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

Today in History

January 15

345 Paul of Thebes, traditionally considered to be the first Christian hermit and an inspiration for Antony of Egypt and later Christian monasticism, died.

1535 Henry VIII (14911547) declared himself the head of the English Church.

1556 Holy Roman Emperor Charles V (15001558) resigned his crown.

1697 Massachusetts citizens observed a day of fasting and repentance for the Salem witch trials of 1692 in which nineteen suspected witches were hanged and more than 150 imprisoned.

1776 Peter Muhlenberg (17461807) preached a farewell sermon to his congregation in Woodstock, Virginia, before joining the Continental Army.

1803 Nathan Marcus Adler, English chief rabbi, was born at Hanover, Germany (d. 21 January 1890).

1812 Hiester Henry Muhlenberg, treasurer of the General Council, was born in Reading, Pennsylvania (d. 5 May 1886).

1820 Johann Ludwig Schneller, founder of an orphanage in Jerusalem, was born in Erpfingen, Wuerttemberg (d. 18 October 1896). [German Wikipedia article]

1841 Charles A. Briggs, American clergyman and theologian, was born in New York City (d. 8 June 1913).

1844 The University of Notre Dame was chartered in South Bend, Indiana.

1852 Mount Sinai Hospital was incorporated by Sampson Simson and eight associates in New York City as the first Jewish hospital in the U.S.

1863 Frederic George Kenyon, British archeologist and philologist, was born in London (d. 23 August 1952).

1866 Nathan Söderblom, Swedish archbishop, recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize, was born (d. 12 July 1931).

1871 John Gottlieb Frederick Kleinhans, president of the Southern Illinois District, was born in Sheboygan, Wisconsin (d. 20 November 1942). He graduated from Concordia Seminary (Saint Louis) in 1892 and served as a pioneer missionary in western Kansas, having charge of more than fifteen congregations with his headquarters at Offerle and Milberger. He was pastor at Haven, Kansas, from 1901 to 1909 and then moved to Zion Lutheran Church (Staunton, Illinois). He was vice-president of the Kansas District from 1906 to 1909. He helped establish Saint Johns College (Winfield, Kansas) and served on its Board of Directors. He was president of the Southern Illinois District from 1912 to 1933 and served as secretary of the College of Presidents of the Missouri Synod. He was also a member of the Board of Control of Concordia Theological Seminary (Springfield, Illinois) for several years. He served on the synods Intersynodical Committee and the Mission Board of the Lutheran Synodical Conference and was chairman of the synods Literature Board.

1879 Johann Christoph Wilhelm Lindemann, president of the Evangelical Lutheran Teachers Seminary (Addison, Illinois), died (b. 6 January 1827).

1890 Martin Henry Coyner, professor at Concordia College (Conover, North Carolina) and Concordia Theological Seminary (Springfield, Illinois), was born in Waynesboro, Virginia (d. 13 February 1962, Saint Louis).

1896 Jacob Gartenhaus, founder and first president of the International Board of Jewish Missions, was born in Austria (d. 1984).

1898 Frank S. Mead, American authority on the historical and contemporary church, was born. His most reprinted (and updated) work has been the Handbook of Denominations in the United States.

1906 Harry Barr, an active layman in the Missouri Synod, was born (d. 24 June 1984). He served as vice-chairman of the Board of Directors of the synod, chairman of the Operating Committee of the International Lutheran Hour, president of the International Lutheran Layman's League, a member of the Board of Directors of Concordia Publishing House and a member of the Board of Trustees of Valparaiso University.

1929 Martin Luther King Jr. was born in Atlanta, Georgia. He was America's most visible civil rights leader from 1955 until his death by assassination on 4 April 1968.

1950 Hong Kong was declared a Missouri Synod mission field.

1951 Henry A. Ironside (b. 14 October 1876), American clergyman and Bible teacher, died.

1951 The U.S. Supreme Court struck down a New York City ordinance requiring a police permit for street preachers. The court determined that the ordinance violated the First Amendment, which guarantees freedom of speech and religion.

1999 Herbert A. Mueller died in Saint Louis (b. 2 June 1914, Lone Elm, Missouri). Following his graduation from Concordia Seminary (Saint Louis) in 1938, he served as a parish pastor from 1940 to 1969 in York Center and Dundee, Illinois. He then served as secretary of the LCMS from 1969 to 1983, at which time he retired. He also served on several synodical boards and commissions, including the Board for Higher Education and the Commission on Constitutional Matters. He received an honorary doctor of letters degree from Concordia Teachers College (Seward, Nebraska) in 1966. Following retirement, he coordinated chapel services part-time at the LCMS International Center until 1998.