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

Today in History

April 19

526 Justinian I (482/483565) was crowned Roman Emperor in Constantinople's magnificent cathedral, the Santa Sophia.

1012 ∆lfheah, an Anglo-Saxon bishop of Winchester and subsequent archbishop of Canterbury, was murdered by Vikings after refusing to be ransomed by the raiders who kidnapped him.

1054 Pope Leo IX died (b. 21 June 1002). He was the first pope in medieval times actively to seek an end to the marriage of priests.

1529 At the second (of four) Diet of Speyer, the assembled Lutherans set down these words in protest of Charles V's attempt to crush Lutheranism in Germany and in favor of defending religious freedom for religious minorities. It was from this written protest that Lutherans in Europe took the name "Protestants."

1552 Olaus Petri, Swedish reformer under Gustavus Vasa, died (b. 6 January 1493, ÷rebro, Sweden).

1560 Philipp Melanchthon, German reformer and humanist, Luther's co-worker and one of the original leaders of the Reformation, died (b. 16 February 1497).

1573 Laurentius Petri, archbishop of Uppsala and brother of Olaus, is commemorated (b. 1499).

1607 Valentin Thilo, hymnist, was born in Koenigsberg (d. 27 July 1662).

1735 Johann Jakob Rambach, Lutheran theologian, writer and hymnist, died at Giessen (b. 24 February 1693, Halle).

1813 John H. Stockton, American Methodist pastor and sacred composer, was born in New Hope, Pennsylvania (d. 25 March 1877, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania).

1819 Ernst August Brauer, professor at Concordia Seminary (Saint Louis), was born in Northeim, Hannover (d. 29 September 1896).

1823 Anna L. Waring, Welsh Anglican hymn writer, was born in Glamorganshire, South Wales (d. 10 May 1910, Clifton [near Bristol], England).

1829 William Nelthorpe Hall, Methodist missionary to China, was born in Sheffield, Yorkshire, England (d. 21 May 1878).

1832 Henry Harris Jessup, Presbyterian missionary in North Africa and the Middle East, was born in Montrose, Pennsylvania (d. 28 April 1910).

1854 Nineteen-year-old English Baptist preacher Charles Haddon Spurgeon (18341892) was called as pastor of the New Park Chapel in London. It was one of the three largest of the 113 Baptist churches in London at that time.

1856 Anna Sarah Kugler, medical missionary in India, was born in Ardmore, Pennsylvania (d. 26 July 1930, Guntur, India).

1862 Georg Christoph Albert Kšppel, teacher, organist, composer and professor, was born in Indianapolis, Indiana (d. 11 January 1934).

1870 William Henry Havergal, hymnist, died in Leamington (b. 18 January 1793, Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, England).

1876 Samuel Sebastian Wesley, religious composer, died (b. 14 August 1810).

1887 The Catholic University of America was chartered in Washington, D.C.

1888 The Luther League, an intersynodical association of young people's societies within the General Council and General Synod, was organized in New York. It was later reorganized as the Luther League of America in 1895.

1908 The Roman Catholic decree Ne Temere officially went into effect. Issued in August 1907 by the Vatican's Sacred Congregation of the Council, its publication was intended to clarify the church's laws on marriage. Its chief article decreed that marriages between Catholics were thereafter null unless celebrated before a qualified priest and at least two witnesses. The same law applied when only one party was a Catholic, yet it did not bind those who were not and had not been Catholic.

1978 The Lutheran church, clinic and school of Zacapa, Guatemala, destroyed by an earthquake in 1975, were dedicated on this date after being rebuilt.

2005 Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger of Germany (b. 16 April 1927) was chosen as Pope Benedict XVI of the Roman Catholic Church.