1741 - German composer George Frederick Handel, 56, finished composing his oratorio, "The Messiah." He wrote the score, start-to-finish, in only 24 days, subsisting primarily on coffee.
1765 - Anglican clergyman and hymnwriter John Newton wrote in a letter: 'How unspeakable are our obligations to the grace of God.'
1918 - The Evangelical Lutheran Joint Synod of Wisconsin, Ohio and Other States was formed from the merger of several smaller synods. In 1930 this denomination merged with two other synods to form the American Lutheran Church (ALC).
1927 - Bob Jones University opened in Greenville, South Carolina, and eighty-eight students registered for the first fall term.
1975 - (Mother) Elizabeth Ann Bayley Seton (1774-1821) was canonized by Pope Paul VI, making her the first native-born American citizen to become a saint in the Roman Catholic Church.
© 1987-2012, William D. Blake. Used by permission of the author, from
Almanac of the Christian Church