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

Today in History

May 15

719 Wynfrith was consecrated as bishop Boniface (ca. 672754). He would carry the Gospel across the region of Germany and Prussia.

1248 The cornerstone for the cathedral in Cologne, Germany, was laid by Archbishop Konrad von Hochstaden.

1252 Pope Innocent IV (ca. 11951254) issued the papal bull ad extirpanda, which authorized the torture of heretics in the Medieval Inquisition.

1525 Eight hundred rioters were defeated at Frankenhausen during the Peasants’ War, and radical reformer Thomas Müntzer (ca. 14881525) was beheaded.

1529 The Latin translation of Luther's Large Catechism was completed.

1530 Luther returned a draft of the Torgau Articles with his approval to Philipp Melanchthon.

1548 The Augsburg Interim, a compromise creed mixing confessional positions of the Roman Catholic Church and the Protestant Reformation, was proclaimed by Emperor Charles V.

1608 René Goupil, French Catholic missionary and the first North American martyr of the Roman Catholic Church, was born (d. 29 September 1642).

1686 Robert Ratcliffe arrived in Boston with orders from England's King Charles II (16301685) to found the Anglican Church in Massachusetts.

1758 Thomas Taylor, hymnist, was born in Ossett, near Wakefield, England (d. 1 November 1835).

1816 Sylvanus Dryden Phelps, New England Baptist clergyman and hymnist, was born in Suffield, Connecticut (d. 23 November 1895, New Haven, Connecticut).

1817 The first private mental health hospital in the United States, the Asylum for the Relief of Persons Deprived of the Use of Their Reason (now Friends Hospital) Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, opened.

1845 Friedrich Conrad Dietrich Wyneken appeared before the General Synod as treasurer of the Synod of the West.

1869 Herman Lawrence Fritschel, hospital director and deaconess rector, was born in Saint Sebold, Iowa (d. 23 November 1951).

1872 Thomas Hastings (b. 15 October 1784), religious music writer and editor, died.

1874 Heinrich Karl Georg von Rohr, who helped found the Buffalo Synod, died (b. 1797, Billerbeck, Pomerania).

1879 Gustav Aulén, Swedish theologian, was born at Ljungby, Sweden (d. 1977).

1886 Reclusive American poet Emily Dickinson, many of whose poems focused on death, eternity, God and the afterlife, died (b. 10 December 1830).

1890 Edward Topping Doane, missionary to Micronesia, died (b. 30 May 1820, Tompkinsville, Staten Island, New York).

1891 Rerum Novarum, the first document of the Catholic Social Teaching tradition, was published by Pope Leo XIII (18101903).

1905 John B. Calkin (b. 16 March 1827, London), English church organist and music educator, died.

1911 The English Evangelical Lutheran Synod of Missouri and Other States joined the LCMS as the English District.

1914 Harold Bennett Sightler, Baptist preacher and revivalist, was born in the lower part of South Carolina (d. September 1995).

1928 Friedrich August Schmidt, theologian, author and educator, died (b. 1838). He graduated from Concordia Seminary (Saint Louis) in 1857 and served congregations in New York and Baltimore. He taught theology at Luther College (Decorah, Iowa), Concordia Seminary (Saint Louis), the Norwegian Synod seminary, Augsburg Seminary in Minneapolis and the United Norwegian Lutheran Church Seminary in Saint Paul. Schmidt was the founder of the United Norwegian Lutheran Church.

1932 M. Paulus, the first Missouri Synod Malayalam pastor, was ordained in India.

1948 Father Edward Flanagan, founder of the U.S. Home for Homeless Boys (later called Boys Town) in Omaha, Nebraska, died (b. 13 July 1886).

1951 Archbishop Jozsef Grosz (18871961) of Hungary was arrested for refusing to sign his government's peace appeal.

1972 U. S. Supreme Court decision (Wisconsin v. Yoder) ruled that the Amish cannot be forced to attend public schools against their religious convictions.

1984 Swiss evangelical Francis A. Schaeffer died in Rochester, Minnesota (b. 30 January 1912).

2007 Jerry Lamon Falwell Sr., an American evangelical Christian pastor and televangelist, founder of the Thomas Road Baptist Church in Lynchburg, Virginia, and of Liberty University and co-founder of the Moral Majority, died (b. 11 August 1933).