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

Today in History

January 31

1537 Martin Luther left for Smalcald with the Smalcald Articles.

1559 Menno Simons (b. 1496), early Dutch Anabaptist leader, died.

1606 Guy Fawkes (b. 13 April 1570) was executed for his role in the Gunpowder Plot by Roman Catholic restorationists in England to assassinate King James I the the Protestant aristocracy and nobility by blowing up the Houses of Parliament.

1686 Hans Egede, Lutheran Apostle of Greenland, was born in Frondenaes, Norway (d. 5 November 1758, Stubbeköbing, Falster Island, Denmark).

1686 King Louis XIV of France (16381715), having already revoked the Protestant-tolerating Edict of Nantes, ordered all Waldensian churches burned.

1737 Jacob Duché, Episcopal clergyman and chaplain to the Continental Congress, was born in Philadelphia (d. 3 January 1798, Philadelphia).

1784 Bernard Barton, hymnist, was born in London, England (d. 19 February 1849, Woodbridge, Suffolk, England).

1797 Franz Peter Schubert, Austrian composer, was born in a suburb of Vienna (d. 19 November 1828).

1798 Edward Osler, hymnist, was born at Falmouth, Cornwall, England (d. 7 March 1863).

1831 Alexander B. Bruce, Free Church of Scotland theologian, was born (d. 7 August 1899).

1833 Luther Alexander Gotwald, American Lutheran theologian and educator, was born (d. 15 September 1900).

1851 Oluf H. Smeby, hymn translator, was born in Rock County, Wisconsin (d. 6 July 1929, Albert Lea, Minnesota).

1892 Charles Haddon Spurgeon, English Baptist preacher and one of the greatest public speakers of his day, died at Mentone, France (b. 19 June 1834).

1915 Thomas Merton, Roman Catholic Trappist monk, was born in Prades, France (d. 10 December 1968).

1933 Louis Wessel, professor at Concordia Theological Seminary (Springfield, Illinois), Lutheran theologian and homiletician, died (b. 14 July 1864, Saint Louis).

1955 John R. Mott (b. 25 May 1865), Methodist layman and founder of the World Student Christian Federation, died.