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

Today in History

September 4

1260 In the Wars of the Guelphs and Ghibellines, representing a struggle between the Papacy and the Holy Roman Empire, the Siena Ghibellines defeated the Florence Guelphs at the Battle of Montaperti outside of Siena in Italy.

1517 Martin Luther presided at a disputation Against the Scholastic Theology that enthroned Christ and dethroned Aristotle. The printed theses were spread and caused considerable uncomplimentary comment among the old guard, even at Wittenberg. Cardinal Borgia said, God does not want the death of the sinner, but that the sinner should liveand pay. Hence Johann Tetzel (1465-1519) was sent by Pope Leo X and Archbishop Albrecht of Mainz to sell indulgences in Germany.

1531 Robert Barnes (1495–1540), who had fled England for his ardent Lutheran faith, courageously took Luthers unfavorable reply concerning the divorce of Henry VIII to Henry. The king had tried to win Luthers support for his divorce from Catherine. Henry had sent not only Robert Barnes but also William Paget, an ardent Lutheran and later secretary of state.

1558 Paul Eber (1511–1569), hymnist, succeeded John Bugenhagen as municipal preacher of Wittenberg.

1646 The first Lutheran church edifice in America (Swedish Lutheran) was dedicated on Tinicum Island, just below Philadelphia. Some sources give the year as 1645.

1727 William Wheale, composer, was buried in Bedford, England (b. 1696).

1802 Marcus Whitman, pioneer American medical missionary to Oregon, was born in Rushville, New York (d. 29 November 1847).

1824 Phoebe Cary, American writer and devotional poet, was born in Cincinnati, Ohio (d. 31 July 1871).

1835 Edwin Hatch, Anglican clergyman and biblical scholar, was born (d. 1889).

1842 Prussian King Friedrich Wilhelm IV. (17951864) and Johannes von Geissel, later to become archbishop of Cologne, laid the cornerstone marking the resumption of construction, which had begun in 1248, of the Cologne Cathedral.

1844 Oliver Holden, composer and American Puritan clergyman, died in Boston, Massachusetts (b. 18 September 1765, Shirley, Massachusetts).

1846 David Abeel, missionary to Batavia, died (b. 12 June 1804).

1847 Anglican clergyman Henry Francis Lyte (17931847) first revealed his words to his hymn Abide with Me.

1890 Otto H. Hoyer was born in Hanover, Kansas (d. 30 March 1969, Plainview, Nebraska). He graduated from Concordia Seminary (Saint Louis) in 1914 and served parishes in Kansas, Colorado and Oklahoma. He served the Colorado District as secretary and circuit counselor. He then served the Oklahoma District as secretary, vice-president and president.

1907 Edvard H. Grieg, Norwegian composer, died while on a steamer en route to London (b. 15 June 1843, Bergen, Norway).

1928 Carl F. W. Gausewitz, president of the Synodical Conference, died (b. 29 August 1861, Reedsville, Wisconsin).

1948 The first assembly of the World Council of Churches concluded at Amsterdam.

1965 Albert Schweitzer (b. 14 January 1875), musician, physician and missionary to Africa, died in what is now Gabon, Africa.