October 1

The Feast of the Trumpets Began.

This was a season of the year when the Jews were not allowed to do any work. They gave an offering to God. In reality, this was the thanksgiving day or the thanksgiving season of the Jewish people. So today, let us pause to thank God for His goodness and make this, in some respects, a thanksgiving day.

1004 B.C. – The Ark was Brought into the Temple.

When the Ark was brought into the temple, the Glory of God came in. This is found in I Kings 8:1-11. The Ark of the Covenant was that little piece of furniture that had originally been placed in the tabernacle. In fact, it was the only piece of furniture that was brought from the tabernacle into the temple, and when it came in, the glory of God filled the House of God. Let us pray for God’s glory to fill our churches.

596 B.C. – Hananiah Died.

Jeremiah 28:17 

Hananiah was told at the first of the year these words, “…this year thou shalt die…” (Jeremiah 28:16). So he died that year. Many people will die this year. Some people, no doubt, reading this today will die this year. Let us live every day and every year as if it were our last day and year, “Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.” (Ephesians 5:16

536 B.C. – The Altar was Set Up.

Ezra 3:6

The altar was set up, and burnt offerings began.

445 B.C. – The Great Revival under Ezra was Begun.

Nehemiah 8:2

Probably there is no greater revival found in the Word of God. The people of God had been away in bondage. They had come back from Babylonian captivity and rebuilt the House of God as well as the city and the walls around the city. Now they come to a time of revival. Ezra got a pulpit of wood and read the Word of God from morning till mid-day and the people shouted, “Amen, Amen.” They confessed their sins and wept before the Lord, and revival came. Let us pray for revival to come to your church and mine and to our nation in these needy days.

1890 – Yosemite National Park Established.

On this day in 1890, an act of Congress creates Yosemite National Park, home of such natural wonders as Half Dome and the giant sequoia trees. Environmental trailblazer John Muir (1838-1914) and his colleagues campaigned for the congressional action, which was signed into law by President Benjamin Harrison and paved the way for generations of hikers, campers and nature lovers, along with countless “Don’t Feed the Bears” signs.

Native Americans were the main residents of the Yosemite Valley, located in California’s Sierra Nevada mountain range, until the 1849 gold rush brought thousands of non-Indian miners and settlers to the region. Tourists and damage to Yosemite Valley’s ecosystem followed. In 1864, to ward off further commercial exploitation, conservationists convinced President Abraham Lincoln to declare Yosemite Valley and the Mariposa Grove of giant sequoias a public trust of California. This marked the first time the U.S. government protected land for public enjoyment and it laid the foundation for the establishment of the national and state park systems. Yellowstone became America’s first national park in 1872.

In 1889, John Muir discovered that the vast meadows surrounding Yosemite Valley, which lacked government protection, were being overrun and destroyed by domestic sheep grazing. Muir and Robert Underwood Johnson, a fellow environmentalist and influential magazine editor, lobbied for national park status for the large wilderness area around Yosemite Valley. On October 1 of the following year, Congress set aside over 1,500 square miles of land (about the size of Rhode Island) for what would become Yosemite National Park, America’s third national park. In 1906, the state-controlled Yosemite Valley and Mariposa Grove came under federal jurisdiction with the rest of the park.

Yosemite’s natural beauty is immortalized in the black-and-white landscape photographs of Ansel Adams (1902-1984), who at one point lived in the park and spent years photographing it. Today, over 3 million people get back to nature annually at Yosemite and check out such stunning landmarks as the 2,425-foot-high Yosemite Falls, one of the world’s tallest waterfalls; rock formations Half Dome and El Capitan, the largest granite monolith in the U.S.; and the three groves of giant sequoias, the world’s biggest trees. (www.history.com/this-day-in-history/yosemite-national-park-established)

October 2

The Feast of the Trumpets Continued.

Numbers 29:17-19 

Twelve bullocks, fourteen rams, fourteen lambs, and one kid of goats were offered. May we realize today that God does not want rams, goats, bullocks or lambs as a sacrifice, but He wants our bodies as a living sacrifice. Read Romans 12:1 today. 

1869 – Birthday of Mohandas Ghandi. 

Mohandas Ghandi, often called Mahatma Gandhi, was the leader of millions of people. He perhaps influenced as many people in his day as any man alive. He made this statement during his latter years: “I would be a Christian if it were not for Christians.” In other words, the poor testimony that Christians offered kept him from being converted. 

This reminds us of II Corinthians 4:3, “But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost.” What a tragic thing it is when our lives, testimonies, and influence are not for the best and we keep people from becoming Christians. Think of it, if Mohandas Ghandi had seen Christ in Christians, he himself would have turned to Christ and no doubt millions and millions and hundreds of millions would have followed his example. Let us pray today that God will help us to live the kind of “life that will benefit the cause of Christ and turn folks to the Saviour rather than away from Him. 

1889 – The First Pan American Conference.

October 3

The Feast of the Trumpets Continued.

1863 – The First Thanksgiving Day by National Proclamation. 

Every day should be thanksgiving day, but in thinking of this date, let us pause today to thank God for His blessings. Why not make a list of all of the things that God has done for you and the things with which He has blessed you. This is a day to be thankful. 

1922 – The First Woman Member in the United States Senate. 

This should cause us to turn our prayers toward the Senate and our leaders in Washington. Let us pray for those who have power and authority over us that they will make decisions pleasing to God. 

1935 – Italy Invaded Ethiopia.

Many recall that day when Mussolini led the Italian armies upon Ethiopia. These were the days preceding World War II. These were the days of Adolph Hitler and his ruthless march to power. Those of us who can remember something about them should certainly thank God for the measure of peace our world has today. Let us pray for peace.

October 4

The Feast of the Trumpets Continued.

1822 – Rutherford B. Hayes Born.

Let us pause to pray for our President today.

1880 – The Birthday of Homer Rodeheaver. 

Homer Rodeheaver was the famous song leader in the great Billy Sunday campaigns. His contribution to evangelistic music has been tremendous. His contribution to the Billy Sunday meetings and to evangelism in general is beyond imagination. 

Once in a meeting, the rain was falling so hard that Billy Sunday could not preach. Rodeheaver sang and sang and sang some more. Still the voice of the preacher could not be heard. Billy Sunday simply rose and motioned with his hands toward the altar. Approximately 400 people came to Jesus Christ. This story was related to me in my home at the dining table by Mrs. Billy Sunday. 

Let us thank God today for the ministry of Homer Rodeheaver and Gospel musicians everywhere. Let us pray for a trend back to Gospel music in our churches. 

1957 – Sputnik 1 was Launched.

The Soviet Union inaugurates the “Space Age” with its launch of Sputnik, the world’s first artificial satellite. The spacecraft, named Sputnik after the Russian word for “satellite,” was launched at 10:29 p.m. Moscow time from the Tyuratam launch base in the Kazakh Republic. Sputnik had a diameter of 22 inches and weighed 184 pounds and circled Earth once every hour and 36 minutes. Traveling at 18,000 miles an hour, its elliptical orbit had an apogee (farthest point from Earth) of 584 miles and a perigee (nearest point) of 143 miles. Visible with binoculars before sunrise or after sunset, Sputnik transmitted radio signals back to Earth strong enough to be picked up by amateur radio operators. Those in the United States with access to such equipment tuned in and listened in awe as the beeping Soviet spacecraft passed over America several times a day. In January 1958,Sputnik’s orbit deteriorated, as expected, and the spacecraft burned up in the atmosphere.

Officially, Sputnik was launched to correspond with the International Geophysical Year, a solar period that the International Council of Scientific Unions declared would be ideal for the launching of artificial satellites to study Earth and the solar system. However, many Americans feared more sinister uses of the Soviets’ new rocket and satellite technology, which was apparently strides ahead of the U.S. space effort. Sputnik was some 10 times the size of the first planned U.S. satellite, which was not scheduled to be launched until the next year. The U.S. government, military, and scientific community were caught off guard by the Soviet technological achievement, and their united efforts to catch up with the Soviets heralded the beginning of the “space race.”

The first U.S. satellite, Explorer, was launched on January 31, 1958. By then, the Soviets had already achieved another ideological victory when they launched a dog into orbit aboard Sputnik 2. The Soviet space program went on to achieve a series of other space firsts in the late 1950s and early 1960s: first man in space, first woman, first three men, first space walk, first spacecraft to impact the moon, first to orbit the moon, first to impact Venus, and first craft to soft-land on the moon. However, the United States took a giant leap ahead in the space race in the late ’60s with the Apollo lunar-landing program, which successfully landed two Apollo 11 astronauts on the surface of the moon in July 1969. (www.history.com/this-day-in-history/sputnik-launched)

Once again we think of the tremendous scientific progress that our nation has made. We must pray for God to help us to catch up with our scientific progress in our spiritual progress. What a pity that man knows so little how to use his knowledge.

October 5

The Feast of the Trumpets Continued.

We should pause and realize that someday the real feast of the trumpets will come, the last trump shall sound, and we shall be raised. Read 1 Thessalonians 4:13-17 and thank God for the hope we have when Christ comes and the trumpet sounds.

1703 – Jonathan Edwards was Born.

Here is one of the truly great men in American history and religious history. He was pastor, educator, evangelist – all in one package. He was faithful to God as a pastor. Let us thank God today for faithful pastors who take a stand against evil and for right.

As an educator Jonathan Edwards was a tremendous success, having combined brilliance of mind and dedication to God and the Bible as he trained young people. Let us pray for those college presidents in Christian colleges today.

As an evangelist, few have been his equal. Though he was a small man, and though he read his sermons word for word, the power of God was upon him. His sermon “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God” was so powerful that as he preached it people would hang onto the pillars of the building for fear of falling imminently into Hell. We should thank God for evangelists. Call some by name today in your prayer time. 

1830 – Chester A. Arthur was Born.

Once again let us turn to God in intercessory prayer for our President and the many decisions he has to make that influence and affect each of our lives.

1947 – First Presidential Speech on TV.

On this day in 1947, President Harry Truman (1884-1972) makes the first-ever televised presidential address from the White House, asking Americans to cut back on their use of grain in order to help starving Europeans. At the time of Truman’s food-conservation speech, Europe was still recovering from World War II and suffering from famine. Truman, the 33rd commander in chief, worried that if the U.S. didn’t provide food aid, his administration’s Marshall Plan for European economic recovery would fall apart. He asked farmers and distillers to reduce grain use and requested that the public voluntarily forgo meat on Tuesdays, eggs and poultry on Thursdays and save a slice of bread each day. The food program was short-lived, as ultimately the Marshall Plan succeeded in helping to spur economic revitalization and growth in Europe. In 1947, television was still in its infancy and the number of TV sets in U.S. homes only numbered in the thousands (by the early 1950s, millions of Americans owned TVs); most people listened to the radio for news and entertainment. However, although the majority of Americans missed Truman’s TV debut, his speech signaled the start of a powerful and complex relationship between the White House and a medium that would have an enormous impact on the American presidency, from how candidates campaigned for the office to how presidents communicated with their constituents. Each of Truman’s subsequent White House speeches, including his 1949 inauguration address, was televised. In 1948, Truman was the first presidential candidate to broadcast a paid political ad. Truman pioneered the White House telecast, but it was President Franklin Roosevelt who was the first president to appear on TV–from the World’s Fair in New York City on April 30, 1939. FDR’s speech had an extremely limited TV audience, though, airing only on receivers at the fairgrounds and at Radio City in Manhattan. (www.history.com/this-day-in-history/first-presidential-speech-on-tv)

October 6

The Feast of the Trumpets Continued.

1536 – William Tyndale was Executed. 

It was William Tyndale who gave us the first printed English New Testament. Certainly we should thank God today for him and his life, and for the privilege that is ours of having the New Testament in our language. There are many languages and dialects in the world today that do not have the New Testament. We should praise God that we do. 

How much of the Bible have you read lately? How much of it do you know? Why not spend some time today simply reading the Bible. It will be a lamp unto your feet and a light unto your path. Hiding its words in your heart will keep you from sin. It will give you great peace and keep you from being offended. Especially today, turn to the 119th Psalm. Read it through. Mark everything in this Psalm that the Bible does for a Christian. Then mark everything in this Psalm that the Christian is to do to the Bible. Then mark everything the Bible is called in this Psalm. It will enrich your life.

1866 – First U.S. Train Robbery.

On this day in 1866, the Reno gang carries out the first robbery of a moving train in the U.S., making off with over $10,000 from an Ohio & Mississippi train in Jackson County, Indiana. Prior to this innovation in crime, holdups had taken place only on trains sitting at stations or freight yards.

This new method of sticking up moving trains in remote locations low on law enforcement soon became popular in the American West, where the recently constructed transcontinental and regional railroads made attractive targets. With the western economy booming, trains often carried large stashes of cash and precious minerals. The sparsely populated landscape provided bandits with numerous isolated areas perfect for stopping trains, as well as plenty of places to hide from the law. Some gangs, like Butch Cassidy’s Wild Bunch, found robbing trains so easy and lucrative that, for a time, they made it their criminal specialty. Railroad owners eventually got wise and fought back, protecting their trains’ valuables with large safes, armed guards and even specially fortified boxcars. Consequently, by the late 1800s, robbing trains had turned into an increasingly tough and dangerous job.

As for the Reno gang, which consisted of the four Reno brothers and their associates, their reign came to an end in 1868 when they all were finally captured after committing a series of train robberies and other criminal offenses. In December of that year, a mob stormed the Indiana jail where the bandits were being held and meted out vigilante justice, hanging brothers Frank, Simeon and William Reno (their brother John had been caught earlier and was already serving time in a different prison) and fellow gang member Charlie Anderson. (www.history.com/this-day-in-history/first-us-train-robbery)

1876 – The American Library Association was Organized.

Did you ever pause to think of the tremendous advantages we have because of books? Did you ever stop to think what a Bible looked like in the days before the printing press? In these days of television and leisure time we need to thank God for books and avail ourselves to them. So few people really read any more. Let us thank God for our library system and the ready availability of good reading material.

October 7

The Feast of the Trumpets Continued.

The Feast of the Trumpets, of course, was typical of the day when Jesus will come and call us to Himself and we will observe the great Feast of the Trumpets.

Bishop Steed it was who would lift his shade in the morning, look out of the window toward the sky, and say, “Jesus, are you coming today?” Before retiring in the evening, he would go through the same ritual and say, “Jesus, are you coming tonight?”

One old saint used to look at every cloud and say, “I wonder if Jesus is coming in that cloud.”

When Jesus went away He promised to return. We do not know when He will return but it could be today. Let us pray with the apostle, “Even so, come, Lord Jesus,” (Revelation 22:20) or with the model prayer, ” … Thy kingdom come … ” (Luke 11:2)

1849 – The Birthday of James Whitcomb Riley.

1849 – Edgar Allen Poe Died. 

Though Edgar Allen Poe was perhaps not all that he should have been, and in some respects was not a good example, nevertheless, he left us many beautiful pieces of literature. Let us thank God today for those who penned their thoughts so we may enjoy them today. 

1888 – The Birthday of Henry Wallace.

Henry Wallace is a past Vice-President of our nation. Perhaps we should pause today to ask God’s blessings upon our Vice President. We have found, upon the assassination of John Kennedy, the importance of having a wise man and a qualified man as Vice President. Let us pray for our Vice-President, asking God’s blessings upon him.

October 8

1004 B.C. – The Approximate Date of the Solemn Assembly of the Dedication of the Temple.

II Chronicles 7:9 

1871 – The Chicago Fire Began. 

“On this day in 1871, flames spark in the Chicago barn of Patrick and Catherine O’Leary, igniting a two-day blaze that kills between 200 and 300 people, destroys 17,450 buildings, leaves 100,000 homeless and causes an estimated $200 million (in 1871 dollars; $3 billion in 2007 dollars) in damages. Legend has it that a cow kicked over a lantern in the O’Leary barn and started the fire, but other theories hold that humans or even a comet may have been responsible for the event that left four square miles of the Windy City, including its business district, in ruins. Dry weather and an abundance of wooden buildings, streets and sidewalks made Chicago vulnerable to fire. The city averaged two fires per day in 1870; there were 20 fires throughout Chicago the week before the Great Fire of 1871.

Despite the fire’s devastation, much of Chicago’s physical infrastructure, including its water, sewage and transportation systems, remained intact. Reconstruction efforts began quickly and spurred great economic development and population growth, as architects laid the foundation for a modern city featuring the world’s first skyscrapers. At the time of the fire, Chicago’s population was approximately 324,000; within nine years, there were 500,000 Chicagoans. By 1893, the city was a major economic and transportation hub with an estimated population of 1.5 million. That same year, Chicago was chosen to host the World’s Columbian Exposition, a major tourist attraction visited by 27.5 million people, or approximately half the U.S. population at the time.

In 1997, the Chicago City Council exonerated Mrs. O’Leary and her cow. She turned into a recluse after the fire, and died in 1895.” (www.history.com/this-day-in-history/great-chicago-fire-begins)

One of the most interesting things about the fire was the story of Dwight Moody’s sermon shortly before the fire. Someone has said that Mr. Moody preached a sermon on the subject, “What Will You Do with Jesus?” He asked the people to think about it for a week and come back with their answer seven days later. Many of these people were killed in the fire before having a chance to give their answer. It is said that Mr. Moody was heartbroken, and an impact for good was left upon his ministry as he realized again the urgency of receiving Jesus Christ. 

Maybe we should pause today and thank God for our fire departments – these unnoticed, unseen, and oftentimes unappreciated guardians of the safety of our homes, our property, and our lives. 

1890 – Eddie Rickenbacker was Born. 

1936 – The Famous Missionary Goforth of China Died.

Here is a story of Christian grace and sacrifice. He died right after preaching. Let us pray for missionaries in general and for some specifically today.

October 9

Approximate Date of the Sabbath Before the Day of Atonement.

Leviticus 23:32 

1747 – David Brainerd Died.

David Brainerd is one of the giants of Christian history. It is said that he left his kneeprints in the snow of the North, where he prayed for the Indians. Few men have lived a life of dedication, burden, compassion, and sacrifice as did David Brainerd. Though he died at the age of 29, he yet lives. Let us thank God for the lives of men such as Brainerd and pause to pray for God’s blessings upon missionaries all over the world today.

1871 – The Chicago Fire was at Its Peak.

1937 – Wedding Anniversary of Dr. and Mrs. Lee Roberson. 

Dr. Roberson has for many years pastored the great Highland Park Baptist Church of Chattanooga, Tennessee, and is the founder of the Tennessee Temple Schools in Chattanooga. This is one of the outstanding Christian educational institutions in the world today. May we pray for Dr. Roberson, the church, and the school, and may we thank God for the contribution they have made to fundamentalism and the cause of Christ in America. Of course, we should thank God for Mrs. Roberson. It has been my privilege to know these dear ones personally. I have been in their home, enjoyed their fellowship, and often have preached in this great church. Thank God for the Robersons. 

1958 – The Death of Pope Pius XII.

Fire Prevention Day.

Of course, we should thank God today for the fire department and for the many advantages of fire protection today. And yet, we should think of a more devastating fire as found in Matthew 25:41 and Revelation 20:15. The only eternal fire prevention is faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Why not witness to someone today who needs this salvation.

October 10

Approximately the Day of Atonement For Israel. 

1821 – Charles G. Finney was Saved.

Here is one of the giants of all time. I have traveled in the northeastern part of our country and have seen city after city that was shaken by revival during the ministry of Charles G. Finney. Charles G. Finney was filled with the Holy Spirit and the power of God came on him the same day of his conversion. He had such power that his physical presence convicted men. He would walk down the street and men would fall on their knees and cry, “What must I do to be saved?” During revivals conducted by Charles G. Finney it was not unusual for the entire school system to be revived. Teachers would pause during the classroom and ask for Mr. Finney to lead them to salvation. Entire classes would come to Christ because of their teacher’s conversion. It is said that Charles G. Finney had an “altar in the woods” where he met God and prayed down the power of God. Do you have a place to meet God?

1845 – Annapolis was Opened. 

Let us pray today for our Navy. Maybe you know some sailors for whom you ought to pray. Ask God’s blessings upon them, that He will keep them pure and faithful to Christ while they are away. 

1903 – Mrs. Moody Died.

Mrs. Moody’s name was Emma. Thank God today for the pastor’s wife. Only the Lord knows the encouragement she may need and what a word of encouragement from you would mean to her.

1985 – Achille Lauro Hijacking Ends.

The hijacking of the Italian cruise ship Achille Lauro reaches a dramatic climax when U.S. Navy F-14 fighters intercept an Egyptian airliner attempting to fly the Palestinian hijackers to freedom and force the jet to land at a NATO base in Sigonella, Sicily. American and Italian troops surrounded the plane, and the terrorists were taken into Italian custody.

On October 7, four heavily armed Palestinian terrorists hijacked the Achille Lauro in the Mediterranean Sea off the coast of Alexandria, Egypt. Some 320 crewmembers and 80 passengers, were taken hostage. Hundreds of other passengers had disembarked the cruise ship earlier that day to visit Cairo and tour the Egyptian pyramids. Identifying themselves as members of the Palestine Liberation Front–a Palestinian splinter group–the gunmen demanded the release of 50 Palestinian militants imprisoned in Israel. If their demands were not met, they threatened to blow up the ship and kill the 11 Americans on board. The next morning, they also threatened to kill the British passengers.

The Achille Lauro traveled to the Syrian port of Tartus, where the terrorists demanded negotiations on October 8. Syria refused to permit the ship to anchor in its waters, which prompted more threats from the hijackers. That afternoon, they shot and killed Leon Klinghoffer, a 69-year-old Jewish-American who was confined to a wheelchair as the result of a stroke. His body was then pushed overboard in the wheelchair.

Yasir Arafat’s Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) condemned the hijacking, and PLO officials joined with Egyptian authorities in attempting to resolve the crisis. On the recommendation of the negotiators, the cruise ship traveled to Port Said. On October 9, the hijackers surrendered to Egyptian authorities and freed the hostages in exchange for a pledge of safe passage to an undisclosed destination.

The next day–October 10–the four hijackers boarded an EgyptAir Boeing 737 airliner, along with Mohammed Abbas, a member of the Palestine Liberation Front who had participated in the negotiations; a PLO official; and several Egyptians. The 737 took off from Cairo at 4:15 p.m. EST and headed for Tunisia. President Ronald Reagan gave his final order approving the plan to intercept the aircraft, and at 5:30 p.m. EST, F-14 Tomcat fighters located the airliner 80 miles south of Crete. Without announcing themselves, the F-14s trailed the airliner as it sought and was denied permission to land at Tunis. After a request to land at the Athens airport was likewise refused, the F-14s turned on their lights and flew wing-to-wing with the airliner. The aircraft was ordered to land at a NATO air base in Sicily, and the pilot complied, touching down at 6:45 p.m. The hijackers were arrested soon after. Abbas and the other Palestinian were released, prompting criticism from the United States, which wanted to investigate their possible involvement in the hijacking.

On July 10, 1986, an Italian court later convicted three of the terrorists and sentenced them to prison terms ranging from 15 to 30 years. Three others, including Mohammed Abbas, were convicted in absentia for masterminding the hijacking and sentenced to life in prison. They received harsher penalties because, unlike the hijackers, who the court found were acting for “patriotic motives,” Abbas and the others conceived the hijacking as a “selfish political act” designed “to weaken the leadership of Yasir Arafat.” The fourth hijacker was a minor who was tried and convicted separately. (www.history.com/this-day-in-history/achille-lauro-hijacking-ends)

October 11

1531 – Ulrich Zwingli Died in Cappel, Switzerland.

It is said that Zwingli died on the battlefield fighting for the “faith.”

1895 – Avis D. Christiansen was Born in Chicago, Illinois. 

Here is another famous song writer. He wrote, “Only Glory By and By,” “Jesus Has Lifted Me,” “Love Found a Way,” and “Only Jesus.” A song worth singing now, written by this great Christian is “Precious Hiding Place.” 


   I was straying when Christ found me 
   In the night so dark and cold; 
   Tenderly His arm went ’round me 
   And He bore me to His fold. 

   With His nail-scarred hand He brought me 
   To the shelter of His love; 
   Of His grace and will He taught me, 
   And of heavenly rest above. 

   Tho’ the night be dark around me, 
   I am safe, for He is near; 
   Never shall my foes confound me, 
   While the Saviour’s voice I hear. 


   Precious hiding place, Precious hiding place, 
   In the shelter of His love; 
   Not a doubt or fear, since my Lord is near, 
   And I’m sheltered in His love. 

1911- The Birthday of Joseph Paul Free. 

Perhaps Mr. Free has been the leading conservative archeologist of our times. Using Wheaton College as headquarters, Free has vigorously and scholarly defended the Bible and has been a recognized authority in the field of archeology. 

1914 – Kenneth R. Adams was Born.

He was the founder of the Christian Literature Crusade of Fort Washington, Pennsylvania, which has book centers in 36 countries distributing Christian literature. Thank God for Christian literature, for Christian printers, and especially for the influence of this work.

1914 – Paul Hartford was Born.

Hartford is credited with founding the idea that airplanes could be used for Christian work. He was active in Youth for Christ for many years and has worked with the Team World of Los Angeles. Few Christians have flown as much as Hartford. He has shown us that the airplane can be used for the Gospel. Thanks be to God for the airplane.

This page is being dictated by long-distance telephone from Winnipeg, Canada. Just today I flew from Chicago to Winnipeg, where I speak tonight. Let us thank God for the airplane.

1919 – The Birthday of Abe Vander Puy.

In 1960 he became president of the World Missionary Fellowship of Miami, Florida. Its most famous outlet is HCJB of Quito, Ecuador. This is perhaps the world’s most famous Christian radio station. Its call letters stand for Heralding Christ Jesus Broadcast. Some say it has the greatest missionary radio ministry in the world. Vander Puy married Marg Saint, the widow of Nate Saint, who was martyred in 1956 by the Auca Indians. Vander Puy’s previous wife, Delores, died of cancer.

October 12

Columbus Day.

There have been many speculations recently about who really discovered America. Whether it was the Norsemen and Leif Erickson, or Columbus, only God knows. Columbus has been given the credit generally for discovering America.

Columbus first saw land at 2:00 a.m. When he got to the land he kissed the earth and prayed. Those two things speak volumes to American citizens – kissing the earth and praying. First, we ought to love our land. This has been and may God keep it “the land of the free and the home of the brave.” Columbus kissed the land. I love America. I love my nation, my country; I love the valleys and the mountains, the plains, the deserts, and the shores.

Then Columbus prayed. He realized that only God could bless this newfound land. Dear friends, when we turn our backs upon God, we turn our backs upon our country, our hopes, and our dreams.

One time a little boy was drowning. A man heard the cry of “help” coming from the water. The man got out of his car, pulled off his coat, jumped into the water, and rescued the boy. He pulled the little boy to safety. The boy, who was of Mexican descent, looked at the man and said in broken English, “Thank you, thank you, sir; you have saved my life, thank you, sir.”

The man looked at him and said abruptly, “Yes, I have saved your life; now you be sure your life is worth saving.”

I wonder sometimes if we should not apply that to America. Yes, Columbus did discover America, and now let us as a nation be worthy of being discovered. May God help us on Columbus Day to thank God for America, to kiss the earth, and lift our hearts to Almighty God praying for God to bless America always and stem the tide toward sin, atheism, and socialism that is gripping our institutions and our nation today.

October 13

1792 – The Cornerstone was Laid for the White House.

The cornerstone was laid by George Washington. Many of us have seen the White House; far more of us have heard of it and seen pictures of it. A few of us have been through the White  House on a tour. 

How we thank God for the fact that our forefathers laid the cornerstone, not only of the White House, but the cornerstone of faith in God and the Lord Jesus Christ. In Ephesians 2:20 we read, “And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief corner stone.” So, whatever we build, we must build on Jesus Christ.

If you are building a house, your house will crumble unless it has the right foundation. We built a new building not too many months ago here at First Baptist, and the interesting thing to me was so much of the building is under the ground. Many days and weeks and yea, even months, were spent under the ground digging, pouring foundations, placing steel, etc. This means that the strength of the building rests upon the foundation that is unseen.

If you are going to build a home, it will have to have the right kind of foundation, and that foundation is the Lord Jesus Christ. Our nation, if it stands, must have the foundation of the Lord Jesus Christ. Your business, if it stands, must have the foundation of the Lord Jesus Christ. Our school system, if it stands, must return from a prayerless, Bibleless schoolroom to the foundation of Jesus Christ. About the same thing is said in I Corinthians 3:11, “For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.” Then, of course, that great 127th Psalm leads us to about the same truth, “Except the Lord build the house, they labour in vain that build it: except the Lord keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain.” (Psalm 127:1) Do you see what this is saying? It says, “Except the Lord build the house, they labour in vain.” Unless God is sought, and God’s will is sought, and God’s Word is honored, and prayer to God is offered, and repentence from sin and faith in Christ is exhibited, our nation will not stand. Our Congress can meet and our White House can have its cabinet meetings and all the leaders can connive, meet in sessions, and try to use the wisdom of men, but “Except the Lord build the house, they labour in vain that build it.”

May we today pray for our President, for the White House, for the staff, and for those who are in authority over us. Pray that God will help us once again to realize, “Except the Lord build the house, they labour in vain that build it: except the Lord keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain.”

October 14

1644 – The Birthday of William Penn.

1876 – Birthday of Harry A. Ironside. 

H. A. Ironside was for many years the pastor of the famous Moody Memorial Church in Chicago. During his ministry the great church was packed and jammed time and time again as the crowds came to hear this great man of God. One of the most interesting things about his birth is that for forty minutes they thought he was dead. It was that long after his birth that they found that there was life in his little body. Aren’t we grateful that God spared him and that his ministry went around the world? His influence for the Gospel and for good certainly circled the globe. 

When H. A. Ironside was a young boy, he heard that the famous Dwight Moody was coming to town. He went to the services and crawled up on one of the rafters in the big tabernacle. Lying on a rafter high in the tabernacle, he heard Dwight Moody preach. As he heard him preach, he said, “Oh, wouldn’t I love to preach to great crowds like this.” Little did he realize that someday he would pastor the great Moody Church in Chicago. 

1890 – Birthday of General Eisenhower.

1947 – Yeager Breaks Sound Barrier.

U.S. Air Force Captain Chuck Yeager becomes the first person to fly faster than the speed of sound.

Yeager, born in Myra, West Virginia, in 1923, was a combat fighter during World War II and flew 64 missions over Europe. He shot down 13 German planes and was himself shot down over France, but he escaped capture with the assistance of the French Underground. After the war, he was among several volunteers chosen to test-fly the experimental X-1 rocket plane, built by the Bell Aircraft Company to explore the possibility of supersonic flight.

For years, many aviators believed that man was not meant to fly faster than the speed of sound, theorizing that transonic drag rise would tear any aircraft apart. All that changed on October 14, 1947, when Yeager flew the X-1 over Rogers Dry Lake in Southern California. The X-1 was lifted to an altitude of 25,000 feet by a B-29 aircraft and then released through the bomb bay, rocketing to 40,000 feet and exceeding 662 miles per hour (the sound barrier at that altitude). The rocket plane, nicknamed “Glamorous Glennis,” was designed with thin, unswept wings and a streamlined fuselage modeled after a .50-caliber bullet.

Because of the secrecy of the project, Bell and Yeager’s achievement was not announced until June 1948. Yeager continued to serve as a test pilot, and in 1953 he flew 1,650 miles per hour in an X-1A rocket plane. He retired from the U.S. Air Force in 1975 with the rank of brigadier general. (www.history.com/this-day-in-history/yeager-breaks-sound-barrier)

October 15

In the Life of God’s People This Was a Day of Rest Beginning a Day of Feasting.

Numbers 29:12

I trust today will be a restful day and a blessed day for you.

1846 – The First Public Demonstration of Ether.

1906 – Sam Jones Died.

Sam Jones was one of the great evangelists in the previous generation. Some people think he was the greatest evangelist of his day. He was on the Billy Sunday order, an old-fashioned, hell-fire and brimestone preacher who led literally hundreds of thousands of people to Jesus Christ.

It is said that Sam Jones conducted revival meetings that oftentimes would sweep the city until the jail would be empty and taverns would have to close; oftentimes the theaters would have such poor business that they would have to close until the revival services were over.

Sam Jones died on a Rock Island train at Perry, Arkansas, teasing and chatting with the pullman porter who was shining his shoes. Many interesting stories have been told about Sam Jones. He made this statement, “It doesn’t take anything to purchase religion but it takes a good deal to keep up the repairs after you’ve got it.”

October 16

1555 – Date of the Burning of Bishop Ridley. 

Bishop Ridley was burned at Oxford. Let us pause to thank God for the martyrs of the faith whose blood has mixed the foundation for the church today. 

1758 – Noah Webster was Born. 

1777 – A Famous Day in the Life of Lorenzo Dow of Connecticut. 

Lorenzo Dow was a famous preacher of the 18th century who had great revivals in the eastern part of our nation. On this particular day, he was preaching to a great crowd. Suddenly the crowd was angered; some young men began to leave and others followed. Dow went to the back door of the building, put his back against the door, and blocked the exit so the crowd could not leave. Holding the door shut and blocking the exit he preached the Gospel of Christ. Two-thirds of the audience came to Christ at the end of the message when the invitation was given. What power! What blessings of God! What a God we serve! 

Let us pray today for evangelists. Perhaps you know of some whose names you should call in prayer today. Let us not forget those who travel across the country and around the world trying to win souls for Jesus’ sake. 

1815 – Napoleon was Exiled to St. Helena. 

It has been my privilege to visit France and to see many things pertaining to Napoleon. I have seen his grave as well as the graves of many emperors of the world. Let us thank God today that one day Jesus will come as the Emperor, as the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, and then the world shall have a righteous kingdom and a righteous ruler. 

1847 – Date of the Birth of Sam Jones.

Let us thank God for this great preacher of the Gospel and pray that God will raise up some more evangelists like him in our day.

October 17

2349 B.C. – Approximate Date That the Ark Rested on Mt. Ararat.

Genesis 8:4 

As you know, the ark represents the Lord Jesus Christ. Its three floors represent the Trinity. Its one door represents Jesus as found in John 10:9. The ark was the safety of Noah and his family even as Jesus in our safety from future condemnation. May we pause to thank God today for Jesus our Ark of safety and lean upon Him heavily, not only as our Saviour from sin, but as our strength and refuge for today. 

1931 – Capone Goes to Prison.

On this day in 1931, gangster Al Capone is sentenced to 11 years in prison for tax evasion and fined $80,000, signaling the downfall of one of the most notorious criminals of the 1920s and 1930s.

Alphonse Gabriel Capone was born in Brooklyn, New York, in 1899 to Italian immigrants. He was expelled from school at 14, joined a gang and earned his nickname “Scarface” after being sliced across the cheek during a fight. By 1920, Capone had moved to Chicago, where he was soon helping to run crime boss Johnny Torrio’s illegal enterprises, which included alcohol-smuggling, gambling and prostitution. Torrio retired in 1925 after an attempt on his life and Capone, known for his cunning and brutality, was put in charge of the organization.

Prohibition, which outlawed the brewing and distribution of alcohol and lasted from 1920 to 1933, proved extremely lucrative for bootleggers and gangsters like Capone, who raked in millions from his underworld activities. Capone was at the top of the F.B.I.’s “Most Wanted” list by 1930, but he avoided long stints in jail until 1931 by bribing city officials, intimidating witnesses and maintaining various hideouts. He became Chicago’s crime kingpin by wiping out his competitors through a series of gangland battles and slayings, including the infamous St. Valentine’s Day Massacre in 1929, when Capone’s men gunned down seven rivals. This event helped raise Capone’s notoriety to a national level.

Among Capone’s enemies was federal agent Elliot Ness, who led a team of officers known as “The Untouchables” because they couldn’t be corrupted. Ness and his men routinely broke up Capone’s bootlegging businesses, but it was tax-evasion charges that finally stuck and landed Capone in prison in 1931. Capone began serving his time at the U.S. Penitentiary in Atlanta, but amid accusations that he was manipulating the system and receiving cushy treatment, he was transferred to the maximum-security lockup at Alcatraz Island, in California’s San Francisco Bay. He got out early in 1939 for good behavior, after spending his final year in prison in a hospital, suffering from syphilis.

Plagued by health problems for the rest of his life, Capone died in 1947 at age 48 at his home in Palm Island, Florida. (www.history.com/this-day-in-history/capone-goes-to-prison)

A Special Sabbath in Israel.

It was the ending of the week begun by the Day of Atonement. The Day of Atonement began on October 10. (At least it was the seventh month of their calendar, which is October, and the 10th day. Perhaps this would not correspond exactly with our October 10.) The 17th day of this month was a special Sabbath, a day of rest. Why not spend some time in restful meditation today. Think upon the things of God. Read several chapters in the Bible. Spend some time in prayer telling God of your needs and asking Him to supply them. How we need days of sabbatical rest in our generation. Though the sabbaths have been nailed to the cross (Colossians 2:14-17), the idea of rest and meditation is certainly needed today.

October 18

1842 – The First Telegraph Cable was Lain in New York Harbor.

Let us thank God for the wonderful yet intricate telegraph system. Each of us is within just a few minutes of a loved one even though he might be around the world. May we praise God for this privilege we enjoy in our generation.

1867 – Alaska was Ceded to the United States.

On this day in 1867, the U.S. formally takes possession of Alaska after purchasing the territory from Russia for $7.2 million, or less than two cents an acre. The Alaska purchase comprised 586,412 square miles, about twice the size of Texas, and was championed by William Henry Seward, the enthusiastically expansionist secretary of state under President Andrew Johnson.

Russia wanted to sell its Alaska territory, which was remote, sparsely populated and difficult to defend, to the U.S. rather than risk losing it in battle with a rival such as Great Britain. Negotiations between Seward (1801-1872) and the Russian minister to the U.S., Eduard de Stoeckl, began in March 1867. However, the American public believed the land to be barren and worthless and dubbed the purchase “Seward’s Folly” and “Andrew Johnson’s Polar Bear Garden,” among other derogatory names. Some animosity toward the project may have been a byproduct of President Johnson’s own unpopularity. As the 17th U.S. president, Johnson battled with Radical Republicans in Congress over Reconstruction policies following the Civil War. He was impeached in 1868 and later acquitted by a single vote. Nevertheless, Congress eventually ratified the Alaska deal. Public opinion of the purchase turned more favorable when gold was discovered in a tributary of Alaska’s Klondike River in 1896, sparking a gold rush. Alaska became the 49th state on January 3, 1959, and is now recognized for its vast natural resources. Today, 25 percent of America’s oil and over 50 percent of its seafood come from Alaska. It is also the largest state in area, about one-fifth the size of the lower 48 states combined, though it remains sparsely populated. The name Alaska is derived from the Aleut word alyeska, which means “great land.” Alaska has two official state holidays to commemorate its origins: Seward’s Day, observed the last Monday in March, celebrates the March 30, 1867, signing of the land treaty between the U.S. and Russia, and Alaska Day, observed every October 18, marks the anniversary of the formal land transfer. (www.history.com/this-day-in-history/us-takes-possession-of-alaska)

We can pause today to thank God for our friends in Alaska. It has been my privilege to have many friends from this great state. While in college, I performed the wedding ceremony for the daughter of the pastor of the First Baptist Church of Anchorage, Alaska. It was my joy to lead an Eskimo girl to Christ who was attending college in the United States. Let us pray for our Christian brethren in Alaska and for those who spread the Gospel in this needy area.

1931 – Thomas Edison Died. 

How we should thank God for the contributions that Thomas Edison has made to our comfort and to our civilization. Why not pause to look at the electric lights you enjoy and thank God for them. There are many many other things for which we can thank God that were contributed to us by Thomas A. Edison.

1949 – Stuart Hamblin was Converted.

Stuart Hamblin was saved about 4:30 in the morning on this date. He has given us many blessings through his songs. Perhaps the best known of these are “It is No Secret” and “I’ve Got So Many Million Years I Just Can’t Count ‘Em.”

October 19

1740 – The Day That David Brainerd Said That He was Anointed with the Holy Spirit. 

Concerning prayer, David Brainerd said in his diary that he woke up one morning and started to pray as he felt a little cold of heart and in need of a closer walk with God. He said that about 9:00 in the morning he felt even more in need. As he kept on praying, about noon he felt more need; about 3:00 in the afternoon things began to come through; by 6:00 at night he was feeling closer to God; by 9:00 at night God was so close he could not say goodbye, and by midnight Heaven was open! That’s the kind of praying that David Brainerd did. He died at 29 years of age but was one of the great Christians in history. His name is indelibly imprinted in the history of fundamental Christianity.

1781 – Cornwallis Surrendered at Yorktown.

Hopelessly trapped at Yorktown, Virginia, British General Lord Cornwallis surrenders 8,000 British soldiers and seamen to a larger Franco-American force, effectively bringing an end to the American Revolution.

Lord Cornwallis was one of the most capable British generals of the American Revolution. In 1776, he drove General George Washington’s Patriots forces out of New Jersey, and in 1780 he won a stunning victory over General Horatio Gates’ Patriot army at Camden, South Carolina. Cornwallis’ subsequent invasion of North Carolina was less successful, however, and in April 1781 he led his weary and battered troops toward the Virginia coast, where he could maintain seaborne lines of communication with the large British army of General Henry Clinton in New York City. After conducting a series of raids against towns and plantations in Virginia, Cornwallis settled in the tidewater town of Yorktown in August. The British immediately began fortifying the town and the adjacent promontory of Gloucester Point across the York River.

General George Washington instructed the Marquis de Lafayette, who was in Virginia with an American army of around 5,000 men, to block Cornwallis’ escape from Yorktown by land. In the meantime, Washington’s 2,500 troops in New York were joined by a French army of 4,000 men under the Count de Rochambeau. Washington and Rochambeau made plans to attack Cornwallis with the assistance of a large French fleet under the Count de Grasse, and on August 21 they crossed the Hudson River to march south to Yorktown. Covering 200 miles in 15 days, the allied force reached the head of Chesapeake Bay in early September.

Meanwhile, a British fleet under Admiral Thomas Graves failed to break French naval superiority at the Battle of Virginia Capes on September 5, denying Cornwallis his expected reinforcements. Beginning September 14, de Grasse transported Washington and Rochambeau’s men down the Chesapeake to Virginia, where they joined Lafayette and completed the encirclement of Yorktown on September 28. De Grasse landed another 3,000 French troops carried by his fleet. During the first two weeks of October, the 14,000 Franco-American troops gradually overcame the fortified British positions with the aid of de Grasse’s warships. A large British fleet carrying 7,000 men set out to rescue Cornwallis, but it was too late.

On October 19, General Cornwallis surrendered 7,087 officers and men, 900 seamen, 144 cannons, 15 galleys, a frigate, and 30 transport ships. Pleading illness, he did not attend the surrender ceremony, but his second-in-command, General Charles O’Hara, carried Cornwallis’ sword to the American and French commanders. As the British and Hessian troops marched out to surrender, the British bands played the song “The World Turned Upside Down.”

Although the war persisted on the high seas and in other theaters, the Patriot victory at Yorktown effectively ended fighting in the American colonies. Peace negotiations began in 1782, and on September 3, 1783, the Treaty of Paris was signed, formally recognizing the United States as a free and independent nation after eight years of war. (www.history.com/this-day-in-history/victory-at-yorktown)

1856 – Charles Spurgeon Had His Opening Service in the Surrey Music Hall in England. 

Ten thousand people attended this service and 10,000 others were on the outside. Not long after, fire swept the Music Hall. Seven people were killed and many people were injured. This was the heartache of Spurgeon’s life. He never quite got over it. 

Let us thank God today for the ministry of Charles Spurgeon, the great work in London and the tremendous ministry around the world in preaching and in literature. 

Let us pray for God to raise up more Spurgeons, more great tabernacles of soul winning, and more great churches that lead people to Christ and believe in the old-fashioned Gospel. 

1911- The Birthday of Dr. Bob Jones, Jr. 

Dr. Bob Jones, Jr. is the famous president of the Bob Jones University in Greenville, South Carolina, – America’s most unusual university, so says their motto. Dr. Bob Jones, Jr.’s favorite Scripture is Psalm 18:2, “The Lord is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower.”

1914 – Birthday of the Well-Known Preacher Dr. E. C. Sheehan.

1914 – Paul Levin was Born.

October 20

1918 – The Germans Accepted Woodrow Wilson’s Peace Terms Ending World War I.

Many of us have lived through one world war and many have lived through two world wars. World War I, which ended in 1918, was the war to end all wars. The League of Nations followed and it failed. Then World War II we thought certainly would be the war to end all other wars. When the peace treaty was signed we thought certainly that peace would come, but we have been reminded over and over again of the words of Christ when He said that until the end there shall be wars and rumors of wars. Even today there is Viet Nam and Africa, Cuba, India, Pakistan, Red China. There are problems and wars and rumors of wars around the world.

Thank God there will come a day when war shall cease. There will come a day when men shall beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Weapons of war shall be turned into weapons of peace, and weapons of destruction shall become weapons of construction and help to mankind. There will be peace.

That peace will be brought only when Jesus comes, for He is the Prince of Peace. He is the One who will usher in peace. One day, the Bible says, Jesus Christ shall come back to earth Himself riding on a white horse with all the hosts of Heaven with Him. He shall place His feet upon the Mount of Olives. He shall put down the Man of Sin. “Jesus shall reign where’er the sun does its successive journeys run; His kingdom spread from shore to shore till moons shall wax and wane no more.” Jesus will rule the earth! Until that time we can have peace in our heart by faith in Him; we can lean heavily upon Him and cast our cares upon Him; and we can have the peace that passeth understanding in our souls, for Jesus alone can bring peace. Let us pray today, “Even so, come, Lord Jesus” and “Thy kingdom come.” Let us pray for Jesus to hasten His coming. Then peace shall cover the world, and Jesus shall be the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. He shall reign over the entire world as King of the earth from Jerusalem. Let us pray that prayer today.

1947 – Congress Investigates Reds in Hollywood.

On October 20, 1947, the notorious Red Scare kicks into high gear in Washington, as a Congressional committee begins investigating Communist influence in one of the world’s richest and most glamorous communities: Hollywood.

After World War II, the Cold War began to heat up between the world’s two superpowers—the United States and the communist-controlled Soviet Union. In Washington, conservative watchdogs worked to out communists in government before setting their sights on alleged “Reds” in the famously liberal movie industry. In an investigation that began in October 1947, the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) grilled a number of prominent witnesses, asking bluntly “Are you or have you ever been a member of the Communist Party?” Whether out of patriotism or fear, some witnesses—including director Elia Kazan, actors Gary Cooper and Robert Taylor and studio honchos Walt Disney and Jack Warner—gave the committee names of colleagues they suspected of being communists.

A small group known as the “Hollywood Ten” resisted, complaining that the hearings were illegal and violated their First Amendment rights. They were all convicted of obstructing the investigation and served jail terms. Pressured by Congress, the Hollywood establishment started a blacklist policy, banning the work of about 325 screenwriters, actors and directors who had not been cleared by the committee. Those blacklisted included composer Aaron Copland, writers Dashiell Hammett, Lillian Hellman and Dorothy Parker, playwright Arthur Miller and actor and filmmaker Orson Welles.

Some of the blacklisted writers used pseudonyms to continue working, while others wrote scripts that were credited to other writer friends. Starting in the early 1960s, after the downfall of Senator Joseph McCarthy, the most public face of anti-communism, the ban began to lift slowly. In 1997, the Writers’ Guild of America unanimously voted to change the writing credits of 23 films made during the blacklist period, reversing—but not erasing—some of the damage done during the Red Scare. (www.history.com/this-day-in-history/congress-investigates-reds-in-hollywood)

October 21

520 B.C. – Haggai Called For the Old-Time Religion. 

Haggai 2:1 

Haggai was a contemporary of Zechariah. Zechariah was a young, gifted preacher; Haggai was an older, seasoned man, somewhat less talented, but steady and wise. Together, they blended their efforts, personalities, and services to call the people to reconstruct the temple and the wall. In doing so, he called for a return to the old things. 

Many of us feel that the great need of our day is to return to the old truths. People are always talking about new things for a new era when the Bible says, “… ask for the old paths …” (Jeremiah 6:16) There are some things that never change. Truth never changes; right and wrong never change; the Bible never changes; Jesus Christ is called the same yesterday, today and forever; the Gospel never changes; the heart of man never changes; the need of man never changes; tears, sorrow, heartache, bereavement and sadness never change; consequently, man’s needs are always the same – his need is the new birth! Let us pray for our nation to go back to the old paths, for our churches to return to the old truth, the old methods, and the old message of redeeming grace. 

1833 – Birthday of Alferd B. Nobel. 

1934 – The Ordination of Theodore Epp.

Theodore Epp founded the great “Back to the Bible” broadcast heard around the world daily. This is a miracle of our generation. Thousands have been saved and millions have been blessed through this ministry. Why not pause to thank God for this radio outreach. Then, let us thank God today for all faithful radio preachers. Perhaps you know some whose names you could call to God in prayer. Maybe it would be in order to send an offering today to the support of their work.

October 22

1746 – Princeton University was Chartered.

So many of our universities were founded by fundamental believers but so many of them have drifted away from the truth. Let us pray that God will keep our Christian schools dedicated to the belief in the verbal inspiration of the Word of God.

1836 – Sam Houston Became the President of the Republic of Texas.

1879 – R. A. Torrey Married. 

He called his wife the “ideal wife.” In discussing his marriage he used the famous Philippians 4:19, “But my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” 

1903 – The Death of Mrs. Spurgeon.

The last 35 years of her life Mrs. Charles H. Spurgeon was an invalid. This tendered Spurgeon very much and had a definite contribution to his ministry. Mrs. Spurgeon says in some of her writings that she wept very much when her husband would leave on one of his many trips and that the lonely hours were hard to bear. One day Mr. Spurgeon asked his wife if she thought the Jews cried when they brought their lambs to the altar.

She said, “I guess not.”

Then Mr. Spurgeon reminded her that his trips were her sacrifice and that we should not weep when we give our sacrifices to God. From this exhortation came a sweet life of dedication, trust and surrender.

1962 – Cuban Missile Crisis.

In a televised speech of extraordinary gravity, President John F. Kennedy announces that U.S. spy planes have discovered Soviet missile bases in Cuba. These missile sites—under construction but nearing completion—housed medium-range missiles capable of striking a number of major cities in the United States, including Washington, D.C.Kennedy announced that he was ordering a naval “quarantine” of Cuba to prevent Soviet ships from transporting any more offensive weapons to the island and explained that the United States would not tolerate the existence of the missile sites currently in place. The president made it clear that America would not stop short of military action to end what he called a “clandestine, reckless, and provocative threat to world peace.”

What is known as the Cuban Missile Crisis actually began on October 15, 1962—the day that U.S. intelligence personnel analyzing U-2 spy plane data discovered that the Soviets were building medium-range missile sites in Cuba. The next day, President Kennedy secretly convened an emergency meeting of his senior military, political, and diplomatic advisers to discuss the ominous development. The group became known as ExCom, short for Executive Committee. After rejecting a surgical air strike against the missile sites, ExCom decided on a naval quarantine and a demand that the bases be dismantled and missiles removed. On the night of October 22, Kennedy went on national television to announce his decision. During the next six days, the crisis escalated to a breaking point as the world tottered on the brink of nuclear war between the two superpowers.

On October 23, the quarantine of Cuba began, but Kennedy decided to give Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev more time to consider the U.S. action by pulling the quarantine line back 500 miles. By October 24, Soviet ships en route to Cuba capable of carrying military cargoes appeared to have slowed down, altered, or reversed their course as they approached the quarantine, with the exception of one ship—the tanker Bucharest. At the request of more than 40 nonaligned nations, U.N. Secretary-General U Thant sent private appeals to Kennedy and Khrushchev, urging that their governments “refrain from any action that may aggravate the situation and bring with it the risk of war.” At the direction of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, U.S. military forces went to DEFCON 2, the highest military alert ever reached in the postwar era, as military commanders prepared for full-scale war with the Soviet Union.

On October 25, the aircraft carrier USS Essex and the destroyer USS Gearing attempted to intercept the Soviet tanker Bucharest as it crossed over the U.S. quarantine of Cuba. The Soviet ship failed to cooperate, but the U.S. Navy restrained itself from forcibly seizing the ship, deeming it unlikely that the tanker was carrying offensive weapons. On October 26, Kennedy learned that work on the missile bases was proceeding without interruption, and ExCom considered authorizing a U.S. invasion of Cuba. The same day, the Soviets transmitted a proposal for ending the crisis: The missile bases would be removed in exchange for a U.S. pledge not to invade Cuba.

The next day, however, Khrushchev upped the ante by publicly calling for the dismantling of U.S. missile bases in Turkey under pressure from Soviet military commanders. While Kennedy and his crisis advisers debated this dangerous turn in negotiations, a U-2 spy plane was shot down over Cuba, and its pilot, Major Rudolf Anderson, was killed. To the dismay of the Pentagon, Kennedy forbid a military retaliation unless any more surveillance planes were fired upon over Cuba. To defuse the worsening crisis, Kennedy and his advisers agreed to dismantle the U.S. missile sites in Turkey but at a later date, in order to prevent the protest of Turkey, a key NATO member.

On October 28, Khrushchev announced his government’s intent to dismantle and remove all offensive Soviet weapons in Cuba. With the airing of the public message on Radio Moscow, the USSR confirmed its willingness to proceed with the solution secretly proposed by the Americans the day before. In the afternoon, Soviet technicians began dismantling the missile sites, and the world stepped back from the brink of nuclear war. The Cuban Missile Crisis was effectively over. In November, Kennedy called off the blockade, and by the end of the year all the offensive missiles had left Cuba. Soon after, the United States quietly removed its missiles from Turkey.

The Cuban Missile Crisis seemed at the time a clear victory for the United States, but Cuba emerged from the episode with a much greater sense of security. A succession of U.S. administrations have honored Kennedy’s pledge not to invade Cuba, and the communist island nation situated just 80 miles from Florida remains a thorn in the side of U.S. foreign policy. The removal of antiquated Jupiter missiles from Turkey had no detrimental effect on U.S. nuclear strategy, but the Cuban Missile Crisis convinced a humiliated USSR to commence a massive nuclear buildup. In the 1970s, the Soviet Union reached nuclear parity with the United States and built intercontinental ballistic missiles capable of striking any city in the United States. (www.history.com/this-day-in-history/cuban-missile-crisis)

October 23

1004 B.C. – The People were Sent Back After the Temple was Dedicated.

II Chronicles 7:10 

The dedication of the temple was one of the outstanding events of the entire Bible. When the tabernacle was dedicated in Exodus 40 the glory of God filled the House of God until the priest could not even minister. This same thing is said of the dedication of the temple. Why not pray today that the glory of God will fill His house in our day, not only the church buildings, but the true temple, which is the body. How we need the glory of God. This glory was called the Shekinah Glory, and it stayed in the Holy of Holies in the tabernacle and again in the Temple. It represented God’s presence with men. There was a cloud that stayed over the tabernacle. When this cloud lifted, the people of God were to follow. This was a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night – a cloud to cool the people of God from the hot sun and a fire to warm them in the coolness of the night. May we follow the leadership of the glory of God and may we have His glory in our lives and in our bodies, which are the temples of the Holy Spirit in our day. Let us dedicate them to Christ even as the temple was dedicated in Solomon’s day. 

1838 – The Birthday of Francis H. Smith.

2002 – Hostage Crisis in Moscow Theater.

On October 23, 2002, about 50 Chechen rebels storm a Moscow theater, taking up to 700 people hostage during a sold-out performance of a popular musical.

The second act of the musical “Nord Ost” was just beginning at the Moscow Ball-Bearing Plant’s Palace of Culture when an armed man walked onstage and fired a machine gun into the air. The terrorists—including a number of women with explosives strapped to their bodies—identified themselves as members of the Chechen Army. They had one demand: that Russian military forces begin an immediate and complete withdrawal from Chechnya, the war-torn region located north of the Caucasus Mountains.

Chechnya, with its predominately Muslim population, had long struggled to assert its independence. A disastrous two-year war ended in 1996, but Russian forces returned to the region just three years later after Russian authorities blamed Chechens for a series of bombings in Russia. In 2000, President Vladimir Putin was elected partly because of his hard-line position towards Chechnya and his public vow not to negotiate with terrorists.

After a 57-hour-standoff at the Palace of Culture, during which two hostages were killed, Russian special forces surrounded and raided the theater on the morning of October 26. Later it was revealed that they had pumped a powerful narcotic gas into the building, knocking nearly all of the terrorists and hostages unconscious before breaking into the walls and roof and entering through underground sewage tunnels. Most of the guerrillas and 120 hostages were killed during the raid. Security forces were later forced to defend the decision to use the dangerous gas, saying that only a complete surprise attack could have disarmed the terrorists before they had time to detonate their explosives.

After the theater crisis, Putin’s government clamped down even harder on Chechnya, drawing accusations of kidnapping, torture and other atrocities. In response, Chechen rebels continued their terrorist attacks on Russian soil, including an alleged suicide bombing in a Moscow subway in February 2004 and another major hostage crisis at a Beslan school that September. (www.history.com/this-day-in-history/hostage-crisis-in-moscow-theater)

October 24

445 B.C. – The People Repented.

Nehemiah 9:1-3 

Under the preaching of Ezra, the people repented and fasted. 

1789 – Ann Judson Died. 

Ann Judson was a great mIssIonary who had spent fourteen years on the field with her husband Adoniram Judson. Her last words were, “It is the will of God. I am not afraid of death.” 

1875 – Moody Began the Great Brooklyn Revival.

1901 – First Barrel Ride Down Niagara Falls.

On this day in 1901, a 63-year-old schoolteacher named Annie Edson Taylor becomes the first person to take the plunge over Niagara Falls in a barrel. 

After her husband died in the Civil War, the New York-born Taylor moved all over the U. S. before settling in Bay City, Michigan, around 1898. In July 1901, while reading an article about the Pan-American Exposition in Buffalo, she learned of the growing popularity of two enormous waterfalls located on the border of upstate New York and Canada. Strapped for cash and seeking fame, Taylor came up with the perfect attention-getting stunt: She would go over Niagara Falls in a barrel.

Taylor was not the first person to attempt the plunge over the famous falls. In October 1829, Sam Patch, known as the Yankee Leaper, survived jumping down the 175-foot Horseshoe Falls of the Niagara River, on the Canadian side of the border. More than 70 years later, Taylor chose to take the ride on her birthday, October 24. (She claimed she was in her 40s, but genealogical records later showed she was 63.) With the help of two assistants, Taylor strapped herself into a leather harness inside an old wooden pickle barrel five feet high and three feet in diameter. With cushions lining the barrel to break her fall, Taylor was towed by a small boat into the middle of the fast-flowing Niagara River and cut loose.

Knocked violently from side to side by the rapids and then propelled over the edge of Horseshoe Falls, Taylor reached the shore alive, if a bit battered, around 20 minutes after her journey began. After a brief flurry of photo-ops and speaking engagements, Taylor’s fame cooled, and she was unable to make the fortune for which she had hoped. She did, however, inspire a number of copy-cat daredevils. Between 1901 and 1995, 15 people went over the falls; 10 of them survived. Among those who died were Jesse Sharp, who took the plunge in a kayak in 1990, and Robert Overcracker, who used a jet ski in 1995. No matter the method, going over Niagara Falls is illegal, and survivors face charges and stiff fines on either side of the border. (www.history.com/this-day-in-history/first-barrel-ride-down-niagara-falls)

1929 – The Stock Crash and Depression of 1929 Began. 

1945 – Mrs. Hyles and I were Married, and I was Licensed to Preach.

This is the anniversary of my ministry and my marriage. Mrs. Hyles and I were married and I was licensed to preach the Gospel on the same evening. I was licensed to preach just preceding our marriage.

1945 – The United Nations was Established.

United Nations Day.

October 25

1888 – The Birthday of Richard E. Byrd.

1932 – Jack Wyrtzen was Converted.

Jack Wyrtzen, an evangelist, radio preacher and youth worker, has been used of God to a great extent across America and especially in the northeastern states. He is certainly a fundamental leader. His radio broadcast is worldwide and his ministry to young people and adults in summer camps and retreats has blessed thousands. Perhaps his greatest contribution to America has been his work with the youth. Why not pause today and pray for the workers with the young people. Pray for the youth workers in your own church and then, of course, pray for the young people of America. Maybe you have some teenagers of your own for whom you ought to pray today and daily. Begin today by calling their name in prayer every day and pray for God to use them to His glory and keep them in His will.

October 26

1825 – The Erie Canal was Opened.

1881 – Shootout at the OK Corral.

On this day in 1881, the Earp brothers face off against the Clanton-McLaury gang in a legendary shootout at the OK Corral in Tombstone, Arizona.

After silver was discovered nearby in 1877, Tombstone quickly grew into one of the richest mining towns in the Southwest. Wyatt Earp, a former Kansas police officer working as a bank security guard, and his brothers, Morgan and Virgil, the town marshal, represented “law and order” in Tombstone, though they also had reputations as being power-hungry and ruthless. The Clantons and McLaurys were cowboys who lived on a ranch outside of town and sidelined as cattle rustlers, thieves and murderers. In October 1881, the struggle between these two groups for control of Tombstone and Cochise County ended in a blaze of gunfire at the OK Corral.   

On the morning of October 25, Ike Clanton and Tom McLaury came into Tombstone for supplies. Over the next 24 hours, the two men had several violent run-ins with the Earps and their friend Doc Holliday. Around 1:30 p.m. on October 26, Ike’s brother Billy rode into town to join them, along with Frank McLaury and Billy Claiborne. The first person they met in the local saloon was Holliday, who was delighted to inform them that their brothers had both been pistol-whipped by the Earps. Frank and Billy immediately left the saloon, vowing revenge.

Around 3 p.m., the Earps and Holliday spotted the five members of the Clanton-McLaury gang in a vacant lot behind the OK Corral, at the end of Fremont Street. The famous gunfight that ensued lasted all of 30 seconds, and around 30 shots were fired. Though it’s still debated who fired the first shot, most reports say that the shootout began when Virgil Earp pulled out his revolver and shot Billy Clanton point-blank in the chest, while Doc Holliday fired a shotgun blast at Tom McLaury’s chest. Though Wyatt Earp wounded Frank McLaury with a shot in the stomach, Frank managed to get off a few shots before collapsing, as did Billy Clanton. When the dust cleared, Billy Clanton and the McLaury brothers were dead, and Virgil and Morgan Earp and Doc Holliday were wounded. Ike Clanton and Claiborne had run for the hills.

Sheriff John Behan of Cochise County, who witnessed the shootout, charged the Earps and Holliday with murder. A month later, however, a Tombstone judge found the men not guilty, ruling that they were “fully justified in committing these homicides.” The famous shootout has been immortalized in many movies, including Frontier Marshal (1939),Gunfight at the OK Corral (1957), Tombstone (1993) and Wyatt Earp (1994). (www.history.com/this-day-in-history/shootout-at-the-ok-corral)

1924 – The Dedication of the Torrey-Gray Hall at Moody Institute. 

Since today has so much to do with R. A. Torrey, let us thank God for the contributions of this man and also let us pause to pray for the Bible institutes of America. There is no place that Satan likes to raise his ugly head more than at a Bible institute. Satan hates the Word of God, and he knows that the only way he can be defeated is by the Word of God. He recalls that Jesus spoke on the Mount of Temptation and said three times – “It is written … It is written … It is written.” If we are going to defeat Satan, we will have to use the Word of God. Consequently, Satan hates Bible institutes. Let us pray today for every Bible institute that not only the Bible shall be taught but that the Bible shall be lived. Pray that the fire of God and the power of the Holy Ghost will be revived behind the desk as well as behind the pulpit. 

1928 – R. A. Torrey Died.

R. A. Torrey has been called “the Father of Bible Institutes.” In a real sense, R. A. Torrey is the father of all Bible Institutes, especially in the United States. R. A. Torrey at one time was pastor of the great Moody Church in Chicago. He was the President of the Moody Institute, a great evangelist, and a great preacher of the Word of God. He had the rare combination of scholarship and ferver, of education and fire, of being a theologian and yet being an evangelist, and certainly he was a great man of prayer. R. A. Torrey knew the fullness of the Holy Spirit as a living reality. He preached about it and would ask openly if one had been filled with the Spirit just as he would ask if he were married.

October 27

1858 – The Birthday of Theodore Roosevelt.

Theodore Roosevelt was one of the great Presidents in the history of our nation. Let us pause to thank God for him and the great presidents God has given America. Then let us pause today and thank God for our own President and pray God’s blessings upon him as he faces the decisions and crisis of this strategic age. Let us pray for wisdom from the Heavenly Father for those who lead us today.

1924 – The Opening of the New York Subway.

At 2:35 on the afternoon of October 27, 1904, New York City Mayor George McClellan takes the controls on the inaugural run of the city’s innovative new rapid transit system: the subway.

While London boasts the world’s oldest underground train network (opened in 1863) and Boston built the first subway in the United States in 1897, the New York City subway soon became the largest American system. The first line, operated by the Interborough Rapid Transit Company (IRT), traveled 9.1 miles through 28 stations. Running from City Hall in lower Manhattan to Grand Central Terminal in midtown, and then heading west along 42nd Street to Times Square, the line finished by zipping north, all the way to 145th Street and Broadway in Harlem. On opening day, Mayor McClellan so enjoyed his stint as engineer that he stayed at the controls all the way from City Hall to 103rd Street.  

At 7 p.m. that evening, the subway opened to the general public, and more than 100,000 people paid a nickel each to take their first ride under Manhattan. IRT service expanded to the Bronx in 1905, to Brooklyn in 1908 and to Queens in 1915. Since 1968, the subway has been controlled by the Metropolitan Transport Authority (MTA). The system now has 26 lines and 468 stations in operation; the longest line, the 8th Avenue “A” Express train, stretches more than 32 miles, from the northern tip of Manhattan to the far southeast corner of Queens.

Every day, some 4.5 million passengers take the subway in New York. With the exception of the PATH train connecting New York with New Jersey and some parts of Chicago‘s elevated train system, New York’s subway is the only rapid transit system in the world that runs 24 hours a day, seven days a week. No matter how crowded or dirty, the subway is one New York City institution few New Yorkers—or tourists—could do without.Let us thank God today for our public conveyances and for our transportation system. (www.history.com/this-day-in-history/new-york-city-subway-opens)

Let us thank Him for our cars, for the trains, for public transportation, for the airlines, the buses, etc. These are days of wonderful opportunity for travel. Oftentimes I’ll get on a plane here in Chicago and go to Denver, Colorado, and actually get there before I leave here. The two hours difference in time much of the year between the two cities makes it possible. Many times I have left Chicago at 10:00 in the morning and gotten to Denver at 9:55 a.m. That’s a thousand miles away. I was talking to Dr. John Rice recently and discussing with him the marvelous modern transportation and air travel and I asked him this question: “Dr. Rice, what would Moody have accomplished had he lived in our day?” My, how we ought to thank God for the transportation of our day. Let us pause and thank God for the wonderful conveniences and for the blessings of living in this generation.

October 28

1636 – The Founding Date of Harvard University.

Someone has said, “As go the schools, so goes the nation.” Certainly this is true. The kind of doctors we have tomorrow will be determined by the kind of medical schools we have today. The kind of teachers we have tomorrow will be determined by the kind of teacher-training institutions we have today. The kind of preachers we have tomorrow will be determined by the kind of seminaries and Bible colleges and Bible institutes we have today. Did you ever stop to think that the hotbed of rioting, demonstrations, etc. is the university? Have you noticed how that many of our universities have become centers of Communistic activity? Let us pause to pray today for God to bless the educational system of America.

1886 – The Statue of Liberty was Unveiled.

I have stood near the Statue of Liberty in New York City with patriotism filling my soul. I thought time and time again concerning that Statue of Liberty and the liberty it represents. Today people talk about security. We ought to talk more about liberty. If I had my choice today between security and liberty, I’d gladly give up security that I might have liberty. The average person votes today, I’m afraid, on what it will mean to him, his salary, his home, his garage, his car, his plate, etc. Ten thousand times more than what kind of food we eat or clothes we wear or cars we drive or houses we live in, we ought to want freedom. Freedom ought to be the great need and desire. I hear people say, “I’d rather be Red than dead.” Not me, dear friends. I’d rather be dead than Red! Let us say with the great man of old, “Give me liberty or give me death.” That kind of spirit can stem the tide of socialism and Communism that is sweeping across America. The average person has the idea that if the government can give him a handout, and if the government will send him a check every month, that’s all he wants. Oh, my precious friend, let’s have our liberty and make that the big thing.

1914 – The Birthday of Dr. Jonas Salk.

Jonas Salk was the man who discovered the famous Salk vaccine for polio. Since the Salk vaccine for polio, there have come the other vaccines, and polio is just a minor problem, if any, in our land today. As recent as ten or twelve years ago polio was one of the most dreaded diseases America faced. Being a Texan, I recall the thousands and thousands of cases that swept our state during the great polio epidemics of the 1950’s. I recall that little children in our Sunday school and church would come down with polio and be taken away to isolation wards. Fear and dread swept the entire church family and the entire city and state because of this awful epidemic. Let us thank God today with sincere hearts for this discovery and for this aid to the health of our children and yea, our nation.

1965 – Gateway Arch Completed.

On this day in 1965, construction is completed on the Gateway Arch, a spectacular 630-foot-high parabola of stainless steel marking the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial on the waterfront of St. Louis, Missouri.

The Gateway Arch, designed by Finnish-born, American-educated architect Eero Saarinen, was erected to commemorate President Thomas Jefferson’s Louisiana Purchase of 1803 and to celebrate St. Louis’ central role in the rapid westward expansion that followed. As the market and supply point for fur traders and explorers—including the famous Meriwether Lewis and William Clark—the town of St. Louis grew exponentially after the War of 1812, when great numbers of people began to travel by wagon train to seek their fortunes west of the Mississippi River. In 1947-48, Saarinen won a nationwide competition to design a monument honoring the spirit of the western pioneers. In a sad twist of fate, the architect died of a brain tumor in 1961 and did not live to see the construction of his now-famous arch, which began in February 1963. Completed in October 1965, the Gateway Arch cost less than $15 million to build. With foundations sunk 60 feet into the ground, its frame of stressed stainless steel is built to withstand both earthquakes and high winds. An internal tram system takes visitors to the top, where on a clear day they can see up to 30 miles across the winding Mississippi and to the Great Plains to the west. In addition to the Gateway Arch, the Jefferson Expansion Memorial includes the Museum of Westward Expansion and the Old Courthouse of St. Louis, where two of the famous Dred Scott slavery cases were heard in the 1860s.

Today, some 4 million people visit the park each year to wander its nearly 100 acres, soak up some history and take in the breathtaking views from Saarinen’s gleaming arch. (www.history.com/this-day-in-history/gateway-arch-completed)

October 29

1603 – Sir Walter Raleigh was Beheaded.

1929 – The Final Break-down of the Stock Market.

I was thinking a while today how well do I remember the depression days and the crash of the stock market. My father owned a small grocery store in a little central Texas town called Italy, Texas. It was a small grocery store, to be sure, just an old-fashioned neighborhood store.

I miss the old neighborhood store, don’t you? I miss the store around the corner. We used to say, “Mommy, could I have a penny or a nickel to go get me a lollypop or an all-day sucker?”

Daddy owned one of those little corner grocery stores, and when the depression came, it took everything he had. Dad lost every nickel that he had, and so we moved to Dallas, to the big city about forty miles away from our little town of Italy, a town of twelve or fourteen hundred people. (Dad is buried there today.) Dad tried to find a job.

Night after night he would come home; no job at all. In fact, that’s the thing that turned my father to liquor and toward a life of sin, the depression of the late 1920’s and the early 1930’s. I can recall the church would hear about our plight, and the good people at the church would bring us some food. We’d make it a little while longer. I can recall Mother saying, “Son, let’s go to bed early tonight.” Many a day, at four o’clock in the afternoon really, we’d go off to bed because there was no food to eat and no fuel for the stove. We’d go to bed to keep warm and to sleep to keep from realizing that we were hungry.

Then one Thanksgiving Day, I can recall, Mother put our Thanksgiving dinner on the table. It consisted of one potato – just one potato! I think she fried it, and just the two of us were there. My sister was a teenager, and she was old enough to go eat Thanksgiving lunch with some friends. Dad was looking for a job, and Mother and I divided a fried potato and bowed our heads and thanked God for the food and then ate a half a potato a piece. Those were the depression days.

Perhaps you do not remember those days. How we ought to pause today to thank God for His goodness, for the breakfast we ate this morning, for the lunch we’ll have at noontime, for the food we’ll have in the dinner hour, for the clothes that we enjoy, and for the jobs that we have. Many of us can remember the days when we did not have what we have today. Let us thank God today for His provision for our lives.

1998 – John Glenn Returns to Space.

Nearly four decades after he became the first American to orbit the Earth, Senator John Hershel Glenn, Jr., is launched into space again as a payload specialist aboard the space shuttle Discovery. At 77 years of age, Glenn was the oldest human ever to travel in space. During the nine-day mission, he served as part of a NASA study on health problems associated with aging.

Glenn, a lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Marine Corps, was among the seven men chosen by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) in 1959 to become America’s first astronauts. A decorated pilot, he had flown nearly 150 combat missions during World War II and the Korean War. In 1957, he made the first nonstop supersonic flight across the United States, flying from Los Angeles to New York in three hours and 23 minutes.

In April 1961, Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin was the first man in space, and his spacecraft, Vostok 1, made a full orbit before returning to Earth. Less than one month later, American Alan B. Shepard, Jr., became the first American in space when his Freedom 7 spacecraft was launched on a suborbital flight. American “Gus” Grissom made another suborbital flight in July, and in August Soviet cosmonaut Gherman Titov spent more than 25 hours in space aboard Vostok 2, making 17 orbits. As a technological power, the United States was looking very much second-rate compared with its Cold War adversary. If the Americans wanted to dispel this notion, they needed a multi-orbital flight before another Soviet space advance arrived.

On February 20, 1962, NASA and Colonel John Glenn accomplished this feat with the flight of Friendship 7, a spacecraft that made three orbits of the Earth in five hours. Glenn was hailed as a national hero, and on February 23 President John F. Kennedy visited him at Cape Canaveral. Glenn later addressed Congress and was given a ticker-tape parade in New York City.

Out of a reluctance to risk the life of an astronaut as popular as Glenn, NASA essentially grounded the “Clean Marine” in the years after his historic flight. Frustrated with this uncharacteristic lack of activity, Glenn turned to politics and in 1964 announced his candidacy for the U.S. Senate from his home state of Ohio and formally left NASA. Later that year, however, he withdrew his Senate bid after seriously injuring his inner ear in a fall from a horse. In 1970, following a stint as a Royal Crown Cola executive, he ran for the Senate again but lost the Democratic nomination to Howard Metzenbaum. Four years later, he defeated Metzenbaum, won the general election, and went on to win reelection three times. In 1984, he unsuccessfully sought the Democratic nomination for president.

In 1998, Glenn attracted considerable media attention when he returned to space aboard the space shuttle Discovery. In 1999, he retired from his U.S. Senate seat after four consecutive terms in office, a record for the state of Ohio. (www.history.com/this-day-in-history/john-glenn-returns-to-space)

October 30

1735 – John Adams was Born.

Let us thank God today for our Presidents of the past and pray for our present President that God will give him leadership in his many responsibilities.

1883 – The Birthday of Bob Jones, Sr.

Bob Jones, Sr. was the famous founder of the great Bob Jones University in Greenville, South Carolina. The extent of the great ministry of this man can only be revealed in eternity. Evangelist, Christian philosopher, Bible student, college founder, etc., can be attributed to him. His favorite Scripture verse was Romans 8:28, “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose.”

It was my joy for many years to know personally this great man of God. He has eaten at our table and preached in my pulpit. It has been my joy to preach many times at the great Bob Jones University. May we pause to thank God today for this giant and pray God’s blessings upon the university and its leadership. Let us pray for Bob Jones, Jr. and Bob Jones III, who now lead the work of this institution.

Many years ago Dr. Bob Jones, Sr. visited in our home, and we were enjoying fellowship with him around the table (when our oldest daughter, Becky, was only three years of age). Becky loved Dr. Jones so much. He gave her a package of Lifesaver mints – assorted flavors. She fell in love with him because he was so tender with the little children. Ten years later while preaching at Bob Jones University, I related this story about the Lifesavers to Dr. Bob Jones, Sr. Becky’s birthday, her thirteenth, was a few days off, and on her birthday she received a gift wrapped carton of Lifesavers – assorted flavors – from Dr. Jones! May God bless the work that he has done to the salvation of many other people.

1938 – Welles Scares Nation.

Orson Welles causes a nationwide panic with his broadcast of “War of the Worlds”—a realistic radio dramatization of a Martian invasion of Earth.

Orson Welles was only 23 years old when his Mercury Theater company decided to update H.G. Wells’ 19th-century science fiction novel War of the Worlds for national radio. Despite his age, Welles had been in radio for several years, most notably as the voice of “The Shadow” in the hit mystery program of the same name. “War of the Worlds” was not planned as a radio hoax, and Welles had little idea of the havoc it would cause.

The show began on Sunday, October 30, at 8 p.m. A voice announced: “The Columbia Broadcasting System and its affiliated stations present Orson Welles and the Mercury Theater on the air in ‘War of the Worlds’ by H.G. Wells.”

Sunday evening in 1938 was prime-time in the golden age of radio, and millions of Americans had their radios turned on. But most of these Americans were listening to ventriloquist Edgar Bergen and his dummy “Charlie McCarthy” on NBC and only turned to CBS at 8:12 p.m. after the comedy sketch ended and a little-known singer went on. By then, the story of the Martian invasion was well underway.

Welles introduced his radio play with a spoken introduction, followed by an announcer reading a weather report. Then, seemingly abandoning the storyline, the announcer took listeners to “the Meridian Room in the Hotel Park Plaza in downtown New York, where you will be entertained by the music of Ramon Raquello and his orchestra.” Putrid dance music played for some time, and then the scare began. An announcer broke in to report that “Professor Farrell of the Mount Jenning Observatory” had detected explosions on the planet Mars. Then the dance music came back on, followed by another interruption in which listeners were informed that a large meteor had crashed into a farmer’s field in Grovers Mills, New Jersey.

Soon, an announcer was at the crash site describing a Martian emerging from a large metallic cylinder. “Good heavens,” he declared, “something’s wriggling out of the shadow like a gray snake. Now here’s another and another one and another one. They look like tentacles to me … I can see the thing’s body now. It’s large, large as a bear. It glistens like wet leather. But that face, it… it … ladies and gentlemen, it’s indescribable. I can hardly force myself to keep looking at it, it’s so awful. The eyes are black and gleam like a serpent. The mouth is kind of V-shaped with saliva dripping from its rimless lips that seem to quiver and pulsate.”

The Martians mounted walking war machines and fired “heat-ray” weapons at the puny humans gathered around the crash site. They annihilated a force of 7,000 National Guardsman, and after being attacked by artillery and bombers the Martians released a poisonous gas into the air. Soon “Martian cylinders” landed in Chicago and St. Louis. The radio play was extremely realistic, with Welles employing sophisticated sound effects and his actors doing an excellent job portraying terrified announcers and other characters. An announcer reported that widespread panic had broken out in the vicinity of the landing sites, with thousands desperately trying to flee. In fact, that was not far from the truth.

Perhaps as many as a million radio listeners believed that a real Martian invasion was underway. Panic broke out across the country. In New Jersey, terrified civilians jammed highways seeking to escape the alien marauders. People begged police for gas masks to save them from the toxic gas and asked electric companies to turn off the power so that the Martians wouldn’t see their lights. One woman ran into an Indianapolis church where evening services were being held and yelled, “New York has been destroyed! It’s the end of the world! Go home and prepare to die!”

When news of the real-life panic leaked into the CBS studio, Welles went on the air as himself to remind listeners that it was just fiction. There were rumors that the show caused suicides, but none were ever confirmed.

The Federal Communications Commission investigated the program but found no law was broken. Networks did agree to be more cautious in their programming in the future. Orson Welles feared that the controversy generated by “War of the Worlds” would ruin his career. In fact, the publicity helped land him a contract with a Hollywood studio, and in 1941 he directed, wrote, produced, and starred in Citizen Kane—a movie that many have called the greatest American film ever made. (www.history.com/this-day-in-history/welles-scares-nation)

October 31

1517 – Martin Luther Preached Faith Over Works. 

On this day in 1517, the priest and scholar Martin Luther approaches the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg, Germany, and nails a piece of paper to it containing the 95 revolutionary opinions that would begin the Protestant Reformation.

In his theses, Luther condemned the excesses and corruption of the Roman Catholic Church, especially the papal practice of asking payment—called “indulgences”—for the forgiveness of sins. At the time, a Dominican priest named Johann Tetzel, commissioned by the Archbishop of Mainz and Pope Leo X, was in the midst of a major fundraising campaign in Germany to finance the renovation of St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome. Though Prince Frederick III the Wise had banned the sale of indulgences in Wittenberg, many church members traveled to purchase them. When they returned, they showed the pardons they had bought to Luther, claiming they no longer had to repent for their sins.

Luther’s frustration with this practice led him to write the 95 Theses, which were quickly snapped up, translated from Latin into German and distributed widely. A copy made its way to Rome, and efforts began to convince Luther to change his tune. He refused to keep silent, however, and in 1521 Pope Leo X formally excommunicated Luther from the Catholic Church. That same year, Luther again refused to recant his writings before the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V of Germany, who issued the famous Edict of Worms declaring Luther an outlaw and a heretic and giving permission for anyone to kill him without consequence. Protected by Prince Frederick, Luther began working on a German translation of the Bible, a task that took 10 years to complete.

The term “Protestant” first appeared in 1529, when Charles V revoked a provision that allowed the ruler of each German state to choose whether they would enforce the Edict of Worms. A number of princes and other supporters of Luther issued a protest, declaring that their allegiance to God trumped their allegiance to the emperor. They became known to their opponents as Protestants; gradually this name came to apply to all who believed the Church should be reformed, even those outside Germany. By the time Luther died, of natural causes, in 1546, his revolutionary beliefs had formed the basis for the Protestant Reformation, which would over the next three centuries revolutionize Western civilization. (www.history.com/this-day-in-history/martin-luther-posts-95-theses)

It was October 31 when Martin Luther, preaching faith over works, posted his Ninety-five Theses on the door of the Wittenburg Church. May we thank God today for the ministry of Luther who in many respects was the leader of the Reformation. Mrs. Hyles and I have traced his steps in Rome, having seen the very spot where he lived. 

One of the most interesting things that I have ever seen are the stairs in Rome on which Martin Luther realized that faith and faith alone was all that was needed for salvation. Crawling up these stairs on his hands and knees, doing penance, Martin Luther began to say, “The just shall live by faith.” (Romans 1:17) He got off his knees a new man, and a revolution was begun. We should pause today and thank God for the great Christians before us who have paved the way for the faith we now enjoy. 

1795 – The Birthday of the Famous Author John Keats.

1887 – The Birthday of Chiang Kai Shek.

1960 – The Death of Percy Crawford.

Percy Crawford was a successful evangelist, especially in the northeastern part of our country. He is the founder of many radio stations and television stations.

Halloween Day. 

Halloween means many things. It is the time of spooks, hobgoblins, trick-or-treating, etc. Why not take the opportunity on this trick-or-treat day to give a Gospel tract with each treat, thereby spreading the Gospel of Christ to those who otherwise would not hear.