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

Today in History

February 21

1173 Under Pope Alexander III (ca 1100/051181) the Roman Catholic Church canonized Thomas Becket, the Archbishop (11621170) of Canterbury, England, who was martyred at the hands of King Henry IIs knights three years earlier.

1245 Thomas, the first known bishop of Finland, was granted resignation after having confessed to torture and forgery.

1431 Pierre Cauchon (13711442), bishop of Beauvais, began his interrogation of Joan of Arc (ca. 14121431).

1513 Pope Julius II died (b. Giuliano della Rovere, 5 December 1443, Albisola Superiore, near Savona, Italy).

1595 Robert Southwell, English Jesuit priest and poet was executed (b. ca. 1561).

1730 Pope Benedict XIII died (b. 2 February 1649).

1743 George Frideric Handel’s (16851759) oratorio Samson premiered in London.

1795 Freedom of worship was established in France under the constitution that came out of the French Revolution of 1789.

1801 John Henry Newman, British Anglican-turned-Catholic hymnist, was born in London (d. 11 August 1890).

1808 Wilhelm Löhe, pastor at Neuendettelsau, Bavaria, and patron of Lutheranism in America, was born at Fuerth near Nuremberg (d. 2 January 1872).

1815 Philipp Jakob Trautmann, pastor and charter member of the Missouri Synod, was born in Lambsborn, Rhenish Palatinate, Bavaria, Germany (d. 3 April 1900).

1819 Christian August Thomas Selle, pastor of First Saint Paul Lutheran Church (Chicago), where the Missouri Synod held its organizing convention, was born at Gelting, Angelm province, Schleswig, Germany (d. 3 April 1898).

1846 Martin Stephan, leader of the Saxon Immigration of 1838-1839, died (b. 13 August 1777).

1855 The Synod of Central Pennsylvania was organized at Aaronsburg, Pennsylvania, by two conferences of the Synod of West Pennsylvania.

1861 Ernst F. A. Rietschel, sculptor, died (b. 15 December 1804, Pulsnitz, Saxony). [German Wikipedia article]

1868 Maximilian Christopher Immanuel Fritschel, president of Wartburg Seminary, was born at Saint Sebald, Iowa (d. 1 January 1940).

1945 Eric Liddell (b. 16 January 1902), Scottish Olympic champion and missionary to China, died.

1964 Lorenz F. Blankenbuehler, professor at Concordia Seminary (Saint Louis) and editor of The Lutheran Witness, died in Saint Louis (b. 7 February 1886, Webster City, Iowa).