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

Today in History

December 8

1506 Veit Dietrich, Luther’s co-worker, associate and confidential secretary, was born at Nürnberg (d. 25 March 1549 also at Nürnberg).

1542 Mary, Queen of Scots, who clashed with John Knox when she tried to reestablish Roman Catholicism in Scotland, was born (d. 8 February 1587).

1609 Biblioteca Ambrosiana in Milan, named for Saint Ambrose, opened its reading room, the second public library of Europe.

1649 Martin Rinckart, German Lutheran clergyman and hymnist, died at Eilenburg (b. 24 April 1586).

1649 Noël Chabanel, French Jesuit missionary among the Hurons in Canada, was martyred by an Iroquois, then at war with the Hurons (b. 2 February 1613).

1691 Richard Baxter, English Puritan clergyman, Oliver Cromwell's chaplain, hymnist and author, died in London (b. 12 November 1615).

1840 Edmund Jacob Wolf, professor of church history and New Testament exegesis at the Lutheran Theological Seminary (Gettysburg, Pennsylvania), was born in Rebersburg, Pennsylvania (d. 10 January 1903).

1849 The Evangelical Lutheran Ministerium of Wisconsin was founded in Milwaukee by Pastors John Muehlhaeuser, J. Weinmann and W. Wrede. Its official name was Die erste deutsch evang.-luth. Synode von Wisconsin.

1854 Pope Pius IX (17921878) issued his encyclical letter Ineffabilis Deus declaring the immaculate conception of Mary.

1864 Pope Pius IX issued an encyclical letter, Quanta Cura, in which he denounced modern heresies and errors and stated that the purpose of civil government was to protect the Church and to resist any encroachment on its liberty.

1865 Jean Sibelius, composer, was born in Hämeenlinna, Finland (d. 20 September 1957, Järvenpää).

1867 Christian Friedrich Spittler, publisher of Bibles and mission director, died at Basel, Switzerland (b. 12 April 1782). [German Wikipedia article]

1869 The First Vatican Council began.

1876 Friedrich Filitz, composer, died at Bonn, Germany (b. 16 March 1804, Arnstadt, Thuringia).

1896 Peter Cameron Scott (b. 1867), American pioneer missionary and founder of the Africa Inland Mission (AIM), died.

1903 Henry Clay Trumbull (b. 1830), American Congregational Sunday school leader, died.

1913 John William Eloheimo, Suomi Synod founder, died (b. 9 December 1847, Sahalaks, Finland).

1941 The Holocaust: The Chelmno concentration camp in Poland, the first Nazi extermination camp to use poison gas, began operations.

1947 McCollum v. Board of Education was argued before the U.S. Supreme Court. At issue was the possible violation of the First Amendment by religious education in public schools.

1948 Concordia Lutheran School, Kowloon, Hong Kong, was dedicated.

1962 The first session of the Second Vatican Council closed.

1962 John Melville Burgess (19092003) was consecrated as suffragan bishop of Massachusetts, the first African American bishop of the Protestant Episcopal Church to serve a predominantly white diocese.

1965 The fourth and final session of the Second Vatican Council closed.

1977 Michael J. Stelmachowicz Jr. (1927–2009) was elected president of Concordia Teachers College (Seward, Nebraska), becoming the seventh president of school. He succeeded W. Th. Janzow, who had served as president since 1963. Since 1973 Stelmachowicz had served as president of Saint John's College (Winfield, Kansas). Previous to that position, he was superintendent of the Lutheran High School Association in Detroit. Stelmachowicz also served as principal of Lutheran High School North in Saint Louis and as teacher of education, director of placement and dean of students at the Seward, Nebraska, school. He held a doctorate from the University of Nebraska and a theological diploma from Concordia Seminary (Saint Louis).