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

Today in History

March 15

1493 Christopher Columbus (14511506) returned to Spain from his first voyage.

1517 Needing money to rebuild Saint Peter’s Basilica, Pope Leo X (14751521) announced a special sale of indulgences. A Dominican named Johann Tetzel (14651519) became the chief agent of the sale in Germany.

1529 The Second Diet of Speyer (Spires) opened. Emperor Charles V had ordered the diet originally for 1 February and later for 21 February. Roman Catholics were in the majority. Decisions of the 1526 Diet of Speyer were declared ineffective. The 1521 Edict of Worms was declared in effect where it had been recognized; where Roman Catholicism could not be reinstated without danger, evangelicals were to be tolerated but put under certain restrictions till the next general council.

1537 Patrick Adamson, Scottish prelate, was born in Perth (d. 1592).

1672 Charles II (16301685) of England issued his first declaration of indulgence, suspending Parliament’s legislation against Catholic and Protestant dissenters.

1770 William Gardiner, religious composer and historian of sacred melody, was born (d. 16 November 1853, Leicester, England).

1831 Theodore L. Byington, missionary to Turkey, was born in Johnsonburg, New Jersey (d. 18 June 1888).

1833 The Presbytery of Annan deposed Edward Irving (17921834) from the Presbyterian ministry due to his Pentecostalism and view of human nature of Christ. He later founded “The Holy Apostolic Church” or “Irvingites.”

1856 Haverford College was chartered in Haverford, Pennsylvania, the first college in the U.S. to be established under Quaker auspices.

1868 The cornerstone of the first Missouri Synod orphanage in Des Peres, Missouri, was laid.

1875 Archbishop John McCloskey (18101885) of New York became the first American to be named a cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church.

1896 Charles William Schaeffer, hymnist and General Synod president, died in Philadelphia (b. 5 May 1813, Hagerstown, Maryland).

1910 Johann Heinrich Niemann, president of the Central District of the Missouri Synod, died (b. 11 April 1848).

1916 Eric Norelius, Swedish American Lutheran theologian, died (b. 26 October 1833, Hassela, Helsingland, Sweden).

1961 Arnold Krentz died at Fort Wayne, Indiana (b. 14 February 1896, Dorchester, Wisconsin). 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 the superintendent of the Lutheran Deaconess Association in Fort Wayne, Indiana. During that time he also taught at Valparaiso University.