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

Today in History

October 26

Philipp Nicolai, Johann Heermann and Paul Gerhardt, Hymn Writers

899 Alfred the Great (b. ca. 849), king of the Saxons, died. His greatest contributions lay in the area of Christian education. Alfred understood the importance of maintaining intellectual links with wider Christendom and assembled an international band of scholars to translate into English the fundamental writings of theology, philosophy, history and spiritual devotion.

1526 Martin Luther initiated pastoral visitations in the parishes of Electoral Saxony.

1576 Elector Friedrich III of Palatinate died at Heidelberg (b. 14 February 1515, Simmern, Germany).

1751 Philip Doddridge, English nonconformist clergyman and hymnist, died in Lisbon, Portugal (b. 26 June 1702).

1813 Henry Thomas Smart, English sacred music organist and composer, was born in London, England (d. 6 July 1879, London, England).

1818 Elizabeth P. Prentiss, American schoolteacher and poet, was born in Portland, Maine (d. 13 August 1878, Dorset, Vermont).

1830 The Hartwick Synod was organized in Schoharie, New York.

1833 Eric Norelius, Swedish American Lutheran pioneer and author, was born in Hassela, Helsingland, Sweden (d. 15 March 1916).

1863 Gotthard Daniel Fritzsche, Australian Lutheran leader, died (b. 20 July 1797, Saxony).

1866 Theodore Lange, publisher of Die Abendschule (Louis Lange Publishing Co.), was born in Saint Louis (d. 27 May 1934).

1889 Millar Burrows, American archeologist, was born in Cincinnati, Ohio (d. 1980).

1903 Herbert Oakeley, composer, died (b. 22 July 1830, Ealing, London, England).

1909 Francis Pott, hymn translator, died (b. 29 December 1832, Southwark, Surrey, England).

1911 Mahalia Jackson, African American Gospel singer, was born in New Orleans, Louisiana (d. 27 January 1972).

1920 The American Lutheran Publicity Bureau, organized by Synodical Conference Lutherans, adopted its constitution to make known the teachings, principles, practise, and history of the Lutheran Church by spreading literature, etc. Owing to the fact that the Lutheran Church was little known by the American people and also much misunderstood, and being therefore convinced that the Lutheran Church, its doctrines and its work, ought to be given more publicity, the American Lutheran Publicity Bureau was organized in New York City in 1913 (1914).

1924 The cornerstone was laid for the Clayton campus of Concordia Seminary (Saint Louis). The event was transmitted to Saint Louisans via the first broadcast of KFUO Lutheran Radio. During that broadcast, as Francis Pieper delivered an address in Latin, a biplane flew overhead. Pieper stopped speaking, and he and the audience looked skyward to take in the spectacle. The irony of that moment, bathed in the language of antiquity and the buzz of modern technology, is etched on a special capstone visible in the east gable of Wartburg Hall.

1928 Reuben A. Torrey (b. 28 January 1856), American Congregational evangelist and educator, died.

1944 William Temple (b. 15 October 1881), Archbishop of Canterbury, died.

1953 The religious drama This Is the Life was last aired over ABC television before going into syndication. This half-hour series, produced by The Lutheran ChurchMissouri Synod, depicted one Christian familys attempts to deal with the moral problems of everyday life. The program first aired in September 1952 over Dumont television. After 1953 it ran in syndication.

1978 Gordon W. Beckler was appointed as president of Saint Johns College (Winfield, Kansas).