1480 Girolamo Aleandro, Italian Catholic cardinal who was present at the Diet of Worms, where he headed the opposition to Martin Luther, advocating the most extreme measures to repress the doctrines of the reformer, was born (d. 1 February 1542).

1527 Elector John of Saxony (14681532) ordered a visitation of the churches and priests (pastors) in his principality on this date. The purpose of the visitation was to see if errors were being taught or tolerated and to set up proceedings to correct anything that needed correcting.

1602 Alexander Nowell, English Puritan theologian and clergyman who served as dean of St Paul’s during much of Elizabeth I’s reign, died (b. ca. 1507).

1633 Hailed by the Inquisition for trial, Italian astronomer Galileo Galilei (15641642) arrived in Rome ready to explain his belief that the earth revolves around the sun. He was compelled to recant the view and was placed under house arrest until his death.

1728 Cotton Mather (b. 12 February 1663), colonial American Puritan theologian, died.

1798 Christian Friedrich Schwartz, Lutheran Danish-Halle missionary to India, died in Tanjore, India (b. 1726).

1826 The American Temperance Society (later renamed the American Temperance Union) was founded in Boston to promote total (but voluntary) abstinence from distilled liquor.

1827 Susan McGroarty, Roman Catholic religious educator, was born in County Denegal, Ireland (d. 12 November 1901).

1827 Henry William Behrens was born in Hermannsburg, Germany (d. 22 April 1900).

1843 Philip Andreas von Rohr, president of the Wisconsin Synod, was born in Buffalo, New York (d. 22 December 1908).

1849 Otterbein University was chartered in Westerville, Ohio, under the United Brethren Church.

1863 Albert Knapp (1798-1864), hymnist and translator, preached his last sermon at Saint Leonhard’s Church, Stuttgart.

1904 Karl Gustav Theodor Näther, pioneer LCMS missionary to India (1894), died of bubonic plague in Krishnagiri, India (b. 14 September 1866).

1925 Ole Gulbrand Belsheim died in Mandan, North Dakota (b. 26 August 1861).

1936 The Armed Forces Commission of the Missouri Synod was organized. The commission was called into being by the Missouri Synod convention in Cleveland, Ohio, in June 1935. The chief duties of the commission were to give ecclesiastical endorsement to qualified pastors for commissions as chaplains in military service, to counsel chaplains and to minister to the spiritual welfare of the synod’s members in the armed forces and patients in Veterans Administration (VA) hospitals. The scope of the work increased when the numerical strength of the armed forces of the U.S. was raised through the Selective Service Act in 1940 and took on global aspects with the coming of World War II. Executive offices were established in 1940 in Chicago with a branch service office in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. When the U.S. became involved in World War II, a comprehensive program was developed under the slogan “They shall not march alone.”

1940 Rufus H. McDaniel (b. 29 January 1850), American clergyman in the Christian Church, died.

1945 A firestorm caused by an allied bombing raid during World War II destroyed the Frauenkirche zu Dresden. The church was built between 1726 and 1734 in the capital of Saxony. It was able to seat up to 2,100 worshipers.

1951 Lloyd C. Douglas (b. 27 August 1877), American clergyman and novelist, died.

1959 Henry A. Grueber, who was born on 21 November 1877 in Frankenmuth, Michigan, died. He attended Concordia College (Fort Wayne, Indiana) and Concordia Seminary (Saint Louis), graduating in 1901. From 1921 to 1932 he was the president of the South Wisconsin District. From 1932 to 1947 he was a vice-president of the Missouri Synod. He was also chairman of the synod’s Board for Higher Education from 1932 to 1951.

1962 Martin Henry Coyner, professor at Concordia College (Conover, North Carolina) and Concordia Theological Seminary (Springfield, Illinois), died in Saint Louis (b. 15 January 1890, Waynesboro, Virginia).

1984 Roland Bainton (b. 30 March 1894), American Congregational historian, died.

1999 The Evangelical Lutheran Church of Panama (ELCP) approved a constitution and elected officers at their first general assembly at Balboa, Panama. Prior to this, Panamanians were served by LCMS missionaries since the 1940s, but the number of missionaries had been dwindling because of illness or retirement. Those early missionaries were directed their efforts toward the English-speaking population. Since the early 1980s, that focus shifted toward the Spanish-speaking population through the efforts of the Rev. Merrell Wetzstein and the radio ministry of Cristo Para Todas Las Naciones.

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