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

Today in History

April 24

Johann Walter, Cantor

624 Mellitus, first bishop of London and third archbishop of Canterbury, died.

709 Wilfrid, English bishop and saint whose life coincided with the lives of Cuthbert and Benedict Biscop, all of whom helped to convert the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms of England to Christianity, died (b. ca. 634).

1342 Pope Benedict XII died (b. 1285).

1533 William I, Prince of Orange (“The Silent”), governor of the Netherlands, was born (d. 10 July 1584).

1547 The Schmalcaldic League, an alliance of German Lutheran princes, was crushed by Holy Roman Emperor Charles V in the Battle of Mühlberg.

1575 Jakob Böhme, German Lutheran pietist and mystic, was born near Goerlitz (d. 17 November 1624).

1581 Vincent de Paul, founder of the Lazarist Fathers and the Sisters of Charity, was born in Pouy, Landes, France (d. 27 September 1660).

1586 Martin Rinckart, German clergyman, Latin scholar, chorister and hymnist, was born in Eilenberg, Saxony (d. 8 December 1649). [German Wikipedia article]

1614 Martin Geier Jr., German theologian and hymnist, was born (d. 12 September 1680). [German Wikipedia article]

1622 Fidelis of Sigmaringen, Swiss friar and martyr of the Counter-Reformation in Switzerland, died (b. 1577).

1632 “My Soul, Now Bless Thy Maker” was used by Gustavus Adolphus of Sweden (15941632) at the first restored Protestant service in Augsburg during the Thirty Years' War.

1649 The Toleration Acts were passed in Maryland under the administration of Protestant deputy governor William Stone. They provided for religious freedom for all Christians, including Roman Catholics.

1844 Asahel Grant, missionary to Persia, died (b. 17 August 1807, Marshall, New York).

1845 Johannes Thorbjoernsen Ylvisaker, professor and author, was born in Sogndal, Norway (d. 10 October 1917).

1853 The German Evangelical Lutheran Central Bible Society for Missouri, Illinois and Iowa was organized to promulgate German Bibles and New Testaments.

1870 The First Vatican Council of the Roman Catholic church, in its third public session, published "Dei Filius." Beginning with an attack on pantheism, materialism and atheism of the day, it focused on the relationship between faith and reason. In essence it proclaimed that God can be known through human thought. It adopted "the dogmatic constitution on the Catholic faith."

1875 Samuel Prideaux Tregelles, English New Testament textual critic, died (b. 30 January 1813).

1889 Walter F. Lichtsinn, vice-president of the Missouri Synod, was born in Indianapolis, Indiana (d. 16 September 1982, Crown Point, Indiana). He was a 1913 graduate of Concordia Seminary (Saint Louis) and served parishes in Toronto, Ontario, and Hammond, Indiana. He was third vice-president of the Missouri Synod from 1947 to 1959 after serving as president of the Central District from 1927 to 1947.

1892 Erwin Herman Schnedler was born in Saint Charles, Missouri (d. 12 December 1983, Milford Center, Ohio). He was a graduate of Concordia Seminary (Saint Louis) in 1914 and served on the faculty of Concordia College (Fort Wayne, Indiana) from 1914 to 1961.

1920 Eliza E. Hewitt (b. 28 June 1851), American Presbyterian Sunday school leader and hymn writer, died.

1927 A Missouri Synod mission in Colombo, Ceylon, was opened by Erwin Herman Meinzen (1898–1996).

1944 In United States v. Ballard the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that no governmental agency can determine "the truth or falsity of the beliefs or doctrines" of anyone.

1977 Paul Rosel, professor of music at Concordia Teachers College (Seward, Nebraska), died at Seward (15 April 1914, Saint Ansgar, Iowa). Rosel received his bachelor of education degree from the Seward school. He also held bachelor and master of music degrees from Northwestern University. Rosel served parishes in Iowa, Nebraska and Wisconsin before joining the Concordia faculty in 1946. He published several choral collections, served as an organ building consultant, offered organ recitals and published the book Silent Night, Holy Night.

1983 David Londenberg was commissioned to serve as the Missouri Synod's first missionary to Sierra Leone, Africa. He had previously served as a missionary to the Philippines.

1983 Ground was broken for construction of a new building of Concordia Lutheran Theological Seminary on the campus of Brock University in Saint Catharines, Ontario.

2005 - Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger was inaugurated as the 265th pope of the Roman Catholic Church, taking the name Pope Benedict XVI.