Thomas Cranmer (1489–1556) was a leader of the English Reformation and Archbishop of Canterbury during the reigns of Henry VIII and Edward VI. Along with Thomas Cromwell, he supported the principle of royal supremacy in which the king was considered sovereign over the Church within his realm. He was responsible for establishing the first doctrinal and liturgical structures of the Church of England, and succeeded in publishing the first officially authorised vernacular service, the Exhortation and Litany. When Edward came to power, Cranmer was able to promote major reforms. He wrote and compiled the first two editions of the Book of Common Prayer, a complete liturgy for the English Church. He developed new doctrinal standards in areas such as the eucharist, clerical celibacy, the role of images in places of worship, and the veneration of saints. Cranmer was tried for treason and heresy when Mary I came to the throne. Imprisoned for over two years and under pressure from the Church authorities, he made several recantations and reconciled himself with the Catholic faith. However, on the day of his execution, he dramatically withdrew his recantations and died as a Protestant martyr. His legacy lives on within the Church of England through the Book of Common Prayer and the Thirty-Nine Articles, an Anglican statement of faith derived from his work.
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Today's selected anniversaries:
United States Navy Lieutenant Stephen Decatur led a raid to destroy the captured USS Philadelphia in Tripoli, denying her use to the Barbary States in the First Barbary War.
French President Félix Faure suddenly died from apoplexy while having sexual activities with Marguerite Steinheil in his office.
The Council of Lithuania signed the Act of Independence of Lithuania, proclaiming the restoration of an independent Lithuania governed by democratic principles, despite the presence of German troops in the country during World War I.
The Austrian Civil War ended with the military of the First Austrian Republic defeating the Social Democrats and the Republikanischer Schutzbund, leaving at least several hundred people dead and more than a thousand wounded in the five-day conflict.
"The Hizballah Program" was released, describing the ideology and goals of the Shia Islamic political and paramilitary organization Hezbollah as "putting an end to any colonialist entity" in Lebanon, bringing the Phalangists to justice for "the crimes they [had] perpetrated," and establishing an Islamic regime in Lebanon.
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Public opinion, or what passes for public opinion, is not invariably a moderating force in the jungle of politics. It may be true, and I suspect it is, that the mass of people everywhere are normally peace-loving and would accept many restraints and sacrifices in preference to the monstrous calamities of war. But I also suspect that what purports to be public opinion in most countries that consider themselves to have popular government is often not really the consensus of the feelings of the mass of the people at all, but rather the expression of the interests of special highly vocal minorities — politicians, commentators, and publicity-seekers of all sorts: people who live by their ability to draw attention to themselves and die, like fish out of water, if they are compelled to remain silent. --George F. Kennan