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

Today in History

May 12

1003 Pope Sylvester II died (b. ca. 946 near Aurillac, Auvergne, France).

1012 Pope Sergius IV died (b. ?, Rome).

1496 Gustav Vasa, Swedish king friendly to Lutheranism, was born (d. 29 September 1560).

1521 Martin Luther's writings were burned by Henry VIII (14911547) in front of Saint Paul's Cathedral in London. Henry later wrote: "If Luther will not be converted, let him and his writings be burned together."

1531 The Protestant cantons in Switzerland inaugurated a blockade of the five Romanist cantons in retaliation of the use of arms against them by the Romanist cantons. The war that arose from the confrontation resulted in the death of Huldrych Zwingli.

1626 Louis Hennepin, a Catholic priest and missionary of the Franciscan Recollect order, explorer of the interior of North America, was born (d. 1705). Two great waterfalls were brought to the world's attention by Louis Hennepin: Niagara Falls, with the most voluminous flow of any in North America, and the Saint Anthony Falls in what is now Minneapolis, the only waterfall on the Mississippi River.

1671 Erdmann Neumeister, Lutheran pastor, hymnist and cantata librettist, was born in Uechteritz (d. 18 August 1756).

1688 Johann Rothe, hymnist, was born in Lissa, near Görlitz (d. 6 July 1758).

1727 A revival began in Herrnhut under Count Nicolaus Ludwig von Zinzendorf (17001760), who spoke for three hours on the blessedness of living in unity.

1767 John Wainwright (17231768), composer, was appointed organist at Collegiate Church, Manchester.

1770 Nicholas Collin (ca. 17461831), Swedish Lutheran pastor, arrived in America.

1792 Englishman William Carey (17611834) published an 87-page tract on the obligation to send missionaries to foreign lands.

1794 John Nicolas Kurtz, Pennsylvania Lutheran pastor, died (b. 12 October 1720, Lutzenlinden, Nassau-Weilburg).

1825 Charles T. Astley, hymn translator, was born at Cwmllecoediog (near Mallwyd), North Wales (d. after 1898).

1838 Samuel Marsden, an associate of the reformer William Wilberforce, died at Paramotta, Australia (b. 25 June 1765).

1861 Julia Ward Howe’s (18191910) “Battle Hymn of the Republic,” published in the Atlantic Monthly three months earlier, was first performed at Fort Warren, Massachusetts (near Boston), during a flag-raising ceremony for new Union recruits.

1883 Gotthilf Christian Barth, president of Concordia Theological Seminary (Springfield, Illinois), was born in Sandusky, Wisconsin (d. 17 February 1965).

1891 The Presbytery of New York voted to put Charles A. Briggs (18411913), the new professor of biblical theology at Union Theological Seminary, on trial for heresy.

1900 Olof Olsson, hymn translator and president of Augustana College and Seminary, died (b. 31 March 1841, Karlskoga, Vaermland, Sweden).

1902 Julius Köstlin, Luther biographer, died (b. 17 May 1826, Stuttgart).

1919 Crawford Howell Toy (b. March 1836), American Hebrew scholar, died.

1951 Edward William August Koehler, author of Luther’s Annotated Catechism and Summary of Christian Doctrine and professor at Concordia Teachers College (Addison and River Forest, Illinois), died (b. 31 October 1875).

1952 Dom Gregory Dix (b. 1901), Anglican liturgical scholar, died.

1954 A Missouri Synod mission was opened at Iligan, Philippines.

1957 The first professors were installed at the new Concordia Senior College in Fort Wayne, Indiana.