1816 - In Philadelphia, church reformer Richard Allen, 56, was elected the first bishop of the newly-created African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church. (Previously, in 1799, Allen had been the first black ordained to preach in the Methodist Episcopal Church.)
1838 - Birth of Edward Kremser, German chorister. Included among his numerous vocal and instrumental works is the enduring hymn tune KREMSER ("We Gather Together").
1933 - Death of Henry Van Dyke, 81, an American Presbyterian clergyman and author. He is still remembered for two writings: a book, "The Story of the Other Wise Man" (1896), and a hymn, "Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee" (1908).
1945 - U.S. Armed forces liberated the prison camp at Buchenwald, Germany. It was estimated that nearly 57,000 prisoners (mostly Jews) perished in the gas chambers of Buchenwald during its eight-year existence as a Nazi concentration camp.
1970 - The Russian Orthodox Church in America was granted autocephalic independence by its Mother organization, the Russian Orthodox Church. Headquartered today in Syosset, New York, membership in this religious body currently numbers approximately one million.
© 1987-2012, William D. Blake. Used by permission of the author, from
Almanac of the Christian Church