Today in History, January 13, 1128:
The Knights Templar are named an “Army of God” and given a papal sanction by Pope Honorius II. The Templars protected pilgrims traveling to and from the Holy Land during the Crusades. They called themselves the Templars after the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, where they were headquartered.
By the 14th century the wealthy and powerful had become jealous of the wealth and status of the Templars. The Templars were arrested, accused of heresy, tortured, and burned at the stake. Pope Clement V dissolved the Templars and their extensive property and wealth was turned over to the French and English monarchies. Today’s Catholic church has acknowledged the unfounded persecution of the order.
Today in History, December 11: 1917 –
During WWI, the British Prime Minister David Lloyd George had ordered that Jerusalem be taken as part of a second front in the war against the Ottoman Empire…German allies.
The war had not been going well in 1917. Lloyd George decided to move on of the Western Front commanders, Gen. Edmund Allenby, to the Middle East. Allenby reported to Cairo, taking command of the Egyptian Expeditionary Force (EEF) and immediately making changes.
Allenby and his troops fought hard battles across the desert, entering Palestine and arriving outside Jerusalem on December 9. The Ottoman Turks, having fought hard, abandoned the city.
On the 11th Allenby entered through the Jaffa Gate by foot as a display of respect for the Holy City.
Having ended hundreds of years of Ottoman rule over the city, he presented a proclamation in English, French, Italian, Hebrew, Arabic, Russian and Greek assuring people of all religions of his intent to keep Holy sites open to all.
So much History and importance before and since in Jerusalem.
According to the Times of Israel, a re-enactment of the event was held today with the assistance of the Tower of David Museum, complete with descendants of General Allenby in attendance.