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Fall River Church Locks Out Priest

December 16, 1884
December 16, 1884

Fall River Church Locks Out Priest

On this day in 1884, a Fall River newspaper reported that French Canadian Roman Catholic parishioners had locked their newly-appointed priest out of their church. When the priest finally gained entry to the building, he...

Abner Kneeland Prints Blasphemous Letter

December 20, 1833
December 20, 1833

Abner Kneeland Prints Blasphemous Letter

On this day in 1833, religious and social reformer Abner Kneeland printed a letter deemed so blasphemous by a Massachusetts court that it landed the former clergyman in jail. Kneeland capped 30 years of increasingly...

Christmas Celebration Outlawed

December 25, 1659
December 25, 1659

Christmas Celebration Outlawed

On this day in 1659, a law was passed by the General Court of Massachusetts Bay Colony requiring a five-shilling fine from anyone caught "observing any such day as Christmas or the like, either by...

Harvard Shakers Record Spiritual Visit

December 30, 1841
December 30, 1841

Harvard Shakers Record Spiritual Visit

On this day in 1841, the Shakers in Harvard reported a spiritual visit by their long-dead founder Mother Ann, "Holy Angels," and "ancient Saints and departed spirits." Shaker communities across New England were receiving such...