Constitution ratified, http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/us-constitution-ratified (Jun 21, 2012).
1834 – Cyrus McCormick was Granted a Patent For the Reaper.
Today is the First Day of Summer.
Spring is over and now we start into one of the most difficult seasons in service for God. As we face the summer season, let us make several decisions that will help us to be better Christians:
1. Be in every service of your church when you are in town.
2. Be sure that you attend services on Sunday morning and Sunday evening and Wednesday night while you are on vacation.
3. Do not be lax concerning your family devotions. Summer schedules are hectic ones. There are trips to make, outings to take, etc. Be diligent about your family devotions.
4. Do not let up in your giving to the Lord’s work or to your church. Remember the work must go on in the summer just as it does the rest of the year.
5. Promise God you will not participate in amusements that are worldly during the summer. There are many temptations in the summertime that are not present the rest of the year.
6. Be a soul winner during the summer. As far as your personal life is concerned, do not have a “summer slump.” Have a “summer jump” for the Saviour. “Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine” (II Timothy 4:2).
1750 – Jonathan Edwards was Dismissed From His Pulpit.
On this day in history Jonathan Edwards was dismissed from his pulpit. The reasons given were that he preached against bad books, the dance, and the unsaved taking communion. Pray for God to give us preachers today who will take the same stand.
1851 – The Date of the San Francisco Fire.
1873 – The Date of the First Service in England For Dwight Moody.
It is very interesting. Only fifty people were present. No one participated in the singing, and yet, it started what has been called the greatest revival since Pentecost. Pray for God to give us revival in our day. Pray for England and God’s people there, and for God’s blessings on our sister nation. Thank God for the influence of the great Dwight Moody.
1941 – Hitler Attacked Russia.
1944 – The G. I. Bill of Rights was Signed by FDR.
On this day in 1944, U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt signs the G.I. Bill, an unprecedented act of legislation designed to compensate returning members of the armed services–known as G.I.s–for their efforts in World War II.
As the last of its sweeping New Deal reforms, Roosevelt’s administration created the G.I. Bill–officially the Servicemen’s Readjustment Act of 1944–hoping to avoid a relapse into the Great Depression after the war ended. FDR particularly wanted to prevent a repeat of the Bonus March of 1932, when 20,000 unemployed veterans and their families flocked in protest to Washington. The American Legion, a veteran’s organization, successfully fought for many of the provisions included in the bill, which gave returning servicemen access to unemployment compensation, low-interest home and business loans, and–most importantly–funding for education.
By giving veterans money for tuition, living expenses, books, supplies and equipment, the G.I. Bill effectively transformed higher education in America. Before the war, college had been an option for only 10-15 percent of young Americans, and university campuses had become known as a haven for the most privileged classes. By 1947, in contrast, vets made up half of the nation’s college enrollment; three years later, nearly 500,000 Americans graduated from college, compared with 160,000 in 1939.
As educational institutions opened their doors to this diverse new group of students, overcrowded classrooms and residences prompted widespread improvement and expansion of university facilities and teaching staffs. An array of new vocational courses were developed across the country, including advanced training in education, agriculture, commerce, mining and fishing–skills that had previously been taught only informally.
The G.I. Bill became one of the major forces that drove an economic expansion in America that lasted 30 years after World War II. Only 20 percent of the money set aside for unemployment compensation under the bill was given out, as most veterans found jobs or pursued higher education. Low interest home loans enabled millions of American families to move out of urban centers and buy or build homes outside the city, changing the face of the suburbs. Over 50 years, the impact of the G.I. Bill was enormous, with 20 million veterans and dependents using the education benefits and 14 million home loans guaranteed, for a total federal investment of $67 billion. Among the millions of Americans who have taken advantage of the bill are former Presidents George H.W. Bush and Gerald Ford, former Vice President Al Gore and entertainers Johnny Cash, Ed McMahon, Paul Newman and Clint Eastwood. (www.history.com/this-day-in-history/fdr-signs-gi-bill)
Pray for the servicemen today. While I am writing this page American boys are dying in Viet Nam. Pray for God’s blessings upon the boys in service.
510 B.C. – The Jews were Vindicated by Esther.
This is one of the great stories in all the Bible. God has wonderful ways of caring for His people. He wants to care for you. Trust Him to do so. Think of some of the great verses about His care. Consider Psalm 91:1, “He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.” Psalm 91:4, “He shall cover thee with His feathers, and under His wings shalt thou trust: His truth shall be thy shield and buckler.” Psalm 23:1, “The Lord is my shepherd: I shall not want.”
Oh, how we ought to trust God for His care. If things do not seem to be going right, they will take a turn for the better if you do right. Remember, there is no problem that God can not solve, and there is no problem so easy but that God wants to solve it. There is no question so hard but that God can answer it, and there is no question so simple but that He wants to answer it. There is no burden so heavy but that God can carry it, and there is no burden so light but that He wants to share it.
1894 – The Duke of Windsor was Born.
1909 – The Birthday of Monroe Parker.
Here is truly a great preacher. For years he was assistant to the president at Bob Jones University, a successful evangelist, a scholar, a college president for a number of years and at this writing an eminent evangelist. May God bless the ministry of this dear man. His favorite Scripture is Psalm 91:2, “I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in Him will I trust.”
1940 – France Surrendered to Germany.
1947 – The Date of the Taft-Hartley Act.
1992 – Teflon Don Sentenced to Life.
Mafia boss John Gotti, who was nicknamed the “Teflon Don” after escaping unscathed from several trials during the 1980s, is sentenced to life in prison after being found guilty on 14 accounts of conspiracy to commit murder and racketeering. Moments after his sentence was read in a federal courthouse in Brooklyn, hundreds of Gotti’s supporters stormed the building and overturned and smashed cars before being forced back by police reinforcements.
Gotti, born and educated on the mean streets of New York City, became head of the powerful Gambino family after boss Paul Castellano was murdered outside a steakhouse in Manhattan in December 1985. The gang assassination, the first in three decades in New York, was organized by Gotti and his colleague Sammy “the Bull” Gravano. The Gambino family was known for its illegal narcotics operations, gambling activities, and car theft. During the next five years, Gotti rapidly expanded his criminal empire, and his family grew into the nation’s most powerful Mafia family. Despite wide publicity of his criminal activities, Gotti managed to avoid conviction several times, usually through witness intimidation. In 1990, however, he was indicted for conspiracy to commit murder in the death of Paul Castellano, and Gravano agreed to testify against him in a federal district court in exchange for a reduced prison sentence.
On April 2, 1992, John Gotti was found guilty on all counts and on June 23 was sentenced to multiple life terms without the possibility of parole.
While still imprisoned, Gotti died of throat cancer on June 10, 2002.
1813 – The Birthday of Henry Ward Beecher.
Today is the birthday of Henry Ward Beecher, a well-known preacher of the past. Pray for all preachers today.
It is something to be a preacher! I will never forget when Charlie Smith of the Marris Chapel Baptist Church, three miles out of Bogata, Texas, asked me if I was interested in pastoral work. My answer was “yes” and in a few minutes I had been called to pastor the nineteen members of the Marris Chapel Baptist Church. I will never forget how I felt. The next day I got a letter addressed to Rev. Jack Hyles. I looked at the word “Reverend” from every angle. What a thrill! I have never gotten over being a pastor. Oftentimes I drive by my church building, look at it, and thank God for letting me be a pastor. I get in my pulpit, stand alone in an empty building, and thank God for a place to preach. Pray for preachers everywhere today, but pray especially for your own preacher.
1908 – President Grover Cleveland Died.
Pray for the President today. Pray for the leaders of all nations everywhere, especially nations of free men. Thank God for the Presidents of the past on which our great nation has been built.
1948 – The Date of the Beginning of the Russian Blockade of West Berlin.
What a shame this has been. The Berlin Wall, the division of the city, the shooting of people fleeing to freedom, etc. is certainly something that should make us blush that it could happen in our generation. Pray for God’s people in Berlin. Pray for freedom everywhere. Pray that the Russian menace will be stopped before we are all slaves. Pray that God will lead us in America to stay free and to stop the trend of Socialism.
1997 – U.S. Air Force Reports on Roswell
On this day in 1997, U.S. Air Force officials release a 231-page report dismissing long-standing claims of an alien spacecraft crash in Roswell, New Mexico, almost exactly 50 years earlier.
Public interest in Unidentified Flying Objects, or UFOs, began to flourish in the 1940s, when developments in space travel and the dawn of the atomic age caused many Americans to turn their attention to the skies. The town of Roswell, located near the Pecos River in southeastern New Mexico, became a magnet for UFO believers due to the strange events of early July 1947, when ranch foreman W.W. Brazel found a strange, shiny material scattered over some of his land. He turned the material over to the sheriff, who passed it on to authorities at the nearby Air Force base. On July 8, Air Force officials announced they had recovered the wreckage of a “flying disk.” A local newspaper put the story on its front page, launching Roswell into the spotlight of the public’s UFO fascination.
The Air Force soon took back their story, however, saying the debris had been merely a downed weather balloon. Aside from die-hard UFO believers, or “ufologists,” public interest in the so-called “Roswell Incident” faded until the late 1970s, when claims surfaced that the military had invented the weather balloon story as a cover-up. Believers in this theory argued that officials had in fact retrieved several alien bodies from the crashed spacecraft, which were now stored in the mysterious Area 51 installation in Nevada. Seeking to dispel these suspicions, the Air Force issued a 1,000-page report in 1994 stating that the crashed object was actually a high-altitude weather balloon launched from a nearby missile test-site as part of a classified experiment aimed at monitoring the atmosphere in order to detect Soviet nuclear tests.
On July 24, 1997, barely a week before the extravagant 50th anniversary celebration of the incident, the Air Force released yet another report on the controversial subject. Titled “The Roswell Report, Case Closed,” the document stated definitively that there was no Pentagon evidence that any kind of life form was found in the Roswell area in connection with the reported UFO sightings, and that the “bodies” recovered were not aliens but dummies used in parachute tests conducted in the region. Any hopes that this would put an end to the cover-up debate were in vain, as furious ufologists rushed to point out the report’s inconsistencies. With conspiracy theories still alive and well on the Internet, Roswell continues to thrive as a tourist destination for UFO enthusiasts far and wide, hosting the annual UFO Encounter Festival each July and welcoming visitors year-round to its International UFO Museum and Research Center. (www.history.com/this-day-in-history/us-air-force-reports-on-roswell)
1868 – The Birthday of Helen “Ma” Sunday.
Of course, this is Mrs. W. A. “Billy” Sunday, whom I knew well in her latter years. Shortly before Ma Sunday’s death, we honored her on a Mother’s Day Sunday and changed the name from “Mother’s Day” to “Ma Sunday” and had “Ma” Sunday to speak to us in an opening assembly of our Sunday School. We had 2212 in Sunday School that Sunday in our Texas church, and “Ma” was most refreshing.
Imagine sitting around the table hearing her talk about Billy Sunday in his great meetings! Imagine feeling the pulse of this servant of God! What a thrill! What a joy! What an honor! Below you will find a sampling of one of the pieces of correspondence that Ma sent to me. This is in her own handwriting.
Since our attention has been drawn today to “Ma” Sunday, who was a famous preacher’s wife, let us turn our attention toward our pastors’ wives. Pray for your pastor’s wife today. Do something kind for her, write her a note of appreciation, take her a little gift. There is no lady in your church as lonely as your pastor’s wife.
1876 – The Battle of Little Bighorn, Montana.
On this day in 1876, Native American forces led by Chiefs Crazy Horse and Sitting Bull defeat the U.S. Army troops of Lieutenant Colonel George Armstrong Custer in a bloody battle near southern Montana’s Little Bighorn River.
Crazy Horse and Sitting Bull, leaders of the Sioux tribe on the Great Plains, strongly resisted the mid-19th-century efforts of the U.S. government to confine their people to reservations. In 1875, after gold was discovered in South Dakota’s Black Hills, the U.S. Army ignored previous treaty agreements and invaded the region. This betrayal led many Sioux and Cheyenne tribesmen to leave their reservations and join Sitting Bull and Crazy Horse in Montana. By the late spring of 1876, more than 10,000 Native Americans had gathered in a camp along the Little Bighorn River–which they called the Greasy Grass–in defiance of a U.S. War Department order to return to their reservations or risk being attacked.
In mid-June, three columns of U.S. soldiers lined up against the camp and prepared to march. A force of 1,200 Native Americans turned back the first column on June 17. Five days later, General Alfred Terry ordered Custer’s 7th Cavalry to scout ahead for enemy troops. On the morning of June 25, Custer drew near the camp and decided to press on ahead rather than wait for reinforcements.
At mid-day, Custer’s 600 men entered the Little Bighorn Valley. Among the Native Americans, word quickly spread of the impending attack. The older Sitting Bull rallied the warriors and saw to the safety of the women and children, while Crazy Horse set off with a large force to meet the attackers head on. Despite Custer’s desperate attempts to regroup his men, they were quickly overwhelmed. Custer and some 200 men in his battalion were attacked by as many as 3,000 Native Americans; within an hour, Custer and every last one of his soldier were dead.
The Battle of Little Bighorn–also called Custer’s Last Stand–marked the most decisive Native American victory and the worst U.S. Army defeat in the long Plains Indian War. The gruesome fate of Custer and his men outraged many white Americans and confirmed their image of the Indians as wild and bloodthirsty. Meanwhile, the U.S. government increased its efforts to subdue the tribes. Within five years, almost all of the Sioux and Cheyenne would be confined to reservations.
1877 – Gypsy Smith Became an Evangelist.
Occasionally, a Gypsy will rise to great heights in service for God. I think of a faithful pastor in Durham, North Carolina, Lonnie Graves, who was a Gypsy and as an adult had never slept in a bed or brushed his teeth. Someone invited him to Sunday school. He thought he was going there to get an education, so he got himself a notebook and school supplies and went to Sunday school at age 29. God bless him. God called this young man to preach, and he has done a tremendous work for Christ in the city of Durham, North Carolina.
1950 – The Korean War Began.
1721- The First Smallpox Vaccination was Given.
Here is something that we take for granted. It is simply accepted that we have this wonderful vaccine. Thank God today for the miracle of the smallpox vaccine.
1892 – The Birthday of Pearl S. Buck
Oftentimes we read without taking advantage to thank God for writers and their writings. Thank God today for those gifted with the pen and who have shared their hearts and minds with us. In these days of television, oftentimes the simple privilege of reading is overlooked. How long has it been since you read a good book? Why not find some good book and read it through. Through books I have preached with Spurgeon in London; through books I have sat beside Billy Sunday on platforms across America. In books I have walked with Martin Luther, Savanarola, and John Welsh. Basically, education is simply acquainting ourselves with the writings of others. Let us resolve to read more.
1917 – The First United States Troops Landed in France.
Pause to pray today for the servicemen. I am dictating this chapter on my way to church on a Friday morning. I am thinking of several of our own boys who even now are fighting in Viet Nam. God bless them. God care for them. God protect them. They are thousands of miles away from home, fighting because of man’s inhumanity to man. Pray for the servicemen today.
I know what it is to sit thousands of miles away from home and think of Mother, sweetheart, and friends. There is no loneliness comparable. They need your prayers.
1948 – U.S. Begins Berlin Airlift.
On this day in 1948, U.S. and British pilots begin delivering food and supplies by airplane to Berlin after the city is isolated by a Soviet Union blockade.
When World War II ended in 1945, defeated Germany was divided into Soviet, American, British and French zones of occupation. The city of Berlin, though located within the Soviet zone of occupation, was also split into four sectors, with the Allies taking the western part of the city and the Soviets the eastern. In June 1948, Josef Stalin’s government attempted to consolidate control of the city by cutting off all land and sea routes to West Berlin in order to pressure the Allies to evacuate. As a result, beginning on June 24 the western section of Berlin and its 2 million people were deprived of food, heating fuel and other crucial supplies.
Though some in U.S. President Harry S. Truman’s administration called for a direct military response to this aggressive Soviet move, Truman worried such a response would trigger another world war. Instead, he authorized a massive airlift operation under the control of General Lucius D. Clay, the American-appointed military governor of Germany. The first planes took off from England and western Germany on June 26, loaded with food, clothing, water, medicine and fuel.
By July 15, an average of 2,500 tons of supplies was being flown into the city every day. The massive scale of the airlift made it a huge logistical challenge and at times a great risk. With planes landing at Tempelhof Airport every four minutes, round the clock, pilots were being asked to fly two or more round-trip flights every day, in World War II planes that were sometimes in need of repair.
The Soviets lifted the blockade in May 1949, having earned the scorn of the international community for subjecting innocent men, women and children to hardship and starvation. The airlift–called die Luftbrucke or “the air bridge” in German–continued until September 1949, for a total delivery of more than 1.5 million tons of supplies and a total cost of over $224 million. When it ended, the eastern section of Berlin was absorbed into Soviet East Germany, while West Berlin remained a separate territory with its own government and close ties to West Germany. The Berlin Wall, built in 1961, formed a dividing line between East and West Berlin. Its destruction in 1989 presaged the 1991 collapse of the Soviet Union and marked the end of an era and the reemergence of Berlin as the capital of a new, unified German nation. (www.history.com/this-day-in-history/us-begins-berlin-airlift)
1873 – Moody Landed in Liverpool, England.
He said he came “to win 10,000 souls to Christ.” It was his third trip. Eight attended his first meeting; later over 10,000 people attended at one time. Thank God for evangelists today. Pray for those whom you know; pray that God will raise up another Moody.
1880 – The Birthday of Helen Keller.
Today is the birthday of Helen Keller, who was both blind and deaf. This should turn our attention to thanking God for yision and hearing. We have in our church in Hammond several people who are blind and many who are deaf. We have one man, however, who is both blind and deaf, as was Helen Keller. Think of this! He cannot speak; he cannot hear you talk; he cannot even see the sign language. He can only communicate with one person, and that is a dear deaf friend who sees the sign language and through a series of taps on the hand tells the blind and deaf man what is being said. It is wonderful to behold the friendship of the deaf man who goes with the blind and deaf one everywhere he goes. Thank God today for your hearing and your vision, and pray for those not so privileged.
1950 – Truman Orders U.S. Forces to Korea.
On June 27, 1950, President Harry S. Truman announces that he is ordering U.S. air and naval forces to South Korea to aid the democratic nation in repulsing an invasion by communist North Korea. The United States was undertaking the major military operation, he explained, to enforce a United Nations resolution calling for an end to hostilities, and to stem the spread of communism in Asia. In addition to ordering U.S. forces to Korea, Truman also deployed the U.S. 7th Fleet to Formosa (Taiwan) to guard against invasion by communist China and ordered an acceleration of military aid to French forces fighting communist guerrillas in Vietnam.
At the Yalta Conference towards the end of World War II, the United States, the USSR, and Great Britain agreed to divide Korea into two separate occupation zones. The country was split along the 38th parallel, with Soviet forces occupying the northern zone and Americans stationed in the south. In 1947, the United States and Great Britain called for free elections throughout Korea, but the Soviets refused to comply. In May 1948 the Korean Democratic People’s Republic–a communist state–was proclaimed in North Korea. In August, the democratic Republic of Korea was established in South Korea. By 1949, both the United States and the USSR had withdrawn the majority of their troops from the Korean Peninsula.
At dawn on June 25, 1950 (June 24 in the United States and Europe), 90,000 communist troops of the North Korean People’s Army invaded South Korea across the 38th parallel, catching the Republic of Korea’s forces completely off guard and throwing them into a hasty southern retreat. On the afternoon of June 25, the U.N. Security Council met in an emergency session and approved a U.S. resolution calling for an “immediate cessation of hostilities” and the withdrawal of North Korean forces to the 38th parallel. At the time, the USSR was boycotting the Security Council over the U.N.’s refusal to admit the People’s Republic of China and so missed its chance to veto this and other crucial U.N. resolutions.
On June 27, President Truman announced to the nation and the world that America would intervene in the Korean conflict in order to prevent the conquest of an independent nation by communism. Truman was suggesting that the USSR was behind the North Korean invasion, and in fact the Soviets had given tacit approval to the invasion, which was carried out with Soviet-made tanks and weapons. Despite the fear that U.S. intervention in Korea might lead to open warfare between the United States and Russia after years of “cold war,” Truman’s decision was met with overwhelming approval from Congress and the U.S. public. Truman did not ask for a declaration of war, but Congress voted to extend the draft and authorized Truman to call up reservists.
On June 28, the Security Council met again and in the continued absence of the Soviet Union passed a U.S. resolution approving the use of force against North Korea. On June 30, Truman agreed to send U.S. ground forces to Korea, and on July 7 the Security Council recommended that all U.N. forces sent to Korea be put under U.S. command. The next day, General Douglas MacArthur was named commander of all U.N. forces in Korea.
In the opening months of the war, the U.S.-led U.N. forces rapidly advanced against the North Koreans, but Chinese communist troops entered the fray in October, throwing the Allies into a hasty retreat. In April 1951, Truman relieved MacArthur of his command after he publicly threatened to bomb China in defiance of Truman’s stated war policy. Truman feared that an escalation of fighting with China would draw the Soviet Union into the Korean War.
By May 1951, the communists were pushed back to the 38th parallel, and the battle line remained in that vicinity for the remainder of the war. On July 27, 1953, after two years of negotiation, an armistice was signed, ending the war and reestablishing the 1945 division of Korea that still exists today. Approximately 150,000 troops from South Korea, the United States, and participating U.N. nations were killed in the Korean War, and as many as one million South Korean civilians perished. An estimated 800,000 communist soldiers were killed, and more than 200,000 North Korean civilians died.
The original figure of American troops lost–54,246 killed–became controversial when the Pentagon acknowledged in 2000 that all U.S. troops killed around the world during the period of the Korean War were incorporated into that number. For example, any American soldier killed in a car accident anywhere in the world from June 1950 to July 1953 was considered a casualty of the Korean War. If these deaths are subtracted from the 54,000 total, leaving just the Americans who died (from whatever cause) in the Korean theater of operations, the total U.S. dead in the Korean War numbers 36,516. (www.history.com/this-day-in-history/truman-orders-us-forces-to-korea)
Again pray for the servicemen and pray for the friends in Korea. We have a little girl in our church who was born in Korea. She was adopted and brought home to America by one of our men who was in service. What a joy she is to my own heart and to the hearts of our own people.
1491- Henry VIII of England was Born.
1703 – Some Give This as the Birthday of John Wesley.
Today is the birthday of John Wesley, the founder of Methodism. John Wesley said he did not intend to found a denomination but rather a movement. He once said, “Give me ten men who love nothing but God, seek nothing but souls, and hate nothing but sin, and I will turn the world upside down for God.”
Someone upon hearing that John Wesley prayed two to four hours every morning said that they had too much to do to spend that much time in prayer. Mr. Wesley said that he had too much to do to not spend that much time in prayer.
1902 – The United States Bought Rights to the Panama Canal.
Pray for the Christians and missionaries who serve in the Panama Canal area and in Panama.
1914 -The First World War Began in Europe.
1914 – The Birthday of Lester Roloff.
Here is one of the most unique preachers in America. For many years he has been a close associate in the Lord’s work. He is a radio preacher, an evangelist, and the founder of the “City of Refuge,” built for the reclamation of fallen men. Pray today for the ministry of Brother Roloff, who is a blessing to so many thousands of people.
1953 – Workers Assemble First Corvette in Flint, Michigan.
On this day in 1953, workers at a Chevrolet plant in Flint, Michigan, assemble the first Corvette, a two-seater sports car that would become an American icon. The first completed production car rolled off the assembly line two days later, one of just 300 Corvettes made that year.
The idea for the Corvette originated with General Motors’ pioneering designer Harley J. Earl, who in 1951 began developing plans for a low-cost American sports car that could compete with Europe’s MGs, Jaguars and Ferraris. The project was eventually code-named “Opel.” In January 1953, GM debuted the Corvette concept car at its Motorama auto show at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York City. It featured a fiberglass body and a six-cylinder engine and according to GM, was named for the “trim, fleet naval vessel that performed heroic escort and patrol duties during World War II.” The Corvette was a big hit with the public at Motorama and GM soon put the roadster into production.
On June 30, 1953, the first Corvette came off the production line in Flint. It was hand-assembled and featured a Polo White exterior and red interior, two-speed Powerglide automatic transmission, a wraparound windshield, whitewall tires and detachable plastic curtains instead of side windows. The earliest Corvettes were designed to be opened from the inside and lacked exterior door handles. Other components included a clock, cigarette lighter and red warning light that activated when the parking brake was applied–a new feature at the time. The car carried an initial price tag of $3,490 and could go from zero to 60 miles per hour in 11 or 12 seconds, then considered a fairly average speed.
In 1954, the Corvette went into mass production at a Chevy plant in St. Louis, Missouri. Sales were lackluster in the beginning and GM considered discontinuing the line. However, rival company Ford had introduced the two-seater Thunderbird around the same time and GM did not want to be seen bowing to the competition. Another critical development in the Corvette’s survival came in 1955, when it was equipped with the more powerful V-8 engine. Its performance and appeal steadily improved after that and it went on to earn the nickname “America’s sports car” and become ingrained in pop culture through multiple references in movies, television and music. (www.history.com/this-day-in-history/workers-assemble-first-corvette-in-flint-michigan)
1919 – Prohibition Began.
It seems that in our generation liquor is just a way of life. May those of us who know the Lord Jesus Christ never come to the place where we accept it. I have flown many hundreds of thousands of miles on commercial airliners; I have stayed in many hotels and motels; I have eaten in many public places. It seems that to be elite and acceptable one has to drink. This should not be so, but if it is so, one should not be elite and acceptable. On this day in history America had more intelligence probably than any other date in her life. What a shame we had to have a relapse!
Spend some time today teaching your children or grandchildren about the evils of alcohol. Do not do it simply in an educational type discussion, but rather, stomp your foot, raise your voice, and make liquor sound like the evil and menace that it really is. From the child’s infancy he should be taught how awfully bad it is to drink any kind of alcoholic beverages.
I know what it is to have a home broken by liquor. I know what it is not to have enough food on the table because of liquor. I know what it is to say good-bye to my father because of liquor. I know what it is to wait up all night for a father to come in because of liquor. I know what it is to bury a father because of liquor. I know what it is to pastor people whose homes are broken, whose lives are ruined, whose health is shattered, whose children’s educations are stolen because of liquor. Let us take this opportunity to warn and exhort our children about liquor and to reaffirm our pledge as total abstainers.
1995 – U.S. Space Shuttle Docks with Russian Space Station.
On this day in 1995, the American space shuttle Atlantis docks with the Russian space station Mir to form the largest man-made satellite ever to orbit the Earth.
This historic moment of cooperation between former rival space programs was also the 100th human space mission in American history. At the time, Daniel Goldin, chief of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), called it the beginning of “a new era of friendship and cooperation” between the U.S. and Russia. With millions of viewers watching on television, Atlantis blasted off from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in eastern Florida on June 27, 1995.
Just after 6 a.m. on June 29, Atlantis and its seven crew members approached Mir as both crafts orbited the Earth some 245 miles above Central Asia, near the Russian-Mongolian border. When they spotted the shuttle, the three cosmonauts on Mir broadcast Russian folk songs to Atlantis to welcome them. Over the next two hours, the shuttle’s commander, Robert “Hoot” Gibson expertly maneuvered his craft towards the space station. To make the docking, Gibson had to steer the 100-ton shuttle to within three inches of Mir at a closing rate of no more than one foot every 10 seconds.
The docking went perfectly and was completed at 8 a.m., just two seconds off the targeted arrival time and using 200 pounds less fuel than had been anticipated. Combined, Atlantis and the 123-ton Mir formed the largest spacecraft ever in orbit. It was only the second time ships from two countries had linked up in space; the first was in June 1975, when an American Apollo capsule and a Soviet Soyuz spacecraft briefly joined in orbit.
Once the docking was completed, Gibson and Mir’s commander, Vladimir Dezhurov, greeted each other by clasping hands in a victorious celebration of the historic moment. A formal exchange of gifts followed, with the Atlantis crew bringing chocolate, fruit and flowers and the Mir cosmonauts offering traditional Russian welcoming gifts of bread and salt. Atlantis remained docked with Mir for five days before returning to Earth, leaving two fresh Russian cosmonauts on the space station. The three veteran Mir crew members returned with the shuttle, including two Russians and Norman Thagard, a U.S. astronaut who rode a Russian rocket to the space station in mid-March 1995 and spent over 100 days in space, a U.S. endurance record. NASA’s Shuttle-Mir program continued for 11 missions and was a crucial step towards the construction of the International Space Station now in orbit. (www.history.com/this-day-in-history/us-space-shuttle-docks-with-russian-space-station)
1906 – The Pure Food Law was Enacted.
1921- William Taft Became Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.
Pray for our Supreme Court Justices of today. Pray for God to help them interpret the Constitution as our forefathers intended it interpreted. Pray that God will lead them to the Bible and prayer and to faith in a living God. Pray that God will show that their job is not the making of laws but the interpreting of laws. Oh, how we need wisdom and help in this branch of our government today.
1930 – The First World Broadcast was Made.
This turns our attention again to radio broadcasters and those who spread the Gospel by the airwaves. There are probably few better ways of spreading the Gospel than this one. At this writing we, ourselves, are on 50 stations across America. Our broadcast is entitled, “Let’s Go Soul Winning with Jack Hyles.” We have stations from California to Florida, from Texas to Michigan, from Virginia to Colorado. We cover many of the big metropolitan areas in America. There are many other wonderful nationwide broadcasts. It costs literally thousands and hundreds of thousands of dollars a year for such ministries. Why not pray today for some nationwide radio preacher. Send him a gift. Pray today for such ministries as “The Back to the Bible Broadcast,” “The Voice of Revival,” “The Old Fashioned Revival Hour,” “The Radio Revival Hour,” “The Family Altar Broadcast,” and others. Perhaps your church has a radio ministry. Support it, pray for it, and have a part in it.
1936 – Gone with the Wind Published.
Margaret Mitchell’s Gone with the Wind, one of the best-selling novels of all time and the basis for a blockbuster 1939 movie, is published on this day in 1936.
In 1926, Mitchell was forced to quit her job as a reporter at the Atlanta Journal to recover from a series of physical injuries. With too much time on her hands, Mitchell soon grew restless. Working on a Remington typewriter, a gift from her second husband, John R. Marsh, in their cramped one-bedroom apartment, Mitchell began telling the story of an Atlanta belle named Pansy O’Hara.
In tracing Pansy’s tumultuous life from the antebellum South through the Civil War and into the Reconstruction era, Mitchell drew on the tales she had heard from her parents and other relatives, as well as from Confederate war veterans she had met as a young girl. While she was extremely secretive about her work, Mitchell eventually gave the manuscript to Harold Latham, an editor from New York’s MacMillan Publishing. Latham encouraged Mitchell to complete the novel, with one important change: the heroine’s name. Mitchell agreed to change it to Scarlett, now one of the most memorable names in the history of literature.
Published in 1936, Gone with the Wind caused a sensation in Atlanta and went on to sell millions of copies in the United States and throughout the world. While the book drew some criticism for its romanticized view of the Old South and its slaveholding elite, its epic tale of war, passion and loss captivated readers far and wide. By the time Mitchell won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1937, a movie project was already in the works. The film was produced by Hollywood giant David O. Selznick, who paid Mitchell a record-high $50,000 for the film rights to her book.
After testing hundreds of unknowns and big-name stars to play Scarlett, Selznick hired British actress Vivien Leigh days after filming began. Clark Gable was also on board as Rhett Butler, Scarlett’s dashing love interest. Plagued with problems on set, Gone with the Wind nonetheless became one of the highest-grossing and most acclaimed movies of all time, breaking box office records and winning nine Academy Awards out of 13 nominations.
Though she didn’t take part in the film adaptation of her book, Mitchell did attend its star-studded premiere in December 1939 in Atlanta. Tragically, she died just 10 years later, after she was struck by a speeding car while crossing Atlanta’s Peachtree Street. Scarlett, a relatively unmemorable sequel to Gone with the Wind written by Alexandra Ripley, was published in 1992.
1958 – Alaska Became the 50th State.
Pray for our Christian friends in Alaska today, and for God’s blessings to rest upon the work there. Your prayers are needed in this great state.