Welcome to Concordia Historical Institute, Department of Archives and History for the Lutheran Church--Missouri Synod.

Today in History

January 4

1066 Edward the Confessor (b. ca. 1004), the only English king ever canonized a saint by the Roman Catholic church, died.

1519 Martin Luther had an interview with the papal nuncio, Karl von Miltitz.

1528 Ferdinand of Austria, younger brother of Holy Roman Emperor Charles V, became the first secular ruler to issue a mandate forbidding the Anabaptist religious movement.

1547 Johann Brenz (14991570) returned to Halle after being forced to flee several weeks earlier during the Smalkaldic War.

1581 James Ussher, Irish theologian, Anglican prelate and Bible chronologist, was born in Dublin, Ireland (d. 21 March 1656).

1745 Johann Jakob Griesbach, New Testament scholar, was born at Butzbach, Germany (d. 21 March 1812).

1770 William Staughton, Baptist clergyman, educator and composer, was born in Cogentry, Warwickshire, England (d. 12 December, 1829, Washington, D.C.).

1821 Elizabeth Ann Bayley Seaton (b. 28 August 1774), founder of the American Sisters of Charity, a Roman Catholic religious order, and the first American-born Roman Catholic saint, died.

1834 Ferdinand Doederlein was born. He immigrated to America in 1859 after attending seminary at Neuendettelsau. He served as an Iowa Synod missionary to the Crow Indians (d. 2 July 1915).

1857 John Nathan Kildahl, president of the Red Wing (Minnesota) Norwegian Evangelical Lutheran Seminary and of Saint Olaf College (Northfield, Minnesota), was born in Beitsteden (Namdalseidet), Norway (d. 25 September 1920).

1861 John Henry Ott, Wisconsin Synod librarian, was born in Tell City, Indiana. He graduated from Northwestern College and attended Amherst, Berlin and Halle universities, receiving a Ph.D. from Halle in 1892. He was professor of English and history at Northwestern College of the Wisconsin Synod (1885) and served as its librarian and bursar.

1944 Kaj Munk, Danish Lutheran pastor and patriot, died (b. 13 January 1898 at Maribo, Denmark).

1947 Presbyterian clergyman Peter Marshall (19021949) was elected chaplain of the U.S. Senate. Serving until his untimely death on 25 January 1949, he was the 54th chaplain chosen in Senate history and the first Presbyterian appointed since 1879.

1949 A committee with representatives from most National Lutheran Council churches met in Minneapolis to consider organic union.

1953 The Catholic Hour aired for the first time over NBC television. This long-running series (aired through August 1970) was produced by NBC in cooperation with the National Council of Catholic Men.

1963 Martin F. Kretzmann died (b. 30 December 1878). He graduated from Concordia Seminary (Saint Louis) in 1901 and held parishes in Indiana, Illinois and Ohio. From 1918 to 1920 he served the Central District as secretary. He then served as secretary of the Missouri Synod from 1920 to 1956. From 1956 to 1959 he was a member of the Missouri Synod Board of Directors.

1967 Henry Wittrock, the first Missouri Synod missionary to Argentina, died in Omaha, Nebraska (b. 13 July 1879, Stover, Missouri). He graduated from Concordia Seminary (Saint Louis) in 1902 and went to Brazil, where he served for three years, covering hundreds of miles on horseback, visiting scattered settlements and organizing parishes. In 1905 he moved to Argentina and organized a parish at San Juan. Ill health forced him to return to the U.S. in 1906, where he served parishes at Edinburg, New Berlin and Mount Pulaski, Illinois. He retired in 1946 and moved to Omaha, where for ten years he served as chaplain at the Lutheran Home for the Aged.