October 2, 1187: Muslim general Saladin captures Jerusalem from the crusaders (see issue 40: The Crusades).
October 3, 1692: Puritan clergy in Salem, Massachusetts, agree there would be no more executions resulting from the witch trials. More than 150 suspected witches had been put on trial in the previous year, and 19 had been hanged (see issue 41: The American Puritans).
October 3, 1789: George Washington names November 26 as a day of national thanksgiving for the ratification of the Constitution. On the same date in 1863, Abraham Lincoln designates the last Thursday in November as Thanksgiving Day.
October 4, 1582: Spanish mystic and founder of a reformed Carmelite order Teresa of Avila dies. A model of spiritual discipline, she experienced visions of Jesus, wrote several mystical books (including her autobiography), and possessed a genius for administration.
October 4, 1669: Dutch painter Rembrandt Harmensz van Rijn, known as the "painter of the soul" for his unsurpassed Christian art (including "The Return of the Prodigal Son," c. 1668), dies.
October 4, 1890: Catherine Booth, English "mother of the Salvation Army," dies of cancer. Besides preaching as a Salvation Army minister, she persuaded her husband, William, to make women an integral part of Salvation Army leadership and work (see issue 26: William and Catherine Booth).
October 5, 869: The Fourth Constantinople Council opens. During its six sessions, the council condemned iconoclasm and anathematized Constantinople Patriarch Photius. (It's a story too complicated to go into here, but basically, there was a strong disagreement over who was the "real" patriarch, and whether Holy Spirit proceeded from the Son as well as the Father). It was the last ecumenical council held in the East, but Eastern Orthodox Christians don't consider it a true ecumenical council (see issue 54: Eastern Orthodoxy).
October 6, 1536: English reformer William Tyndale, who translated and published the first mechanically-printed New Testament in the English language (against the law at the time) is strangled to death. His body is then burned at the stake (see issue 16: William Tyndale).
October 6, 1552: Matteo Ricci, the first Roman Catholic missionary to China, is born in Macareta, Italy. Other missionaries criticized his complete adoption of Chinese customs and alliance with Confucianism (which he believed merely a civil cult, unlike Buddhism and Taoism).
issue 51: Heresy in the Early Church).