1656 - Massachusetts enacted severe laws against Quakers. (At the time, government and religion were intricately interwoven; the line between blasphemy and treason was virtually nonexistent; and non-sacramental Quakerism gave the impression that the denomination was anti-government.)
1717 - The first synod of the Presbyterian Church in America met in Philadelphia.
1776 - Along the western coast of North America, a party of 247 Spanish colonists consecrated their newly-founded mission, known as San Francisco.
1787 - The U.S. Constitution -- ratified on this date -- contained the following code under Article 6, Section 3: 'No religious tests shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States.'
1868 - Birth of Walter Gowans, Canadian missions pioneer. In 1893 he helped found the Sudan Interior Mission in Toronto. Today, SIM works with African nationals and specializes in church planting, medicine and broadcasting.
© 1987-2009, William D. Blake. Used by permission of the author, from Almanac of the Christian Church