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

Today in History

September 20

1187 Saladin (ca. 11381193) began the Siege of Jerusalem.

1378 Cardinal Robert of Geneva, called by some the Butcher of Cesena, is elected as Antipope Clement VII (13421394), beginning the Papal (Western) schism (13781417).

1542 Magdalene Luther, Martin’s second daughter, died.

1599 Christian, Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg-Wolfenbüttel, German protestant military leader, was born (d. 16 June 1626).

1842 The Synod of Southwestern Virginia was organized by six pastors who had left the Virginia Synod.

1863 Erik Kristian Johnsen, professor at Luther Theological Seminary (Saint Paul, Minnesota), was born in Stavanger, Norway (d. 21 January 1923).

1863 John William Theiss, president of the California-Nevada District (LCMS), was born in Zelienople, Pennsylvania (d. 3 March 1932).

1864 Aaron Buzacott, a London Missionary Society missionary to Tahiti, died (b. 4 March 1800, Moltoy, England).

1866 Carl August Wilhelm Röbbelen, professor at the Missouri Synod's practical seminary in Fort Wayne, Indiana, died in Kandern, Baden, Germany (b. 13 July 1817, Föhrste, near Alfeld, Hannover).

1869 Concordia Publishing House began operations in Saint Louis, Missouri.

1870 The Bersaglieri entered Rome, ending the temporal power of the Pope and completing the unification of Italy.

1871 John Coleridge Patteson, English missionary bishop, was slain while on a missionary tour to Nukapu (b. 1 April 1827).

1883 Albrecht Alt, German Lutheran scholar of the Old Testament, was born in Stuebach, Bavaria (d. 24 April 1956).

1895 Paul W. Schelp was born in Emma, Missouri (d. 27 February 1972). He was a graduate of Concordia Seminary (Saint Louis) in 1919 and served in Brazil beginning in 1920 as a professor at Concordia Seminary (Porto Alegre). He taught all the subjects at the institution and served for a time as its president. Under the sponsorship of the American and British Bible Societies and with the help of a scholar of the Methodist Church he translated the Bible into the Portuguese language. For most of his ministry he also edited church periodicals, and he produced a Portuguese concordance to the Bible. The Saint Louis seminary honored him with a doctor of divinity degree in 1944.

1900 Joachim Jeremias, Lutheran New Testament scholar, was born in Dresden, Germany (d. 6 September 1979).

1908 Walter C. Smith (b. 5 December 1824), Scottish clergyman and hymnist, died.

1909 Will L. Thompson (b. 7 November 1847), American sacred music writer, died.

1921 William J. Kirkpatrick (b. 27 February 1838), American Methodist sacred music composer, died.

1932 In England several branches of Methodism united to form the Methodist Church of Great Britain and Ireland.

1937 Karl Johannes Voskamp, Lutheran missionary in China, died (b. 18 September 1859, Antwerp, Belgium).

1957 Jean Sibelius, Finland’s best-known composer and symphonist, died (b. 8 December 1865).

1959 Christ the Redeemer Lutheran Church, Havana, Cuba, was dedicated.

1982 Leipzig (East Germany) Pastor Christian Führer began to organize prayer services for peace at the Saint Nicholas Church. These led to the Monday demonstrations of 19891990 that played a part in the collapse of the East German Communist regime and ultimately the reunification of Germany.

1987 The Louise T. Peter Center at Concordia Lutheran College (now Concordia University, Austin, Texas) was dedicated. The three-story music and communications facility featured a large performance hall and a video studio-soundstage, as well as classrooms and offices. The center was named for principal donor Louise T. Peter, granddaughter of Johann Kilian, pastor of the first German Wendish settlers in east Texas, a group that was instrumental in the beginnings of Lutheran higher education in Texas.