1654 - French mathematician Blaise Pascal, 31, underwent a profound religious conversion. He thereupon abandoned his study of science, having realized that "the Christian religion obliges us to live only for God, and to have no other aim than him."
1729 - German-born John Philip Boehm, 46, was formally ordained a pastor of the Dutch Reformed Church. Boehm had previously come to America in 1720, where he began organizing religious services among German Reformed immigrants in Pennsylvania.
1742 - English revivalist George Whitefield wrote in a letter: 'Two things I would earnestly recommend to your constant study: the book of God, and your own heart. These two, well understood, will make you an able minister of the New Testament.'
1947 - E. L. Sukenik of Jerusalem's Hebrew University first received word of the existence of the Dead Sea Scrolls. The documents, dating between 200 BC and AD 70, had been accidentally discovered the previous winter (1946-47) by two Bedouin shepherds in the vicinity of Qumran.
1970 - Pope Paul VI issued a decree barring cardinals over the age of 80 from voting for a new pope.
© 1987-2009, William D. Blake. Used by permission of the author, from
Almanac of the Christian Church