TODAY IN HISTORY
In 547, Italian monk Benedict, author of the Benedictine rule which established the pattern for European monastic life through the Middle Ages, died at Monte Cassino. In 1965, Pope Paul VI proclaimed him the patron saint of Europe. In 1556, Thomas Cranmer, author of the “Book of Common Prayer” and the churchman who proposed a method by which Henry VIII could divorce Catherine of Aragon without dispensation from Rome, was burned at the stake by order of the Catholic queen, Mary I. Mary -- Henry and Catherine’s daughter -- attempted to restore Catholicism as England’s official religion, as opposed to the Anglicanism that allowed Henry to divorce her mother. In 1617, Pocohontas, an Indian princess who married English settler John Rolfe, one of the founders of a colony in Virgina, died in England at age 22. In 1621, English settlers signed their first treaty with Indians at Plymouth, Mass. In 1666, Intendant Jean Talon counted 3,000 people in Canada’s first census. In 1685, Johann Sebastian Bach, one of the greatest and most influential composers in the Western world, was born in Eisenach, Germany. In 1804, the French civil code, known as the Napoleonic code, was adopted.