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

Today in History

November 20

1437 Cardinal Thomas Langley, dean of York, bishop of Durham (14061437) and twice Lord Chancellor of England to three kings (1405–1407), keeper of the King's signet and Keeper of the Privy Seal before becoming de facto England's first Foreign Secretary, died (b. 1363). He was the second longest serving Chancellor of the Middle Ages.

1541 In Switzerland French reformer John Calvin (15091564) established a theocratic government at Geneva, thereby creating a home base for emergent Protestantism throughout Europe.

1572 The first Presbyterian meeting house in England was established in Wandsworth, Surrey.

1620 Peregrine White, son of William and Susanna White, was the first child born on the Mayflower (d. 20 July 1704).

1648 Sigismund von Birken (Betulius, 16261681), tutor and poet, was reemployed as a private tutor after the Peace of Westphalia was concluded.

1660 Daniel Ernst Jablonski, German theologian and reformer known for his efforts to bring about a union between Lutheran and Calvinist Protestants, was born at Nassenhuben (d. 25 May 1741, Berlin).

1761 Pope Pius VIII was born (d. 1 December 1830).

1806 Baptist preacher Isaac Backus, an influential voice in arguing for religious liberty in Massachusetts and later the United States, died (b. 9 January 1724).

1838 The first group of Prussian Lutheran immigrants arrived in Australia, forming the Klemzig settlement near what is today Adelaide.

1839 John Williams, “Apostle to the South Seas,” died (b. 1796).

1847 Henry Francis Lyte, Scottish clergyman and hymnist, died at Nice (b. 1 June 1793).

1850 Blind American hymn writer Fanny Crosby (18201915) underwent a dramatic conversion experience at a Methodist revival meeting.

1866 A colloquy between the Missouri Synod and the Buffalo Synod began in Buffalo, New York (through 5 December).

1867 The General Council was organized at a meeting in Fort Wayne, Indiana, that lasted through 26 November.

1872 The hymn I Need Thee Every Hour by Annie Sherwood Hawks (18361918) was first sung at a National Baptist Sunday School Convention in Cincinnati, Ohio.

1879 Georg Philipp Speckhard, first director of the Lutheran School for the Deaf in Michigan, died (b. 22 January 1821, Wersau, Hesse).

1883 Johannes Sandegren, Swedish Lutheran missionary to India, was born in Madura, South India (d. 15 November 1962).

1894 Classes began at Concordia Teachers College (Seward, Nebraska) with a faculty of one, Professor J. G. Weller, and thirteen students, who lived in the same building with Weller.

1913 Philip Studt, president of Iowa District of the Missouri Synod, died (b. 7 January 1841, Belleville, Illinois). He studied theology at Concordia Seminary (Saint Louis) during the Civil War years and was sent to Iowa in 1865 as a vicar under the pioneering pastor J. F. Doescher. Because of the urgent need for pastors, he did not return to the seminary to complete his studies but was colloquized for the pastoral office and ordained and installed on 7 May 1866 to serve as pastor of Saint Paul Lutheran Church (Luzerne, Iowa), continuing in that position until 1905. He is buried in the church cemetery there. He was also a mission pioneer in Iowa, traveling far and wide and organizing several congregations. He served in various leadership positions in the Iowa District, culminating in the district presidency.

1945 In Nürnberg, Germany, the trial of twenty-two German Nazi war leaders began.

1956 The Nagercoil District of the India Evangelical Lutheran Church was organized.

1961 The Russian Orthodox Church joined the World Council of Churches.

1965 Elmer H. Thode, missionary to the Chinese for thirty-nine years, died (b. 2 September 1902, LaPorte, Indiana). He was educated at Concordia College (Fort Wayne, Indiana) and Concordia Seminary (Saint Louis). In 1926 he was called to serve in China, working first in Hankow and Shasi, then Shanghai and Ichang. When the Japanese captured Ichang during World War II, he returned to Shanghai and then to the U.S., where he served as a pastor in Fredericksburg, Iowa for three years. In 1946 he returned to Hankow but soon had to leave that area. He moved to Hong Kong in July 1952.

1987 Gerhard I. Aho, professor of pastoral theology at Concordia Theological Seminary (Fort Wayne, Indiana), died in Fort Wayne (b. 22 April 1923).