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

Today in History

February 20

1469 Tomasso de Vio Cajetan, the most learned of the Roman Catholic dignitaries sent to silence Martin Luther in the early years of the Protestant Reformation, was born at Gaeta, Italy (hence Gaetano, or Cajetan) (d. 9 August 1534).

1529 The Mass was abolished in Strasbourg.

1544 The Fourth Diet of Speyer opened under Emperor Charles V, who appealed for support against Turks and Francis I of France (who, he claimed, had made an alliance with Turks), with the first move to be made against Francis I. The Protestants demanded a settlement of the religious questions before giving war support. The Roman Catholics were dissatisfied with some imperial proposals. Neither side was satisfied with the final compromise, which provided for maintenance of an army and a diet to be held at Worms within a year. Charles V defeated Francis I in September 1544 and so became free to move against the Protestants.

1546 Martin Luther’s body arrived in Wittenberg (buried 22 February).

1620 Rasmus Jensen, the first Lutheran pastor in North America, died at Port Churchill, Hudson Bay, Canada. He came in 1619 with the Jens Munk expedition sent by Christian IV of Denmark to Nova Dania on Hudson Bay. The expedition reached the mouth of the Churchill River in September 1619 but was stranded for the winter.

1830 Johann Friedrich Köstering, historian of the Saxon immigration, was born at Dahlinghausen, Hanover (d. 20/21 January 1908).

1853 Ernest Lewis Hazelius, professor at the Lutheran seminaries at Hartwick, New York; Gettysburg, Pennsylvania; and Lexington, South Carolina, died (b. 6 September 1777, Neusalz, Silesia).

1892 Claus Lauritz Clausen died (b. 3 November 1820 in Denmark).

1895 Abolitionist Frederick Douglass, the first African-American to hold high political office, died (b. 17 February 1818).

1901 William Mahler (18701966), the first LCMS missionary to Brazil, left for Brazil.

1940 Olaf Elias Brandt, professor at Luther Seminary (Saint Paul, Minnesota), died (b. 19 February 1862).

1959 Laurence Housman, hymnist, died (b. 18 July 1865, Bromsgrove, Hereford, England).

1960 Sir Charles Leonard Woolley (b. 17 April 1880), British archeologist, died.

1976 Kathryn Kuhlman (b. 9 May 1907), popular American radio/TV evangelist and faith-healer, died.