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

Today in History

December 7

Ambrose of Milan, Pastor and Hymn Writer

521 Saint Columba, apostle to Scotland, was born in Donegal (d. 9 June 597, Iona).

1254 Pope Innocent IV, who became pope in the middle of the tremendous controversy with Holy Roman emperor Frederick II, died (b. Sinibaldo Fieschi ca. 1195, Genoa; became pope in 1243).

1539 Believing bigamy to be preferable to divorce, Martin Luther and Philipp Melanchthon gave Philip of Hesse (15041567) permission to marry a second wife.

1598 Sculptor and architect Giovanni Lorenzo Bernini, best known for “The Ecstasy of Saint Teresa,” was born in Naples (d. 28 November 1680).

1649 Charles Garnier, French Jesuit missionary to the Hurons in Canada, died (b. 1606).

1661 Under pressure from the British Parliament, the Massachusetts Bay Colony suspended the Corporal Punishment Acts of 1656, which imposed harsh penalties on Quakers and other religious Nonconformists.

1724 Lutherans, including the mayor of Thorn (Toruń), Poland, who were deemed responsible for the Tumult of Thorn, an attack on a Jesuit school, were executed by Polish authorities.

1845 George A. Minor, American Baptist choral leader and hymn tune composer, was born in Richmond, Virginia (d. 30 January 1904, Richmond).

1872 Herman William Franz Wollaeger was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin (d. 14 July 1941). He was a graduate of Concordia College (Milwaukee, 1892) and Concordia Seminary (Saint Louis, 1895). He did graduate work at Johns Hopkins University and at the universities of Leipzig and Heidelberg, where he received a Ph.D degree. He served as a pastor in Hartford, Connecticut, from 1900 to 1904, when he was called as professor of German at Concordia College (Saint Paul, Minnesota). He also served for more than twenty-five years as director of the Lutheran Children's Friend Society of the Twin Cities.

1874 L. F. K. (Lobegott Friedrich Konstantin) von Tischendorf, German Biblical and textual scholar, died (b. 18 January 1815).

1877 Caroline Noel, hymnist, died at Saint Marylebone, Middlesex, England (b. 10 April 1817, Teston, Kent, England).

1886 Bernard Schumacher, hymnist and composer, was born in Watertown, Wisconsin (d. 26 February 1978, Wauwatosa, Wisconsin). He was educated at Northwestern College (Watertown), Concordia Teachers College (Addison, Illinois), Johns Hopkins University (Baltimore) and Peabody Institute (Baltimore). After serving as a parochial school teacher for several years, he became superintendent of schools for the South Wisconsin District of the Missouri Synod. He published several song books, cantatas and numerous compositions for organ and choir. He also served as secretary of the Intersynodical Committee on Hymnology and Liturgics, which prepared The Lutheran Hymnal, and chaired its subcommittee on tunes.

1890 William Gustave Polack, editor in chief of The Lutheran Hymnal and professor at Concordia Seminary (Saint Louis), was born in Wausau, Wisconsin (d. 5 June 1950).

1904 August L. Graebner, professor at Northwestern College (Watertown, Wisconsin) and Concordia Seminary (Saint Louis) died at Saint Louis, Missouri (b. 10 July 1849, Frankentrost, Michigan).

1912 Richard Handmann (b. 27 February 1840, Oschitz, Silesia), missionary in India and editor of Leipzinger Missionsblatt, died.

1965 A Declaration on Religious Freedom was issued by Vatican II.

1965 Pope Paul VI and Patriarch Athenagoras simultaneously lift mutual excommunications that had been in place since 1054.

1973 The Presbyterian Church in America (PCA) established its missionary organization, PCA Mission to the World, in Atlanta, Georgia.

2003 Carl F. H. Henry, American evangelical theologian, publisher and first editor of Christianity Today magazine, died (b. 22 January 1913).