Æthelberht was King of Kent from about 589 until his death on 24
February 616. Bede lists him in the Ecclesiastical History of the
English People as the third king to hold imperium over other Anglo-Saxon
kingdoms, and he is called a bretwalda or "Britain-ruler" in the Anglo-
Saxon Chronicle. Æthelberht's law, the earliest written code in any
Germanic language, instituted a complex system of fines. Coins may have
begun to circulate in Kent during his reign for the first time since the
Anglo-Saxon settlement of Britain. His marriage to Bertha, the Christian
daughter of Charibert, king of the Franks, built an alliance with the
most powerful Western European state. Æthelberht became the first
English king to convert to Christianity, shortly after the arrival of
Pope Gregory I's missionary Augustine in 597. Churches were established,
and wider-scale conversion to the religion began in the kingdom.
Æthelberht provided the new church with land in Canterbury, thus
establishing one of the foundation stones of what ultimately became the
Anglican church. He later came to be regarded as a saint; his feast day
is 25 February.
Read more: <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/%C3%86thelberht_of_Kent>
Today's selected anniversaries:
A Spanish-Imperial army defeated a French force in the Battle
of Pavia, the decisive engagement of the Italian War of 1521–26.
George Frideric Handel's Rinaldo, the first Italian language
opera written specifically for the London stage, premiered.
The first Swaminarayan temple, Swaminarayan Mandir in present-
day Ahmedabad, India, was inaugurated.
Colonel Juan Perón, founder of the political movement that
became known as Peronism, was elected to his first term as President of
Philippine President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo declared a state
of emergency in an attempt to subdue a possible military coup.
Wiktionary's word of the day:
1. Torn apart.
2. Broken into pieces; split asunder.
Wikiquote quote of the day:
The United States was made by men of all races and colors, not for
white men, but for the refuge and defense of man. If it does not rest
upon the natural rights of man, it rests nowhere. If it does not exist
by the consent of governed then any exclusion is possible, and it is a
shorter step from an exclusive white man's government to an exclusively
rich white man's government, than it is from a system for mankind to one
for white men. The spirit which excludes some men today because they are
of a certain color, may exclude others tomorrow because they are of a
certain poverty or a certain church or a certain birthplace. There is no
safety, no guarantee, no security in a prejudice. If we build strong and
long, we must build upon moral principle.
--George William Curtis