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

Today in History

July 15

1015 Vladimir I of Kiev, the first Christian ruler of Russia, died (b. ca. 958).

1099 The city of Jerusalem fell to the Christian invaders in the First Crusade.

1274 Philosopher, theologian, and mystic Bonaventure (born Giovanni di Fidanza) died (b. 1221).

1530 The Roman Catholic Confutation of the Augsburg Confession was rejected by the Estates at Augsburg.

1546 The Schmalkaldic War, a short period of violence from 1546 to 1547 between the forces of Holy Roman Emperor Charles V and the Schmalkaldic League, began.

1606 Dutch painter Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn was born to a wealthy family in Leyden (Leiden), Holland (d. 4 October 1669).

1636 Christian Knorr, Baron von Rosenroth, hymnist, was born at Altrauden, Silesia (d. 8 May 1689).

1664 Abraham Ecchellensis (latinized form of Ibrahim al-Haqilani), a Maronite Catholic philosopher and linguist involved in the translation of the Bible into Arabic, died in Rome (b. 18 February 1605).

1779 Clement Clarke Moore, author of “A Visit from St. Nicholas” (“’Twas the Night before Christmas”), was born (d. 10 July 1863).

1814 Edward Caswall, English Roman Catholic clergyman and hymnist, was born in Hampshire, England (d. 2 January 1878).

1828 Josiah K. Allwood, American clergyman and author of the hymn “O They Tell Me of a Home Far Beyond the Skies,” was born in Harrison County, Ohio. He spent many years as a circuit rider for the United Brethren in Christ and later was a presiding elder.

1841 Edward Abbot, Protestant Episcopalian, was born at Farmington, Maine. He was educated at the University of the City of New York and at Andover Theological Seminary. In 18621863 he was an agent of the United States Sanitary Commission and in the latter year was ordained into the Congregational ministry. Two years later he founded the Steams Chapel Congregational Church (now the Pilgrim Church) at Cambridge, Massachusetts, of which he was pastor for four years. In 18721873 he was the chaplain of the Massachusetts Senate. In 1879 he was ordered deacon in the Protestant Episcopal Church and became a priest in 1880, serving the parish of Saint James, Cambridge. He refused the proffered missionary bishopric of Japan in 1889 but held numerous positions in religious and philanthropic movements. He was editor of the Boston Congregationalist and was joint proprietor and editor of the Boston Literary World from 1877 to 1888 and again from 1895 to 1903.

1845 Wilhelm Sihler (18011885) arrived in Fort Wayne, Indiana, to begin his pastorate at Saint Paul Lutheran Church.

1850 Francesca S. (Mother) Cabrini, the first American canonized by the Roman Catholic Church, was born in Lombardy, Italy (d. 22 December 1917).

1900 Matthias Sheeleigh, president of the General Synod and Gettysburg Seminary and a hymnist, died (b. 29 December 1821).

1939 Franz Friedrich Wilhelm Jakob Lankenau, vice-president of the Missouri Synod, died (b. 26 April 1868).

1943 The Evangelical Lutheran Church in British Guiana was organized.

1965 Lutheran television programs began in Korea.

1968 William H. Schweppe, first full-time missionary for the Lutheran Synodical Conference in Nigeria, died in a motor accident at Mazabuka, Zambia. He was born 29 March 1907 at Saint James, Minnesota. He was educated at Northwestern College (Watertown, Wisconsin) and Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary (Mequon), where he graduated in 1932. His only stateside parish was at Osceola-Saint Croix Falls, Minnesota, where he served for three years. He was called to take over the work begun by Henry Nau among the Ibibios in Nigeria’s Calabar area. Under his leadership a strong indigenous church was built. He later worked among the Sala people in Northern Rhodesia (now the Republic of Zambia), serving at the Lumano Mission on the Sala Reserve until his death.