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

Today in History

March 17

Patrick, Missionary to Ireland

1565 Alexander Alesius, Scottish Lutheran theologian, died (b. 23 April 1500, Edinburgh, Scotland).

1581 Johann Marbach, reformer of Strasbourg and champion of Lutheranism, died (b. 1521, Lindau, Bavaria).

1734 Forty-two families (78 persons), Protestant refugees from Salzburg, Austria, arrived in the American colonies, landing in Georgia. Sponsored by the Society for the Promotion of Christian Knowledge (SPCK), a British missionary organization, the refugees soon established the town of Ebenezer, thirty miles from Savannah, Georgia.

1737 The Charitable Irish Society of Boston hosted the first municipal celebration of Saint Patrick’s Day in America.

1780 Thomas Chalmers, pastor and social reformer, was born at Anstruther, Scotland (d. 31 May 1847).

1823 Charles Porterfield Krauth, prominent theologian in the General Synod and General Council, was born in Martinsburg, Virginia (d. 2 January 1883).

1828 Matthias Loy, Lutheran theologian and author, was born in the Blue Mountains of Cumberland County, Pennsylvania (near Harrisburg) (d. 26 January 1915).

1886 C. F. G. Lehenbauer, president of the Brazil District of the Missouri Synod, was born in Hannibal, Missouri. He graduated from Concordia Theological Seminary (Springfield, Illinois) in 1913 and went to Brazil as a missionary. He became president of the Brazil District in 1924.

1897 Ottomar E. Cloeter, one of Wilhelm Loehe's missioners, died at Valley Creek, Minnesota (b. 25 April 1825, Bayreuth, Bavaria).

1897 Emilie Grace Briggs (18671944) became the first woman graduate from an American Presbyterian theological seminary when she received her Bachelor of Divinity degree from Union Theological Seminary in New York City.

1902 George W. Warren, Episcopal organist and choir director, died (b. 17 August 1828).

1911 Joseph Y. Peek (b. 27 February 1843), American sacred music instrumentalist, died.

1919 Frederick William Stellhorn, a professor at Concordia College (Fort Wayne, Indiana) who left his position to join the Ohio Synod because of the predestination controversy, died (b. 2 October 1841).

1922 The United Lutheran Synod of Virginia was formed by a merger of the Virginia Synod (1829), the Southwestern Virginia Synod (1842), the Holston Synod (1860) and some congregations of the Tennessee Synod.

1946 Alvaro Aricheta Cariņo (1910–1998) was commissioned as the first Missouri Synod missionary to the Philippines.

1987 George W. Wittmer died in Saint Louis, Missouri (b. 23 September 1906, Chicago, Illinois). He graduated from Concordia Seminary (Saint Louis) in 1930 and served as a pastor in Peoria, Illinois, and Saint Louis, Missouri. He also served as vice-president and president of the Western District and as a vice-president of the Missouri Synod. He retired in 1975.