85 years ago today - Feb 23, 1933

[During the Great Depression]
Increasingly, evictions proceeded only over citizen protest. On the afternoon of 23 February 1933 Salt Lake County Sheriff Grant Young and several of his deputies were scheduled to conduct a tax sale from the west steps of the City and County Building. Six houses and a farm were to be sold for back taxes following mortgage foreclosures. A crowd of several hundred people gathered to try to prevent the sale. Sheriff Young appealed to them to disperse; instead, they stormed the building. Deputies turned a fire hose on them, slowing them only momentarily, and they quickly wrestled the hose from the deputies and turned it into the building, flooding the ground floor. Police finally succeeded in dispersing the crowd with tear gas and arrested seven men and a woman for "direct rioting". Eventually, fifteen people were arrested, found guilty, fined and sentenced to brief jail terms.

[Source: Utah History Encyclopedia: The Great Depression, http://www.uen.org/utah_history_encyclopedia/]

120 years ago today - Feb 23, 1898

[President Wilford Woodruff]
I thought it for the best to write my views and feelings on the matter which has been on my mind for some time and which has been made quite clear to me in regard to the Godhead, and of which I hope to be able to speak at the coming Conference, so that I can submit the same to Bros Cannon & Smith.

[Source: Wilford Woodruff's Journal: 1833-1898 Typescript, Volumes 1-9, Edited by Scott G. Kenney, Signature Books 1993, http://amzn.to/newmormonstudies]

120 years ago today - Wednesday, Feb 23, 1898

[John Henry Smith]
Charles Shumway was born August 1st, 1806, Oxford, Worcester Co., Mass. He has four wives, 37 children and over one hundred grand children. I ordained him a Patriarch. He is very feable and his mind is clear only a portion of the time.

[Source: Jean Bickmore White (editor), Church, State, and Politics: The Diaries of John Henry Smith, Signature Books in association with Smith Research Associates, Salt Lake City, 1990, http://bit.ly/johnhenrysmith]

135 years ago today - Feb 23, 1883 • Friday

[George Q. Cannon]
The [anti-polygamy] Edmunds bill was brought up and was discussed by Senators Logan, Call and others. Logan was as bitter as usual. He has always been our enemy, and has never missed an opportunity to deal us a blow. Call made a manly defence of the constitutional principles involved in this law. When upon a vote, on a motion of Senator Ingals to disfranchise the women of all the Territories, it was developed there was no quorum. The next four hours (till 10 oclock) was spent in filibustering by the democrats to the great disgust of Edmunds who, baffled at every point, finally moved to adjourn. I was in the gallery till the close and exercised all the faith I could

[Source: The Journal of George Q. Cannon, Church Historian's Press, https://churchhistorianspress.org/george-q-cannon]

150 years ago today - Feb 23, 1868

[Wilford Woodruff]
We laid hands upon John Taylor, & Presidet Young set him apart as Probate Judge for Utah County.

[Source: Wilford Woodruff's Journal: 1833-1898 Typescript, Volumes 1-9, Edited by Scott G. Kenney, Signature Books 1993, http://amzn.to/newmormonstudies]

180 years ago today - Feb 23, 1838

[Wilford Woodruff]
During the day we repaired to the sea shore & clensed our feet with pure water & bore testimony against eight housholds before God who had rejected us or turned us from their Doors the evening before.

[Source: Wilford Woodruff's Journal: 1833-1898 Typescript, Volumes 1-9, Edited by Scott G. Kenney, Signature Books 1993, http://amzn.to/newmormonstudies]

190 years ago today - about Saturday, Feb 23, 1828

New York City, Martin Harris visits with Dr. Samuel Mitchill about characters transcribed from the plates ("Anthon Transcript").

[Source: Watson, Elden, Approximate Book of Mormon Translation Timeline, http://www.eldenwatson.net/BoM.htm]

40 years ago today - Feb 22, 1978

First Presidency letter to all stake and mission leaders: "the fact that there may be some question as to man's ancestry cannot be rightfully considered as evidence that he has Negro blood... If there is no evidence to indicate that a man has Negro blood, you would not be justifies in withholding the priesthood and temple blessings from him, if he is otherwise worthy." This stops the denial of priesthood merely on the basis of black African appearance and is a significant prelude to the end of the ban althogether less than four months later.

[Source: The Mormon Hierarchy - Extensions of Power by D. Michael Quinn, [New Mormon History database ( http://bit.ly/NMHdatabase )]]

125 years ago today - Feb 22, 1893

[James E. Talmage]
Being at the President's office early this morning I had a conversation with President Woodruff concerning the Seer Stones spoken of yesterday, and particularly of the stone owned by Bro. Rushton, which latter I showed to the President. He attributes no importance at all to the stone; and he sustains me in my opinion concerning Mrs. Russel and her divinations. Later in the day Bro. Rushton called upon me and gave me a history of the stone. He found it in Nauvoo, associated with a valuable record, and with a store of gold; but neither the record nor the gold could he obtain. He claims that the location of the stone was revealed to him in a day vision thrice repeated; and at first it was under a seal, the nature of which he declined to explain. He says the stone possesses a celestial and a terrestrial side, and is capable of revealing matters connected with this world and the spirit land. One surface of the stone is devoted to the Ten Tribes, and in that the Seer can perceive the place and circumstances of that people beyond the ice. Bro. Rushton says the stone served him to locate the burial places of several of Joseph Smith's kindred, the prophet having placed several of the brethren under covenant to bury his dead together. Since that work was accomplished, Rushton has lost his gift, but lives in hope that it will be restored to him. The stone he believes will be of service in the vicarious work of the Temples by revealing the condition and desires of those behind the vail. Bro. Rushton and I met Pres. Woodruff, but Rushton declined to explain to the President the nature of the seal under which the stone was laid. Pres. Woodruff: says he has but little encouragement to offer for the use of Seer Stones.

At night I attended the monthly meeting of the Home Missionary Quorum. A matter was there discussed, which I have already spoken upon in public a few times of late, and which I have asked counsel upon from the authorities:—the unseemly anxiety approaching curiosity on the part of some people for miraculous manifestations at the approaching dedication of the Salt Lake Temple. I believe that we should exercise faith in God for His blessings: leaving Him to decide what particular manifestations would be for our good. For my part, the Lord does not favor me with visual or oviricular manifestations, yet I have an abiding faith in His supporting care.

[Source: The Journals of James E. Talmage—Excerpts, Compiled by J. Trevor Antley, https://docs.google.com/document/d/1dOE6pgN6OkBJIq-X73JGpCdt0p5b8_UdfTfLREz4uTg/]

140 years ago today - Feb 22, 1878

Utah adopts an election law which for the first time since 1849 eliminates marked ballots that allow election officials to know how each person voted.

[Source: The Mormon Hierarchy - Extensions of Power by D. Michael Quinn, [New Mormon History database ( http://bit.ly/NMHdatabase )]]

180 years ago today - Feb 22, 1838

[Warren Parrish]
I have listened to him [Joseph Smith] with feelings of no ordinary kind, when he declared that the AUDIBLE VOICE OF GOD, INSTRUCTED HIM TO ESTABLISH A BANKING-ANTI BANKING INSTITUTION, who like Aaron's rod SHALL SWALLOW UP ALL OTHER BANKS (the Bank of Monroe excepted) and grow and flourish and spread from the rivers to the ends of the earth, and survive when all others should be laid in ruins.

[Source: Painesville Republican, February 22, 1838, as quoted in Conflict at Kirtland, page 297, in Kirtland Timeline – Kirtland Safety Society, the Bank of Monroe, Temple Dedication, Consecration, and significant historical events related, http://www.exploringmormonism.com/kirtland-timeline-kirtland-safety-society-the-bank-of-monroe-temple-dedication-consecration-and-significant-historical-events-related/]

115 years ago today - Feb 21, 1903

The Utah Legislature selects Apostle Reed Smoot to be U.S. Senator from Utah. Smoot is not seated for three years as the U.S. Senate holds hearings on whether to seat a Mormon apostle as a senator.

130 years ago today - Tuesday, Feb 21, 1888

[John Henry Smith]
I was called out of bed in the night and consented to aid the Democratic national committee to the tune of $25,000.00.

[Source: Jean Bickmore White (editor), Church, State, and Politics: The Diaries of John Henry Smith, Signature Books in association with Smith Research Associates, Salt Lake City, 1990, http://bit.ly/johnhenrysmith]

175 years ago today - Feb 21, 1843

By early 1843 there was much speculation in Nauvoo as to whether or not Joseph Smith was secretly practicing polygamy. More and more were learning that members of the Twelve and others had secret plural wives, and the saying became more popular, "There cannot be so much smoke without some fire." On February 21,1843, the Prophet spoke to those who were building the Temple ... a group consisting of both men and women, and told them that he knew what people were saying about him. According to Official Church History, Joseph told them: Smith tells temple workers to stop gossiping about polygamy . "There is a great noise in the city, and many are saying there cannot be so much smoke without some fire. Well, be it so. If the stories about Joe Smith are true, then the stories of John C. Bennett are true about the ladies of Nauvoo; and he says that the Ladies' Relief Society are all organized of those who are to be the wives of Joe Smith. Ladies, you know whether this is true or not. It is no use living among hogs without a snout. This biting and devouring each other I cannot endure. Away with it. For God's sake, stop it."

[Source: Joseph Smith Polygamy Timeline, http://www.i4m.com/think/polygamy/JS_Polygamy_Timeline.htm]

175 years ago today - Feb 21, 1843

Joseph Smith preaches concerning a wife-beater in Palmyra, New York: "I whipped him till he cried enough."

[Source: Quinn, D. Michael, The Mormon Hierarchy: Origins of Power, Appendix 7: Selected Chronology of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1830-47, http://amzn.to/origins-power]

175 years ago today - Feb 21, 1843

[Wilford Woodruff]
Joseph said the Pagen Prophet [Lucien Woodworth] had prophesied one thing that was true viz that if we did not build the temple & Nauvoo house it would proove the ruin of the place that if we did not build those buildings we might as well leave the place & that it was as necessary to build one as the other

[Source: Wilford Woodruff's Journal: 1833-1898 Typescript, Volumes 1-9, Edited by Scott G. Kenney, Signature Books 1993, http://amzn.to/newmormonstudies]

180 years ago today - Feb 21, 1838

[Wilford Woodruff]
I had an interesting time in speaking and after we closed the meeting at half past 8 oclock I walked out of the house & cast my eyes towards the heavens & a glorious scene presented itself to our view.

I light commenced in the NE. & spread to the W. & soon rolled up over head & also in the south & it centered in the heavens & rolled forth fire blood & smoke like contending armies: the whole heavens was illuminated with blood & fire for the space of half an hour & shook like a fowl upon the wing. It seemed at times as though the veil was about to rend in twain <and the throne of God to appear>. It appeared as though the elements were contending with each other.

We were travling through deep snow drifts most of the time during this sceneery. This is one of the signs in the heavens in the last days spoken of by the ancient as well as modern Prophets. O may God hasten the day when the scenerry will be wound up.

[Source: Wilford Woodruff's Journal: 1833-1898 Typescript, Volumes 1-9, Edited by Scott G. Kenney, Signature Books 1993, http://amzn.to/newmormonstudies]

25 years ago today - Feb 20, 1993

Second counselor Thomas S. Monson speaks at rededication ceremony for Roman Catholic church's Cathedral of the Madeleine in Salt Lake City, also attended by Apostles James E. Faust and Neal A. Maxwell.

In response to LDS man and woman separately preparing simplified English versions of BOOK OF MORMON, First Presidency officially prohibits such a "translation" as undermining the ancient origins of scripture. Man withdraws but Lynn Matthews Anderson publishes her revision in 1994.

115 years ago today - Friday, Feb 20, 1903

[John Henry Smith]
I visited the Penitentiary and had a chat with Tom Williams who killed one Hutchinson over 20 years ago. he is serving a life sentence. With others I am trying to get him paroled.

[Source: Jean Bickmore White (editor), Church, State, and Politics: The Diaries of John Henry Smith, Signature Books in association with Smith Research Associates, Salt Lake City, 1990, http://bit.ly/johnhenrysmith]

130 years ago today - Feb 20, 1888

[James E. Talmage]
[Talmage] was pouring molten slag from an assay crucible into a mould [sic] in the laboratory when some material inside the molten mass exploded, scattering the remainder and hurling some of it directly into the professor's left eye. The pain was frightful and it at first appeared that the eye had been permanently destroyed, for the molten matter had actually penetrated the eyeball. […] But expert medical attention, frequent administration by the priesthood, and the motherly nursing of Sister Josiah Cluff into whose home James was induced to move temporarily after a grim attempt to care for himself in his bachelor's quarters, eventually brought full recovery with no permanent impairment to his vision.

[Source: Chronology of the Life and Work of James E. Talmage, J. Trevor Antley, https://docs.google.com/document/d/1MJsHY83JZL_n6CjWq11y1trT_CVXMMXAx2uYOWAwn0c/edit#heading=h.2zfdaoa]

140 years ago today - Feb 20, 1878

Proxy endowments are performed in the St. George Temple for Marie Antoinette, Charlotte Corday, and the wives of Sir Walter Scott, Horatio Nelson Thomas Moore, Robert Burns, Edmund Burke, Lord Byron, Goethe and other "eminent women of the world." Wilford Woodruff "officiated as El[oheim]" and also "took through the veil some 30 person[s]."

155 years ago today - Feb 20, 1863

[Wilford Woodruff]
I had the two last teeth taken out of my upper Jaw to day by Brother Barlow with the intention of putting in a New Set.

[Source: Wilford Woodruff's Journal: 1833-1898 Typescript, Volumes 1-9, Edited by Scott G. Kenney, Signature Books 1993, http://amzn.to/newmormonstudies]

165 years ago today - Feb 20, 1853. Sunday.

[William Clayton]
Took Tea at Brother W[illia]m Memmet's, then again went to meeting. I addressed the Congregation and proved to them, that even if we were deceived in regard to the administering of the angel &c. we were still better off than the sectarians in every sense of the word.

[Source: George D. Smith, An Intimate Chronicle; The Journals of William Clayton, Signature Books in association with Smith Research Associates, Salt Lake City, 1995, http://bit.ly/WilliamClayton]

165 years ago today - Feb 20, 1853

Brigham Young speaks concerning Mormons who say the judgment of living prophets "is superior to mine, and consequentîy I let you judge for me." He says that such Latter-day Saints do not possess "the true independence of heaven," and consequently "will never be capable of entering into the celestial glory, to be crowned as they anticipate; they will never be capable of becoming gods." Young says that Mormons should depend on "the influences of the Holy Spirit" and "their own understanding."

[Source: The Mormon Hierarchy - Extensions of Power by D. Michael Quinn, [New Mormon History database ( http://bit.ly/NMHdatabase )]]

165 years ago today - Feb 20, 1853

Erastus Snow Addressed the meeting & spoke well. ... He spoke of his mission in denmark. The Lord showed him that the King & Counsel was taking counsel against him to stop his preaching. He herd their conversation in a night vision but He said as I kept the Law & my brethren they could find no accusation against me. ...

[Source: Wilford Woodruff's Journal: 1833-1898 Typescript, Volumes 1-9, Edited by Scott G. Kenney, Signature Books 1993, http://amzn.to/newmormonstudies]

175 years ago today - Feb 20, 1843

Seventy brethren help Joseph chop, split, and pile logs in his yard. He studies German. He sees two boys fighting with clubs and stops the fight. He lectures the onlookers for not stopping the fight immediately and tells them that "nobody was allowed to fight in Nauvoo but myself."

[Source: Conkling, Christopher J., Joseph Smith Chronology]

115 years ago today - Thursday, Feb 19, 1903

The clerk read a letter from Alfred A. Cluff and several other brethren written in behalf of about 25 members of the church from Guatemala, Central America. They reported the fact that they had reached that land and found everything favorable to establishing a colony of our people, which they would do. Said that the Presidency of the church might look for a letter from them occasionally. Regarding this matter Pres. Smith said that they were counseled not to go, because of the great distance from the body of the saints, and the first thing we knew they had gone. Elder Jno. H. Smith moved that, notwithstanding the move had been made against counsel, they be nursed along and that a kind and encouraging letter be written in answer to their communication. Carried.

A letter was read from Chas. W. Carroll, Orderville. He said that the report had gone out among the people down there that plural marriages were being solemnized under the sanction of the Presidency, and this was causing some commotion among the saints. Pres. Smith remarked that, as the brethren knew, the rumor was foundationless ...

[At this time, the post-Manifesto plural wife of Kanab's stake counselor-patriarch Thomas Chamberlain is secluded in the house of President Smith's wife Julina, but the Church President tells the Quorum of Twelve that he was sending two apostles to Orderville to "endeavor to correct any wrong impression in the minds of the people." The two he sends are Matthias F. Cowley ( who had performed the Chamberlain plural marriage in Salt Lake City) and George Teasdale (whose own post-1890 polygamous marriage had been repeatedly described in the newspapers).]

[Source: Stan Larson (editor), A Ministry of Meetings: The Apostolic diaries of Rudger Clawson, Signature Books in association with Smith Research Associates, Salt Lake City, 1993, http://bit.ly/rudgerclawson]

130 years ago today - Feb 19, 1888

[Wilford Woodruff]
I looked over the Expression of 252 Members of Congress upon the Utah question. 54 were for the Admission of Utah 124 against it & 74 Non Committal.

[Source: Wilford Woodruff's Journal: 1833-1898 Typescript, Volumes 1-9, Edited by Scott G. Kenney, Signature Books 1993, http://amzn.to/newmormonstudies]

190 years ago today - February 19-20 and July 4-5, 1828

W. W. Phelps (publisher of 'Light on Masonry') is listed with other prominant antiMasons including a future antimasonic nominee for governor, original printer of William Morgan's expose' and the future husband of Lucinda Morgan [Harris]). He continues to be included as an active participant in the proceedings with mention of his Antimasonic newspaper 'Lake Light' and is the 3rd to sign the July 4th 'A Declaration of Independence from the Masonic Institution.' He toasts William Morgan as "the morning star of more light."

[Source: 'Convention of Seceding Masons' Held at LeRoy, New York, reprinted in 'Light on Masonry,' "Master Mason", in Grunder, Rick, Mormon Parallels: A Bibliographic Source]

195 years ago today - Feb 19, 1823

Article in PALMYRA HERALD AND CANAL ADVERTISER: "The Indians are reported the aborigines of North America; but I doubt the truth of this proposition. The fortifications and remains of antiquity in Ohio and elsewhere, clearly prove them to be the work of some other people than the Indians. Many of these fortifications were not forts, but religious temples, or places of public worship. . . . What wonderful catastrophe destroyed at once the first inhabitants, with the species of the mammoth, is beyond the researches of the best scholar and greatest antiquaran."

115 years ago today - Feb 18, 1903; Wednesday

A meeting of the First Presidency and Apostles was held in the Temple.

Brother James Sharp, while attending the meeting of the Y.M.M.I.A. at Rexburg [Idaho] on the 25th of last month, was informed that it was the practice in the Fremont [Idaho] Stake to send a brother holding the lesser priesthood with an elder to administer to the sick, and he was asked this question: Is it proper for an elder to take with him a brother holding the Aaronic priesthood to assist in administering to the sick?

After general remarks, it was the sense of the Council, expressed in a motion by Bro[ther]. John Henry Smith, that the practice be confined to the elders; but in case of absolute necessity, that is where an elder finds himself in the situation that he cannot avail himself of the company of another elder, he may, if opportunity affords, avail himself of the company of a member of the Aaronic priesthood, or even a lay member, but for the purpose only of being supported by the faith of such member or members, the elder alone to officiate in the ordinance of administration; or the elder may administer alone without such assistance of a lay member or one holding the Aaronic priesthood. ...

[Source: First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve minutes]

145 years ago today - Feb 18, 1873

Mormon mob lynches Charles A. Benson for murder in Logan, Utah, under circumstances in which his LDS apostasy is a contributing factor. He is the son of the former Cache Valley president, deceased apostle Ezra T. Benson, whose official biography states that "no further record of his life is available" after Charles's endowment date.

[Source: The Mormon Hierarchy - Extensions of Power by D. Michael Quinn, [New Mormon History database ( http://bit.ly/NMHdatabase )]]

175 years ago today - Feb 18, 1843

Joseph Smith teaches, "When the earth was sanctified and became like a sea of glass it would be one great Urim and Thummim [and] the Saints could look in it and see as they are seen."

180 years ago today - Feb 18, 1838

[Wilford Woodruff]
Elder Townsend and myself had an interesting time in secret Prayer in a snow bank. I Preached again upon the gospel. The spirit of God rested [upon] me.

[Source: Wilford Woodruff's Journal: 1833-1898 Typescript, Volumes 1-9, Edited by Scott G. Kenney, Signature Books 1993, http://amzn.to/newmormonstudies]

185 years ago today - Feb 18, 1833

Orson Pratt returns to Kirtland after a long mission and washes his hands and feet "as a testimony unto the Lord that I had warned this wicked generation, and that my garments were clean of their blood," and is admitted to the School of the Prophets.

--

[Source: Kenney, Scott, Saints Without Halos, "Mormon History 1830-1844," http://web.archive.org/web/20120805163534/saintswithouthalos.com/dirs/d_c.phtml]

75 years ago today - Feb 17, 1943

[J. Reuben Clark]
D O M'Agreed that we would meet request of F.B.I. for missionary information regarding towns and cities in Axis countries, [Nazi Germany, Facist Italy, Imperial Japan and territories counquered by them] by giving them lists of missionaries and permitting them (FBI) to interview them and get such information as they could. We were to make clear there was to be no espionage in Axis countries by our missionaries.

[Source: The Diaries of J. Reuben Clark, 1933-1961, Abridged, Digital Edition, Salt Lake City, Utah 2015]

135 years ago today - Feb 17, 1883

[Wilford Woodruff]
Alma Moroni Blanchard Called on me to day And professed to have found some plates Containing records in addition to the Book of Mormon. He had translated them by the Urim and Thummim and He wanted to Publish them. I think it all fals.

[Source: Wilford Woodruff's Journal: 1833-1898 Typescript, Volumes 1-9, Edited by Scott G. Kenney, Signature Books 1993, http://amzn.to/newmormonstudies]

175 years ago today - Feb 17, 1843

[Josiah Stowell Jr. recollection]
I will give you a Short history of what I know about Joseph Smith Jr I have binn Intemetely acquainted with him about 2 years[.] he then was about 20 years old or there about[.] I also went to schoal with him one winter[.] he was a fine likely young man & at that time did not Profess religion[.] he was not a Profain man although I did once in a while hear him sware[.] he never gambled to my knowledge[.] I Do not believe he Ever did[.] I well know he was no Hoars [Horse] Jocky for he was no Judge of Hoarses[.] I Sold him one[.] that is all I ever knewd he dealt in the kind[.] I never new him to git drunk I believe he would now and then take a glass[.] he never Pretend=ed to Play the Slight of hand nor Black leg, it was fashionable at that time to drink Liquor[.] ...

I am yours truly

Josiah Stowell Jr.

[Source: Josiah Stowell, Jr., to John S. Fullmer, 17 February 1843, LDS Church Archives, Salt Lake City, Utah., as cited in Dan Vogel, Early Mormon Documents: Josiah Stowell, Jr., To John S. Fullmer]