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

Today in History

October 16

1311 The Council of Vienna opened to decide if the Knights Templar, a military order sworn to protect Christian pilgrims, were heretical and too wealthy. Pope Clement V (12641314) decided to suppress the order. Its leader was burned and members’ possessions taken by the church. That decision was adamantly derided by the poet Dante Alighieri (12651321) and later historians.

1483 Gasparo Contarini, Italian diplomat and cardinal, was born (d. 24 August 1542).

1529 Seventeen Swabian Articles were presented at Schmalkalden to Emperor Charles V (15001558). The articles were the official confession of Electoral Saxony.

1553 Lucas Cranach the Elder, Reformation artist, died at Weimar (b. 1472, Kronach).

1555 Nicholas Ridley (b. ca. 1500) and Hugh Latimer (b. ca. 1485/90), English reformers and martyrs, were burned at the stake for their Protestant beliefs.

1591 Pope Gregory XIV died (b. 11 February 1535).

1594 William Cardinal Allen, English Catholic cardinal, died (b. 1532).

1701 The Collegiate School was founded at Saybrook, Connecticut, by Congregational clergy dissatisfied with growing liberalism at Harvard College. In 1716 the school moved to New Haven, Connecticut, where in 1718 it became Yale College, named after Elihu Yale, son of one of the founders of New Haven. In 1887 the name was changed to Yale University.

1748 Nathan Strong, hymnist, was born at Coventry, Connecticut (d. 25 December 1816).

1752 Johann G. Eichhorn, German Lutheran Old Testament scholar, was born in Dorrenzimmern, Germany (d. 27 June 1827).

1812 Henry Martyn (b. 18 February 1781), Anglican missionary and Bible translator in India, died in Tokat, Asia Minor.

1820 William F. Lehmann, Ohio Synod theologian and leader, was born in Markgroeningen, Wuerttemberg, Germany (d. 1 December 1880).

1843 George H. Trabert, hymn translator, was born in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania (d. 15 September 1930, Minneapolis).

1844 The Miami Synod was formed at Xenia, Ohio.

1859 Militant messianic abolitionist John Brown (18001859) led a group of about twenty men in a raid on the federal armory at Harper’s Ferry, Virginia (now West Virginia).

1869 Magnus B. Landstad (1802–1880), hymnist, compiled a new hymnal that was authorized for use in Norway on this date.

1869 Now the Light Has Gone Away,” written by Frances R. Havergal (18361879), appeared in Songs for Little Singers.

1877 J. F. Doescher was commissioned as the first Missouri Synod (Synodical Conference) pastor to African Americans.

1888 Horatio Gates Spafford (b. 20 October 1828), American medical lawyer and hymn writer, died.

1922 Leon Howard Sullivan, Baptist minister, civil rights leader and social activist focusing on the creation of job training opportunities for African-Americans and an anti-Apartheid activist (d. 24 April 2001), was born .

1924 Robert D. Preus, professor at Concordia Seminary (Saint Louis, Missouri) and president of Concordia Theological Seminary (Springfield, Illinois, and Fort Wayne, Indiana), was born in Saint Paul, Minnesota (d. 4 November 1995).

1925 The Texas State Text Book Board banned evolutionary theory from all its textbooks.

1927 The American Lutheran Publicity Bureau was incorporated.

1934 Henry John Stoeppelwerth died at Wichita, Kansas (b. 11 October 1869, Washington, Missouri). He was a graduate of Concordia Seminary (Saint Louis) in 1893 and served as the first professor at Saint John’s College (Winfield, Kansas), which had been founded in that year by John Peter Baden. He played an important part in the development of the school during his forty-one years of service.

1945 F. H. Knubel, first president of the United Lutheran Church in America, died (b. 22 May 1870, New York City).

1948 William J. Danker held the first Missouri Synod worship service in Tokyo.

1949 Alfred E. R. Brauer, hymn translator, died.

1955 A Lutheran House of Studies at Chatenay, near Paris, France, was dedicated.

1978 A conclave of the Roman Catholic College of Cardinals chose Polish Cardinal Karol Wojtyla to be the new pope. Taking the name John Paul II (19202005), he became the first non-Italian pope in 456 years.

1984 Archbishop Desmond Tutu (b. 7 October 1931) was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

1994 Arthur C. Repp died (b. 1906). After graduating from Concordia Seminary (Saint Louis), he became a pastor in San Antonio, Texas. In 1943 he was called by the Board of Christian Education of the Missouri Synod to become its executive secretary. He later joined the faculty of the Saint Louis seminary.