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

Today in History

May 23

1202 Pope Innocent III (ca. 11611216) issued a bull asking the Bishop of Paris to help subjugate the abbey of Jouarre, where women not only had autonomy but also oversaw the monks of Rebais.

1381 The Metropolitan (Patriarch) Cyprian (ca. 13361406) was received with rejoicing in Moscow.

1430 French heroine Joan of Arc (ca. 14121431) was captured at Rheims by the Burgundians, who sold her to the English.

1498 Italian reformer Girolamo Savonarola (b. 21 September 1452, Ferrara), an aggressive preacher against the corruption of northern Italy's church and society, was hanged for heresy in Florence, Italy.

1526 Philipp Melanchthon (14971560) helped change a catholic school into an evangelical one in Nürnberg at Lazarus Spengler's request.

1533 Thomas Cranmer (14891556), archbishop of Canterbury, declared King Henry VIII's marriage to Catherine of Aragon null and void, a key moment in the English Reformation.

1551 Saint Philip Neri (15151595) was ordained. He founded the Oratorian order.

1571 Joachim Mörlin, Luther's chaplain and bishop of Samland, died (b. 6 April 1514, Wittenberg, Germany). [German Wikipedia article]

1633 Though Huguenots (French Protestants) had tried to colonize “New France” (Canada) for three decades, France declared that only Roman Catholics were allowed to settle there permanently.

1815 Gotthilf Henry Ernst Muhlenberg, Lutheran pastor and botanist, died (b. 17 November 1753, Trappe, Pennsylvania, the son of Henry Melchior Muhlenberg).

1842 F. C. D. Wyneken’s daughter Louise was born.

1862 Hermann Gunkel, German Protestant Bible scholar, was born in Springe, Hanover (d. 11 March 1932). [German Wikipedia article]

1887 Pope Leo XIII (1810–1903) declared the Kulturkampf (cultural struggle) between the Roman Catholic Church and the German Reich under Otto von Bismarck to be over. [German Wikipedia article]

1887 Ludvig Mathias Lindeman, composer, died in Christiana, Norway (b. 28 November 1812, Trondheim, Norway).

1889 Mary Susanne Edgar, national Y.W.C.A. leader, was born at Sundridge, Ontario (d. 17 September 1973, Toronto).

1891 The Chapel Car idea was conceived. Boston W. Smith came up with the idea of bringing specially outfitted rail cars, ten feet wide and sixty feet long, into unchurched "Wild West" communities where they could serve as churches until something more permanent was established and then move on. A dozen of these cars were set on rail sidings. They did more to tame the American West than all the gunmen that dominate Hollywood films.

1918 Ludwig Ingwer Nommensen, missionary to Sumatra, died (b. 6 February 1834). [German Wikipedia article]

1926 Wilbur Nelson, Christian radio host, was born in Denver, Colorado (d. 22 August 2003).

1946 Elmer Frederick Krauss, president of the Chicago Lutheran Theological Seminary, died (b. 7 September 1862, Kraussdale, Lehigh County, Pennsylvania).

1953 The Eket, Nigeria, hospital was dedicated.

1955 The General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in the United States announced it would permit the ordination of women.

1965 Henry Hampton Halley died in Chicago, Illinois (b. 10 April 1874). He was the creator of Halley's Bible Handbook.

1983 Paul William Streufert, third vice-president of the Missouri Synod from 1965 to 1972, died (b. 14 April 1903). A graduate of Concordia College (Milwaukee) and Concordia Seminary (Saint Louis) in 1927, Streufert served congregations in Missouri, Louisiana and Ohio. During his retirement, he served vacancies and preaching assignments in Illinois. He was president of the Southern District for three years and served on many boards, including the synod's Board for Parish Education and the Board of Control at Concordia Theological Seminary (Springfield, Illinois).