8, 1934: American missionaries John and Betty Stam are beheaded by Chinese communists. The couple had met while attending Moody Bible Institute and married just the year before their death. Publication of their biography prompted hundreds to volunteer for missionary service (see issue 52: Hudson Taylor).
8 John Lennon, singer, guitarist, songwriter, and poet for the Beatles, was assassinated in New York City by Mark David Chapman in 1980.
9, 1608: English poet John Milton is born in London. Though most famous for his epic Paradise Lost, he also penned an exposition of Christian doctrine, a plan for Christian education, and various political writings.
9, 1840: Unable to go to China, David Livingstone sets sail from London as a missionary to southern Africa (see issue 56: David Livingstone).
9, 1843: The first Christmas cards—actually more like postcards—are created and sold for a shilling.
10, 1520: German reformer Martin Luther publicly burns Pope Leo X's bull "Exsurge Domine," which had demanded that Luther recant his heresies—including justification by faith alone (see issue 34: Luther's Early Years).
10 Wyoming, a territory of the U.S., allowed women to vote and hold office (1869).
10 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. received the Nobel Peace Prize. (1964)
11, 1792: Jacob Mohr, author of the poem "Silent Night," is born.
11, 1984: The White House displays a nativity scene for the first time since courts ordered its removal in 1973.
12, 1712: The colony of South Carolina requires "all persons whatsoever" to attend church each Sunday and refrain from skilled labor and travel. Violators of the "Sunday Law" could be fined 10 shillings or locked in the stocks for two hours.
13 The Clip-on tie is created. (1928)
13, 1835: Phillips Brooks, Episcopal prelate and author of "O Little Town of Bethlehem," is born in Boston