520 B.C. – Haggai Started Preaching That the Lord’s House Be Rebuilt.
This particular experience or event took place toward the end of the Babylonian Captivity. Haggai, the great preacher, preached that the Lord’s house should be rebuilt. Shouldn’t we do several things today? Shouldn’t we thank God for God’s house and faithful churches? Shouldn’t we dedicate ourselves to faithful attendance at the house of God every Lord’s Day, yea, every time the doors are open? Yes, we should. I have often said this: The church should be a child’s second home.
7 B.C. – Mary Heard the Annunciation of the Coming of Jesus Christ.
According to tradition Luke 1:26 took place on this date.
Just a few months ago, I went on a Sunday morning thru the little city of Nazareth, down the main winding trail, up a hill toward the end of the city on the eastern side. There is a Greek Orthodox Church, and to the right of that Orthodox church is a little door leading into a well. That was the Well of the Annunciation.
1785 – Peter Cartwright was Born.
1864 – Atlanta Falls to Union Forces.
On this day in 1864, Union Army General William Tecumseh Sherman lays siege to Atlanta, Georgia, a critical Confederate hub, shelling civilians and cutting off supply lines. The Confederates retreated, destroying the city’s munitions as they went. On November 15 of that year, Sherman’s troops burned much of the city before continuing their march through the South. Sherman’s Atlanta campaign was one of the most decisive victories of the Civil War.
William Sherman, born May 8, 1820, in Lancaster, Ohio, attended West Point and served in the army before becoming a banker and then president of a military school in Louisiana. When the Civil War broke out in 1861 after 11 Southern slave states seceded from the Union, Sherman joined the Union Army and eventually commanded large numbers of troops, under General Ulysses S. Grant, at the battles of Shiloh (1862), Vicksburg (1863) and Chattanooga (1863). In the spring of 1864, Sherman became supreme commander of the armies in the West and was ordered by Grant to take the city of Atlanta, then a key military supply center and railroad hub for the Confederates.
Sherman’s Atlanta campaign began on May 4, 1864, and in the first few months his troops engaged in several fierce battles with Confederate soldiers on the outskirts of the city, including the Battle of Kennesaw Mountain, which the Union forces lost. However, on September 1, Sherman’s men successfully captured Atlanta and continued to defend it through mid-November against Confederate forces led by John Hood. Before he set off on his famous March to the Sea on November 15, Sherman ordered that Atlanta’s military resources, including munitions factories, clothing mills and railway yards, be burned. The fire got out of control and left Atlanta in ruins.
Sherman and 60,000 of his soldiers then headed toward Savannah, Georgia, destroying everything in their path that could help the Confederates. They captured Savannah and completed their March to the Sea on December 23, 1864. The Civil War ended on April 9, 1865, when the Confederate commander in chief, Robert E. Lee, surrendered to Grant at Appomattox Courthouse, Virginia.
After the war, Sherman succeeded Grant as commander in chief of the U.S. Army, serving from 1869 to 1883. Sherman, who is credited with the phrase “war is hell,” died February 14, 1891, in New York City. The city of Atlanta swiftly recovered from the war and became the capital of Georgia in 1868, first on a temporary basis and then permanently by popular vote in 1877. (www.history.com/this-day-in-history/atlanta-falls-to-union-forces)
1904 – Dr. John R. Rice was Converted.
Dr. Rice’s favorite Scripture is Luke 11:13, “If ye then, being evil, knowing how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask Him?”
1934 – Evangelist Lester Roloff was Ordained to the Gospel Ministry.
1939 – Adolph Hitler Declared War on Poland.
1889 – The Department of the Treasury was Organized.
1945 – V-J Day, or Victory over Japan.
This is a day that many thousands of us will remember forever. Well do I remember where I was – way out in the woods on maneuvers. The message came by jeep and by foot, “The war is over!” We were a group of sweaty, dirty men, but we hugged and kissed each other and shouted the praises of victory. Streets were jammed with people shouting and rejoicing because the war was over. We thought it was the war to end all wars; and yet, we find ourselves even today with war and rumors of war.
As we remember V-J Day, let us pray, “Thy Kingdom come,” for only when the Kingdom of Christ comes on the earth will this world know peace and will we have a world without war. The Bible says someday Jesus will come, and when He comes again, He will establish His Kingdom on earth. For one thousand years, Jesus Christ will rule the world from David’s throne. Jerusalem shall be the world capitol and all the nations shall flow into it. Men will beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nations shall not know war any more, neither shall nation lift up sword against nation or kingdom against kingdom. “Jesus -shall reign where’er the sun does his successive journeys run; His kingdom spread from shore to shore till moon shall wax and wane no more.” Let us pray today the prayer we were admonished to pray, “Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven.”
1946 – Midwestern Baptist Seminary in Pontiac, Michigan, was Founded.
Dr. Tom Malone is President of Midwestern Baptist Seminary. Why not pause today and thank God for faithful Bible colleges, Christian universities and schools, and fundamental seminaries. Thank God for such schools as Midwestern Baptist Seminary. In these days, when many schools who bear the name “Christian” are casting doubts and reflections upon the Word of God, we ought to thank God for those who still contend for the faith “once for all delivered to the saints.” In these days when institutions that are liberal and that deny the old-fashioned Gospel of Christ are dotting our nation and our world, let us pause to thank God for those institutions that train our young people to be faithful to Christ and loyal to His Word and to His work.
1969 – First ATM Opens for Business.
On this day in 1969, America’s first automatic teller machine (ATM) makes its public debut, dispensing cash to customers at Chemical Bank in Rockville Center, New York. ATMs went on to revolutionize the banking industry, eliminating the need to visit a bank to conduct basic financial transactions. By the 1980s, these money machines had become widely popular and handled many of the functions previously performed by human tellers, such as check deposits and money transfers between accounts. Today, ATMs are as indispensable to most people as cell phones and e-mail.
Several inventors worked on early versions of a cash-dispensing machine, but Don Wetzel, an executive at Docutel, a Dallas company that developed automated baggage-handling equipment, is generally credited as coming up with the idea for the modern ATM. Wetzel reportedly conceived of the concept while waiting on line at a bank. The ATM that debuted in New York in 1969 was only able to give out cash, but in 1971, an ATM that could handle multiple functions, including providing customers’ account balances, was introduced.
ATMs eventually expanded beyond the confines of banks and today can be found everywhere from gas stations to convenience stores to cruise ships. There is even an ATM at McMurdo Station in Antarctica. Non-banks lease the machines (so-called “off premise” ATMs) or own them outright.
Today there are well over 1 million ATMs around the world, with a new one added approximately every five minutes. It’s estimated that more than 170 Americans over the age of 18 had an ATM card in 2005 and used it six to eight times a month. Not surprisingly, ATMs get their busiest workouts on Fridays.
In the 1990s, banks began charging fees to use ATMs, a profitable move for them and an annoying one for consumers. Consumers were also faced with an increase in ATM crimes and scams. Robbers preyed on people using money machines in poorly lit or otherwise unsafe locations, and criminals also devised ways to steal customers’ PINs (personal identification numbers), even setting up fake money machines to capture the information. In response, city and state governments passed legislation such as New York’s ATM Safety Act in 1996, which required banks to install such things as surveillance cameras, reflective mirrors and locked entryways for their ATMs. (www.history.com/this-day-in-history/first-atm-opens-for-business)
1783 – Treaty of Paris Signed.
The American Revolution officially comes to an end when representatives of the United States, Great Britain, Spain and France sign the Treaty of Paris on this day in 1783. The signing signified America’s status as a free nation, as Britain formally recognized the independence of its 13 former American colonies, and the boundaries of the new republic were agreed upon: Florida north to the Great Lakes and the Atlantic coast west to the Mississippi River.
The events leading up to the treaty stretched back to April 1775, on a common green in Lexington, Massachusetts, when American colonists answered King George III’s refusal to grant them political and economic reform with armed revolution. On July 4, 1776, more than a year after the first volleys of the war were fired, the Second Continental Congress officially adopted the Declaration of Independence. Five difficult years later, in October 1781, British General Charles Lord Cornwallis surrendered to American and French forces at Yorktown, Virginia, bringing to an end the last major battle of the Revolution.
In September 1782, Benjamin Franklin, along with John Adams and John Jay, began official peace negotiations with the British. The Continental Congress had originally named a five-person committee–including Franklin, Adams and Jay, along with Thomas Jefferson and Henry Laurens–to handle the talks. However, both Jefferson and Laurens missed the sessions–Jefferson had travel delays and Laurens had been captured by the British and was being held in the Tower of London. The U.S. delegation, which was distrustful of the French, opted to negotiate separately with the British.
During the talks Franklin demanded that Britain hand over Canada to the United States. This did not come to pass, but America did gain enough new territory south of the Canadian border to double its size. The United States also successfully negotiated for important fishing rights in Canadian waters and agreed, among other things, not to prevent British creditors from attempting to recover debts owed to them. Two months later, the key details had been hammered out and on November 30, 1882, the United States and Britain signed the preliminary articles of the treaty. France signed its own preliminary peace agreement with Britain on January 20, 1783, and then in September of that year, the final treaty was signed by all three nations and Spain. The Treaty of Paris was ratified by the Continental Congress on January 14, 1884. (www.history.com/this-day-in-history/treaty-of-paris-signed)
1939 – World War II Began.
How we ought to thank God today for His blessings upon our nation through World War II. Many of our boys were buried in Flanders Field. Many white crosses stand on foreign soil, and many gold stars decorate windows. As mothers said goodbye to sons, wives said goodby to husbands, and sweethearts said goodby to sweethearts, off to the war our boys went. Many of us were in World War II. Let us thank God today for America and God’s blessings and watch care over us. God help us to put Him first.
1939 – W. E. Biederwolf Died at the Age of 71.
W. E. Biederwolf was very well known because of his evangelistic activities and because of his work at the Winona Lake Conference Grounds. As Brother Biederwolf passed to Heaven, he said, “I am going to exchange my cross for a crown.”
1959 – Hyles’ Second Daughter, Linda, was Born.
Certainly not the least of the events on this date is the fact that it is the birthday of our daughter, Linda. She was certainly a godsend, for five weeks after Linda was given to us, we faced the most crucial time of our ministry and faced heartaches that we had not foreseen. So the Lord, as He always does, gave us a bundle of joy. She is one of the sweetest children I have ever seen. The Lord is good that way. He prepares us for our testing and our trials, and how we thank God for Linda. Why couldn’t each of us thank God today for our children and ask God’s blessings upon their lives. Let us seek God’s will for them. Let us pledge and dedicate ourselves anew to lead them to Christ and teach them the blessed things of God.
1881- The City of Los Angeles was Founded.
Let us pray today for our city officials and pray for God to lead them in the decisions they make. Also, let us thank God for the many advantages we have because of our city governments.
1882 – The First Electric System was Made Operative.
The first electric system had only 52 customers. Let us pause to thank God for the many things we enjoy because of electricity. Recently in our area there was a terrible windstorm. Many homes were without electricity for several days. We found exactly how much electricity means to us. Our refrigerators were made inoperative, our electric lights were of no value, and scores of other things that we take for granted were made unusable because of a lack of electricity.
1886 – Geronimo Surrenders.
On this day in 1886, Apache chief Geronimo surrenders to U.S. government troops. For 30 years, the mighty Native American warrior had battled to protect his tribe’s homeland; however, by 1886 the Apaches were exhausted and hopelessly outnumbered. General Nelson Miles accepted Geronimo’s surrender, making him the last Indian warrior to formally give in to U.S. forces and signaling the end of the Indian Wars in the Southwest.
Geronimo was born in 1829 and grew up in what is present-day Arizona and Mexico. His tribe, the Chiricahua Apaches, clashed with non-Indian settlers trying to take their land. In 1858, Geronimo’s family was murdered by Mexicans. Seeking revenge, he later led raids against Mexican and American settlers. In 1874, the U.S. government moved Geronimo and his people from their land to a reservation in east-central Arizona. Conditions on the reservation were restrictive and harsh and Geronimo and some of his followers escaped. Over the next decade, they battled federal troops and launched raids on white settlements. During this time, Geronimo and his supporters were forced back onto the reservation several times. In May 1885, Geronimo and approximately 150 followers fled one last time. They were pursued into Mexico by 5,000 U.S. troops. In March 1886, General George Crook (1829–90) forced Geronimo to surrender; however, Geronimo quickly escaped and continued his raids. General Nelson Miles (1839–1925) then took over the pursuit of Geronimo, eventually forcing him to surrender that September near Fort Bowie along the Arizona-New Mexico border. Geronimo and a band of Apaches were sent to Florida and then Alabama, eventually ending up at the Comanche and Kiowa reservation near Fort Sill, Oklahoma Territory. There, Geronimo became a successful farmer and converted to Christianity. He participated in President Theodore Roosevelt’s inaugural parade in 1905. The Apache chief dictated his autobiography, published in 1906 as Geronimo’s Story of His Life. He died at Fort Sill on February 17, 1909. (www.history.com/this-day-in-history/geronimo-surrenders)
1917 – Henry Ford II was Born.
Can we not pause today to thank God for our automobiles? The many things that we do with them certainly should lead us to thank God that we live in the age of the automobile.
1932 – Dr. J. Harold Smith was Converted.
Dr. Smith is well known for his radio ministry throughout the world. Dr. Smith says that he has preached three times a day since his conversion. Let us thank God, not only for this faithful preacher, but for all faithful preachers who hold high the cross of Calvary.
593 B.C. – Ezekiel Had the Vision of the Fire.
Ezekiel saw a vision of Jesus. The hand of the Lord was upon him. This story is found in Ezekiel 8:1. Let us thank God for the Ezekiels of our day and pray for every faithful preacher of the cross.
1774 – The First Continental Congress Met in Philadelphia.
Thank God for America. This should lead us to pray for our President and those in authority over us and pray for God to give us leadership in these days.
1836 – Sam Houston Elected as President of Texas.
On this day in 1836, Sam Houston is elected as president of the Republic of Texas, which earned its independence from Mexico in a successful military rebellion.
Born in Virginia in 1793, Houston moved with his family to rural Tennessee after his father’s death; as a teenager, he ran away and lived for several years with the Cherokee tribe. Houston served in the War of 1812 and was later appointed by the U.S. government to manage the removal of the Cherokee from Tennessee to a reservation in Arkansas Territory. He practiced law in Nashville and from 1823 to1827 served as a U.S. congressman before being elected governor of Tennessee in 1827.
A brief, failed marriage led Houston to resign from office and live again with the Cherokee. Officially adopted by the tribe, he traveled to Washington to protest governmental treatment of Native Americans. In 1832, President Andrew Jackson sent him to Texas (then a Mexican province) to negotiate treaties with local Native Americans for protection of border traders. Houston arrived in Texas during a time of rising tensions between U.S. settlers and Mexican authorities, and soon emerged as a leader among the settlers. In 1835, Texans formed a provisional government, which issued a declaration of independence from Mexico the following year. At that time, Houston was appointed military commander of the Texas army.
Though the rebellion suffered a crushing blow at the Alamo in early 1836, Houston was soon able to turn his army’s fortunes around. On April 21, he led some 800 Texans in a surprise defeat of 1,500 Mexican soldiers under General Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna at the San Jacinto River. Santa Anna was captured and brought to Houston, where he was forced to sign an armistice that would grant Texas its freedom. After receiving medical treatment for his war wounds in New Orleans, Houston returned to win election as president of the Republic of Texas on September 5. In victory, Houston declared that “Texas will again lift its head and stand among the nations….It ought to do so, for no country upon the globe can compare with it in natural advantages.”
Houston served as the republic’s president until 1838, then again from 1841 to 1844. Despite plans for retirement, Houston helped Texas win admission to the United States in 1845 and was elected as one of the state’s first two senators. He served three terms in the Senate and ran successfully for Texas’ governorship in 1859. As the Civil War loomed, Houston argued unsuccessfully against secession, and was deposed from office in March 1861 after refusing to swear allegiance to the Confederacy. He died of pneumonia in 1863. (www.history.com/this-day-in-history/sam-houston-elected-as-president-of-texas-)
1888 – Billy Sunday was Married.
It was my privilege to know intimately Mrs. Billy Sunday, whom we called “Ma” Sunday. I met her several years after the death of her husband. She has eaten with us in our home, and we have had many happy hours together. I have letters in my file from this dear saint. Let us thank God for Billy Sunday and pray for God to raise up a new generation of Bible preachers akin to him.
1950 – Baptist Bible College, Springfield, Missouri, was Founded.
This college is operated by the famous Baptist Bible Fellowship. Dr. G. Beauchamp Vick is its president and founder. This college has been faithful to the Bible from its conception. Let us pause to thank God for this institution. Also let us thank God for every other Christian college and pray God’s blessings upon them.
1620 – The Mayflower Sailed for America.
This should turn our thoughts to our founding fathers. Let us thank God today for the heritage that we have in America. Thank God for those who sacrificed and, yea, died that we might have a land of freedom, a Christian nation. America was founded by people seeking religious freedom and a place to serve and worship the Lord Jesus Christ. Governor Bradford, on that first Thanksgiving Day, stood with a handful of Indians and about fifty men and a few ladies (most of them had died already). For three days they preached and sang and prayed and rejoiced over God’s blessings of giving the first harvest here in America. Many moons have passed since that day. We face in our generation not the old America, but a new America, facing the temptation of socialism. We face an America today that has outlawed the Bible from the public schools and taken prayer from the school desk. Let us pray for America. Pray for revival to sweep America. Pray for God to give us revival that His hand of judgment might be spared. Then pray for yourself and pray for me that God will make us good Americans and the kind of Americans that, if all Americans were like us, revival would come!
1901 – President McKinley was Shot.
He died on September 14 of the same year. This reminds us of the assassination in our own lifetime of President Kennedy. Let us pause today to pray for our President. Let us take time to thank God for the American way of life and pray for the ones who lead us.
1915 – First Tank Produced.
On this day in 1915, a prototype tank nicknamed Little Willie rolls off the assembly line in England. Little Willie was far from an overnight success. It weighed 14 tons, got stuck in trenches and crawled over rough terrain at only two miles per hour. However, improvements were made to the original prototype and tanks eventually transformed military battlefields.
The British developed the tank in response to the trench warfare of World War I. In 1914, a British army colonel named Ernest Swinton and William Hankey, secretary of the Committee for Imperial Defence, championed the idea of an armored vehicle with conveyor-belt-like tracks over its wheels that could break through enemy lines and traverse difficult territory. The men appealed to British navy minister Winston Churchill, who believed in the concept of a “land boat” and organized a Landships Committee to begin developing a prototype. To keep the project secret from enemies, production workers were reportedly told the vehicles they were building would be used to carry water on the battlefield (alternate theories suggest the shells of the new vehicles resembled water tanks). Either way, the new vehicles were shipped in crates labeled “tank” and the name stuck.
The first tank prototype, Little Willie, was unveiled in September 1915. Following its underwhelming performance–it was slow, became overheated and couldn’t cross trenches–a second prototype, known as “Big Willie,” was produced. By 1916, this armored vehicle was deemed ready for battle and made its debut at the First Battle of the Somme near Courcelette, France, on September 15 of that year. Known as the Mark I, this first batch of tanks was hot, noisy and unwieldy and suffered mechanical malfunctions on the battlefield; nevertheless, people realized the tank’s potential. Further design improvements were made and at the Battle of Cambrai in November 1917, 400 Mark IV’s proved much more successful than the Mark I, capturing 8,000 enemy troops and 100 guns.
Tanks rapidly became an important military weapon. During World War II, they played a prominent role across numerous battlefields. More recently, tanks have been essential for desert combat during the conflicts in the Persian Gulf. (www.history.com/this-day-in-history/first-tank-produced)
1533 – Birthday of Queen Elizabeth I.
As we think of Queen Elizabeth, let us pray for England.
England gave us much of the Christian heritage we have in America. England is the land of John Wesley – the founder of Methodism.
England gave us Charles Spurgeon, the greatest preacher since the Apostle Paul, some have said. At the age of 16, he was preaching full time, and at the age of 20, was pastor of the largest church in all of London. Pray for England.
England gave us George Whitefield, the great preacher who preached over 3,000 times on the subject, “Ye Must Be Born Again.” Someone asked Mr. Whitefield one time, “Why do you preach so often on ‘Ye Must Be Born Again’?” Mr. Whitefield said, “The reason I preach so often on ‘Ye Must Be Born Again’ is because ye must be born again!”
I was in England a few months ago. I went to the great Metropolitan Tabernacle where Spurgeon once preached the Gospel of Christ and had thousands converted. I stood in the pulpit of Spurgeon’s tabernacle. I talked with a little lady who was on the staff. She said they now have about a hundred in Sunday school and the offering for the day is about $150.00. As I stood in the pulpit, all of a sudden it seemed I could see the crowds begin to come. I could see Spurgeon standing there and 5,000 people sitting before him waiting for the message from God. Pray for England.
1630 – Boston, Massachusetts, was Settled.
1813 – United States Nicknamed Uncle Sam.
On this day in 1813, the United States gets its nickname, Uncle Sam. The name is linked to Samuel Wilson, a meat packer from Troy, New York, who supplied barrels of beef to the United States Army during the War of 1812. Wilson (1766-1854) stamped the barrels with “U.S.” for United States, but soldiers began referring to the grub as “Uncle Sam’s.” The local newspaper picked up on the story and Uncle Sam eventually gained widespread acceptance as the nickname for the U.S. federal government.
In the late 1860s and 1870s, political cartoonist Thomas Nast (1840-1902) began popularizing the image of Uncle Sam. Nast continued to evolve the image, eventually giving Sam the white beard and stars-and-stripes suit that are associated with the character today. The German-born Nast was also credited with creating the modern image of Santa Claus as well as coming up with the donkey as a symbol for the Democratic Party and the elephant as a symbol for the Republicans. Nast also famously lampooned the corruption of New York City’s Tammany Hall in his editorial cartoons and was, in part, responsible for the downfall of Tammany leader William Tweed.
Perhaps the most famous image of Uncle Sam was created by artist James Montgomery Flagg (1877-1960). In Flagg’s version, Uncle Sam wears a tall top hat and blue jacket and is pointing straight ahead at the viewer. During World War I, this portrait of Sam with the words “I Want You For The U.S. Army” was used as a recruiting poster. The image, which became immensely popular, was first used on the cover of Leslie’s Weekly in July 1916 with the title “What Are You Doing for Preparedness?” The poster was widely distributed and has subsequently been re-used numerous times with different captions.
In September 1961, the U.S. Congress recognized Samuel Wilson as “the progenitor of America’s national symbol of Uncle Sam.” Wilson died at age 88 in 1854, and was buried next to his wife Betsey Mann in the Oakwood Cemetery in Troy, New York, the town that calls itself “The Home of Uncle Sam.” (www.history.com/this-day-in-history/united-states-nicknamed-uncle-sam)
1860 – Grandma Moses’ Birthday.
As I was thinking about Grandma Moses, this thought came to my mind: Each of us should make the most out of his life. We do not know what life holds. We do not know how long we will live. Today may be our last day. We may live our threescore and ten. We may be centenarians – who knows? No matter how long we may live, we ought to make the most of every day.
Someone has said, “Only one life, ’twill soon be past; only what’s done for God will last.” May we use every day as if it were our last day and realize we must give an account for every idle moment when we stand before the Lord.
1522 – Magellen’s Crew Completed the First Trip Around the World.
Think of it! This was the first trip around the world. Let us pause and thank God for the tremendous modern travel conveniences we have. How good God has been to let us live in this day. Why, not long ago, Mrs. Hyles and I found ourselves in Paris, France in six and one half hours. Then in two hours we found ourselves in Rome, Italy. Then, in one and a half hours, we found ourselves in Athens, Greece. In another one and a half hours, we found ourselves in Cairo, Egypt. In another two and a half hours, we found ourselves in Jerusalem.
We ought to thank God today for the means of travel. Thank God today for your car that you take for granted so often. Thank God for buses. Thank God for trains. Thank God for airlines. Just yesterday, for example, I left my home at 12:45 and drove to O’Hare Field in Chicago. At 2:00 I took a plane for Detroit, and at 2:52, I was there. Between 2:52 and 10:30 last night, I was able to have two lengthy conferences with Christian workers to try to advise and counsel with them, and then I was privileged to speak twice. I caught a plane at 10:30 at Detroit Metropolitan Airport and got back to Chicago by 11:30 and home in bed by 1:00 this morning. Let us thank God today for our modern means of travel.
1636 – Harvard College was Established.
Harvard College, which is now Harvard University, was the first college in the United States. In those days the colleges were all fundamental Christian colleges. Oh, pray today for our Christian colleges. When so many schools have ceased to teach and believe the Word of God, and places that were once centers of fundamentalism and evangelism and soul winning have now become resting places and roosting places for liberalism and doubt and rejection of the Word of God, let us pray for our Christian colleges. Let us thank God for those schools that still defend the faith and teach our boys and girls the blessed Word of God and its verbal inspiration.
Thinking of Christian schools, this is the season of going back to school. Perhaps you know some people going back to college. Pray for the college students by name whom you know – maybe your own child, or a relative, or a friend, or a church member, or some ministerial student. Pray for God to bless the college students this year as you pause to think about this day in history.
1974 – Ford Pardons Nixon.
In a controversial executive action, President Gerald Ford pardons his disgraced predecessor Richard Nixon for any crimes he may have committed or participated in while in office. Ford later defended this action before the House Judiciary Committee, explaining that he wanted to end the national divisions created by the Watergate scandal.
The Watergate scandal erupted after it was revealed that Nixon and his aides had engaged in illegal activities during his reelection campaign–and then attempted to cover up evidence of wrongdoing. With impeachment proceedings underway against him in Congress, Nixon bowed to public pressure and became the first American president to resign. At noon on August 9, Nixon officially ended his term, departing with his family in a helicopter from the White House lawn. Minutes later, Vice President Gerald R. Ford was sworn in as the 38th president of the United States in the East Room of the White House. After taking the oath of office, President Ford spoke to the nation in a television address, declaring, “My fellow Americans, our long national nightmare is over.”
Ford, the first president who came to the office through appointment rather than election, had replaced Spiro Agnew as vice president only eight months before. In a political scandal independent of the Nixon administration’s wrongdoings in the Watergate affair, Agnew had been forced to resign in disgrace after he was charged with income tax evasion and political corruption. Exactly one month after Nixon announced his resignation, Ford issued the former president a “full, free and absolute” pardon for any crimes he committed while in office. The pardon was widely condemned at the time.
Decades later, the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation presented its 2001 Profile in Courage Award to Gerald Ford for his 1974 pardon of Nixon. In pardoning Nixon, said the foundation, Ford placed his love of country ahead of his own political future and brought needed closure to the divisive Watergate affair. Ford left politics after losing the 1976 presidential election to Democrat Jimmy Carter. Ford died on December 26, 2006, at the age of 93. (www.history.com/this-day-in-history/ford-pardons-nixon)
1785 – Peter Cartwright’s Birthday.
Peter Cartwright was a famous Methodist circuit-riding preacher. He was the old-fashioned, mourner’s bench, camp-meeting kind of preacher. He was one of the great men in the revival of his day.
One time Peter Cartwright was preaching in Atlanta, Georgia, to a large audience when General Andrew Jackson walked in. Now Peter Cartwright was not the best English student in the world. He would split infinitives, hang his gerunds, and dangle his participles, but he was a faithful Gospel preacher and a man who preached with great power. When General Jackson walked in, a minister on the platform behind Mr. Cartwright became nervous and pulled Mr. Cartwright’s coat tail saying, “Peter, General Jackson just walked in.” Peter Cartwright shook his coat tail and kept on preaching a Hell that is hot, sin that is black, an eternity that is long, and salvation that is real. He got to preaching so hard that the reverend got concerned again. Again he pulled the coat tail of Peter Cartwright and said, “Peter, be careful. General Jackson just walked in.” Peter Cartwright shook his coat tail and kept on preaching. Finally, the reverend pulled the coat tail again and said, “Peter, please be careful, because General Jackson just walked in.”
Peter Cartwright became impatient and shouted as loud as he could, “Reverend, you tell General Jackson, if he doesn’t get born again, he will go to Hell just like anybody else!” Of course, the crowd roared.
After the service, General Jackson came to the front and asked Peter Cartwright to eat with him. At the restaurant General Jackson said, “Mr. Cartwright, if I had the power with my men that you have with God and man, I would never lose another battle as long as I live.”
Peter Cartwright was also a Spirit-filled preacher. He said he was filled with the Holy Spirit for the first time while he was preaching his first sermon. He is also known for once breaking up a dance in a rural area. He preached against dancing, and everyone knew his position. He decided to go to a dance and see what happened. He went and the crowd scattered. The dance was called off because the preacher had come.
Since Peter Cartwright was a Methodist, why not pray today for Methodism. Thank God for those Methodists who are left who still preach the old-time Gospel and believe in the basic doctrines of the Bible. Pray for those who have drifted from the religion of John Wesley; and pray for God to give Methodism a John Wesley-type revival in our day. Pray for your born again Methodist friends, and thank God for the contribution that Methodism has made to us through John Wesley, Charles Wesley, Peter Cartwright, Sam Jones, Bob Jones, Sr., and other famous Methodist preachers.
1850 – California was Admitted to the Union.
No doubt you know someone in California for whom you ought to pray today. I know many faithful preachers in the state of California, many fine fundamental churches, and many sweet Christians. Why not pause for a moment and pray today for your friends, loved ones, and faithful servants of God in this state.
1890 – Harry Rimmer was Born.
1893 – President’s Child Born in White House.
Frances Folsom Cleveland, the wife of President Grover Cleveland, gives birth to a daughter, Esther, in the White House.
On June 2, 1886, in an intimate ceremony held in the Blue Room of the White House, President Grover Cleveland married Frances Folsom, the daughter of Cleveland’s late law partner and friend, Oscar Folsom. Fewer than 40 people were present to witness the 49-year-old president exchange vows with Frances, who at 21 years of age became the youngest first lady in U.S. history.
As a devoted family friend, Cleveland allegedly bought “Frank” her first baby carriage. After her father’s death, he administered her estate. When Frances entered Wells College, Cleveland, then the governor of New York, asked Mrs. Folsom’s permission to correspond with the young lady. After his inauguration as president in 1885, Frances visited Cleveland at the executive mansion. Despite a 27-year difference in age, their affection turned to romance, and in 1886 the couple were married in the White House.
Mrs. Cleveland, who replaced Cleveland’s sister Rose Elizabeth as White House hostess, won immediate popularity for her good looks and unaffected charm. After the president’s defeat in his 1888 reelection bid, the Clevelands lived in New York City, where their first child, Ruth, was born in 1891. In 1892, in an event unprecedented in U.S. political history, the out-of-office Cleveland was elected president again. Frances Cleveland returned to Washington and resumed her duties as first lady as if she had been gone but a day. On September 9, 1893, the first family saw the addition of a second child. Esther was the first child of a president to be born in the White House but not the first child ever to be born there. In 1806, James Madison Randolph was born to Martha Randolph, the daughter of President Thomas Jefferson.
When Grover Cleveland left the presidency in 1897, his wife had become one of the most popular first ladies in history. In 1908, she was at his side when he died at their home in Princeton, New Jersey. Five years later, she married Thomas J. Preston, Jr., a professor of archaeology at Princeton University. (http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/presidents-child-born-in-white-house
1813 – Perry’s Famous Victory on Lake Erie.
I am sure that you historians know of the great victory that Perry had on Lake Erie on September 10, 1813. As we think today of our service victory and wartime victory, let us pause to pray for the servicemen whom we know. I am sure you know some servicemen, maybe some even today on the battlefields of the world. Many are separated by hundreds, yea, thousands of miles from loved ones, home, family, and friends. Why not pause for a few moments and pray for your loved ones and friends in service, and then pray for servicemen in general that God will bless and watch over them.
1846 – Elias Howe Patented the First Sewing Machine.
I was thinking today how we ought to thank God for the many conveniences we enjoy. I remember very well my mother’s old sewing machine and how many hours and days she spent with it. It was the old fashioned kind. It had a little drawer in the middle and drawers on either side. It had a big pedal at the bottom and mother would push it as she would sew. It was not electric; in fact, if we had had an electric sewing machine, it would not have done any good, because we did not have any electricity. I can recall today the scraps she kept in the drawer. She never threw anything away, because something could be patched together and used later on. We ought to thank God for our appliances. Thank God for our refrigerators, washing machines, driers, dishwashers, vacuum cleaners, and so many things that we take for granted. Let us thank God for these advantages that He has given to us.
1897 – First Drunk Driving Arrest.
On this day in 1897, a 25-year-old London taxi driver named George Smith becomes the first person ever arrested for drunk driving after slamming his cab into a building. Smith later pled guilty and was fined 25 shillings.
In the United States, the first laws against operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol went into effect in New York in 1910. In 1936, Dr. Rolla Harger, a professor of biochemistry and toxicology, patented the Drunkometer, a balloon-like device into which people would breathe to determine whether they were inebriated. In 1953, Robert Borkenstein, a former Indiana state police captain and university professor who had collaborated with Harger on the Drunkometer, invented the Breathalyzer. Easier-to-use and more accurate than the Drunkometer, the Breathalyzer was the first practical device and scientific test available to police officers to establish whether someone had too much to drink. A person would blow into the Breathalyzer and it would gauge the proportion of alcohol vapors in the exhaled breath, which reflected the level of alcohol in the blood.
Despite the invention of the Breathalyzer and other developments, it was not until the late 1970s and early 1980s that public awareness about the dangers of drinking and driving increased and lawmakers and police officers began to get tougher on offenders. In 1980, a Californian named Candy Lightner founded Mothers Against Drunk Driving, or MADD, after her 13-year-old daughter Cari was killed by a drunk driver while walking home from a school carnival. The driver had three previous drunk-driving convictions and was out on bail from a hit-and-run arrest two days earlier. Lightner and MADD were instrumental in helping to change attitudes about drunk driving and pushed for legislation that increased the penalties for driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs. MADD also helped get the minimum drinking age raised in many states. Today, the legal drinking age is 21 everywhere in the United States and convicted drunk drivers face everything from jail time and fines to the loss of their driver’s licenses and increased car insurance rates. Some drunk drivers are ordered to have ignition interlock devices installed in their vehicles. These devices require a driver to breath into a sensor attached to the dashboard; the car won’t start if the driver’s blood alcohol concentration is above a certain limit.
Despite the stiff penalties and public awareness campaigns, drunk driving remains a serious problem in the United States. In 2005, 16,885 people died in alcohol-related crashes and almost 1.4 million people were arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. (www.history.com/this-day-in-history/first-drunk-driving-arrest)
2001 – Attack on America
At 8:45 a.m. on a clear Tuesday morning, an American Airlines Boeing 767 loaded with 20,000 gallons of jet fuel crashes into the north tower of the World Trade Center in New York City. The impact left a gaping, burning hole near the 80th floor of the 110-story skyscraper, instantly killing hundreds of people and trapping hundreds more in higher floors. As the evacuation of the tower and its twin got underway, television cameras broadcasted live images of what initially appeared to be a freak accident. Then, 18 minutes after the first plane hit, a second Boeing 767–United Airlines Flight 175–appeared out of the sky, turned sharply toward the World Trade Center, and sliced into the south tower at about the 60th floor. The collision caused a massive explosion that showered burning debris over surrounding buildings and the streets below. America was under attack.
The attackers were Islamic terrorists from Saudi Arabia and several other Arab nations. Reportedly financed by Saudi fugitive Osama bin Laden’s al Qaeda terrorist organization, they were allegedly acting in retaliation for America’s support of Israel, its involvement in the Persian Gulf War, and its continued military presence in the Middle East. Some of the terrorists had lived in the United States for more than a year and had taken flying lessons at American commercial flight schools. Others had slipped into the U.S. in the months before September 11 and acted as the “muscle” in the operation. The 19 terrorists easily smuggled box-cutters and knives through security at three East Coast airports and boarded four flights bound for California, chosen because the planes were loaded with fuel for the long transcontinental journey. Soon after takeoff, the terrorists commandeered the four planes and took the controls, transforming the ordinary commuter jets into guided missiles.
As millions watched in horror the events unfolding in New York, American Airlines Flight 77 circled over downtown Washington and slammed into the west side of the Pentagon military headquarters at 9:45 a.m. Jet fuel from the Boeing 757 caused a devastating inferno that led to a structural collapse of a portion of the giant concrete building. All told, 125 military personnel and civilians were killed in the Pentagon along with all 64 people aboard the airliner.
Less than 15 minutes after the terrorists struck the nerve center of the U.S. military, the horror in New York took a catastrophic turn for the worse when the south tower of the World Trade Center collapsed in a massive cloud of dust and smoke. The structural steel of the skyscraper, built to withstand winds in excess of 200 mph and a large conventional fire, could not withstand the tremendous heat generated by the burning jet fuel. At 10:30 a.m., the other Trade Center tower collapsed. Close to 3,000 people died in the World Trade Center and its vicinity, including a staggering 343 firefighters and paramedics, 23 New York City police officers, and 37 Port Authority police officers who were struggling to complete an evacuation of the buildings and save the office workers trapped on higher floors. Only six people in the World Trade Center towers at the time of their collapse survived. Almost 10,000 other people were treated for injuries, many severe.
Meanwhile, a fourth California-bound plane–United Flight 93–was hijacked about 40 minutes after leaving Newark International Airport in New Jersey. Because the plane had been delayed in taking off, passengers on board learned of events in New York and Washington via cell phone and Airfone calls to the ground. Knowing that the aircraft was not returning to an airport as the hijackers claimed, a group of passengers and flight attendants planned an insurrection. One of the passengers, Thomas Burnett, Jr., told his wife over the phone that “I know we’re all going to die. There’s three of us who are going to do something about it. I love you, honey.” Another passenger–Todd Beamer–was heard saying “Are you guys ready? Let’s roll” over an open line. Sandy Bradshaw, a flight attendant, called her husband and explained that she had slipped into a galley and was filling pitchers with boiling water. Her last words to him were “Everyone’s running to first class. I’ve got to go. Bye.”
The passengers fought the four hijackers and are suspected to have attacked the cockpit with a fire extinguisher. The plane then flipped over and sped toward the ground at upwards of 500 miles per hour, crashing in a rural field in western Pennsylvania at 10:10 a.m. All 45 people aboard were killed. Its intended target is not known, but theories include the White House, the U.S. Capitol, the Camp David presidential retreat in Maryland, or one of several nuclear power plants along the eastern seaboard.
At 7 p.m., President George W. Bush, who had spent the day being shuttled around the country because of security concerns, returned to the White House. At 9 p.m., he delivered a televised address from the Oval Office, declaring “Terrorist attacks can shake the foundations of our biggest buildings, but they cannot touch the foundation of America. These acts shatter steel, but they cannot dent the steel of American resolve.” In a reference to the eventual U.S. military response he declared: “We will make no distinction between the terrorists who committed these acts and those who harbor them.”
Operation Enduring Freedom, the U.S.-led international effort to oust the Taliban regime in Afghanistan and destroy Osama bin Laden’s terrorist network based there, began on October 7, 2001. Bin Laden was killed during a raid of his compound in Pakistan by U.S. forces on May 2, 2011. – www.history.com/this-day-in-history/attack-on-america (Sep 11, 2012).
School is About to Start.
In most areas of our nation, school is starting about now. In a recent poll, September 11 was the average day of the starting of school in a certain area of our country. This poll included colleges, high schools, junior high schools, and elementary schools.
It is always a busy time when school starts. Let us pause today to do several things. First, let us pray for the school teachers. What a tremendous responsibility is theirs! You and I recall as children that if the teacher said it, it must be true! With this kind of faith coming from the little ones, let us pray for God to bless our teachers and lead them to teach the truth to our children.
Then let us pray for our boys and girls. Let us pray that God will help them to study hard and to be honest, fair, diligent, industrious, clean, and pure. Pray for each of your children by name. Pray for each of your grandchildren by name. Pray for the school students close to you that God will lead them this semester and this school year.
Next, talk to your little ones about school. Tell. them to work hard and yet be sure they are undergirded with the truth of the Bible. Recently my fifteen-year-old boy brought home a history book. In looking through it, I noticed the first chapter talked a great deal about pre-historic man. In this chapter, assumptions, theories, and guesses were presented as fact. I sat down and explained to my boy that Adam was the first man and that he lived just about 6,000 years ago. Once Daddy said it and showed him in the Bible, he accepted it. Let us be faithful to undergird our school students with the truth.
Let us also thank God for the school system in America. Let us pray for the public schools, the Christian schools, and those with authority and influence.
This is the day that we think of the defense of our nation and thank God for America. We need to realize today that our strength does not lie in bombs, rockets, planes, and guns. Our strength lies in our faith in God and His righteousness. The Psalmist said in Psalm 20:7, “Some trust in chariots, and some in horses: but we will remember the name of the Lord, our God.” The best source of defense is being right with God. Let us pray today that America’s defense shall be a spiritual one as well as a material one.
Let us not think for a moment, however, that we should disarm. Defending one’s own is a Bible truth. Pacifiism and disarmament are certainly not the Scriptural answers. Each of us should defend his own family, his own home, and his own nation against attackers, but at the same time realize our true defense is in Jesus Christ.
A number of years ago, while in Albuquerque, New Mexico, I was driven to the base of the Sangre de Christo Mountains. A pastor pointed out dark spots on the mountains and reminded me that those were caves in which atomic weapons were kept. I looked at those mountains and thought of the atomic weapons contained in them; and yet, I could not help but think that the answer was not in the mountains or in the weapons, but in the meaning of the words, “Sangre de Christo.” These words mean “blood of Christ.” There is more safety, security, and protection in the blood of Christ than in any weapon. Let us pray today for the defense of our nation.
1814 – The Star-Spangled Banner was Written.
Francis Scott Key was born on August 1, 1779, at Terra Rubra, his family’s estate in Frederick County (now Carroll County), Maryland. He became a successful lawyer in Maryland and Washington, D.C., and was later appointed U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia.
On June 18, 1812, America declared war on Great Britain after a series of trade disagreements. In August 1814, British troops invaded Washington, D.C., and burned the White House, Capitol Building and Library of Congress. Their next target was Baltimore.
After one of Key’s friends, Dr. William Beanes, was taken prisoner by the British, Key went to Baltimore, located the ship where Beanes was being held and negotiated his release. However, Key and Beanes weren’t allowed to leave until after the British bombardment of Fort McHenry. Key watched the bombing campaign unfold from aboard a ship located about eight miles away. After a day, the British were unable to destroy the fort and gave up. Key was relieved to see the American flag still flying over Fort McHenry and quickly penned a few lines in tribute to what he had witnessed.
The poem was printed in newspapers and eventually set to the music. People began referring to the song as “The Star-Spangled Banner” and in 1916 President Woodrow Wilson announced that it should be played at all official events. It was adopted as the national anthem on March 3, 1931.
Francis Scott Key died of pleurisy on January 11, 1843. Today, the flag that flew over Fort McHenry in 1914 is housed at the Smithsonian Institution’s Museum of American History in Washington, D.C. (www.history.com/this-day-in-history/key-pens-star-spangled-banner)
Oh say, can you see, by the dawn’s early light
What so proudly we hailed at the twilight’s last gleaming?
Whose broad stripes and bright stars, through the perilous fight
O’re the ramparts we watched, were so gallantly streaming?
And the rockets’ red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof thro’ the night that our flag was still there;
Oh, say, does that star-spangled banner yet wave
O’er the land of the free, and the home of the brave?
On the shore, dimly seen through the mists of the deep,
Where the foe’s haughty host in dread silence reposes,
What is that which the breeze, o’er the towering steep,
As it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses?
Now it catches the gleam of the morning’s first beam,
In full glory reflected, now shines on the stream:
‘Tis the star-spangled banner: O, long may it wave
O’er the land of the free, and the home of the brave!
And where is that band, who so vauntingly swore
That the havoc of war and the battle’s confusion,
A home and a country should leave us no more?
Their blood has washed out their foul footsteps’ pollution;
No refuge could save the hireling and slave
From the terror of flight or the gloom of the grave.
And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave,
O’er the land of the free, and the home of the brave!
O thus be it ever when free men shall stand
Between their loved homes and the war’s desolation;
Blest with victory and peace, may the Heaven rescued land
Praise the Power that hath made and preserved us a nation!
Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just;
And this be our motto: “In God is our trust!”
And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
O’er the land of the free, and the home of the brave!
Let us sing it today. Why not have the children sing it at your family devotion, or sing it around the table. Also, thank God today for our American heritage.
Just recently, it was my privilege to read some of the original rules of one of the largest department store chains in America. These rules were written over one hundred years ago. Such things were mentioned as follows:
1. Every employee had to contribute at least $5.00 a year to a church.
2. Every employee was required to attend Sunday school.
3. Every employee had to attend prayer meeting on Wednesday night.
4. Any employee that danced was looked upon with suspicion.
These were the rules set by the founder of one of the large department store chains in America. Let us thank God for the Christian heritage we have in America. Then, let us pray for our nation as she totters on the brink of socialism, agnosticism, and even atheism. Let us pray for America to put the Bible back in the public schools and prayer back in the school room. Thank God for America, for our national anthem, and for Francis Scott Key.
1452 – The Birthday of Savonarola.
Savonarola was one of the great preachers of history. Savonarola was from Florence, Italy. It is said that once he went to his pulpit to preach and sat for five hours in a trance waiting for the power of God to fill him and to use him. During this time the people sat anxiously waiting for him to preach.
Savonarola was burned in the public square by the order of Alexander VI. As he gave his life, he said, “The Lord hath suffered so much for me.”
1851 – James Fenimore Cooper Died.
He died on the day before his 62nd birthday.
1901 – McKinley Dies of Infection from Gunshot Wounds.
On this day in 1901, U.S. President William McKinley dies after being shot by a deranged anarchist during the Pan-American Exposition in Buffalo, New York.
McKinley won his first Congressional seat at the age of 34 and spent 14 years in the House, becoming known as the leading Republican expert on tariffs. After losing his seat in 1890, McKinley served two terms as governor of Ohio. By 1896, he had emerged as the leading Republican candidate for president, aided by the support of the wealthy Ohio industrialist Mark Hanna. That fall, McKinley defeated his Democratic rival, William Jennings Bryan, by the largest popular margin since the Civil War.
As president, McKinley became known–controversially–as a protector of big businesses, which enjoyed unprecedented growth during his administration. He advocated the protective tariff as a way of shielding U.S. business and labor from foreign competition, and he successfully argued for using the gold standard of currency.
Above all, however, McKinley’s presidency was dominated by his foreign policy. In April 1898, he was pushed by Congress and American public opinion to intervene in Cuba’s struggle for independence from Spanish colonial rule. In the first American war against a foreign power since 1812, the United States handily defeated Spain in just three months, freeing Cuba–although the island became a U.S. protectorate–and annexing Puerto Rico, Guam and the Philippines. For the first time, the United States had become a colonialist power.
America’s growing interests in the Pacific led McKinley’s administration to greatly increase its involvement in Asian politics. In 1900, McKinley sent thousands of U.S. troops to China to help put down the Boxer Rebellion, aimed at driving out foreigners. His aggressive “Open Door” policy declared U.S. support for an independent China and argued that all nations with commercial interests in China should be able to compete on equal footing.
The popular McKinley won a second term by even greater margins over Bryan, who attacked him on his “imperialism” in the Pacific and, domestically, on the growth of illegal monopolies, or trusts. There was little time to see what his second term would bring, however. On September 6, 1901, while standing in a receiving line at the Pan-American Exposition in Buffalo, McKinley was approached by Leon Czolgosz, a Polish-American anarchist carrying a concealed .32 revolver in a handkerchief. Drawing his weapon, Czolgosz shot McKinley twice at close range. One bullet deflected off a suit button, but the other entered his stomach, passed through the kidneys, and lodged in his back. When he was operated on, doctors failed to find the bullet, and gangrene soon spread throughout his body. McKinley died eight days later. Czolgosz was convicted of murder and executed soon after the shooting.
1901 – Theodore Roosevelt Became President.
Theodore Roosevelt became the 26th president upon the death of William McKinley.
Missionary Henry Morrison once returned from a foreign mission trip on the same boat with Theodore Roosevelt. Roosevelt had been on a great hunting expedition, and this missionary had been spreading the Gospel with sacrifice, sweat, and tears. They came close to the shore, and the missionary heard the cheering. He thought to himself, “My, look at the crowd that is welcoming me home from my mission trip.” He got closer and found that they were cheering for Theodore Roosevelt and welcoming him home from the hunting expedition. He closed his eyes and thought, “Well, I do not get a welcome here, but someday, I will get a welcome when I cross the Jordan. Then they will stand and cheer me and say, ‘Welcome home, faithful missionary of the cross.’ “
1927 – Bob Jones University in Greenville, South Carolina, was Opened.
The Bob Jones University is the world’s largest independent university and is called the “World’s Most Unusual University.” Truly, it is one of the great schools of our day. Let us thank God today for the life and testimony of Dr. Bob Jones, Sr., evangelist, Christian philosopher, great preacher, educator and man of God.
Let us thank God today for the ministry of Dr. Bob Jones, Jr., the scholarly, fundamental president. Then let us thank God for Bob Jones, III, a young man who is now vice-president of the university and who is a young man of principle, character, and devotion to the Word of God.
On September 14, 1927, when Bob Jones University opened, 88 students matriculated, and they sang together –
“Faith of our fathers living still
In spite of dungeon, fire, and sword.
Oh, how our hearts beat high with joy
Whene’er we hear thy glorious word.
Faith of our fathers, holy faith!
We will be true to thee till death!”
1959 – The Day That the Soviet Rocket Hit the Moon For the First Time.
Somebody said to me, “Pastor, do you think there are people on the moon?” I doubt it, but if there are people on the moon, let us leave them alone. Let us not infest them with the kind of wicked living we do on the earth! They are probably better off than we are.
The Lord Created the Atmosphere and Divided the Waters.
In other words, tradition and the almanac say the second day of creation was on September 15.
“Well,” you say, “Brother Hyles, do you still believe the old creation story?” Yes, I do.
Somebody wrote me a letter recently and said, “Pastor, were the seven days of creation literal days or seven periods of time?”
Well, the Bible says the evening and the morning were the first day. Someone asks, “Why does it say ‘evening’ and then ‘morning’?” This is because the day on the Jewish calendar started at 6:00 p.m., and the evening came before the morning.
The best thing for us to do in the matter of the creation and other matters is simply to believe God. How we need to return to the old fashioned Gospel of Jesus Christ.
1789 – James Fenimore Cooper was Born.
1857 – The Birthday of William Howard Taft.
1914 – The Panama Canal was Opened.
The Lord Made Vegetation.
September 16 is the day that tradition says the Lord made vegetation. Let us thank God for our food. Thank God for daily provision and His answering of our prayer, “Give us this day our daily bread,” or “Give us day-by-day our daily bread.”
On this day, that we remember the making or creation of vegetation, let us claim God’s provision for our lives. Matthew 6:26 says, “Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your Heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?” Verse 28 and 29 say, “And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all of his glory was not arrayed like one of these.” It is God’s business to take care of His children. Claim day-by-day provisions from the Heavenly Father.
A few years ago, while I was pastoring in another state, a young man came forward to give his life to the Gospel ministry. He knelt at the altar and prayed, “Dear Lord, supply my needs. I know You will. Lord, I pray, even if it is potted meat, care for my needs… ”
Before I knew it, I interrupted him and said, “Don’t pray like that!”
He said, “What do you mean, Pastor?”
I said, “Young man, remember this: The Bible never says that God owns a thousand cans of potted meat, but the Bible does say that God owns the cattle on a thousand hills. Pray for God to give you T-Bones, sirloins, filet mignons, etc. God cares for His children!”
Many times I have heard my dear friend, Dr. John Rice, say, “When God made strawberries, He must have said, ‘I believe my children would like these.”’
So it was this day that the Lord made vegetation for us. Let us thank God for His provisions, and let us claim, as His children, our Heavenly Father’s care and provision for us another day.
1620 – The Pilgrims Left for America.
Let us thank God today for our American heritage. Let us pray for our nation and ask God to bless us and give us the convictions of our fathers. Let us pray today that God will call America back to Himself and spare His hand of judgment upon the land of the free and the home of the brave.
1810 – Mexican Independence Began.
As we turn our attention toward Mexico today, let us pray for the missionaries in Mexico. Perhaps you know of some. I have some dear, precious friends who are serving as missionaries in the country of Mexico. Let us thank God for them and pray God’s blessings and watchcare upon them. Someone has said, “Perhaps the greatest thing you can do for another is to call his name in prayer.” Maybe this is true or maybe not, but ONE of the great things that we can do for another is to call his name in prayer. Let us pray for our missionary friends in Mexico today.
God Made the Sun, the Moon, and the Stars.
Tradition says it was on this date that God made the sun and the moon – the greater light to rule the day, the lesser light to rule the night, and He made the stars also. Let us thank God for the beauties made by our Heavenly Father.
The Bible has much to say about the stars. In Daniel 12:3 we read, “And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever.”
Revelation 1:16 says that He holds the seven stars in His right hand. The seven stars are the angels or ministers of the seven churches according to Revelation 1:20. Thank God that Jesus holds the preachers in His right hand.
Job 38:7 tells us that the morning stars sang together. The Bible has much to say about the stars. May we thank God today for the heavens.
David said in Psalm 8:3 and 4, “When I consider Thy heavens, the works of Thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which Thou hast ordained; What is man, that Thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that Thou visitest him?”
1787 – The Constitution of the United States was Ratified.
The constitution of the United States was ratified by a convention of the States. Let us pray that God will help us to stand by the constitution, and let us pray that America will always be free. Let us pray that the American system of democracy, freedom, and capitalism shall always be as it is today.
Let us thank God for those who wrote the constitution, and for those who founded America. George Washington knelt in the snow in the middle of the battle and sought favor from Almighty God. Abraham Lincoln made the statement that liquor would never enter the White House during his administration. Benjamin Franklin, as the constitution was being drawn up, stopped and said, “Brethren, how can we hope to draw up a constitution under God successfully without seeking divine guidance?” They stopped and sought the leadership of God. Let us thank God for our heritage and pray for our future.
1862 – Battle of Antietam
Beginning early on the morning of this day in 1862, Confederate and Union troops in the Civil War clash near Maryland’s Antietam Creek in the bloodiest one-day battle in American history.
The Battle of Antietam marked the culmination of Confederate General Robert E. Lee’s first invasion of the Northern states. Guiding his Army of Northern Virginia across the Potomac River in early September 1862, the great general daringly divided his men, sending half of them, under the command of General Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson, to capture the Union garrison at Harper’s Ferry.
President Abraham Lincoln put Major General George B. McClellan in charge of the Union troops responsible for defending Washington, D.C., against Lee’s invasion. McClellan’s Army of the Potomac clashed first with Lee’s men on September 14, with the Confederates forced to retreat after being blocked at the passes of South Mountain. Though Lee considered turning back toward Virginia, news of Jackson’s capture of Harper’s Ferry reached him on September 15. That victory convinced him to stay and make a stand near Sharpsburg, Maryland.
Over the course of September 15 and 16, the Confederate and Union armies gathered on opposite sides of Antietam Creek. On the Confederate side, Jackson commanded the left flank with General James Longstreet at the head of the center and right. McClellan’s strategy was to attack the enemy left, then the right, and finally, when either of those movements met with success, to move forward in the center.
When fighting began in the foggy dawn hours of September 17, this strategy broke down into a series of uncoordinated advances by Union soldiers under the command of Generals Joseph Hooker, Joseph Mansfield and Edwin Sumner. As savage and bloody combat continued for eight hours across the region, the Confederates were pushed back but not beaten, despite sustaining some 15,000 casualties. At the same time, Union General Ambrose Burnside opened an attack on the Confederate right, capturing the bridge that now bears his name around 1 p.m. Burnside’s break to reorganize his men allowed Confederate reinforcements to arrive, turning back the Union advance there as well.
By the time the sun went down, both armies still held their ground, despite staggering combined casualties–nearly 23,000 of the 100,000 soldiers engaged, including almost 4,000 dead. McClellan’s center never moved forward, leaving a large number of Union troops that did not participate in the battle. On the morning of September 18, both sides gathered their wounded and buried their dead. That night, Lee turned his forces back to Virginia. His retreat gave President Lincoln the moment he had been waiting for to issue the Emancipation Proclamation, a historic document that turned the Union effort in the Civil War into a fight for the abolition of slavery. (www.history.com/this-day-in-history/battle-of-antietam)
Let us pray for God to make us good citizens; and that as Christians, we will be the kind of citizens we ought to be. May today be a wonderful day for you.
God Made Animals.
This is the day that tradition and the almanac say that God made animals.
1793 – The Cornerstone was Laid for the Capitol Building in Washington, D. C.
On this day in 1793, George Washington lays the cornerstone to the United States Capitol building, the home of the legislative branch of American government. The building would take nearly a century to complete, as architects came and went, the British set fire to it and it was called into use during the Civil War. Today, the Capitol building, with its famous cast-iron dome and important collection of American art, is part of the Capitol Complex, which includes six Congressional office buildings and three Library of Congress buildings, all developed in the 19th and 20th centuries.
As a young nation, the United States had no permanent capital, and Congress met in eight different cities, including Baltimore, New York and Philadelphia, before 1791. In 1790, Congress passed the Residence Act, which gave President Washington the power to select a permanent home for the federal government. The following year, he chose what would become the District of Columbia from land provided by Maryland. Washington picked three commissioners to oversee the capital city’s development and they in turn chose French engineer Pierre Charles L’Enfant to come up with the design. However, L’Enfant clashed with the commissioners and was fired in 1792. A design competition was then held, with a Scotsman named William Thornton submitting the winning entry for the Capitol building. In September 1793, Washington laid the Capitol’s cornerstone and the lengthy construction process, which would involve a line of project managers and architects, got under way.
In 1800, Congress moved into the Capitol’s north wing. In 1807, the House of Representatives moved into the building’s south wing, which was finished in 1811. During the War of 1812, the British invaded Washington, D.C., and set fire to the Capitol on August 24, 1814. A rainstorm saved the building from total destruction. Congress met in nearby temporary quarters from 1815 to 1819. In the early 1850s, work began to expand the Capitol to accommodate the growing number of Congressmen. In 1861, construction was temporarily halted while the Capitol was used by Union troops as a hospital and barracks. Following the war, expansions and modern upgrades to the building continued into the next century.
Today, the Capitol, which is visited by 3 million to 5 million people each year, has 540 rooms and covers a ground area of about four acres. (www.history.com/this-day-in-history/capitol-cornerstone-is-laid)
Let us pause for a few minutes today to pray for our leaders, our President, our Congress, and those who direct the affairs of our nation.
1851- The First Issue of the New York Times.
1947 – The Department of Defense was Founded.
Let us pray for our world and the peace of our world. Of course, we know that no lasting peace will come until Jesus comes as the Prince of Peace. The greatest prayer of peace we can pray is “Even so come, Lord Jesus” and “Thy Kingdom come.” However, we can pray for the safety of our own nation and of our own children.
This is the “atomic age.” A number of years ago Dr. Harold C. Urey, one of the leading atomic scientists, wrote an article entitled, “I Am a Frightened Man.” Those who know about the potential power of modern bombs are all frightened men. The quicker we realize that God is our defense, the better off we will be. Let us trust the God of Jericho, where the people marched around the city thirteen times in seven days and saw the walls fall; and the God of Gideon who took 300 people and put to flight the vast armies of the Midianites. Let us pray for the defense of our nation today.
God Made Adam.
Tradition and the almanac say that God made Adam on this day. Let us thank God for the marvelous creation of man and let us take a few moments today to explain to our children the direct act of creation and the dangers of the theory of evolution.
A believer in evolution asked me recently why I felt that God made man in a direct act of creation.
I asked him, “Do you know how the airplane was invented?”
He said, “What do you mean?”
I said, “Well, once the airplane was a little piece of metal shaving. Then, through a series of evolvements, it became a toy plane. Then, through a period of thousands of years, this little toy plane evolved and evolved and evolved until it became a motor plane with which boys could play. Then, as millions and millions of years passed, it grew propellers. These propellers moved so fast until after a while they evaporated and within millions of years the jet evolved.”
“Absurd!” was his answer. “Something as intricate as a plane would have to be made by somebody.”
I replied, “That is no more absurd than your theory of evolution. The body of a man is a million times more intricate and miraculous than an airplane. It was made by Somebody. That Somebody was our God.”
1796 – George Washington’s Farewell Address.
Let us thank God for our past Presidents and pray today for our President.
1827 – The Famous Christian Payson on His Deathbed Wrote:
“My soul is filled with joy unspeakable; I seem to swim in a flood of glory which God pours down on me.” Let us thank God for the saints of the past. It is said that Payson prayed so much at the same spot that he actually wore grooves in the hardwood floors in his room. Let us pray today for God’s help and leadership.
1957 – Nevada is Site of First-Ever Underground Nuclear Explosion.
On this day in 1957, the United States detonates a 1.7 kiloton nuclear weapon in an underground tunnel at the Nevada Test Site (NTS), a 1,375 square mile research center located 65 miles north of Las Vegas. The test, known as Rainier, was the first fully contained underground detonation and produced no radioactive fallout. A modified W-25 warhead weighing 218 pounds and measuring 25.7 inches in diameter and 17.4 inches in length was used for the test. Rainier was part of a series of 29 nuclear weapons and nuclear weapons safety tests known as Operation Plumbbob that were conducted at the NTS between May 28, 1957, and October 7, 1957.
In December 1941, the U.S. government committed to building the world’s first nuclear weapon when President Franklin Roosevelt authorized $2 billion in funding for what came to be known as the Manhattan Project. The first nuclear weapon test took place on July 16, 1945, at the Trinity site near Alamogordo, New Mexico. A few weeks later, on August 6, 1945, with the U.S. at war against Japan, President Harry Truman authorized the dropping of an atomic bomb named Little Boy over Hiroshima, Japan. Three days later, on August 9, a nuclear bomb called Fat Man was dropped over Nagasaki. Two hundred thousand people, according to some estimates, were killed in the attacks on the two cities and on August 15, 1945, Japan surrendered to the Allied Powers.
1957’s Operation Plumbbob took place at a time when the U.S. was engaged in a Cold War and nuclear arms race with the Soviet Union. In 1963, the U.S. signed the Limited Test Ban Treaty, which banned nuclear weapons testing in the atmosphere, underwater and outer space. A total of 928 tests took place at the Nevada Test Site between 1951 and 1992, when the U.S. conducted its last underground nuclear test. In 1996, the U.S signed the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, which prohibits nuclear detonations in all environments. (www.history.com/this-day-in-history/nevada-is-site-of-first-ever-underground-nuclear-explosion)
The First Sabbath.
Tradition and the almanac say that God rested on this day.
1519 – Magellan Left To Go Around the World.
History says that he perhaps was the first man who circled the globe. Let us thank God for modern conveyances which make it so commonplace today.
1873 – The New York Panic Over Bank Failures.
Why not pause to thank God today for the advantages of our banks. Let us thank God for their strength and for the privileges we enjoy through them.
1921 – Dr. John R. Rice was Ordained.
Dr. Rice is the famous author and editor of THE SWORD OF THE LORD. For many years he has been a leading evangelist. Some attribute to Dr. Rice the bringing back of city-wide revivals in America.
Dr. Rice relates that his call to preach was very simple and yet, certainly was of God. Before he was born, his mother dedicated him to be a preacher and as a little boy called him John, the Baptist Preacher. This fact was not revealed to Dr. Rice until after his mother’s death. She passed away when he was only six, and sang on her deathbed,
“How firm a foundation,
Ye saints of the Lord,
Is laid for your faith
In His excellent Word.”
Dr. Rice became a college professor and a football coach. It was while attending the University of Chicago, doing graduate work, that Dr. Rice visited Pacific Garden Rescue Mission. One night he won a drunken man to the Lord Jesus Christ. The next night this man came back cleaned up and happy in the Lord. Dr. Rice said, “This sure beats college English teaching.” Then and there he felt that if God could use him to be a preacher he would surrender.
Let us thank God today for Dr. Rice, for THE SWORD OF THE LORD, and the tremendous contribution he has made to our generation. Dr. Rice’s favorite Scripture verse is Psalm 126:6, “He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him.”
1780 – Benedict Arnold Commits Treason.
On this day in 1780, during the American Revolution, American General Benedict Arnold meets with British Major John Andre to discuss handing over West Point to the British, in return for the promise of a large sum of money and a high position in the British army. The plot was foiled and Arnold, a former American hero, became synonymous with the word “traitor.”
Arnold was born into a well-respected family in Norwich, Connecticut, on January 14, 1741. He apprenticed with an apothecary and was a member of the militia during the French and Indian War (1754-1763). He later became a successful trader and joined the Continental Army when the Revolutionary War broke out between Great Britain and its 13 American colonies in 1775. When the war ended in 1883, the colonies had won their independence from Britain and formed a new nation, the United States.
During the war, Benedict Arnold proved himself a brave and skillful leader, helping Ethan Allen’s troops capture Fort Ticonderoga in 1775 and then participating in the unsuccessful attack on British Quebec later that year, which earned him a promotion to brigadier general. Arnold distinguished himself in campaigns at Lake Champlain, Ridgefield and Saratoga, and gained the support of George Washington. However, Arnold had enemies within the military and in 1777, five men of lesser rank were promoted over him. Over the course of the next few years, Arnold married for a second time and he and his new wife lived a lavish lifestyle in Philadelphia, accumulating substantial debt. The debt and the resentment Arnold felt over not being promoted faster were motivating factors in his choice to become a turncoat.
In 1780, Arnold was given command of West Point, an American fort on the Hudson River in New York (and future home of the U.S. military academy, established in 1802). Arnold contacted Sir Henry Clinton, head of the British forces, and proposed handing over West Point and his men. On September 21 of that year, Arnold met with Major John Andre and made his traitorous pact. However, the conspiracy was uncovered and Andre was captured and executed. Arnold, the former American patriot, fled to the enemy side and went on to lead British troops in Virginia and Connecticut. He later moved to England, though he never received all of what he’d been promised by the British. He died in London on June 14, 1801. (www.history.com/this-day-in-history/benedict-arnold-commits-treason)
1784 – The First United States Daily Newspaper was Published.
Have you ever stopped to thank God for the newspaper? Things can happen across the world, on the other side of the globe, and we can find out about them in just a matter of a few minutes. Things that happened last night at nine o’clock you found out about in the morning paper this morning. To me, one of the biggest bargains in the world is the daily newspaper. I know of nowhere where you can get so much reading and spend so much time of enjoyment as you can in the daily newspaper. So many things we take for granted, don’t we?
How many times have I said that the very best things in life are the simple things. I feel sorry for people that have to go out on Saturday night, paint the town red, get an empty feeling in their stomachs, and end up with a brown taste in their mouths the next morning to have a thrill. I feel sorry for people who have to sin to get enjoyment.
Yes, the greatest things in life are the simple things. The “I love you” from a little child; the pitter-patter of little feet off to bed at night with the little bunny pajamas; the tender affection of a family who cares; the beauty of a sunset; the glory of a sunrise; the beauty of the stars at night; a meal together with the family; a picnic in the park – these are things that are thrilling to me.
Let us thank God today for the normal things and the usual things that we so ofttimes take for granted. Especially, let us thank God for the daily newspaper which was founded September 21, 1784.
1862 – Lincoln Issues Emancipation Proclamation.
On this day in 1862, President Abraham Lincoln issues a preliminary Emancipation Proclamation, which sets a date for the freedom of more than 3 million black slaves in the United States and recasts the Civil War as a fight against slavery.
When the Civil War broke out in 1861, shortly after Lincoln’s inauguration as America’s 16th president, he maintained that the war was about restoring the Union and not about slavery. He avoided issuing an anti-slavery proclamation immediately, despite the urgings of abolitionists and radical Republicans, as well as his personal belief that slavery was morally repugnant. Instead, Lincoln chose to move cautiously until he could gain wide support from the public for such a measure.
In July 1862, Lincoln informed his cabinet that he would issue an emancipation proclamation but that it would exempt the so-called border states, which had slaveholders but remained loyal to the Union. His cabinet persuaded him not to make the announcement until after a Union victory. Lincoln’s opportunity came following the Union win at the Battle of Antietam in September 1862. On September 22, the president announced that slaves in areas still in rebellion within 100 days would be free.
On January 1, 1863, Lincoln issued the final Emancipation Proclamation, which declared “that all persons held as slaves” within the rebel states “are, and henceforward shall be free.” The proclamation also called for the recruitment and establishment of black military units among the Union forces. An estimated 180,000 African Americans went on to serve in the army, while another 18,000 served in the navy.
After the Emancipation Proclamation, backing the Confederacy was seen as favoring slavery. It became impossible for anti-slavery nations such as Great Britain and France, who had been friendly to the Confederacy, to get involved on behalf of the South. The proclamation also unified and strengthened Lincoln’s party, the Republicans, helping them stay in power for the next two decades.
The proclamation was a presidential order and not a law passed by Congress, so Lincoln then pushed for an antislavery amendment to the U.S. Constitution to ensure its permanence. With the passage of the 13th Amendment in 1865, slavery was eliminated throughout America (although blacks would face another century of struggle before they truly began to gain equal rights).
Lincoln’s handwritten draft of the final Emancipation Proclamation was destroyed in the Chicago Fire of 1871. Today, the original official version of the document is housed in the National Archives in Washington, D.C. (www.history.com/this-day-in-history/lincoln-issues-emancipation-proclamation)
1865 – The Birthday of Ambrose J. Tomlinson.
Ambrose Tomlinson was one of the founders of the Church of God movement. Someone has estimated over forty denominations has since evolved from this group. Though very controversial, nevertheless, he was a leader.
1871 – Charlotte Elliott Died at Brighton, England.
Charlotte Elliott wrote perhaps the greatest soul-winning hymn in the history of Christendom, “Just As I Am.” For the many years of my ministry we have always used this for our invitation hymn. We start every invitation with the same hymn.
It has been said that someone was witnessing to Charlotte Elliott. She found it difficult to understand the Gospel. Someone told her just to come to Christ. She could not understand what it meant to come to Christ. Finally someone shouted, “Come just as you are.” From this statement came the great song, “Just As I Am.” Let’s sing it now.
JUST AS I AM
Just as I am, without one plea,
But that Thy blood was shed for me,
And that Thou biddest me come to Thee,
O Lamb of God, I come! I come!
Just as I am, and waiting not
To rid my soul of one dark blot,
To Thee whose blood can cleanse each spot,
O Lamb of God, I come! I come!
Just as I am, though tossed about
With many a conflict, many a doubt
Fightings and fears within, without,
O Lamb of God, I come! I come!
Just as I am, poor, wretched, blind;
Sight, riches, healing of the mind,
Yea, all I need in Thee to find,
O Lamb of God, I come! I come!
Just as I am, Thou wilt receive,
Wilt welcome, pardon, cleanse, relieve,
Because Thy promise I believe,
O Lamb of God, I come! I come!
1962 – Clyde J. Kennedy Died.
Kennedy was a defender of the faith. He was president of the American Council of Christian Churches from 1958 until 1961. Let us pray today for the American Council of Christian Churches and its leaders, and for fundamentalists everywhere who stand for the truth of God.
520 B.C. – Last Day of Preparation.
This was approximately the last day of preparation before recommencing the building of the Temple under the preaching of Haggai. Why could we not today thank God for the Temple. Not many days ago, Mrs. Hyles and I stood on the Temple spot where that Temple was built, looked at the Mount of Olives, and thought of the meaning of this spot. This is the place where Solomon built the Temple. This is the place where the Jews rebuilt the Temple, the Temple of Zerubbabel. This is the place where Herod’s Temple was located and the place where someday the Temple shall stand again. Let us look forward then to that day when the Temple shall be rebuilt and Jesus Christ Himself shall rule and reign on the earth from Jerusalem and be King of Kings and Lord of Lords.
Let us also, as we think of the House of God, thank God for our own church, the church building, the air conditioning, the lights, the heating, and for the comfortable places we have in which to serve and worship God.
Let us thank God for a Bible-preaching church. If you have the privilege of attending a soul-winning church, thank God for the soul-winning fervor and evangelistic zeal that permeates your church. Let us thank God for faithful pastors and faithful preachers today as we think about the day of rebuilding the House of God. Then, why not pledge our loyalty to the church and faithfulness to its services. I’ve often said if there is one thing that will cause a person to backslide more than any other thing, it is unfaithfulness to the house of God. Then if there is one thing that will keep a person from backsliding more than any other single thing, it is faithfulness to the House of God.
My mother used to say to me, “Son, we cannot give as much as others; we cannot dress as nicely as others; but there is no one that can be more faithful than we can.” Sunday morning, Sunday night, Wednesday night – all the services of the church ought to find God’s people faithful to God’s house.
1875 – Billy the Kid Arrested for First Time.
On this day in 1875, Billy the Kid is arrested for the first time after stealing a basket of laundry. He later broke out of jail and roamed the American West, eventually earning a reputation as an outlaw and murderer and a rap sheet that allegedly included 21 murders.
The exact details of Billy the Kid’s birth are unknown, other than his name, William Henry McCarty. He was probably born sometime between 1859 and 1861, in Indiana or New York. As a child, he had no relationship with his father and moved around with his family, living in Indiana, Kansas, Colorado and Silver City, New Mexico. His mother died in 1874 and Billy the Kid—who went by a variety of names throughout his life, including Kid Antrim and William Bonney—turned to crime soon afterward.
McCarty did a stint as a horse thief in Arizona before returning to New Mexico, where he hooked up with a gang of gunslingers and cattle rustlers involved in the notorious Lincoln County War between rival rancher and merchant factions in Lincoln County in 1878. Afterward, Billy the Kid, who had a slender build, prominent crooked front teeth and a love of singing, went on the lam and continued his outlaw’s life, stealing cattle and horses, gambling and killing people. His crimes earned him a bounty on his head and he was eventually captured and indicted for killing a sheriff during the Lincoln County War. Billy the Kid was sentenced to hang for his crime; however, a short time later, he managed another jail break, murdering two deputies in the process. Billy the Kid’s freedom was brief, as Sheriff Pat Garrett caught up with the desperado at Fort Sumner, New Mexico, on July 14, 1881, and fatally shot him.
Although his life was short, Billy the Kid’s legend grew following his death. Today he is a famous symbol of the Old West, along with such men as Kit Carson, Jesse James, Wild Bill Hickok, Doc Holliday and Wyatt Earp, and his story has been mythologized and romanticized in numerous films, books, TV shows and songs. Each year, tourists visit the town of Fort Sumner, located about 160 miles southeast of Albuquerque, to see the Billy the Kid Museum and gravesite. (www.history.com/this-day-in-history/billy-the-kid-arrested-for-first-time)
1889 – Birthday of Walter Lippman.
The First Day of Autumn.
Autumn represents many things. It reminds us of death. The leaves falling from the trees and the grass turning brown again remind us that each of us must someday come to the autumn time of life. Jeremiah said, “The harvest is past, the summer is ended. and we are not saved.” (Jeremiah 8:20) Let us dedicate ourselves in the autumn time to service for Christ.
Autumn means that summer has passed and school has started. It is time to get back to busy service for the Lord Jesus Christ. I trust that you will haye a wonderful autumn and that God will bless you as you spend the fall season.
520 B.C. – Work was Recommenced on the Temple.
The Temple in the Old Testament is a very interesting thing. As we mentioned yesterday, Mrs. Hyles and I have been to the Temple site and stood there with awe as we remembered the Bible accounts of the building and rebuilding of the Temple. The Temple in the New Testament age is something different.
Many people have the idea that the Temple in the New Testament age is the church building. This is not so. The New Testament Temple is the body of the Christian. In I Corinthians 3:16 we find, “Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?” So, since our bodies are the temples of the Holy Spirit, let us today dedicate them to cleanliness. Let us dedicate them to the Lord Jesus Christ. Let us follow the admonition of the apostle who said, “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.” (Romans 12:1)
1789 – The First Supreme Court.
The Judiciary Act of 1789 is passed by Congress and signed by President George Washington, establishing the Supreme Court of the United States as a tribunal made up of six justices who were to serve on the court until death or retirement. That day, President Washington nominated John Jay to preside as chief justice, and John Rutledge, William Cushing, John Blair, Robert Harrison, and James Wilson to be associate justices. On September 26, all six appointments were confirmed by the U.S. Senate.
The U.S. Supreme Court was established by Article 3 of the U.S. Constitution. The Constitution granted the Supreme Court ultimate jurisdiction over all laws, especially those in which their constitutionality was at issue. The high court was also designated to oversee cases concerning treaties of the United States, foreign diplomats, admiralty practice, and maritime jurisdiction. On February 1, 1790, the first session of the U.S. Supreme Court was held in New York City’s Royal Exchange Building.
The U.S. Supreme Court grew into the most important judicial body in the world in terms of its central place in the American political order. According to the Constitution, the size of the court is set by Congress, and the number of justices varied during the 19th century before stabilizing in 1869 at nine. In times of constitutional crisis, the nation’s highest court has always played a definitive role in resolving, for better or worse, the great issues of the time. (www.history.com/this-day-in-history/the-first-supreme-court)
1869 – The Date of the Gold Panic in New York.
1915 – Miss Viola Walden was Born.
1955 – President Eisenhower Suffered a Heart Attack.
1957 – Troops were Sent to Little Rock, Arkansas.
President Eisenhower sent troops to Little Rock, Arkansas, because of the race problems there.
Gold Star Mothers Day.
A Gold Star Mother is a mother who has lost someone on the battlefields in the wars of our nation. I’m thinking now of mothers who have given their sons for our country. May God bless these dear mothers today.
445 B.C. – The Wall was Finished Around Jerusalem.
For many years the people of God had been in Babylonian captivity. The city had been destroyed, the walls around the city had been leveled, and even the sacred Temple had been destroyed. The people of God were away from their homeland for nearly 500 years. Now God has burdened a remnant of them to rebuild the Temple and the wall. There were many forms of opposition and many heartaches in rebuilding this wall. This opposition came in the form of discouragement, harassment, ridicule, anger, etc., but the people kept working and the wall was finished. Perhaps you are facing a seemingly insurmountable task today. Remember, with God all things are possible. Keep on working! Don’t give up! The victory will come.
1513 – Balboa Discovered the Pacific.
1926 – Birthday of Jack Hyles.
I was born in a little town called Italy, Texas. It is in central Texas, in the black-land cotton country. I was born to very simple parents, that is as far as social standing and financial standing are concerned. I was the fourth child and the only boy. The two oldest sisters had died before I was born. My favorite Scripture verse is Daniel 12:3, “And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever.”
On this day each year I take inventory of my life and see what the year has meant to Christ and to other people. Let us today pause and see what we are doing for Christ and pledge ourselves to do more.
1957 – Central High School integrated.
Under escort from the U.S. Army’s 101st Airborne Division, nine black students enter all-white Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas. Three weeks earlier, Arkansas Governor Orval Faubus had surrounded the school with National Guard troops to prevent its federal court-ordered racial integration. After a tense standoff, President Dwight D. Eisenhower federalized the Arkansas National Guard and sent 1,000 army paratroopers to Little Rock to enforce the court order.
On May 17, 1954, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled unanimously in Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka that racial segregation in educational facilities was unconstitutional. Five days later, the Little Rock School Board issued a statement saying it would comply with the decision when the Supreme Court outlined the method and time frame in which desegregation should be implemented.
Arkansas was at the time among the more progressive Southern states in regard to racial issues. The University of Arkansas School of Law was integrated in 1949, and the Little Rock Public Library in 1951. Even before the Supreme Court ordered integration to proceed “with all deliberate speed,” the Little Rock School Board in 1955 unanimously adopted a plan of integration to begin in 1957 at the high school level. The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) filed suit, arguing the plan was too gradual, but a federal judge dismissed the suit, saying that the school board was acting in “utmost good faith.” Meanwhile, Little Rock’s public buses were desegregated. By 1957, seven out of Arkansas’ eight state universities were integrated.
In the spring of 1957, there were 517 black students who lived in the Central High School district. Eighty expressed an interest in attending Central in the fall, and they were interviewed by the Little Rock School Board, which narrowed down the number of candidates to 17. Eight of those students later decided to remain at all-black Horace Mann High School, leaving the “Little Rock Nine” to forge their way into Little Rock’s premier high school.
In August 1957, the newly formed Mother’s League of Central High School won a temporary injunction from the county chancellor to block integration of the school, charging that it “could lead to violence.” Federal District Judge Ronald Davies nullified the injunction on August 30. On September 2, Governor Orval Faubus—a staunch segregationist—called out the Arkansas National Guard to surround Central High School and prevent integration, ostensibly to prevent the bloodshed he claimed desegregation would cause. The next day, Judge Davies ordered integrated classes to begin on September 4.
That morning, 100 armed National Guard troops encircled Central High School. A mob of 400 white civilians gathered and turned ugly when the black students began to arrive, shouting racial epithets and threatening the teenagers with violence. The National Guard troops refused to let the black students pass and used their clubs to control the crowd. One of the nine, 15-year-old Elizabeth Eckford, was surrounded by the mob, which threatened to lynch her. She was finally led to safety by a sympathetic white woman.
Little Rock Mayor Woodrow Mann condemned Faubus’ decision to call out the National Guard, but the governor defended his action, reiterating that he did so to prevent violence. The governor also stated that integration would occur in Little Rock when and if a majority of people chose to support it. Faubus’ defiance of Judge Davies’ court order was the first major test of Brown v. Board of Education and the biggest challenge of the federal government’s authority over the states since the Reconstruction Era.
The standoff continued, and on September 20 Judge Davies ruled that Faubus had used the troops to prevent integration, not to preserve law and order as he claimed. Faubus had no choice but to withdraw the National Guard troops. Authority over the explosive situation was put in the hands of the Little Rock Police Department.
On September 23, as a mob of 1,000 whites milled around outside Central High School, the nine black students managed to gain access to a side door. However, the mob became unruly when it learned the black students were inside, and the police evacuated them out of fear for their safety. That evening, President Eisenhower issued a special proclamation calling for opponents of the federal court order to “cease and desist.” On September 24, Little Rock’s mayor sent a telegram to the president asking him to send troops to maintain order and complete the integration process. Eisenhower immediately federalized the Arkansas National Guard and approved the deployment of U.S. troops to Little Rock. That evening, from the White House, the president delivered a nationally televised address in which he explained that he had taken the action to defend the rule of law and prevent “mob rule” and “anarchy.” On September 25, the Little Rock Nine entered the school under heavily armed guard.
Troops remained at Central High School throughout the school year, but still the black students were subjected to verbal and physical assaults from a faction of white students. Melba Patillo, one of the nine, had acid thrown in her eyes, and Elizabeth Eckford was pushed down a flight of stairs. The three male students in the group were subjected to more conventional beatings. Minnijean Brown was suspended after dumping a bowl of chili over the head of a taunting white student. She was later suspended for the rest of the year after continuing to fight back. The other eight students consistently turned the other cheek. On May 27, 1958, Ernest Green, the only senior in the group, became the first black to graduate from Central High School.
Governor Faubus continued to fight the school board’s integration plan, and in September 1958 he ordered Little Rock’s three high schools closed rather than permit integration. Many Little Rock students lost a year of education as the legal fight over desegregation continued. In 1959, a federal court struck down Faubus’ school-closing law, and in August 1959 Little Rock’s white high schools opened a month early with black students in attendance. All grades in Little Rock public schools were finally integrated in 1972. (www.history.com/this-day-in-history/central-high-school-integrated)
Approximate Date of the First Day of Tabernacles.
1789 – Methodists Organized in Our Country.
The heritage of our Methodist friends is one of the richest in all Christendom. The list of great Methodist preachers reads like a hall of fame. John Wesley, Charles Wesley, George Whitefield, Sam Jones, Bob Jones, Sr., and many other names dot the history of Methodism. Methodism was founded by John Wesley as a fellowship and not as a denomination. It was branded immediately as fanaticism and was ridiculed by religious leaders and organizations of its day. It had a tremendous influence on campuses in England and spread like fire. John Wesley once said, “I just set myself on fire and folks come to watch me as I burn.” Again he said, “Give me ten men who hate nothing but sin, love nothing but God, seek nothing but souls, and we will turn the world upside down for Jesus Christ.” Let us pray today for this same spirit to characterize Methodism. Pray for God’s blessing upon funda¬mental, Bible-believing Methodists everywhere. Then pray by name for Methodist friends who are in your scope of acquaintance.
1820 – Daniel Boone Died.
1960 – First Nixon-Kennedy Debate on Television.
This was the first of the famous debates between the presidential candidates.
“For the first time in U.S. history, a debate between major party presidential candidates is shown on television. The presidential hopefuls, John F. Kennedy, a Democratic senator of Massachusetts, and Richard M. Nixon, the vice president of the United States, met in a Chicago studio to discuss U.S. domestic matters.
Kennedy emerged the apparent winner from this first of four televised debates, partly owing to his greater ease before the camera than Nixon, who, unlike Kennedy, seemed nervous and declined to wear makeup. Nixon fared better in the second and third debates, and on October 21 the candidates met to discuss foreign affairs in their fourth and final debate. Less than three weeks later, on November 8, Kennedy won 49.7 percent of the popular vote in one of the closest presidential elections in U.S. history, surpassing by a fraction the 49.6 percent received by his Republican opponent.
One year after leaving the vice presidency, Nixon returned to politics, winning the Republican nomination for governor of California. Although he lost the election, Nixon returned to the national stage in 1968 in a successful bid for the presidency. Like Lyndon Johnson in 1964, Nixon declined to debate his opponent in the 1968 presidential campaign. Televised presidential debates returned in 1976, and have been held in every presidential campaign since.” (www.history.com/this-day-in-history/first-kennedy-nixon-debate)
1722 – Samuel Adams was Born.
1779 – John Adams Appointed to Negotiate Peace Terms with British.
On this day in 1779, the Continental Congress appoints John Adams to travel to France as minister plenipotentiary in charge of negotiating treaties of peace and commerce with Great Britain during the Revolutionary War.
Adams had traveled to Paris in 1778 to negotiate an alliance with France, but had been unceremoniously dismissed when Congress chose Benjamin Franklin as sole commissioner. Soon after returning to Massachusetts in mid-1779, Adams was elected as a delegate to the state convention to draw up a new constitution; he was involved in these duties when he learned of his new diplomatic commission. Accompanied by his young sons John Quincy and Charles, Adams sailed for Europe that November aboard the French ship Sensible, which sprang a leak early in the voyage and missed its original destination (Brest), instead landing at El Ferrol, in northwestern Spain. After an arduous journey by mule train across the Pyrenees and into France, Adams and his group reached Paris in early February 1780.
While in Paris, Adams wrote to Congress almost daily (sometimes several letters a day) sharing news about British politics, British and French naval activities and his general perspective on European affairs. Conditions were unfavorable for peace at the time, as the war was going badly for the Continental Army, and the blunt and sometimes confrontational Adams clashed with the French government, especially the powerful Foreign Minister Charles Gravier, Comte de Vergennes. In mid-June, Adams began a correspondence with Vergennes in which he pushed for French naval assistance, antagonizing both Vergennes and Franklin, who brought the matter to the attention of Congress.
By that time, Adams had departed France for Holland, where he was attempting to negotiate a loan from the Dutch. Before the end of the year, he was named American minister to the Netherlands, replacing Henry Laurens, who was captured at sea by the British. In June 1781, capitulating to pressure from Vergennes and other French diplomats, Congress acted to revoke Adams’ sole powers as peacemaker with Britain, appointing Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, John Jay and Laurens to negotiate alongside him.
The tide of the war was turning in America’s favor, and Adams returned to Paris in October 1782 to take up his part in the peace negotiations. As Jefferson didn’t travel to Europe and Laurens was in failing health after his release from the Tower of London, it was left to Adams, Jay and Franklin to represent American interests. Adams and Jay both distrusted the French government (in contrast with Franklin), but their differences of opinion and diplomatic styles allowed the team to negotiate favorable terms in the Peace of Paris (1783). The following year, Jefferson arrived to take Adams’ place as American minister to France, forming a lifelong bond with Adams and his family before the latter left to take up his new post as American ambassador to London and continue his distinguished record of foreign service on behalf of the new nation. (www.history.com/this-day-in-history/john-adams-appointed-to-negotiate-peace-terms-with-british)
1805 – George Mueller was Born.
George Mueller is one of the great names in Christian history. He founded a great orphanage and fed nearly 1,700 boys and girls by faith. It is said many times there would be no meal for the children and dinner would be a couple of hours away. George Mueller would go to prayer and miraculously, from an unknown source, a truck would come with food for the next meal. History says that George Mueller prayed down over seven million dollars. He was filled with the Spirit. He was led to this fullness the first time he saw Christians on their knees. He went to a fellowship meeting in a home and was so impressed by seeing Christians kneel and pray that he too knelt and prayed, and God’s power came upon him.
1921 – Dr. John R. Rice Married Lloys McClure Cook.
Together this young couple attended seminary and launched into an evangelistic ministry that was to bring back city-wide revivals in America. It has been my privilege to know intimately these dear friends. I know of no better Christians in the world. Theirs has been a life of devotion, sacrifice, and service for the cause of Christ. Though Dr. Rice could have been a wealthy man, simply by taking the royalty and profits from his books, the Rice’s have lived modestly through the years and given to the cause of Christ. Let us thank God for the ministry of Dr. John R. Rice and THE SWORD OF THE LORD, and for the loving contributions to the work by Mrs. Rice.
1542 – California was Discovered.
1839 – Frances Willard was Born.
Frances Willard was the founder of the Women’s Christian Temperance Union. May we thank God for this group and the fight it has taken against liquor in all forms. The last words of this saint were, “I love the New Testament.”
1867 – Dr. W. E. Biederwolf was Born.
1934-The SWORD OF THE LORD Newspaper was Founded.
The SWORD OF THE LORD has been for many years America’s largest independent Christian weekly. Dr. John Rice has been its editor from its birth. The first edition was 5,000 copies. Only God knows the influence this paper has had upon America. Recently a leading liberal seminary asked for back copies of THE SWORD OF THE LORD from many years back, not because they agree with its stand, but because they recognize it as the voice of fundamentalism for our generation.
I well remember the first time I became acquainted with this paper. I was in a typical denominational college. One day while attending Bible class, I stepped on a paper – THE SWORD OF THE LORD. Looking down, I noticed Billy Sunday’s picture on the front. I picked it up, read the sermon, and my ministry began to change. From that day until this, THE SWORD OF THE LORD has been one of the outstanding influences upon my ministry.
Let us thank God today for THE SWORD OF THE LORD, Dr. John R. Rice, and those who have helped in the work of THE SWORD through the years. We should not forget the many SWORD workers. May God bless them.
1941 – Ted Williams Becomes Last Player to Hit .400
On this day in 1941, the Boston Red Sox’s Ted Williams plays a double-header against the Philadelphia Athletics on the last day of the regular season and gets six hits in eight trips to the plate, to boost his batting average to .406 and become the first player since Bill Terry in 1930 to hit .400. Williams, who spent his entire career with the Sox, played his final game exactly 19 years later, on September 28, 1960, at Boston’s Fenway Park and hit a home run in his last time at bat, for a career total of 521 homeruns.
Williams was born on August 30, 1918, in San Diego, and began his major league career with the Red Sox in 1939. 1941 marked Williams’ best season. In addition to his .406 batting average–no major league player since him has hit .400–the left fielder led the league with 37 homers, 135 runs and had a slugging average of .735. Also that season, Williams, whose nicknames included “The Splendid Splinter” and “The Thumper,” had an on-base percentage of .553, a record that remained unbroken for 61 years, until Barry Bonds achieved a percentage of .582 in 2002.
In 1942, Williams won the American League Triple Crown, for highest batting average and most RBIs and homeruns. He duplicated the feat in 1947. In 1946 and 1949, he was named the American League’s Most Valuable Player and in June 1960, he became the fourth player in major league history to hit 500 homers. He was selected to the All-Star team 17 times.
Williams played his last game on September 28, 1960, and retired with a lifetime batting average of .344, a .483 career on-base percentage and 2,654 hits. His achievements are all the more impressive because his career was interrupted twice for military service: Williams was a Marine Corps pilot during World War II and the Korean War and as a result missed a total of nearly five seasons from baseball.
Williams, who was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1966, managed the Washington Senators (renamed the Texas Rangers in 1972) from 1969 to 1972. In 1984, the Boston Red Sox retired his uniform number (nine). Williams died of cardiac arrest at age 83 on July 5, 2002, in Florida. In a controversial move, his son sent his father’s body to be frozen at a cryonics laboratory. (www.history.com/this-day-in-history/ted-williams-becomes-last-player-to-hit-400)
American Indian Day.
Let us thank God for the Indians and pray for the work among them. Pray for the missionaries who labor with them and pray that God will help them to win many to Himself.
1867 – The Birthday of Dr. A. E. Biederwolf.
Dr. Biederwolf, a famous evangelist, made his home in Monticello, Indiana, and was a great preacher. For many years he was affiliated with the Winona Lake Bible Conference and many attribute to him the original success of the great Winona Lake Conference grounds. Of course, Billy Sunday was, no doubt, the main contributor to the growth of the conference grounds, but Dr. Biederwolf had a tremendous influence on the ministry of the work there.
Biederwolf got off the train one time in Lima, Ohio, for a revival meeting, and he said these words, “I am here to fight the Devil wherever he may be found. I am here to hunt out Satan.” This reminded me of what the old preacher said when he came to the end of his trail. He said, “I am going to bite the Devil as long as I have teeth; and then I am going to gum Him till I die.”
I trust that today we will thank God for preachers who have laid the foundations for Bible preaching today – men like Dr. Biederwolf. Let us thank God for evangelists today. Perhaps you know some evangelist you ought to pray for today. Let us thank God for those who go from town to town, preaching the wonderful Gospel of Jesus Christ. Let each of us dedicate himself to be an evangelist in his own right as we witness to others of the saving grace of the Lord Jesus Christ.
1892 – The First Night Football Game was Played.
Adam and Eve Were Banished From the Garden of Eden.
Tradition says that September 30 was the day that Adam and Eve were banished from the Garden of Eden. You recall the story that caused Adam and Eve to be separated from God.
Dear friend, sin is what separates you from God. We have a little “puppy-dog” in our house – a Chihuahua – and I can always tell when he has done something wrong. He doesn’t want to be around me. He tucks in his tail, pulls his ears back, and goes under a chair. He doesn’t want to be around the boss because he’s done something wrong.
That is also true with the child of God. The Bible says, “…men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.” (John 3:19) Sin separates from God. So, let us be careful to walk with God. Let us not allow sin to come into our lives’ or reign over our mortal bodies so we can have close fellowship with God. Just as it was in the Garden of Eden, even so sin will separate you from God. ‘The reason people do not pray is because of sin. The reason people do not read their Bible is because of sin. The reason people do not walk with God is because of sin.
1770 – George Whitefield Died.
Truly George Whitefield, a famous English preacher, was one of the greats in history. He was called the outdoor preacher. Someone said his voice carried a mile. In Combuslang, near Glascow, he preached to 100,000 people (without a public address system, of course) and 10,000 were converted. Can you feature a man preaching to 100,000 people without a loud speaker? Feature thousands of people being converted in that one service!
It is said that many times he would come back from preaching, after having been stoned while he preached, with his face splattered with blood and his skin broken all over his face. God give us preachers like that today.
It was said that Whitefield could make men weep by just pronouncing the word, “Mesopotamia.”
1846 – The First Use of Anesthetic.
It was used for the extraction of a tooth by Dr. Crawford Long.
1954 – USS Nautilus Commissioned.
The USS Nautilus, the world’s first nuclear submarine, is commissioned by the U.S. Navy.
The Nautilus was constructed under the direction of U.S. Navy Captain Hyman G. Rickover, a brilliant Russian-born engineer who joined the U.S. atomic program in 1946. In 1947, he was put in charge of the navy’s nuclear-propulsion program and began work on an atomic submarine. Regarded as a fanatic by his detractors, Rickover succeeded in developing and delivering the world’s first nuclear submarine years ahead of schedule. In 1952, the Nautilus‘ keel was laid by President Harry S. Truman, and on January 21, 1954, first lady Mamie Eisenhower broke a bottle of champagne across its bow as it was launched into the Thames River at Groton, Connecticut. Commissioned on September 30, 1954, it first ran under nuclear power on the morning of January 17, 1955.
Much larger than the diesel-electric submarines that preceded it, the Nautilus stretched 319 feet and displaced 3,180 tons. It could remain submerged for almost unlimited periods because its atomic engine needed no air and only a very small quantity of nuclear fuel. The uranium-powered nuclear reactor produced steam that drove propulsion turbines, allowing the Nautilus to travel underwater at speeds in excess of 20 knots.
In its early years of service, the USS Nautilus broke numerous submarine travel records and in August 1958 accomplished the first voyage under the geographic North Pole. After a career spanning 25 years and almost 500,000 miles steamed, the Nautilus was decommissioned on March 3, 1980. Designated a National Historic Landmark in 1982, the world’s first nuclear submarine went on exhibit in 1986 as the Historic Ship Nautilus at the Submarine Force Museum in Groton, Connecticut. (www.history.com/this-day-in-history/uss-inautilusi-commissioned)