May 5th

May 5, 1825 - The diary of British fur trapper Peter Skene Ogden reads: "Our course This day was west over a fine Plain Covered with Buffaloes & thousands of Small Gulls the latter was a Strange Sight to us I presume some large body of water near at hand at present unknown to us all." This description of what is now the Utah-Idaho border contradicts a later "urban legend" that seagulls were unknown to the area before the "miracle of the seagulls" in 1848.

May 5, 1833 - Joseph Smith appoints a temple building committee, the beginning of LDS bureaucracy.

May 5, 1842 - At a British Mission conference in Manchester, Lorenzo Snow sings a hymn "beautifully in tongues."
In Nauvoo Joseph and then Hyrum Smith receive their anointing and endowment in the upper room of his store from the men who were anointed and endowed the day before.

May 5, 1843 - Joseph Smith tells the Nauvoo Temple committee that "he had a right to take away any property he chose from the Temple and they had no right to stand in the way."

May 5, 1855 - Dedication of Salt Lake Endowment House, and inauguration of first Thursday of each month as day of fasting and prayer, with "testimony meeting" during day.

May 5, 1867 - At a Sunday meeting Brigham Young preaches: "I wish to say a word about Amasa Lyman & tell why he is droped from the Twelve. It is because of his infidelity. He has no faith in the Attonement, . . .Orson Pratt does not believe in a God ownly in Atributes but not in a personage. He would have been Cut off from the Church long ago had it not have been for me. The Twelve would have Cut him off." At the Close of the Meeting President Young together with some of the Twelve laid hands upon the head of "Mother Atwood" and blessed her and set her apart to "administer to the sick of her sex."

May 5, 1870 - Salt Lake Tabernacle fast and testimony meeting: "Prest. Young spoke 12 minutes, requesting mothers to leave their children at home if possible so as not to disturb the meeting. also that Gentlemen will desist besmearing the floors with tobacco spittle &c." Tabernacle installs dozens of tobacco spittoons.

May 5, 1888 - Utah territorial Democratic convention excludes all Mormon delegates.

May 5, 1898 - The First Presidency and Twelve discussed the Word of Wisdom. One member reads from the twelfth volume of the Journal of Discourses a statement by Brigham Young that seems to support the notion that the Word of Wisdom was a commandment of God. Lorenzo Snow, then President of the Council of the Twelve agrees, saying that he believes the Word of Wisdom was a commandment and that it should be carried out to the letter. In doing so, he says, members should be taught to refrain from eating meat except in dire necessity, because Joseph Smith had taught that animals have spirits. Wilford Woodruff, then President of the Church, says he looks upon the Word of Wisdom as a commandment and that all members should observe it, but for the present, no definite action should be taken except that the members should be taught to refrain from meat. The minutes of the meeting record that "President Woodruff said he regarded the Word of Wisdom in its entirety as given of the Lord for the Latter-day Saints to observe, but he did not think that Bishops should withhold recommends from persons who did not adhere strictly to it."

May 5, 1903 - President Joseph F. Smith, in Evanston Wyoming on route to Salt Lake City, is told that "the story was out that an attempt would be made to arrest President Joseph F. Smith on his reaching Ogden" He decides there is no danger and continues on.

May 5, 1905 - DESERET NEWS advertises LDS Bureau of Information's publication of THE GREAT TEMPLE also endorsed in this month's IMPROVEMENT ERA. Photos of Council Room of First Presidency and Quorum of Twelve show two of room's spittoons for chewing tobacco.

May 5, 1932 - Apostle Stephen L Richards tells First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve that he will resign as apostle rather than apologize for his general conference talk which says church is putting too much emphasis on Word of Wisdom. He confesses his error to Heber J Grant on May 26 and retains his position.

May 5, 1934 - By authorization of President Heber J. Grant, all former priesthood and temple blessings are restored to William A. Hickman. He was excommunicated in 1868 for reasons not completely clear. Official Church records cite "apostasy," but Hickman declared it was because he left the territory "without permission." Hickman testified under oath that Brigham Young had "ordered" him to commit murder. In 1872 Brigham Young was indicted for murder based on Hickman's testimony. The charges were later dropped.

May 5, 1947 - First Presidency Letter states: "… No special effort has ever been made to proselyte among the Negro race, and social intercourse between the Whites and the Negroes should certainly not be encouraged because of leading to intermarriage, which the Lord has forbidden. This move which has now received some popular approval of trying to break down social barriers between the Whites and the Blacks is one that should not be encouraged because inevitably it means the mixing of the races if carried to its logical conclusion."

May 5, 1952 - Merlo J. Pusey is first activly Mormon recipient of Pulitzer Prize for his biography CHARLES EVANS HUGHES. Other LDS recipients are John M. Hightower (1952, international reporting), Robert D. Mullins (1962, local reporting), Jack Anderson (1972, national reporting), Laurel Thatcher Ulrich (1991, history A MIDWIFE'S TALE), Steve Benson (1993, editorial cartoons), in 1952 Pusy also receives nation's most prestigious history award (Bancroft Prize), also conferred on Richard L. Bushman (1968, FROM PURITAN TO YANKEE) and Laurel Thatcher Ulrich (1991, A MIDWIFE’S TALE). In 1957, Virginia Sorensen receives Newberry Medal from American Library Association for MIRACLES ON MAPLE HILL, and Josefina Febres Cordero is named Argentina's Woman of the Year in 1977 for her autobiography LA PUERTA AZUL (The Blue Door). Orson Scott Card is recipient of highest U.S. awards in Science fiction: "Nebula" from Science Fiction Writers of America (1998, ENDER'S GAME), Nebula and also "Hugo" from World Science Fiction Society (1987, SPEAKER FOR THE DEAD), and Hugo (1988, EYE FOR EYE).

May 5, 1981 - First Presidency statement against deployment of MX missile-system in Utah-Nevada desert, including criticism of developing weapons of war. LDS U.S. Senators Orrin Hatch and Jake Garn immediately reverse their positions from ardent proponents of MX missile-system and of its deployment in Utah to "leading the fight to keep MX out of Utah." The NEW YORK TIMES editorializes, "The Mormon Church's opposition to the MX missile, [is] an oddly selective summons to national morality in the service of an obviously parochial interest." The First Presidency's statement cited the large influx of non-Mormons into Utah for MX construction as a reason to oppose the deployment.

May 5, 1985 - LDS Astronaut Don Lind administers sacrament in zero gravity Skylab 3.

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