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

Today in History

April 18

1161 Theobald of Bec, Archbishop of Canterbury, died.

1506 Commissioned by Pope Julius II, the foundation stone was laid for the new Saint Peter's Basilica in Rome. Julius's plan was to pay for construction costs by the sale of indulgences. The sales campaign prompted Martin Luther to raise bitter criticism of indulgences in his Ninety-Five Theses, posted in 1517.

1524 The Second Diet of Nürnberg declared the implementation of the Edict of Worms against Martin Luther.

1671 Johann Burkhard Freystein, hymnist, was born in Weissenfels (d. 1 April 1718).

1803 John William Richards, Lutheran professor at Lafayette College, was born in Reading, Pennsylvania (d. 24 January 1854).

1804 Joseph Dacre Carlyle, orientalist and hymnist, died in Newcastle, England (b. 4 June 1758, Carlisle, Cumbria, England).

1819 James Hamilton, hymnist, was born in Glendollar, Scotland (d. 1896).

1874 The remains of Scottish missionary David Livingstone (18131873), who died the year before in what is now northern Zambia in Africa (1 May 1873), were interred in Westminster Abbey in England.

1882 George S. Schuler, American evangelical music educator and composer, was born in New York City. For forty years he served as a faculty member at Moody Bible Institute in Chicago. He composed a number of Gospel songs but is remembered particularly for the hymn tune SCHULER ("Make Me a Blessing").

1892 Niels Thomsen, missionary to India who helped organize the Danish American Lutheran Mission Society, died (b. 5 August 1842, Denmark).

1906 A major earthquake and subsequent fires devastated San Francisco, California, killing at least 3,000 and leaving more than half of the city's population homeless. Saint Paulus Lutheran Church, built in 1893, was spared from destruction by the fires and from a plan to dynamite the building to stop the spreading fires in 1906 but was destroyed by fire in 1995.

1906 A Los Angeles Times story on the Azusa Street Revival launched Pentecostalism as a worldwide movement.

1909 Joan of Arc (ca. 14121431) was beatified in Rome.

1917 A planning committee called for the union of the General Synod and General Council in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The impetus for the merger came from the laymen on the Quadricentennial Committee (of the Reformation).

1929 Edward Louis Arndt, pioneer missionary to China, died in Hankow, China (b. 19 December 1864).