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

Today in History

January 21

304 Saint Agnes, martyr, is commemorated.

861 Meinrad of Reichenau, hermit and martyr, is commemorated.

1118 Pope Paschal II, significantly involved in the long struggle with emperors over the appointment of church officials, died.

1189 Philip II of France and Richard I of England begin to assemble troops to wage the Third Crusade.

1525 The Swiss Anabaptist Movement was born when Conrad Grebel, Felix Manz, George Blaurock and about a dozen others baptized each other in the home of Manz's mother in Zürich, breaking a thousand-year tradition of church-state union.

1530 Holy Roman Emperor Charles V (15001558) called for a Diet to meet at Augsburg to seek to unite the Holy Roman Empire and to deal with Martin Luther.

1549 The British Parliament passed the first of four Acts of Uniformity, which required the universal and exclusive use of the Book of Common Prayer in all Anglican public services.

1561 A convention of Protestant princes at Naumburg opened. The princes and theologians reaffirmed the Augsburg Confession, 1531 edition.

1609 Joseph Justus Scaliger, French Protestant scholar known for expanding the notion of classical history from Greek and Ancient Roman history to include Persian, Babylonian, Jewish and Ancient Egyptian history, died (b. 5 August 1540).

1621 The Pilgrims left the Mayflower and gathered on the shore at Plymouth, Massachusetts, for their first religious service in America.

1710 Johann Georg Gichtel, German mystic and an energetic promoter of the Christerbauliche Jesusgesellschaft (Christian Edification Society of Jesus), died (b. 14 March 1638).

1785 G. H. E. Muhlenberg (17531815) was elected as a member of the American Philosophical Society along with James Madison.

1797 Edward Mote, British cabinetmaker and hymn writer, was born in Southwark, England (d. 13 November 1874).

1800 Theodor Fliedner, who re-established deaconess work, was born at Eppstein, Germany (d. 4 October 1864, Kaiserswerth).

1815 Matthias Claudius, hymnist, died (b. 15 August 1740).

1821 Adolph Gustav Gottlieb Franke was born in Meinersen, Hannover (d. 3 January 1879). He served as a pastor in Buffalo, New York, and Addison, Illinois. He was a vice-president of the Western District of the Missouri Synod and president of the board of the Addison teachers seminary and of the Addison orphan asylum.

1841 Otto Hermann Walther, first pastor of Trinity Lutheran Church (Saint Louis) and brother of C. F. W. Walther, died at Saint Louis (b. 23 September 1809, Langenchursdorf, Saxony).

1849 Julia Harriette Johnston, American hymn writer, was born in Salineville, Ohio (d. 6 March 1919, Peoria, Illinois).

1854 David Henry Bauslin, professor at Hamma Divinity School (Springfield, Ohio), editor and author, was born (d. 3 March 1922).

1865 Theodore Edward William Engelder, professor at Concordia Theological Seminary (Springfield, Illinois) and Concordia Seminary (Saint Louis), was born in Olean, New York (d. 23 June 1949).

1870 William M. Runyan, American Methodist clergyman and music editor, was born in Marion, New York (d. 29 July 1957, Pittsburg, Kansas).

1887 Alfred H. Ackley, American Presbyterian pastor and hymn composer, was born in Spring Hill, Pennsylvania (d. 3 July 1960, Whittier, California).

1891 Nathan Marcus Adler, English chief rabbi, died at Brighton, Sussex, England (b. 13 January 1803).

1914 The American Lutheran Publicity Bureau was organized in New York City.

1923 Erik Kristian Johnsen, professor at Luther Seminary (Saint Paul, Minnesota), died (b. 20 September 1863, Stavanger, Norway).

1941 Jeremiah Franklin Ohl, social work missionary, died (b. 26 June 1850, Cherryville, Pennsylvania).

1979 Herman Gockel (19061996), first program director of the Lutheran Television series This Is the Life, was inducted into the Religious Broadcasters Hall of Fame. He was the second broadcaster from The Lutheran ChurchMissouri Synod to receive the honor. The first was Lutheran Hour speaker Walter A. Maier, who was inducted into the hall of fame posthumously in 1975. (Maier died in 1950.) The honor recognized Gockels pioneering work in proclaiming the Gospel ... by means of contemporary drama. He served as program director from 1951 to 1971.