July 4th

July 4, 1829 - Martin Harris and W. W. Phelps both sign the so-called anti-masonic declaration of independence at Le Roy, N.Y. Both were third degree Masons.

July 4, 1838 - First Counselor Sidney Rigdon gives an Independence Day sermon which Joseph Smith publishes as a pamphlet: "And that mob that comes on us to disturb us, it shall be between us and them a war of extermination . . . for we will carry the seat of war to their own houses, and their own families." In the July issue of the ELDER'S JOURNAL, the prophet also writes: "But we do not believe in setting the Negroes free."

July 4, 1843 - Wilford Woodruff writes in his diary: "As the Romans took particular notice of any singular event as ominous of good or evil so I will record a sma11 circumstance that took place in my house this morning. Soon after I arose in the morning on this 4th Day of July my Sword while hanging in its usual place unsheathed of itself & the scabbard droped upon the floor leaving the bear blade suspended from the peg upon which it hung."

July 4, 1844 - There is no fourth-of-July celebration in Nauvoo. William Clayton writes: "Instead of celebrating with splendor with joy we celebrate her [the nation's] down-fall with grief and mourn for the loss of our prophet & Patriarch & pray to God to avenge their blood speedily."
Through the "true order of prayer" during the regular Thursday meeting of the Anointed Quorum, "It seemed manifest" to William Marks, Alpheus Cutler, Reynolds Cahoon, and William Clayton that Nauvoo's stake president William Marks should be the Trustee-in-Trust and church president. Emma Smith agrees.
In Springfield, Illinois, 100 miles from Nauvoo, the SANGAMO JOURNAL reports only rumors of troubles in Hancock County. The telegraph is still a few years away.

July 4, 1845 - A cannon explodes during and Independence Day celebration at LaHarpe, Illinois, maiming one man. Brigham Young's secretary confides that the cannon was sabotaged by a member of Council of Fifty.
In Nauvoo the Nauvoo Legion marches in a parade along with the "Junior Legion" of some 250 boys who train every week during the summer of 1845; they march in white caps and pants trimmed in red.

July 4, 1854 - Brigham Young preaches that U.S. Constitution is not complete, but "it is a progressive--a gradual work. . . . Will the Constitution be destroyed? No: it will be held inviolate by this people; and, as Joseph Smith said, 'The time will come when the destiny of the nation will hang upon a single thread. At that critical juncture, this people will step forth and save it from the threatened destruction.' It will be so."

July 4, 1857 - Brigham Young writes to George Q. Cannon: "The Territory this season, has taken an emetic, and the way Lawyers, Loafers, Special pleaders, Apostates, Officials, and filth have been cast out, is a caution to all sinners, that here they would be in the wrong place."

July 4, 1863 - Author Fritz Ludlow visits Salt Lake City on his way to San Francisco. He later writes in a national magazine: "Though Mormondom is disloyal to the core it still-patronizes the Fourth of July, at least in its phase of festivity, omitting the patriotism of our Eastern celebration, substituting 'Utah' for 'Union' in the Buncombe speeches." He describes Brigham Young at the Fourth of July ball as sitting in the theater dress circle "looking down on the dancers with an air of mingled hearty kindness and feudal ownership. I could excuse the latter, for Utah belongs to him of right."

July 4, 1868 - Apostle Orson Pratt confesses to Salt Lake School of Prophets that he has been wrong to reject Brigham Young's Adam-God doctrine for past sixteen years. This is three days after Pratt writes personal apology to Brigham Young.

July 4, 1885 - At President John Taylor's request all flags on Church property and at some government buildings are at half mast in protest of the federal government's anti-polygamy crusade against the Church. NonMormons are incensed by this action and almost riot.

July 4, 1888 - First joint celebration of Independence Day by Prominent Mormons and anti-Mormons. Presided over b y non-LDS governor Caleb W. West, ceremonies have LDS participation by Arthur Stayner, Orson F. Whitney, and James E. Talmadge, with anti-polygamy leaders: Judge Charles S. Zane, Judge Goodwin, and Commissionar Norrell.

July 4, 1919 - William Harrison ("Jack") Dempsy is first Mormon to be Heavyweight Boxing Champion of the world, which title he maintains until 1926. LDS boxers of similar status are: Gene Fullmer (Middleweight Boxing Champion, 1957), Don Fullmer (American Middleweight Champion, 1965), Danny Lopez (Featherweight Boxing Champion of world, 1976-80), Javier Flores (Super Bantamweight Champion of North America, 1978), Albert Kapua (New Zealand's Junior Boxing Champion, 1978). Mormon inductees into Boxing Hallof Fame are Jack Dempsey (1954) and Gene Fullmer (1974).

July 4, 1931 - CHURCH SECTION article, "Without Purse or Scrip In the Argentine Mission."

July 4, 1948 - CHURCH NEWS refers to three significant developments in LDS missionary work. First, report of success of two missionaries "tracting without purse or scrip" in Texas-Louisiana Mission. This practice is newsworthy because it has become so rare and is later prohibited by LDS headquarters. Second, E. Hyde Dunn, age nineteen, has left for special mission in which he volunteers to be construction missionary in Tonga. His voluntarism inspires headquarters to adopt this as regular program for South Pacific. Third, report that missionary Richard L. Anderson's teaching "plan" is now in use by all missionaries of Northwestern States Mission. Fourteen-lesson "Anderson Plan" is soon adopted by many LDS missions as non-memorized outline for teaching investigators. Anderson later becomes distinguished professor of religion at BYU.

July 4, 1985 - Six LDS chapels are bombed in Chile, apparently by the Frente Patriotico Manuel Rodriguez, Chile's most important armed opposition to the Pinochet dictatorship.

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