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

Today in History

July 31

1367 Giovanni Colombini (b. ca. 1300), Roman Catholic religious leader, died.

1526 Augustus, Elector of Saxony, was born (d. 11 February 1586).

1541 The Regensburg Conference ended. The conference was a continuation of the Colloquy of Worms and was an effort to restore religious unity in Germany.

1556 Ignatius of Loyola, founder of the Jesuit order, died (b. 24 December 1491, Loyola, near Azpeitia, Northern Spain).

1703 English writer Daniel Defoe was placed in a pillory for seditious libel after publishing a pamphlet politically satirizing the High church Tories.

1784 Denis Diderot (b. 5 October 1713), key French promoter of the Enlightenment, died.

1799 Christian Gottlob Barth, founder of the Missionary Society of Wuerttemberg, was born in Stuttgart (d. 12 November 1862). [German Wikipedia article]

1842 J. C. F. Heyer (17931873), Lutheran missionary, arrived in India at Guntur.

1859 James Waddell Alexander (b. 13 March 1804), American Presbyterian clergyman, teacher and hymn writer, died.

1871 Phoebe Cary, hymnist, died (b. 4 September 1824).

1886 Franz Liszt (b. 22 October 1811), Hungarian composer and piano virtuoso, died.

1890 Eurotas Parmelee Hastings, missionary to Ceylon, died (b. 17 April 1821).

1895 Lewis W. Spitz Sr. was born in Minden, Nebraska (d. 8 June 1996). He graduated from Concordia Seminary (Saint Louis) in 1918 and served as pastor in Lovell, Wyoming, and Bertrand and Blue Hill, Nebraska. He was a professor at Saint Paul's College (Concordia, Missouri) and at Concordia Seminary (Saint Louis). In 1930 he received an M.A. from Washington University (Saint Louis), and in 1943 he received a Ph.D. from the University of Chicago. He served as a member of several boards and committees of the Missouri Synod and as an associate editor of The Lutheran Witness, Der Lutheraner and the Concordia Theological Monthly. He retired in 1971.

1902 George W. Chamberlain, Presbyterian missionary to Brazil, died (b. 13 August 1839).

1908 Winfield S. Weeden (b. 29 March 1847), American sacred chorister, died.

1941 The Holocaust: Under instructions from Adolf Hitler, Nazi military leader Hermann Göring ordered SS general Reinhard Heydrich to develop “a general plan of the administrative material and financial measures necessary for carrying out the desired final solution to the Jewish question.”

1968 The National Council of Catholic Bishops issued a statement on birth control in support of Pope Paul VI's encyclical, Humanae Vitae, of the previous week. The statement reiterated the pope’s condemnation of artificial methods of birth control in spite of the sentiment of several priests and laymen who publicly disagreed with the pope's position.

1970 The complete New American Standard Bible (NASB) was published. The New Testament had appeared in 1963.