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

Today in History

February 14

Valentine, Martyr

869 Cyril, monk and missionary to the Slavs, is commemorated (b. 827).

885 Methodius, bishop and missionary to Slavs, is commemorated.

1014 Pope Benedict VIII (d. 9 April 1024) recognized Henry of Bavaria (9731024) as king of Germany.

1076 Pope Gregory VII (ca. 10151085) excommunicated Henry IV, Holy Roman Emperor (10501106).

1488 Holy Roman Emperor Frederick III (14151493) established the Great Swabian League, a confederation of twenty-two German cities in the Duchy of Swabia (parts of modern-day Baden, Wuerttemberg, Bavaria and Switzerland).

1556 Thomas Cranmer (14891556) was deposed as Archbishop of Canterbury by Mary I.

1760 Richard Allen, black American church leader, was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (d. 26 March 1831).

1772 Heinrich Huet (descendants spell the name Hewitt), Ohio Synod pastor, was born near Hagerstown, Maryland (d. 16 February 1855).

1779 Jacob Henkel, early American Lutheran pastor, died (b. 14 March 1733).

1784 Christoph C. L. von Pfeil, hymnist, died (b. 1712, Grünstadt, near Worms).

1818 Abolitionist Frederick Douglass was born into slavery in Talbot County, Maryland (d. 20 February 1895).

1826 Johann Daniel Falk, hymnist, died (b. 28 October 1768, Danzig).

1834 “Fight the Good Fight with All Your Might” was written on this date by John S. B. Monsell (18111875), vicar of Guilford.

1843 James William Richard, Reformation historian, was born near Winchester, Virginia (d. 7 March 1909).

1843 Jesse Lyman Hurlbut, Methodist clergyman, was born in New York City (d. 2 August 1930). After holding pastorates in New Jersey and New York between 1865 and 1879, he was appointed to the Methodist Sunday School Union, working with them from 1879 to 1900. He wrote thirty books on Bible study, Bible history and Sunday school work. One of his most popular works was Story of Jesus (1915).

1884 Luther B. Bridgers, southern American Methodist pastor and evangelist, was born in Margaretsville, North Carolina (d. 27 May 1948, Atlanta, Georgia).

1887 Christian Thomas Wetzstein, president of the Manitoba-Saskatchewan District of the LCMS (19271929), was born in Sac County, Iowa (d. 31 October 1978, South Lyon, Michigan). A 1909 graduate of Concordia Theological Seminary (Springfield, Illinois), Wetzstein served congregations and preaching stations in northwest Canada, Saskatchewan and Ontario. After he left Canada, he continued to serve several vacant congregations in Indiana and Michigan until 1967. Wetzstein is said to have organized twenty-four congregations and to have served thirty-two congregations from his vicarage year in 1907 in Texas to his last parish at Burlington, Michigan.

1892 Robert H. Pfeiffer, American Methodist biblical scholar, was born in Bologna, Italy (d. 1958). He directed archeological excavations at Nuzi between 1928 and 1929, edited the Journal of Biblical Literature from 1943 to 1947 and served as president of the Society of Biblical Literature in 1950. Considered a liberal scholar by many fundamentalists of his day, Pfeiffer's major contributions were in the fields of Old Testament and Assyriology.

1896 Arnold Krentz was born in Dorchester, Wisconsin (d. 15 March 1961, Fort Wayne, Indiana). He graduated from Concordia Seminary (Saint Louis) in 1920 and served as a pastor in Canada and Michigan. From 1941 to 1961 he served as superintendent of the Lutheran Deaconess Association of Fort Wayne, Indiana. During that time he also taught at Valparaiso University.

1906 Lorenz C. Wunderlich was born in Waco, Texas (d. 19 September 1993, Orlando, Florida). He graduated from Concordia Seminary (Saint Louis) in 1927 and served congregations in Indiana, Kansas and Missouri. He served on the Missouri Synod Hymnody Commission, Literary Review for Publication, and Appeals and Adjudication Commission. He served the Kansas District as treasurer and Concordia Seminary (Saint Louis) as registrar.

1913 James A. Pike, controversial American Episcopal bishop, was born in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma (d. 1969).

1914 Ira F. Stanphill, American song evangelist, was born in Bellview, New Mexico (d. 30 December 1993).

1926 The first four trained evangelists graduated from the Hankow Seminary in China.

1949 Chaim Weizmann (18741952) was elected as the first president of modern Israel.

1952 Francis H. Rowley (b. 25 July 1854), American Baptist clergyman and humanitarian, died.

1958 Edward Shippen Barnes, musician and arranger, died in Idyllwild, California (b. 14 September 1887, Seabright, New Jersey).