332 Gregory the Illuminator, who led a nation (Armenia) to adopt Christianity even before Constantine legalized it in the Roman Empire, died (b. ca. 240–257).
789 The first Synod of Aachen met in Aachen, Germany (Aix-la-Chapelle), under Charlemagne (742/747–814). Although nothing of great importance was decided at this meeting, future meetings in Aachen were of importance to the Christian church.
1540 Waltham Abbey in Essex, England, became the last monastery in that country to surrender its allegiance to the Roman Catholic Church and support King Henry VIII and the emerging Church of England.
1555 Pope Julius III, born Giovanni Maria Ciocchi del Monte, who served from 1550 until his death, died (b. 10 September 1487).
1566 Wolfgang von Anhalt, signer of the Augsburg Confession, died.
1622 Melchior Adam, Protestant biographer, died at Heidelberg, where he was rector of the city school (or 26 December; b. ca. 1575).
1743 George Frideric Handel’s (1685–1759) oratorio Messiah played in London and was attended by the king.
1748 Johann Gottfried Walther, German music theorist, organist, and composer, died (b. 18 September 1684).
1754 Johann Jakob Wettstein, Arminian New Testament scholar, died in Amsterdam, Netherlands (b. 5 March 1693).
1804 Samuel Munson, missionary to Indonesia, was born in New Sharon, Maine (d. 28 June 1834).
1812 Stephen Return Riggs, missionary to the Dakota Indians, was born in Steubenville, Ohio (d. 24 August 1883).
1823 Henry Twells, hymnist, was born (d. 19 January 1900).
1836 Crawford Howell Toy, an American Hebrew scholar, was born at Norfolk, Virginia (d. 1919).
1892 George Arthur Buttrick, Presbyterian pastor and educator, was born at Seaham Harbor, Northumberland, England (d. 1980). Ordained in the U.S. in 1915, he served four pastorates, the last being at the Madison Avenue Presbyterian Church in New York City (1927–1954). He also taught at both Union Theological Seminary and Harvard University. He was the chief editor of The Interpreter’s Bible (1952–1967).
1920 Theodore Emmanuel Schmauk, American Lutheran pastor, theologian and historian, died (b. 30 May 1860).
1937 Richard William Heintze, librarian at Concordia Seminary (Saint Louis) died (b. 11 November 1868, Berlin, Germany). He also served as the first curator of Concordia Historical Institute from 1927 to 1936.
1966 The Archbishop of Canterbury, Arthur Michael Ramsey (1904–1988), visited Rome and met with Pope Paul VI. This was the first such meeting between the heads of these two churches since Henry VIII broke from Rome to form the Church of England over four hundred years before.
2001 Alvin Lee Barry, president of the Missouri Synod, died in Orlando, Florida (b. 4 August 1931, Woodbine, Iowa). He was the 10th president of the synod and the first to die in office.