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

Today in History

June 15

1215 The Magna Carta was signed by King John at Runnymede, England, under pressure from nobles. It ensured the basic rights for his subjects.

1256 Pope Alexander IV (ca. 11991261) again ordered Thomas Aquinas (ca. 12251274) to be admitted as a doctor of theology. Rivalry between Catholic orders had led universities to resist.

1361 Johannes Tauler, German mystic and powerful preacher, died (b. ca. 1300, b. Strasbourg).

1520 Exsurge Domine (a "Bull against the Errors of Luther and His Followers") was issued by Pope Leo X, condemning Martin Luther as a heretic.

1530 Holy Roman Emperor Charles V (15001558) arrived in Augsburg and requested that the Lutheran princes summoned to the diet there participate in a Corpus Christi procession the following day. The Lutherans flatly refused. Charles V then repeated his ban on evangelical preaching.

1648 The first witchcraft trial in Massachusetts resulted in the hanging of Margaret Jones of Charlestown, Massachusetts.

1686 The first Church of England congregation in Boston was established (Boston’s King’s Chapel). The Puritans had been reluctant to allow forms of worship other than their own.

1691 Richard Baxter, pastor and writer, is commemorated (16151691).

1774 Karl Heinrich von Bogatzky, poet and hymnist, died (b. 7 September 1690, Silesia).

1807 William Nast, founder of German Methodism, was born at Stuttgart, Wurttemberg (d. 16 May 1899).

1831 David Henkel, North Carolina Lutheran pioneer, pastor and missionary in Kentucky, Indiana and Missouri, died (b. 4 May 1795).

1843 Edvard H. Grieg, Norwegian composer, was born at Bergen, Norway (d. 4 September 1907, Bergen, Norway).

1862 Tiyo Soga’s (18291871) African church opened.

1884 Sigurd Christian Ylvisaker, professor at various Lutheran colleges, was born in Madison, Wisconsin (d. 26 April 1959).

1893 John Ellerton, Anglican clergyman and hymnist, died (b. 16 December 1826).

1904 The worst disaster in New York City history prior to 11 September 2001 took place. The paddlewheel excursion boat General Slocum caught fire while filled with people on a picnic excursion. Many of them were members of Saint Mark Evangelical Lutheran Church. Over 1,000 people died in the fire or drowned in the river.

1915 Theodor Oehler, director of the Basel Mission, died in Basel (b. 1850). He served in Leonberg from 1878 to 1884, when he became inspector at Basel. In 1889 he visited India, China and other countries.

1916 President Woodrow Wilson signed a bill that incorporated the Boy Scouts of America.

1932 Dorothy Frances Bloomfield Gurney, hymnist, died at Notting Hill, London, England (b. 4 October 1858, Finsbury Circus, London, England).

1941 Evelyn Underhill, theologian and mystic, died (b. 6 December 1875).

1968 Hans Andreas Stub, long-time Seattle pastor, died (b. 18 May 1879, Koshkonong, Wisconsin).

1978 The Lutheran Church Extension Fund (LCEF) was incorporated as a Missouri nonprofit corporation.

1985 Elmer Christian Zimmermann died in Saint Louis, Missouri. He graduated from Concordia Seminary (Saint Louis) in 1928 and served as a missionary to China. Later he was a professor at the Saint Louis seminary and a pastor in Adair, Iowa. He was secretary of the China Mission General Conference and author of various Chinese books. He retired in 1971.