1179 Pope Alexander III (1100/05–1181) convoked the Third Lateran Council. Attended by three hundred bishops, it gave the college of cardinals the exclusive right to elect the pope (by a two-thirds majority) and enacted measures against the Waldensians and Albigensians.
1409 The college of cardinals convoked the Council of Pisa to end the Great Schism, which had divided Western Christendom in 1378 by the election of rival popes.
1518 Desiderius Erasmus (1466/69–1536) sent a copy of Martin Luther’s Ninety-five Theses to Sir Thomas More (1478–1535), the Lord Chancellor of England during Henry VIII’s schism with Rome.
1545 The Council of Trent was called by Pope Paul III (1468–1549) after lecturing Emperor Charles V (1500–1558) for meddling in affairs of the church.
1624 Kaspar Friedrich Nachtenhöfer, hymnist, was born at Halle (d. 1685).
1693 Johann Jakob Wettstein, New Testament scholar and Arminian, was born in Basel (d. 23 March 1754).
1743 Editor Thomas Prince (1687–1758) published the first issue of the weekly The Christian History, the first religious journal published in America, in Boston during the midst of the Great Awakening.
1774 Christoph E. F. Weyse, hymnist, was born in Atona, Denmark (d. 8 October 1842, Copenhagen, Denmark).
1778 Thomas Augustine Arne, English sacred composer, died (b. 12 March 1710).
1813 Henry Ballantine (Ballentine), missionary to India who translated the Bible into Marathi, was born near Albany, New York (d. 9 November 1865).
1868 Frederick C. Randt, theological professor and LCMS vice-president, was born in New York City (d. 20 December 1937, Ironwood, Michigan). He attended Concordia College (Fort Wayne, Indiana) and Concordia Seminary (Saint Louis), graduating from the latter in 1889. He served several parishes in Wisconsin and Minnesota. He was an instructor for several years at the Wittenberg (Wisconsin) Academy and from 1915 to 1929 he served the Minnesota District in various offices. He was elected a vice-president of the Missouri Synod in 1929, holding that office until his death.
1892 Graham Wilmot Brooke, African missionary, died in Lokoja, Africa (b. 1865).
1899 Alcoholic-turned-evangelist Samuel Porter Jones (1847–1906) began a crusade in Toledo, Ohio, where the mayor was also named Sam Jones.
1900 Franz Michael Zahn, missiologist, died (b. 1833).
1907 Friedrich W. Blass (b. 22 January 1843), German philologist and grammarian, died.
1926 Ivar Daniel Ylvisaker, president of the North Dakota District of the Norwegian Lutheran Church in America, died (b. 26 May 1868).
1933 Theodore (von) Zahn, German theologian at Erlangen, died (b. 10 October 1838, Moers, near Duisburg, Germany). [German Wikipedia article]
1940 Richard Theodore Kretzschmar, Western District president, died (b. 17 May 1868).
1984 The U.S. Supreme Court in Lynch v. Donnelly ruled that a city may use a manger scene as part of an official Christmas display without
violating the separation of government and organized religion, as set down in the Constitution.