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

Today in History

December 31

Eve of the Circumcision and Name of Jesus

1384 John Wyclif (Wycliffe), English reformer and theologian, died (b. ca. 1320 near Richmond, in Yorkshire, England).

1530 The Smalcald League was formed in defense of Lutheranism following the Diet of Augsburg.

1687 The first shipload of emigrating Huguenots (French Protestants) left France for South Africa.

1712 Peter Böhler, Moravian missionary, was born in Frankfort-am-Main, Germany (d. 27 April 1775, London).

1770 The first New Year’s Eve Watch Night service was held at Saint George Methodist Church in Philadelphia.

1823 William Orcutt Cushing, American Christian Church clergyman and hymn writer, was born in Hingham, Massachusetts (d. 19 October 1902, Lisbon Center, New York).

1837 John R. Sweney, American sacred music chorister, was born in Westchester, Pennsylvania (d. 10 April 1899, Chester, Pennsylvania).

1838 The first Saxon Lutheran immigrants to Missouri arrived in New Orleans on the Copernicus.

1862 Otto Frederick Hattstaedt, professor at Concordia College (Milwaukee), was born in Monroe, Michigan (d. 29 November 1950).

1891 Samuel Ajayi Crowther, first native Anglican bishop in Africa, died (b. ca. 1807 in Yorubaland, West Africa).

1900 Stephen C. (Charles) Neill, British Anglican clergyman and scholar, was born in Edinburgh, Scotland (d. 20 July 1984, Oxford, England). Ordained in 1926, Neill taught at such prestigious universities as Cambridge, Hamburg, Oxford and Union Seminary. In addition to preaching and teaching, Neill served as a foreign missionary and was an international ecumenical leader. He was the author of A History of Christian Missions (1964), The Interpretation of the New Testament, 18611961 (1964, 1966) and The Modern Readers Dictionary of the Bible (1966).

1945 Ernst Friedrich Max Sellin, German exegete, died (b. 26 May 1867 at Altschwerin, Mecklenburg, Germany). He taught at Erlangen, Vienna, Rostock, Kiel and Berlin.

1946 Bethel Lutheran Church (Manila, Philippines), the first Missouri Synod church in the Philippines, opened.

1964 George Victor Schick, professor at Concordia College (Fort Wayne, Indiana) and Concordia Seminary (Saint Louis), died (b. 3 February 1886 at Chicago, Illinois).

1966 The National Lutheran Council ceased operation and was replaced by the Lutheran Council in the USA, which included the Missouri Synod for the first time as a member of an inter-Lutheran organization in America.

1979 Herman C. Scherer, president of the Missouri District of the LCMS from 1966 to 1978, died in Saint Louis (b. 17 August 1910, Saint Louis).