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

Today in History

February 18

Martin Luther, Doctor and Reformer

1229 The Sixth Crusade: Frederick II, Holy Roman Emperor (11941250) signed a ten-year truce with Sultan al-Kamil (11801238), regaining Jerusalem, Nazareth and Bethlehem with neither military engagements nor support from the papacy.

1562 Religious wars in France between the Huguenots (French Protestants) and the Roman Catholics (lasting until 1598) forced a band of Huguenot colonists to leave France for religious refuge in Florida.

1564 Michelangelo Buonarroti (b. 6 March 1475), Italian Renaissance artist and one of the greatest artists of Western history, died.

1571 A group of Spanish Jesuits in the Chesapeake Bay area were murdered by the Indians they came to convert. Having arrived six months earlier, these missionaries were led by Juan Bautista de Segura. The massacre ultimately led to the withdrawal of all Jesuits from Florida as well.

1605 Abraham Ecchellensis (Latinized name of Ibrahim al-Haqulani) was born in Haqil, Syria (d. 15 July 1664).

1678 John Bunyan’s (16281688) Pilgrims Progress was first published in England.

1688 Quakers in Germantown, Pennsylvania, issued America's first formal protest against slavery.

1732 Johann Christian Kittel, hymnist and the last pupil of J. S. Bach, was born in Erfurt (d. 17 April 1809, Erfurt).

1781 Henry Martyn, missionary and Bible translator in India, was born in Truro, Cornwall, England (d. 16 October 1812).

1801 Peter Muhlenberg (17461807), son of Henry Melchior Muhlenberg, was elected to the U.S. Senate.

1846 On the three-hundredth anniversary of the death of Martin Luther, the church in Altenburg, Missouri, was draped with yards and yards of black cloth. A special preparatory service was conducted the week before, and on the day of the anniversary there was a morning service at 10:00 and an afternoon service at 2:00. In his announcements from the pulpit Pastor Gotthold Heinrich Löber (17971849) called Luther “our father who rests in God, who has fallen asleep in the Lord.” This information was taken from Löber’s Vermeldungsbuch, his listing of church announcements that begins on the first Sunday in Advent 1835 in Eichenberg, Saxony. Turning the book upside down and beginning at the back, Pastor Löber used the same book for his announcements in Perry County, Missouri. The announcements concerning the anniversary of Luther’s death were made on Sexagesima Sunday 1846.

1847 Jonathan (“Johnny Appleseed”) Chapman (b. 26 September 1774), American pioneer nurseryman, and missionary for the Church of the New Jerusalem, died.

1867 The Augusta Institute was founded in Georgia in the basement of the Springfield Baptist Church of Augusta. Established as a college for black students, it moved to Atlanta in 1879, changing its name to the Atlanta Baptist Seminary. In 1913 it became Morehouse College.

1872 J. W. Theodor Schlueter was born in Scharmbeck, Hanover (d. 14 July 1950, Madison, Wisconsin). He was educated at the Bremen Gymnasium and at Concordia Seminary (Saint Louis). He served as a pastor at Fulda and Courtland, Minnesota. He became a professor at Concordia Theological Seminary (Springfield, Illinois) in 1905 and at Northwestern College (Watertown, Wisconsin) in 1908, serving until his retirement in 1927.

1874 William Sandys (b. 1792), English lawyer and composer of "The First Noel," died.

1890 Adolph Arthur Grossmann, teacher and first executive secretary of the Walther League, was born in Fairfield, Minnesota (d. 19 February 1941).