Today in history
On this date:
In 430, St. Augustine of Hippo, the great early Latin Church father and one of the outstanding theological figures of the ages, died at age 76. It was St. Augustine who wrote: “Thou hast made us for thyself, O Lord, and our hearts are restless till they find their rest in thee.” His greatest work was “City of God.”
In 1619, Ferdinand II was crowned Holy Roman Emperor. In 1749, German author Johann Wolfgang von Goethe was born.
In 1789, Enceladus, one of Saturn’s moons, was discovered. Scientists think the moon may have underground fluids, making it one of the top planets in the solar system where extraterrestrial life might exist.
In 1828, Count Leo Tolstoy, one of the world’s great classical writers, was born at Yasnaya Polyana, in Russia. Tolstoy did not distinguish himself in university but began making his mark as a writer in 1854 with his brilliant sketches of the Crimean War. After his return from the war, Tolstoy freed the serfs at his estate and became a social reformer. His masterpieces include “War and Peace” and “Anna Karenina.”
In 1833, an act abolishing slavery throughout the British Colonies received royal assent. It came into force Aug. 1, 1834. It was the result of a campaign by abolitionists internationally, and in the British Parliament by an alliance of Evangelical Anglicans and Quakers led by MP William Wilberforce.
In 1916, Italy declared war on Germany during the First World War.