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

Today in History

January 11

314 Pope Saint Miltiades, who became pope after the Roman emperor Galerius had previously passed an edict of toleration ending the persecution of Christians, died. During his pontificate, in 313, the Edict of Milan was passed by the tetrarchs Constantine and Licinius, declaring that they would be neutral with regard to religious worship and restoring church property. Constantine presented the pope with the Lateran Palace which became the papal residence and seat of Christian governance.

347 Theodosius I, Christian emperor of Rome, was born (d. 17 January 395).

1546 Duke Ernest I, the Confessor, died (b. 27 June 1497, Uelzen, Prussia). He was Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg and a nephew of Frederick the Wise. He introduced Lutheranism into the duchy in 1527 and signed the Augsburg Confession in 1530.

1571 Austrian nobility was granted freedom of religion.

1604 Josua Wegelin, hymnist, was born in Augsburg (d. 14 September 1640).

1713 Pierre Jurieu, French Protestant leader, died (b. 24 December 1637).

1745 Israel Christian Gronau, Salzburg pastor in Georgia, died.

1759 The first American life insurance company was incorporated in Philadelphia as the Corporation of Poor and Distressed Presbyterian Ministers and of the Poor and Distressed Widows and Children of Presbyterian Ministers.

1791 William Williams, hymn translator, died (b. 11 February 1717, Cefn-y-Coed, near Llandovery, Carmarthenshire, Wales).

1791 The First-day or Sunday-school Society was organized in Philadelphia.

1810 Johann Ludwig Krapf, German philologist and missionary to eastern Africa, was born in Derendingen, near Tübingen, Germany (d. 26 November 1881).

1813 Hans Knudsen, missionary to India and social worker, was born in Copenhagen, Denmark (d. 16 February 1886).

1817 Timothy Dwight, hymnist and eighth president of Yale College, died in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (b. 14 May 1752).

1843 Francis Scott Key, hymnist, died (b. 1 August 1779).

1852 Friedrich Spitta, theologian, was born in Wechold near Hoya, Hanover (d. 7 June 1924).

1857 Eli Smith, missionary, died (b. 13 September 1801). He served as an American Board missionary to the Near East, especially Syria, and translated the Bible into Arabic.

1870 Johann J. Walder, composer, was born in Wetzikon, canton of Zurich, Switzerland (d. 18 March 1817). His first melodies were published about 1775, and from 1779 on they appeared in many collections. In 1785 he turned to politics. Her served the canton of Zurich in several capacities. [The Handbook to the Lutheran Hymnal, comp. W. G. Polack (Saint Louis: CPH, 1942): 591]

1871 A preliminary meeting for organizing the Evangelical Lutheran Synodical Conference of North America was held in Chicago through 13 January.

1875 Journalist Theodore Tilton sued prominent liberal pastor Henry Ward Beecher (18131887) for having an affair with his wife.

1876 Olaf Morgan Norlie, Lutheran professor and historian, was born in Sioux City, Iowa (d. 22 June 1962).

1877 Charles W. Everest, hymnist, died (b. 27 May 1814).

1906 George Moulton Adams, Congregationalist theologian and historian, died at Auburndale, Massachusetts (b. 7 July 1824).

1918 Peter Brand, Missouri Synod vice-president, died in Pittsburgh (b. 3 November 1839, Ansbach).

1933 The Altona Confession was issued by pastors of Altona (Hamburg), Germany, defining Christian behavior in the confusing political situation of that time.

1934 Georg Christoph Albert Käppel, professor, organist and composer, died at River Forest, Illinois (b. 19 April 1862, Indianapolis, Indiana).

1950 Walter A. Maier, Lutheran Hour speaker, died in Saint Louis (b. 4 October 1893, Boston).

1957 Louise Elisabeth Ellermann, the first LCMS medical missionary, died (b. 3 August 1884, Evansville, Indiana).

1963 A. T. U. Ekong was named first president of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Nigeria.