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

Today in History

May 17

1510 Sandro Botticelli, Florentine painter, died (b. 1 March 1445).

1637 The Puritan lawyer John Winthrop (1587/81649) was elected to be the first governor of Massachusetts Bay Colony.

1673 Louis Jolliet (16451700) and Father Jacques Marquette (16371675) began exploring the Mississippi River.

1798 Charles Henkel, who translated the Augsburg Confession into English, was born (or 18 May; d. 2 February 1841).

1808 Jacob Albright, the first bishop of what became known as the Evangelical Association, died (b. 1759, near Pottstown, Pennsylvania).

1809 Napoleon I of France (17691821) ordered the annexation of the Papal States to the French Empire.

1817 Heinrich August Jäschke, Moravian missionary to Tibet, was born in Herrnhut, Saxony (d. 24 September 1883).

1826 Julius Köstlin, Luther biographer, was born (d. 12 May 1902). [German Wikipedia article]

1844 George Unangst Wenner, president of the Lutheran Synod of New York and New Jersey, was born near Bethlehem, Pennsylvania (d. 1 November 1934).

1844 Julius Wellhausen, German biblical scholar, was born in Hameln, Westphalia (d. 17 January 1918).

1844 The Methodist Episcopal Church, South separated from the Methodist Episcopal Church in Louisville, Kentucky.

1847 Charles C. Luther, New England Baptist evangelist and hymn writer, was born in Worcester, Massachusetts (d. 4 November 1924, Farmingdale, Long Island, New York).

1849 A fire threatened to burn St. Louis, Missouri, to the ground.

1868 Richard Th. Kretzschmar, Western District president, was born in Mittweida, Saxony (d. 5 March 1940).

1881 The English Revised Version of the New Testament (R.V. or E.R.V.) was put on sale in England.

1906 Carl McIntire, American evangelist and political communicator, was born (d. 19 March 2002). McIntyre was called American Protestantism's "self-styled number one anti-Communist" and was characterized as a firebrand radio evangelist who preached a combination of biblical fundamentalism and hawkish patriotism.

1907 Gottlob Frederick Krotel, president of the General Council, died (b. 4 February 1826).

1907 Herbert William Knopp Sr. was born in Graytown, Ohio (d. 1963). From 1948 to 1955 he was the coordinator of university relations for Valparaiso University, during which time he was also the campaign director of the Valparaiso Memorial Building Fund. He was the president of the Tennessee District of the Lutheran Laymen's League from 1945 to 1947. He also served as a member of the Missouri Synod's Committee on Doctrinal Unity and Committee on Television and Public Relations. He was the author of The Christian Day School of the Missouri Lutherans and the editor of the Tennessee Lutheran Layman from 1944 to 1947.

1913 William Croswell Doane, Protestant Episcopal hymnal compiler, died (b. 2 March 1832, Boston, Massachusetts).

1928 The first flight of the Australian Aerial Medical Service took place with K. St. Vincent Welch as the flying doctor. This ministry was conceived and promoted by John Flynn, a Presbyterian minister.

1947 The Conservative Baptist Association of America was formally established at Atlantic City, New Jersey.

1948 Representatives of the Lutheran Synodical Conference and the American Lutheran Church met to draw up a common confession of faith.

1956 Henry Nau, president of Immanuel Lutheran College (Greensboro, North Carolina) and pioneer Synodical Conference missionary in Nigeria, died (b. 21 September 1881, Beltershausen, Marburg, Germany).

1959 The first Missouri Synod baptisms and confirmations took place in Korea.

1964 August Conrad Stellhorn, the first secretary of schools for the Missouri Synod, died (b. 2 June 1887, Red Bud, Illinois).

1964 The Vatican II Ecumenical Council created the Secretariat for Non-Christian Religions.

1972 A Hutu bishop, Father Michael Kayoya of Burundi was executed. He was one of thousands executed in the genocidal murder. About one half of all Catholic catechists in Burundi were killed.

2000 A federal judge in Kentucky ruled that a display of the Ten Commandments should be removed from a county courthouse.

2007 After being separated from the Russian Church of the Moscow Patriarchate for 80 years (since 1927 when Metropolitan Sergiy [18671944] pledged from his prison cell the church’s qualified loyalty to the Bolshevik state), the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia officially signed the Act of Canonical Communion with the Moscow Patriarchate and became a semi-autonomous part of the Russian Orthodox Church.