In 1646 the centennial of M. Luther's* death was observed esp. in Wittenberg and Erfurt. In succeeding cents. the date was noted more widely. The anniversary of Luther's birth was not extensively celebrated till 1883, which saw the greatest celebration in honor of Luther which had thus far occurred.
For some time there was little agreement on a date commemorating the Luth. Reformation. In 1568 Pomerania marked the anniversary of Luther's birth. Other areas in Ger. observed the date on which Lutheranism was introd. The centennial of the pub. of Luther's 95 Theses* was observed 1617 and the centennial of the AC 1630. Annual commemorations of the Reformation were apparently observed first in Saxony 1668; Goths followed 1717, Württemberg 1740, Hannover 1769, Schleswig 1770, Baden 1835; but the dates varied (e.g., October 31, November 18, June 25). Beginning ca. 1878, on initiative arising in Eisenach, the Sunday after October 30 was gen. adopted as the anniversary date.
Edited by: Erwin L. Lueker, Luther Poellot, Paul Jackson
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