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

Today in History

May 18

313 The Edict of Milan (Liberty of Christianity) was issued by Emperor Constantine.

526 Pope Saint John I died (or May 19) at Ravenna, having been imprisoned by Theodoric, king of the Ostrogoths and of Italy, the ardent defender of Arianism.

1160 Erik IX, King of Sweden and Christianizer of Finland, was martyred (b. ca. 1120). He was ruler of much of Sweden from 1150 to 1160.

1268 Baibars and his Mamluk forces captured Antioch, capital of the crusader state, the Principality of Antioch.

1291 The last Christian territory taken by the Crusaders, Acre, fell to the Sultan of Egypt.

1528 Martin Luther began his first of three series of sermons on the chief parts of the catechism. These sermons became the basis for the Large Catechism and the Small Catechism that Luther would write the following year.

1532 Johann Aepinus (14991553) was appointed superintendent of Hamburg, the highest office in the Lutheran Church in Hamburg. [German Wikipedia article]

1627 Valerius Herberger, theologian and hymnist, died in Fraustadt, Posen (b. 21 April 1562, Fraustadt). [German Wikipedia article]

1631 The General Court of Massachusetts Bay Colony, at their second meeting, decreed that "no man shall be admitted to the body politic but such as are members of some of the churches within the limits" of the colony. The decree stated that none but Puritans may be freemen and that only freeman may vote.

1675 Jacques Marquette, French Jesuit missionary and explorer, died (b. 1 June 1637).

1692 Joseph Butler, English bishop and scholar, was born at Wantage, Bershire, England (d. 16 June 1752).

1733 Georg Böhm, German composer and organist who taught J. S. Bach, died in Lueneburg (b. 2 September 1661).

1767 The Church of the United Brethren in Christ had its beginnings in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, at a meeting between Martin Boehm, a Mennonite, and Philip William Otterbein, a German Reformed pastor. The denomination was more formally organized on 3 June 1800.

1798 Charles Henkel, who translated the Augsburg Confession into English, was born (or 17 May; d. 2 February 1841).

1807 John Douglas, Scottish Anglican bishop and man of letters, died (b. 14 July 1721).

1808 Elijah Craig, American Baptist minister and inventor of bourbon whiskey, died (b. 1738?).

1816 Georg Ernst Christian Ferdinand Sievers, founding pastor of the mission congregation at Frankenlust, Michigan, as well as other missions throughout Michigan, Ohio, Wisconsin and Minnesota, was born in Lueneburg, Hannover, Germany (d. 9 September 1893). He was the founder of Missouri Synod foreign missions and served as the synod's chronologist.

1834 Sheldon Jackson, pioneer Presbyterian minister to American Indians and the American West, was born in Minaville, New York (d. 1909).

1843 Friedrich Conrad Dietrich Wyneken, his wife Sophie and daughter Louise, along with Adolph Biewend, who became a professor at the Missouri Synod's Saint Louis seminary, set sail for the U.S. Wyneken had spent two years in Germany for his health and to promote the need for pastors to serve German Lutheran immigrants in the U.S.

1843 The Free Church of Scotland was formed under the leadership of Thomas Chalmers (17801847).

1860 Christian Heinrich Zeller died (b. 29 March 1779). He helped establish a seminary and a home for poor children at Beuggen in 1820, which he administered according to the ideas of Pestalozzi and in a somewhat Pietistic manner. [German Wikipedia article]

1864 Henri A. C. Malan (Cesar H. A. Malan), hymnist, died in Vandoeuvres, near Geneva (b. 7 July 1787).

1879 Hans Andreas Stub, long-time Lutheran pastor in Seattle, was born in Koshkonong, Wisconsin (d. 15 June 1968).

1892 Oscar Kaiser, hymnist, became the first pastor of Calvary Lutheran Church in Buffalo, New York.

1901 Maltbie D. Babcock (b. 3 August 1858), American Presbyterian clergyman and hymnist, died.

1902 William Taylor, AME missionary to Africa, died in Palo Alto, California (b. 1821).

1920 Karol Wojtyla (Pope John Paul II, 19782005) was born in Wadowice, Poland (d. 2 April 2005).

1921 Adam Martin, first president of the Wisconsin Synod's Northwestern College (Watertown, Wisconsin), died in New Haven, Connecticut (b. 9[8?] August 1835, Budershausen, Bavaria).

1926 Pentecostal evangelist Aimee Semple McPherson (18901944) disappeared from a Santa Monica, California, beach.

1939 Hans Joergen S. Astrup, Evangelical Lutheran Church missionary to South Africa, died (b. 30 August 1852).

1984 Clarence H. Peters, chairman of the Missouri Synod's Board for Young People's Work from 1946 to 1962, died (b. 8 January 1903, Linn, Kansas).