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

Today in History

December 12

1098 First Crusade: Massacre of Maarrat al-Numan - Crusaders breached the town's walls and massacred about 20,000 inhabitants. After finding themselves with insufficient food, they resorted to cannibalism.

1189 King Richard I (11571199), the Lion Hearted,” left England on the Third Crusade to retake Jerusalem, which fell to Muslim general Saladin in 1187.

1531 The Apparition of Our Lady of Guadalupe: Juan Diego Cuauhtlatoatzin saw the Blessed Virgin Mary outside of modern-day Mexico City.

1545 The Council of Trent opened.

1600 John Craig, Scottish reformer, died (b. ca. 1512). He joined the Dominican order, but through reading the Institutes of John Calvin he adopted Protestantism. Imprisoned at Rome for heresy, he escaped (1559) and went to Vienna, where he preached before Archduke Maximilian. Returning to Scotland in 1560, he shortly became the colleague of John Knox in Edinburgh. Chaplain to James VI after 1579, he was the author of the King's Confession (1581), on which was based the National Covenant of 1638.

1621 Justianus Ernst von Weltz, Lutheran missionary to Dutch Guiana, was born, probably in Chemnitz, Germany (d. 1668). He was of Austrian extraction. He issued several mission treatises in 16631664 and was ordained by F. Breckling at Zwolle, Holland, in 1664.

1667 The Council of Moscow deposed Russian Orthodox Patriarch Nikon (16051681).

1718 John Cennick, English clergyman and hymnist, was born in Reading, England, to Quaker parents (d. 4 July 1755).

1800 John Reynell Wreford, hymnist, was born at Barnstaple, England (d. 9 June 1881).

1805 Frederick Henry Hedge, New England clergyman and hymnist, was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts (d. 21 August 1890, Cambridge).

1808 The Bible Society of Philadelphia was organized, the first of its kind in America, with William White (17481836) elected its first president.

1842 Robert Haldane (b. 28 February 1764), Scottish evangelist and philanthropist, died.

1850 L. J. Frohnmeier, missionary to Malabar Coast, India, was born in Ludwigsburg, Wuerttemberg, Germany. He was recalled in 1906 to be inspector of the Basel Mission.

1854 Nicolas Coccola, a French Oblate missionary among First Nations in British Columbia, Canada from 1880 until his death (1 March 1943), was born.

1866 A meeting called by Charles Porterfield Krauth (18231883) for Lutherans who held to the Unaltered Augsburg Confession took place at Reading, Pennsylvania. Delegates from thirteen Lutheran synods were present. The meeting led to the formation of the General Council of the Lutheran Church in North America.

1888 The American Sabbath Union was organized.

1898 Matthias Henry Richards, Lutheran professor and editor, died (b. 17 June 1841, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania).

1900 D. (David) Elton Trueblood, American Quaker theologian, was born in Pleasantville, Iowa (d. 20 December 1994).

1917 In Nebraska, Father Edward J. Flanagan (18861948) founded Boys Town as a farm village for wayward boys.

1929 Bruce R. Backer, musician in the Wisconsin Synod and a member of its Commission on Worship was born at New Ulm, Minnesota.

1938 Paul Lindemann, president of the English District of the Missouri Synod, died (b. 28 December 1881, Pittsburgh). He attended Concordia College (Fort Wayne, Indiana) and Concordia Seminary (Saint Louis) and served as pastor in Brooklyn, New York; Jersey City, New Jersey; and Saint Paul, Minnesota. During World War I he was executive secretary of the eastern department of the synods Army and Navy Board. He was one of the founders of the American Lutheran Publicity Bureau in 1917 and first editor of its publication, the American Lutheran. He was a vice-president of the English District for several years before becoming president in 1936.

1948 The first unit of Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, Mexico City, was dedicated.

1973 Gustaf Axel Aho, hymn translator and president of the Finnish American Evangelical Lutheran National Church, died (b. 9 October 1897).

2002 Wilbert E. Griesse, president of the Mid-South District and chair of the LCMS Council of Presidents, died in Fort Smith, Arkansas (b. 11 May 1917).

2002 Alvin W. Mueller died in Peoria, Illinois (b. 1905). A 1930 graduate of Concordia Seminary (Saint Louis), he served from 1930 until he retired in 1963 at parishes in Kingfisher, Oklahoma, and Nokomis and Decatur, Illinois. He was first vice-president of the Central Illinois District from 1948 to 1954 and president of that district from 1954 to 1963.