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

Today in History

April 26

1478 Two Medici brothers were attacked by the pope’s men with his knowledge when they entered church to celebrate Easter mass. The Medici and the Pazzi families were quarreling over which would handle Vatican banking. The pope wanted to drop the Medicis.

1521 After Charles V (15001558) promised to take firmer measures against his doctrines, Martin Luther left the Diet of Worms. A month later his teachings were formally condemned.

1834 Horatio Richmond Palmer, American Congregational clergyman and hymnist, was born in Sherburne, New York (d. 15 November 1907, Yonkers, New York).

1836 Friedrich Carl Theodor Ruhland, German Free Church pastor, was born in Grohnde, near Hamel, Hannover (d. 3 June 1879).

1847 The Missouri Synod was officially organized in Chicago at First Saint Paul Church (C. A. T. Selle, pastor). The first officers elected for a term of three years were C. F. W. Walther, president; Wilhelm Sihler, vice-president; F. W. Husmann, secretary; and F. W. Barthel, treasurer (funds amounted to $118.32 and 3/4 cents). Der Lutheraner was adopted as the official church publication, and the seminary founded in Fort Wayne, Indiana, through the efforts of Wilhelm Löhe was accepted by the synod.

1868 Franz Friedrich Wilhelm Jakob (aka Francis James) Lankenau, Missouri Synod vice-president and church leader, was born in Fort Wayne, Indiana (d. 15 July 1939).

1877 Residents of Minnesota observed this date as a statewide day of prayer, asking for deliverance from a plague of grasshoppers that had been ravishing thousands of acres of farm crops that year. The plague ended during that summer. The prayer at first did not seem to "work" because warm temperatures over the next two days caused millions of larvae to wiggle to life, but a plunge in temperature on the fourth day froze and killed all of the wrigglers.

1900 Conrad Sigmund Fritschel, who helped found the Iowa Synod and served as a professor in its seminary, died (b. 2 December 1833, Nürnberg).

1955 The Roman Catholic television program Life Is Worth Living was broadcast for the last time on Dumont television. Premiering 12 February 1952, it was one of the most successful religious programs ever to air on television. It won its host, Bishop Fulton J. Sheen (18951979), an Emmy Award in 1952 for "the most outstanding personality" on television.

1968 The Lutheran Synod of Mexico was formally initiated.

1970 Paul Wilbert Lapp, Lutheran professor and archaeologist, died (b. 5 August 1930, Sacramento, California).

1992 Worshipers celebrated the first Russian Orthodox Easter in Moscow in 74 years.