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

Today in History

March 12

417 Innocent I, pope from 401 to 417, died.

604 Pope Gregory the Great died (b. ca. 540).

1088 Otho of Lagery was elected pope and took the name Urban II. Though he had some trouble taking his office (Holy Roman Emperor Henry IV [10501106] supported a rival, Clement III [10291100]), he made a name for himself by proclaiming the First Crusade in 1095.

1547 Wenzeslaus Link, friend and co-worker of Martin Luther, died (b. 1483, Colditz, near Leipzig, Saxony).

1607 Paul Gerhardt, German Lutheran pastor and hymn writer, was born at Graefenhaynichen, between Halle and Wittenberg (d. 27 May 1676).

1622 Pope Gregory XV (15541623) canonized Ignatius Loyola (14911556, founder of the Jesuits), Philip Neri (15151595, Italian co-founder of a medical religious order), Teresa of Avila (15151582, a Spanish Carmelite nun) and Francis Xavier (15061552, the apostle of eastern Asia).

1685 Anglican bishop and philosopher George Berkeley was born in Ireland (d. 14 January 1753).

1710 Thomas A. Arne, noted English composer, was born in London (d. 5 March 1778).

1775 Christian Frederick Lewis Endress, General Synod founder, was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (d. 30 September 1827).

1815 Georg Albert Schieferdecker, Saxon pastor, was born in Leipzig, Germany (d. 23 November 1891).

1826 Robert Lowry, American Baptist clergyman and hymn writer, was born in Philadelphia (d. 25 November 1899, Plainfield, New Jersey).

1830 Heinrich Wunder, first president of the Missouri Synods Illinois District, was born in Muggendorf, Bavaria (d. 22 December 1913).

1845 Jason Lee, missionary to the northwest United States, died (b. 28 June 1803 near Stanstead, Quebec, then considered part of Vermont).

1848 Franz Julius Biltz (18251908), one of the first students at Concordia College [Seminary], Altenburg, Missouri, was ordained.

1872 Konrad Kocher, German chorister, composer and hymn writer, died (b. 16 December 1786, Dietzingen, Württemberg, Germany).

1887 James Read Eckard, missionary to Ceylon, died (b. 22 November 1805, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania).

1888 Otto William Wismar was born in Chicago (d. 17 September 1965, Los Angeles, California). He graduated from Concordia Seminary (Saint Louis) in 1910 and was ordained at Mount Calvary Lutheran Church (New Orleans) on 28 August 1910. From 1917 to 1918 he served as a military chaplain. In 1921 he joined the faculty of Saint Paul's College (Concordia, Missouri). He became the pastor of Grace Lutheran Church (Los Angeles) in 1926.

1904 Theodore F. A. Nickel was born in Onekama, Michigan (d. 12 March 1996, Waseca, Minnesota). He graduated from Concordia Seminary (Saint Louis) in 1927 and served as a pastor in Bessemer, Michigan; Eau Claire, Wisconsin; and Aurora and Chicago, Illinois. He was vice-president and president of the Northern Illinois District and a vice-president of the LCMS. He retired in 1977.

1907 Carl Stamm Meyer, church historian and professor at Concordia Seminary (Saint Louis) was born in Wetaskiwin, Alberta, Canada (d. 17 December 1972).

1916 The first Lutheran congregation was organized in Hankow, China, as a result of the work of Eduard L. Arndt (18641929).

1922 Albert Friedrich Wilhelm Grimm died (b. 18 January 1864, Pomerania). He immigrated with his parents to the United States in 1874, landing in New York and later settling in Wisconsin. He graduated from Concordia Theological Seminary (Springfield, Illinois) in 1888 and served as a pastor in Oak Grove, Illinois, and Antigo, Wisconsin. In 1919 his eldest son died, and Albert resigned from the ministry to take over his son's position as manager of Antigo Publishing Company. Grimm is best remembered for his short stories and novels written under the pen name Alfred Ira.

1973 Kent Sigvart Knutson, president of The American Lutheran Church, died (b. 7 August 1924, Goldfield, Iowa).

1977 The Radio Voice of the Gospel, the Lutheran World Federation radio station in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, was nationalized by the Ethiopian government.

1983 The founding convention of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Paraguay was held.

1996 Theodore F. A. Nickel died in Waseca, Minnesota (see above under 1904).