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

Today in History

June 16

1410 The Archbishop of Zybnek, Czechoslovakia, ordered the burning of John Wycliffe's (ca. 13201384) works. Jan Hus (ca. 13691415), declared a heretic by the Council of Constance, had assimilated Wycliffe's teachings.

1456 The 25-year-old judgment of heresy against Joan of Arc (14121431) was annulled.

1548 The Adiaphoristic Controversy, later resolved by Article X of the Formula of Concord, began. It arose as a result of the Augsburg Interim and dealt with the emperor's demands that the Lutherans restore the Catholic mass, sacraments and authority of the Pope.

1574 The first Synod of Dort of the Reformed Churches of the Netherlands met through June 28.

1675 The French nun Margaret Mary Alacoque (16471690) claimed to have seen a vision in which Jesus declared that special devotion should be offered to His sacred heart. Rome was long unfavorable to the devotion, but the Jesuits pushed it vigorously, finally convincing Rome to yield to increasing pressure, first conceding the devotion and then a festival.

1701 The Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts was chartered in England.

1752 Joseph Butler (b. 18 May 1692), Anglican clergyman and theologian, died.

1764 Charles August Gottlieb Stork, colonial pastor, was born in Helmstadt, Brunswick (d. 27 March 1831).

1806 John Chandler, hymn translator, was born at Witley, Surrey, England (d. 1 July 1876, Putney).

1810 Samuel Robbins Brown, missionary to Japan and China, was born in East Windsor, Connecticut (d. 20 June 1880).

1818 Samuel John Mills, missionary and founder of the American Bible Society, died at sea while returning from Liberia (b. 12 April 1783).

1825 Herman Amberg Preus, Norwegian Lutheran leader in America and president of the Synodical Conference, was born in Kristiansand, Norway (d. 2 July 1894).

1833 Anglican-turned Catholic Cardinal John Henry Newman (18011890), while on a ship traveling from Italy to France, penned the words to the hymn of trust "Lead Kindly Light, Amid th' Encircling Gloom."

1846 Giovanni Maria Mastai-Ferretti (17921878) began the longest papacy in history (thirty-two years) as Pope Pius IX.

1855 William Booth (18291912) and Catherine Mumford (18291890) married. They became one of the greatest husband-wife evangelical teams known to history and founded the Salvation Army.

1909 Erastus Johnson (b. 20 April 1826), American rancher, farmer and hymnist, died.

1948 Rufus M. Jones (b. 25 January 1863), American Quaker theologian, died.

1952 The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank was published in the United States.

1969 Heinrich Stallmann, president of the Evangelical Free Church of Germany, died (b. 5 July 1887, Allendorf on the Lumda, Hesse, Germany).

1980 The leader in the Gutnuis Church (Papua New Guinea) was killed by rival tribesmen.

1983 Pope John Paul II (19202005) visited his native Poland, remaining through June 23.

1998 Jeff G. Johnson, a long-time black ministry leader of the LCMS, died. A 1948 graduate of Concordia Seminary (Saint Louis), he served as a pastor in Detroit, Michigan; East Saint Louis, Illinois; and Indianapolis, Indiana. He was later on the chapel staff and a professor of sociology at Valparaiso University. He was also a member of the Missouri Synod's Commission on Black Ministry and the Commission on Theology and Church Relations, as well as being an author.