This Day in History

It all happened in a day . . . November 30. How many of these events do you remember, that all occurred this day in history?

  • Earliest eclipse on record (3340 B.C.)
  • Second siege of Pensacola, ending with Britain’s failure to capture Pensacola, Florida (1707)
  • U.S. Senate begins impeachment trial of Federalist Supreme Court Justice Samuel Chase (1804)
  • Civil War Battle of Franklin, Tennessee; the South lost six generals (1864)
  • Lucille Ball marries Desi Arnaz in Greenwich, Connecticut (1940)
  • Civil War begins in Palestine, resulting in creation of the State of Israel (1947)
  • Only documented meteorite to hit a human directly, crashes through house in Sylacauga, Alabama (1954)
  • Michael Jackson’s album “Thriller” is released; becomes best-selling record in music history (1982)
  • Official end of Operation Desert Storm (1995)
  • Exxon and Mobil merge to form ExxonMobil, the largest company in the world (1998)
  • Jeopardy Show champion Ken Jennings finally loses, having won a game-show record $2.5 million (2004)

Yes, a lot can happen in a day. How ’bout these for good days – the resurrection of Christ, the creation of the heavens and the earth, the Sermon on the Mount, the parting of the Red Sea.

It’s amazing what God can do in a day. And only heaven knows what God plans to do in your life – today!

Banks

A farmer who had experienced several bad years went to see the manager of his bank. “I’ve got some good news and some bad news to tell you. Which would you like to hear first?” asked the farmer.

“Why don’t you tell me the bad news first, and get it over with?” the banker replied.

“Okay. With a bad drought and inflation and all, I won’t be able to pay anything on my mortgage this year, either on the principal or the interest.”

“Well, that is pretty bad,” said the banker.

“It gets worse,” the farmer continued. “I also won’t be able to pay anything on the loan you gave me for that great machinery I bought.”

“Wow, is that ever bad!” said the banker.

“It’s worse than that. You remember I also borrowed money to buy seed and fertilizer and other supplies? Well, I can’t pay anything on those things, either.”

The banker said, “That’s enough! Tell me what the good news is.”

“The good news,” replied the farmer, “is that I intend to keep on doing business with you.”

You and I have the greatest Banker in the universe. Despite our defaults and faults, debts and moral bankruptcies, he still does business with us.

The Great Portuguese Discovery – 498 Days Ago Today

Okay, let’s take a shot at a history question. For whom did they name the Strait of Magellan? I’ll give you a hint. We have his picture here. Was it . . .

A. Columbus

B. Magellan

C. George Strait

I’ll go ahead and remove the suspense. The correct answer is Magellan.

Born to a wealthy Portuguese family in 1480, Magellan became a skilled sailor and naval officer. He would eventually be picked by King Charles I of Spain to lead a search for a westward route to the Spice Islands. Commanding a fleet of five vessels, he headed south through the Atlantic Ocean to Patagonia, passing through what would become known as the Strait of Magellan.

What he found on the other side, he called the “Peaceful Sea.” We call it the Pacific Ocean. Despite a series of storms and mutinies, the expedition reached the Spice Islands a year later, and returned home via the Indian Ocean. This completed the first trip around the earth.

Unfortunately for Magellan, he did not complete the voyage himself, as he was killed during the Battle of Mactan in the Philippines in early 1521.

It was on this day in history – November 28, 1520 – that three of Magellan’s ships passed South America into the Pacific Ocean. Was this by design? Of course not. Magellan had little idea what lay ahead when he set out across the Atlantic Ocean. But his was an exercise in vision and perseverance.

Magellan did what no one had done before. For that he has a strait named after him. Not many of us can say that. But it came at a high price. Magellan would not live long enough to see his name on an elementary school globe. Nor would he live long enough to make it back home.

Life is a lot like that. As with the great Portuguese explorer, we often don’t live to see the fruits of our labor. But if we pay the price of vision and perseverance, results will come.

We aren’t called to know what lays ahead. But we are called to set sail. You may never discover an oceanic passageway. You may not even have a strait named after you. But you will go places you never imagined.

It’s time to set sail.

A Matter of Perspective

Sugar Ray Leonard was one of the greats of boxing. He was asked to speak to the intellectual crowd of Harvard.

“I consider myself blessed. I consider you blessed. We’ve all been blessed with God-given talents. Some of you have the talent to create rockets that will inhabit the universe. Others can cure disease. My God-given talent happens to be beating people up.”

That’s an interesting perspective.

Agatha Christie once offered this perspective on marriage. “An archaeologist is the best husband a wife can have. The older she gets, the more interesting she will be to him.”

The great Picasso once asked his friend Rodin if he liked Picasso’s latest painting that was yet unsigned. Rodin studied the painting from all directions and, only after careful deliberation answered Picasso. “Whatever else you do, sign it. If you do that, we will know which way to hold it.”

God has signed his handiwork with a sunrise, a rainbow, a gentle breeze. But until you recognize the hand of God, you will never know which way is up.

The Old Testament tells us of a man named Ahithophel, who killed himself simply because he never discovered the right perspective. Only a close walk with the Creator can give you the perspective you really need.

The Rushmore Report – Will House Democrats Move to Impeach President Trump?

We heard it for months. “Give us control of the House and we will impeach the President!” From Maxine Waters on down, both elected Democrats and those seeking election said it with one voice. “Trump must go, and we will make that happen!” So now the Democrats have won back control of the House – which is where all impeachment votes take place. They have all the votes they need to send the Trump presidency into total, absolute turmoil. But what will they do? Is impeachment now on the horizon?

The short answer is no.

The long answer is no.

It’s really not too complicated. Democrats threatened impeachment in order to hold their far-left base. But they will now run from impeachment to hold onto their power.

There is really just one reason you won’t hear much about impeachment from the Democrats – Mike Pence.

If Trump were removed from office, Vice President Mike Pence would become president. And he would be a formidable opponent in 2020. Pence would hang onto almost all Trump voters, and would pick up millions more.

Besides, it’s not like the Republican-controlled Senate would vote to remove Trump from office anyway.

Nancy Pelosi – the once and future Speaker – recently told the Associated Press, “We shouldn’t impeach the president for political reasons and we shouldn’t not impeach the president for political reasons.” She further stated that impeachment is a “divisive activity.” (And we all know how non-divisive Nancy Pelosi is.)

Republicans are privately hoping the Democrats lose their collective minds and push for impeachment. That would tilt public opinion their way.

Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy said, “We know the Democrats have a plan. They want to disrupt, they want to impeach.”

That is wishful thinking on the part of Mr. McCarthy.

Of course Democrats want to impeach – and embarrass – the president. The trick is to not embarrass themselves in the process.

The Rushmore Report – Leading Pastor Identifies Three Misconceptions About Heaven

Craig Groeschel, pastor of Life Church, has identified three misconceptions about heaven. Furthermore, he highlighted why it’s important to have a proper understanding of the afterlife. In a sermon titled “The Glory of Heaven,” Groeschel made news with a riveting idea – we should imagine what life will be like one minute after we die. The three misconceptions about heaven follow.

1. Heaven will be boring.

One reason many think of heaven as boring, said the pastor, is that the devil is a liar and wants people to believe that God is a “killjoy” who robs us of everything fun.

“I hope you’ll understand – heaven will be the opposite of boredom. It is the absence of everything evil, and it is the presence of God. When you think about it, everything that you enjoy on earth is the result of a gift from the God of heaven.”

2. This world – not heaven – is our home.

Groeschel encouraged his congregation to refrain from getting upset about the small, mundane things, and rather to live for what matters most. “I want to live on earth in a way that makes a difference in eternity,” he said. “What matters is how I love. What matters is what I give. What matters is who I serve. What matters is what I say that gives life – the things that we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever.”

3. Heaven is a “default destination” for most people.

The misunderstanding is that most will go to heaven – if they are relatively good. “Don’t forget what Jesus said,” Groeschel warned. “Jesus said, ‘Broad is the road and wide is the path that leads to destruction and many people are on it. Narrow is the road and small is the gate that leads to life, and few people find it.'”

The mega-church pastor continued, “The truth is, good people don’t go to heaven when they die. Forgiven people go to heaven when they die.”

Groeschel concluded his message by emphasizing that those who truly understand the holiness of God are “acutely aware of the sinfulness of mankind” and that all people fall short of God’s standards. “But by the grace of God, anyone who calls on the name that is above every name in the name of Jesus, that person will be saved.”

He then said he decided to preach on the afterlife to remind those who are in Christ that they don’t need to fear death, and to create a “spiritual urgency” – to allow the reality of heaven to impact how we live today.

This was the third message in Groeschel’s message series, “One Minute After You Die.”

The Rushmore Report – It’s Been 55 Years, and He Still Blames Himself for JFK’s Death

As of this past Thursday, America’s greatest unsolved case turned 55. To this day, an amazing 80 percent of the population believes John F. Kennedy was not shot by a single gunman, Lee Harvey Oswald. Over these 55 years, conspiracists have blamed the CIA, Russia, Cuba, Lyndon Johnson, and the Easter Bunny. They have blamed everyone except one guy – the guy who still blames himself for the death of President Kennedy after all these years.

They were the eight seconds that changed the world. Former marine Lee Harvey Oswald leaned out of the sixth floor window of the Texas School Book Depository Building and fired the three shots that took the life of a president and wounded the Texas governor.

Yes, for the sake of this article, we will dismiss the crazy theories and go with the evidence – Lee Harvey Oswald was the gunman that fateful day, November 22, 1963.

As a bullet blasted through the president’s neck, secret service agent Clint Hill was the first to respond. While others froze in the moment, the 31-year-old agent leaped from his car just behind the president’s and raced on foot toward the lead limousine.

Without a thought for his own safety, Clint jumped onto the back of the accelerating car, trying to create a human shield to protect the president and first lady.

But he was a few seconds too late. Before Clint Hill could scramble into position, another shot pierced Kennedy’s head, bringing a sudden and horrific end to the president’s life.

Last week, the now 86-year-old Hill lamented the event that is never far from his mind. And sadly, he still believes that he “should have been faster.” He blames himself for the president’s death.

Hill said, “One thing that I’ve never been able to erase from my mind is being on the back of the car looking down at the president, who was lying with his face in Mrs. Kennedy’s lap. The right side of his face is up and I can see that his eyes are fixed. There’s blood everywhere. I can see the gunshot wound. In the room that’s in the skull I can see that there is no more brain matter left.”

Hill concluded, “That is something I could never, and have never been able to, erase from my mind.”

Clint Hill is an American hero. But like all heroes, he looks back and says he could – and should – have done more.

The Rushmore Report – Stephen Colbert Reveals What Brought Him Back to Jesus

“The Late Show” host Stephen Colbert says a chance encounter with a person handing out Bibles on the street is what brought him back to faith when he was an atheist. Colbert, a Roman Catholic, spoke last week with the Rev. James Martin, a Jesuit priest and editor at America magazine, and said he was a convicted atheist in his 20s.

“I had lost my faith in God, to my own great grief,” Colbert said. “I was sort of convinced that I had been wrong all this time, that I had been taught something that wasn’t true.”

In past interviews, Colbert has opened up about the tragedy of his childhood, describing how his father and two brothers died in a plane crash when he was 10 years old.

In his interview with Martin on the “Faith in Focus” program, he said that it was a cold night in Chicago, Illinois, when one stranger handed him a little green pocket Bible. He was 22 then.

That Bible was indexed by topics, and so Colbert turned to the page about anxiety. Jesus’ words at the Sermon on the Mount were presented:

“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes?… Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?”

The talk show host revealed that he was “absolutely, immediately lightened” by Christ’s words.

“I stood on the street corner in the cold and read the sermon. And my life has never been the same,” he added.

In another exchange posted online, Martin asked Colbert to tell him “who is God for you?”

“It’s Jesus Christ,” Colbert immediately replied. “Not an old man with a beard.”

The comedian went on to say that physically, he thinks of Jesus when someone asks him that question, but “that image dissolves, as I try to subsume that image into the Trinity.”

He added that one of the things he prays about is the ability to love.

“If I can love, I can be free,” he said. “When I think of love, I think of God, and when I think of God, I think of love.”

Colbert has featured several segments and comedy bits revolving around religion on his CBS “Late Show” program. He has also debated some notable atheist celebrities, such as comedian Ricky Gervais, on the topics of Creation, God, science, and religion.

He has also challenged some conservative Christian leaders, such as megachurch Pastor Robert Jeffress of First Baptist Church in Dallas, Texas.

After Jeffress suggested last year that God has granted U.S. President Donald Trump the authority to “take out” North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un, Colbert featured a comedy bit where a white-haired spoof version of God suggested that he agreed with Jeffress’ comments.

“Oh yeah, I’m always on America’s side when it comes to blowing stuff up,” the spoof version of God said. Colbert then pointed out, “But that goes against your whole message of peace and forgiveness,” to which the character said that such thinking comes from his “hippy” son Jesus.

About the Author

Stoyan Zaimov writes for The Christian Post.

The Rushmore Report – Who Killed Jane Britton? 50-Year Murder Investigation Finally Solved

Jane Britton missed an exam on the morning of January 7, 1969. It was unlike the 23-year-old Harvard graduate student to do so, and her  boyfriend suspected something was wrong. Shortly after noon that day, he made a horrifying discovery in her apartment. He found Jane lying face down in her bed, having been beaten and strangled to death.

The anthropology student had been raped and murdered sometime that night, but the evidence collected from the crime scene would sit for nearly 50 years waiting for technology to catch up to it.

This is the story of the science that finally filled in the pieces of a sad story without an ending.

Jane

Jane Sanders Britton was born in 1945 in Boston. She grew up in Needham, Massachusetts, just a few miles outside the city.

In 1969, Britton was studying anthropology at Harvard and living in an apartment complex on University Avenue. The building sits just outside Harvard Square to the west, not far from the Charles River.

On January 6, Jane went to dinner with some of her classmates at the Acropolis restaurant – a popular old Cambridge spot that has long since closed. She stopped at home to change clothes and headed out to the Cambridge Common to go ice skating with her boyfriend.

It was a perfect January date night in New England when Jane and her boyfriend walked into Charley’s Pub, just across the street from her apartment. After walking her home around 10:30 p.m., Jane’s boyfriend left for the night. She went across the hall for a glass of sherry before finally returning to her apartment for the night at 12:30 a.m. on January 7.

According to the Middlesex County District Attorney’s Office, an autopsy found alcohol in her stomach that hadn’t been metabolized. Investigators say that means she was killed shortly after she returned to her apartment that evening.

When Jane was found the next day an autopsy revealed fractures in her skull, contusions to her head and lacerations of her brain – all contributing to the cause of death.

“She had been hit a number of times, obviously very severely, in the head and that caused hemorrhaging, breaking in the head and she was sexually assaulted as well,” said Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan.

DNA from the sexual assault was collected in 1969, but there was simply no technology that allowed for it to be effectively used to identify her killer at the time.

Jane’s neighbors told investigators the next day they had heard someone on the fire escape connected to her apartment earlier in the evening on the night she was murdered.

A second witness told police they saw a six-foot-tall man running in the street outside her apartment around 1:30 a.m. that morning.

This was the bulk of the evidence police had to work with for almost 50 years, despite a deluge of tips from the public.

But there was also a strange detail that distracted investigators in the wake of the murder. Red ochre, a clay earth pigment used in paints and various rituals, was found scattered all over her apartment.

Eventually, investigators say they explained its presence away as it was likely part of Britton’s anthropology studies. It simply must have been scattered around the room in a struggle.

In 2017, there were several appeals to have the case files made public with the hope that private investigators could help shed light on Jane’s killer.

But in 2018, the Middlesex County District Attorney’s Office got the break they had been waiting for.

DNA

According to Marian Ryan, it was in October 2017 the Massachusetts State Police Crime Lab was finally able to make a DNA profile from the samples collected.

“Using new DNA technology as well as good, hard investigative work, we have had a breakthrough in terms of where we are in this matter,” Ryan told Boston 25 News Monday. “DNA left in place by itself doesn’t necessarily lead you to a conclusion, it’s all the investigative framework that goes with that.”

It’s the investigative framework that led investigators to announce Tuesday they were finally closing Jane’s case.

The profile they made of DNA matched a profile that already existed in CODIS.

“This is the oldest case that we’ve been able to get a breakthrough like this,” said Ryan.

The Combined DNA Index System is a national database run by the FBI, which catalogs the DNA profiles of people convicted of crimes.

The profile made in 2017 came back to a man named Michael Sumpter.

Michael Sumpter

Sumpter lived in Cambridge as a young child, dated a girl in Cambridge in the mid-1960s and, in 1967, was working on Arrow Street – just a mile from Jane Britton’s apartment.

Sumpter was arrested and convicted of physically assaulting a woman he met at the Harvard Square MBTA station three years after Jane’s murder.

But in 1975, Sumpter was out of jail and raped a woman in her Boston apartment. It was then that he was sent to prison for 15-20 years.

Just 13 months after he was paroled, Sumpter died of cancer in 2001.

After his death, Sumpter’s DNA profile was matched to the rape and murder of 23-year-old Ellen Rutchick in her Beacon Street Apartment in 1972. He was also connected to the 1973 rape and murder of 24-year-old Mary Lee McClain in her Mount Vernon Street Apartment.

He was also eventually connected to a 1985 rape, which police say he committed after escaping from work release.

In 2018, 17 years after his death, investigators finally matched the profile for Jane’s killer closely enough to Sumpter’s brother to determine that Michael Sumpter was the man who apparently scaled Jane’s fire escape on the evening of January 6, 1969, and raped and murdered her in her apartment.

“The murder of Jane Britton has raised many questions and piqued the interest of members of the community over the past 50 years,” Ryan said in a statement Tuesday. “I am confident that the mystery of who killed Jane Britton has finally been solved and this case is officially closed.”

Investigators say Sumpter had no connection to Jane Britton and they probably didn’t know each other.

About the Author

Dalton Main writes for channel 25 in Boston.

Who Killed the Cat?

Stephen Pile has written a book titled The Book of Failures. It’s got unbelievable stuff in it. For example, back in 1979, during the fireman’s strike in England, one of the greatest animal rescue attempts was made. Valiantly, the British Army had taken over emergency firefighting. On January 14, they were called out by an elderly lady in South London, to rescue her cat.

They arrived with impressive haste. Then they proceeded to cleverly and carefully rescue the lady’s cat. Then they started to drive away. But the lady was so grateful that she invited the squad of heroes in for tea. After their time with the appreciative woman, they bid farewell. Off they drove, waving to the lady. And in the process, they ran over her cat and killed it.

Now, this is either a sad story or a happy one, depending on your view of cats. But don’t miss the point. We can go to a lot of trouble doing everything right, and we should. But just one mistake can be deadly.

Think of the ones you love the most. Then be reminded daily, that in one moment, by one bad choice, you can destroy the very lives you have spent years building up.