April 18th

Apr 18, 1834 - Joseph Smith writes (through a scribe) in his diary: "Travelled to W. W. Williams in Newburgh [Cuyahoga County, Ohio] and took dinner, after which we travelled on. After dark were hailed by a man who desired to ride. We were checked by the Spirit and refused. He professed to be sick, but in a few minutes was joined by two others who followed us hard, cursing and swearing. We were successful in escaping their hands through the providence of the Lord, and stayed at a tavern where we were treated with civility."

Apr 18, 1842 - A month and a half after the federal Bankruptcy Act becomes effective Joseph Smith and his brothers Hyrum and Samuel declared themselves insolvent before the county commissioner's court on April 18, 1842, and filed petitions to be certified bankrupt by the United States District Court for Illinois. Joseph's listed debts totaled $73,066.38, with a U.S. government obligation of $4,866.38 for purchase of a steamboat which had run aground listed first. Concurrently other leading Mormons filed similar petitions, including President Sidney Rigdon, Bishop Vinson Knight, "Judge" Elias Higbee, Reynolds Cahoon, Henry G. Sherwood, John P. Green, Arthur Morrison, George Morey, Jared Carter, Amos Davis, Charles Warner, William P. Lyon, William Niswanger, and John Fullmer. They were joined by at least one prominent gentile businessman of Nauvoo, Hiram Kimball.67

Apr 18, 1844 - Joseph Smith declares that his theocratic council is not complete with its requirement of fifty members and it takes the ecclesiastical step of voting to condemn religious dissenters. Church authorities excommunicate William Law (who becomes president of a "Reformed Church" three days later), his wife Jane and his brother Wilson Law for "unchristlike conduct." William Law had been Joseph's Second Counselor but differed strongly with Joseph over the doctrine of polygamy. Twenty-four members of the Council of Fifty join with eight other local church leaders in holding an extraordinary court to excommunicate the Laws from the church.

Apr 18, 1880 - Apostle Joseph F. Smith writes of his belief that Great Pyramid's measurements predict future events.

Apr 18, 1905 - President Joseph F. Smith and eight of his sons sit in his official box at the Salt Lake theatre to watch a prize fight that lasts for "twenty gory rounds."

Apr 18, 1906 - San Francisco earthquake. Room of Matthias F. Cowley, recently dropped from Quorum of Twelve Apostles, "is the only one in [his hotel that is] undamaged."

Apr 18, 1910 - On night Halley's Comet is visible in Salt Lake City, bomb explosion causes extensive damage to partially constructed Hotel Utah and to front of Utah State Bank, both owned by LDS church. Perpetrators bomb offices of LOS ANGELES TIMES six months later, killing twenty-one people. Hotel Utah opens without further incident July 1911.

Apr 18, 1944 - NEW YORK TIMES announcement of a recital by Mormon pianist Grant Johannesen, first of forty such reports during next four decades.

Apr 18, 1967 - First counselor Hugh B. Brown writes of his meeting with full-time missionaries in Taipei, Taiwan, "I was impressed to tell them that there was sitting in that room a young man who would one day stand in the Council of the Twelve, but before that day he would pass through the very fires of hell, but this great honor would come to one of them if he lives worthy of it." Brown makes similar promises on various occasions, including one in Japan (1965), one in England (1966), and one in Louisiana (April 1970).

Apr 18, 1984 - Bruce L. Christensen is elected president of Public Broadcasting Service. Apostle Dallin H. Oaks is already chair of PBS board of directors. Christensen resigns in 1993 to become dean at BYU.

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