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

Today in History

December 20

Katharina von Bora Luther

107 Ignatius of Antioch, third bishop of Antioch, was martyred, according to tradition, under Trajan and is commemorated on this date (b. ca. 35).

1192 Richard the Lion-Heart (11571199) was captured and imprisoned by Leopold V of Austria on his way home to England after signing a treaty with Saladin ending the Third Crusade.

1488 Thomas Müntzer, radical German reformer, was born in Stolberg, Germany (d. 27 May 1525).

1522 Suleiman the Magnificent accepted the surrender of the surviving Knights of Rhodes, who are allowed to evacuate. They eventually resettled on Malta and became known as the Knights of Malta.

1550 Matthias Greiter, singer and monk, died at Strassburg, Germany, of the plague (b. ca. 1494, Aichach, Bavaria).

1560 The Scottish Reformed Church, organized with the help of John Knox, held its first assembly.

1566 Edward Wightman, English Baptist preacher and the last person to be executed for heresy in England, was born (d. 11 April 1612).

1576 Edmund Grindal (ca. 15191583), Archbishop of Canterbury, sent a letter to Queen Elizabeth protesting her order that he tell preachers throughout England to stop speaking so often. She felt three or four sermons per year were sufficient. Grindal's refusal to enforce her wishes earned him house arrest.

1626 Veit Ludwig von Seckendorf, Lutheran scholar and hymnist, was born at Herzogenaurach, near Erlangen (d. 18 December 1692).

1764 Erik Pontoppidan, a Danish-Lutheran theologian and catechist, died (b. 24 August 1698, Aarhus, Jutland).

1787 The United Society of Believers in Christ's Second Appearing, the Shaking Quakers or Shakers, began a revival movement in colonial America that ignited religious fervor among other denominations, especially in Kentucky and other frontier regions.

1792 Davis Griffiths, missionary to Madagascar, was born in Wales (d. 21 March 1863).

1803 Samuel Hopkins (b. 17 September 1721), colonial American theologian, died.

1823 John H. Baden, Lutheran editor and founder of missions, was born at Westeresch, Hannover (d. 10 July 1897).

1838 Edwin Abbott Abbott, Church of England author and educator, was born in London (d. 12 October 1926).

1845 The Baldwin Institute was chartered in Berea, Ohio, by Methodists. In 1854 the school changed its name to Baldwin University. In 1914 the college joined with German Wallace College and adopted the new name Baldwin-Wallace College.

1849 William Miller, originator of the Advent Movement that predicted a definite time for Christ's Second Coming, died in Low Hampton, New York (b. 15 February 1782).

1856 Newberry College was chartered in Newberry, South Carolina, under Lutheran auspices.

1863 C. C. (Charles Cutler) Torrey, American biblical linguist, was born (d. 12 November 1956).

1866 Gustav Adolf Fandrey, professor at the Wartburg Theological Seminary and president of the Iowa Synod, was born in Samter, Posen, Germany (d. 14 July 1930).

1934 Adelaide A. Pollard (b. 27 November 1862), American hymn writer and religious mystic, died.

1936 John Thomas Link, professor at Concordia Teachers College (Seward, Nebraska), died (b. 23 November 1873).

1937 Frederick Randt, Missouri Synod vice-president, died (b. 5 March 1868, New York City). He was educated at Concordia College (Fort Wayne, Indiana) and Concordia Seminary (Saint Louis), graduating in 1889. He served as pastor of various churches in Wisconsin and Minnesota, the last at Zion Lutheran Church (Saint Paul). He was also an instructor at the Wittenberg (Wisconsin) Academy. He held various offices in the Minnesota District from 1915 to 1929 and was elected fourth vice-president of the synod in 1929, serving until his death.