35 years ago today - 35 years ago - Oct 21, 1979

Elizapan and Ebisiba Osaka and their children, the first African converts in Kenya, are baptized.

125 years ago today - 125 years ago - Oct 21, 1889

[Apostle Abraham H. Cannon] About 5 p.m. Bro. Jorgason of Sevier Co[unty] desired my counsel as to what course he should take. He was arrested two weeks since on a bench warrant on a charge of polygamy. His first wife died 18 months ago and he has since married his plural wife before a justice of the peace. I advised him to keep his wife out of the way until after his trial, and when his case came up, he should prove the death of his first wife and subsequent marriage to his second. The date of his union with the latter, however, in the house of the Lord, he should not reveal, as it has occurred within three years.

[Source: Diary of Apostle Abraham H. Cannon, http://www.amazon.com/Apostles-Record-Journals-Abraham-1889-1896/dp/B000MFD1K4]

130 years ago today - 130 years ago - Oct 21, 1884 (Tuesday)

The jury, which could not agree on a verdict in Rudger Clawson's case, was discharged, and preparations were made for a new trial.

[Source: Jenson, Andrew, Church Chronology]

135 years ago today - 135 years ago - Oct 21, 1879

Thomas Edison tested an electric incandescent light bulb in Menlo Park, N.J., that burned for 13 1/2 hours, marking the beginning of a new era of electric lighting.

[Source: Church News: Historical Chronology of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, http://www.ldschurchnewsarchive.com/articles/58765/Historical-chronology-of-The-Church-of-Jesus-Christ-of-Latter-day-Saints.html]

140 years ago today - 140 years ago - Oct 21, 1874

[Assistant First Presidency counselor] G[eorge] Q. Cannon was arested to day on a warrant for Lacivious Cohabitation. This was got up by the miserable wicked ring of Judges & Marshals who profess to be Executing the Law. It is done to keep him from Going to Congress.

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

140 years ago today - 140 years ago - Oct 21, 1874

Polygamist George Reynolds is approached by First Presidency Counselor George Q. Cannon and told he has been selected to be a test case on the legality of polygamy. Reynolds is arrested, charged, convicted and sentenced to one year in prison. On appeal his conviction is set aside on a technicality, Reynolds's case is re-tried. He is convicted in the re-trial and is sentenced to two years in prison.. His case goes to the U.S. Supreme Court where his conviction, and the legality of the anti-polygamy laws are upheld but the hard labor part of his sentence is overturned as being excessive. With time off for good conduct he serves one year and seven months in prison. In 1890, he is sustained as one of the First Seven Presidents of Seventies.

[Source: On This Day in Mormon History, http://onthisdayinmormonhistory.blogspot.com]

170 years ago today - 170 years ago - Oct 21, 1844

Apostle Orson Hyde, then husband of three wives, writes: "I will now venture a prediction, that since Nauvoo has thrown off so much bile from its stomach [i.e., Sidney Rigdon] it will be more healthy, and less complaints about spiritual wives, adultery, bogus making, &c. &c." The letter is published two months later in a Mormon newspaper.

[Source: On This Day in Mormon History, http://onthisdayinmormonhistory.blogspot.com]

170 years ago today - 170 years ago - After Oct 21, 1844

Alice Felt Tyler describes William Miller's failed prediction of the end of the world:

' ... Preparations for the end were made by countless hundreds of joyous or desperate souls. White cloth was purchased and made into ascension robes. Nearly all secular business was neglected ... Voting was light ... Tents were put up outside cities ... and hundreds of people assembled on the night of October 21 [1844] to keep their vigil together. No provision was made for food ... the tension was intolerable ... There were several suicides, and as the dawn of October 23 served notice that "time continued" regardless of prophecy, some heart-broken Millennialists were led away insane. '

[Joseph Smith had denounced Miller's prophecies]

[Source: Grunder, Rick, Mormon Parallels: A Bibliographic Source]

45 years ago today - Oct 20, 1969

While BYU's basketball team is playing University of Wyoming in Laramie, fourteen African-Americans are disqualified from Wyoming's team for wearing black armbands in protest of LDS church's priesthood restriction. Game continues despite objects thrown by spectators at playing floor and audience shouting accusations of racism against BYU's athletes. Wyoming defeats BYU by 33 points.

[Source: On This Day in Mormon History, http://onthisdayinmormonhistory.blogspot.com]

80 years ago today - Oct 20, 1934

[President Heber J. Grant] Joseph M. [?] Cannon called and said that a couple of editorials had been handed to him by the direction of the First Presidency.

I said, 'We have not sent any editorials over for you, Joseph.'

He said, 'I was told you did.'

I said, 'Who wrote them?'

He said, 'Joseph Fielding Smith wrote one of them.' Broyher (sic) Joseph Fielding Smith happened to come into the office at the time and he said Brother Bennion requested a couple of editorials from Brother Widtsoe and himself and that he wrote them.

Joseph Cannon doubted the wisdom of having Church editorials, as we rely on Gentile patronage, etc., and thought that everything of a Church nature should be in the Church Section.

We told him we did not think it would hurt our subscriptions if we had some good Church editorials.

He said of course anything we wanted he wanted. He stayed quite awhile.

I could not help feeling that perhaps he had heard we had decided to release him, but we did not tell him so. ...

[Source: Diary of Heber J. Grant, http://amzn.to/newmormonstudies]

100 years ago today - Oct 20, 1914

Spencer Woolley Kimball: Mission to central states 20 October 1914-14 December1916.

[Source: Cook, Lyndon W., The Revelations of the Prophet Joseph Smith: A Historical and Biographical Commentary of the Doctrine and Covenants, Seventy's Mission Bookstore, Provo UT, 1985, http://amzn.to/RevelationsofJosephSmith]

125 years ago today - Oct 20, 1889

President Woodruff says church not performing plural marriage.

The Salt Lake Tribune quoted President Woodruff as saying, "I have refused to give any recommendations for the performance of plural marriages since I have been President ... and have instructed that they should not be solemnized." Woodruff had only been sustained President for 6 months before making this statement. President Woodruff authorized the destruction of the Endowment House because the new temples could perform marriages and he needed those doing the demolition to become Mormon voters to vote against the anti-Mormon party in the upcoming city elections.

[Source: "Mormon Polygamy a History", Richard S. Van Wagoner, 1986, p. 138. as quoted in Tungate, Mel, Mormon Polygamy, http://www.tungate.com/polygamy.htm]

160 years ago today - Oct 20, 1854

... Twitch had taken possession of 4 of the horses selling two of them to Levi Abram a mean & contempible Jew who had put them in his stable & refused to deliver them up to Burton on demand Burton called on W[illiam] A. Hickman to assist to recover the horses which had to be done by force. A considerable altercation ensued. The Jew posted to the probate Judge complained that Hickman had drawn a knife also a club on him with intent as he said to take his life. ...

[Source: Diaries of Hosea Stout]

165 years ago today - Oct 20, 1849

[Brigham Young Sermon] ... feel like going to bed more than going to meeting. .... I mean to monopolize the labor here. The Council House walls finished. I have monopolized all the good things of the earth for those who will work for us. I have the right to monopolize.

[Source: Thomas Bullock Minutes, LJA; Thomas Bullock—LDS Church Reporter, 1844-56.C, Archives, Church History Library, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Salt Lake City, Utah.; GCM, Archives, Church History Library, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Salt Lake City, Utah..; General Church Minutes. Selected Collections from the Archives of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints DVD 1 (2002) as quoted in The Complete Discourses of Brigham Young, Ed. Richard S. Van Wagoner, Smith-Pettit Foundation, Salt Lake City (2009), http://bit.ly/BY-discourses]

175 years ago today - Oct 20, 1839

The Nauvoo High Council makes Joseph Smith treasurer of the Church, empowered to set prices and to sell real-estate lots in Nauvoo as well as to discharge other business functions.

[Source: On This Day in Mormon History, http://onthisdayinmormonhistory.blogspot.com]

190 years ago today - Oct 20, 1824

The First Baptist Church in Palmyra welcomes 8 new converts. This is the first of many for the Baptist Church during the revival of 1824-25. For the one year period from Oct 1824 to the end of Sep 1825 there were a total of 94 persons baptized, by the Baptists and an increase of 87 members. Membership increased from 132 to 219 (65 percent). By comparison in the whole year of 1820 there were only eight new members baptized into the church.

[Source: On This Day in Mormon History, http://onthisdayinmormonhistory.blogspotcom]

15 years ago today - Oct 19, 1999

BYU and the Foundation for Ancient Research and Mormon Studies (FARMS) sign an affiliation agreement, officially joining the organizations together.

115 years ago today - Oct 19, 1899; Thursday

[First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve minutes] Referring to the inexperience of many, President Smith suggested that some kind of missionary course be provided for the young men, so that they could devote from three to sis months to religious study previous to going, such time to be regarded as part of their missions. He thought that young men prepared in this way would do more good than twice as many without such preparation.

Brother John Henry Smith endorsed President Smith's suggestion, which he considered one of great moment. He added, however, that he thought the young men should receive a year's notice with a view to preparing themselves.

...This matter was dropped without any action being taken.

...President Snow added that the Bishops should not be hard upon the members of their Wards if they did not have faith enough to pay tithing; also that they should use wisdom in refusing recommends to the Temple in case of those who were not tithepayers. ...

Brother Grant also brought up the subject of missionary blessings, stating that our missionaries, as a rule, when being set apart, had their blessings reported, and that it cost them fifty cents each for this service. He proposed that Brother Martin Lindsay, the stenographer, be paid a regular salary by the Church, and that a part of his labor consist of reporting these blessings free. This also was approved by the Council. ...

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

115 years ago today - Thursday, Oct 19, 1899

[Apostle Rudger Clawson] Pres. J. F. Smith stated that brethren going on missions who were over sixty years of age were instructed that, as the church did not require elders beyond that age to take missions, if they were released on account of sickness or physical disability, they would be obliged to bear their expenses home.

[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]

120 years ago today - Oct 19, 1894

Apostle Abraham H. Cannon records that his father, First Counselor in the First Presidency George Q. Cannon: "spoke to me about taking some good girl and raising up seed by her for my brother David." Within days, he has the hearty approval of the two other members of the First Presidency. This polygamous marriage occurs two years later after a long courtship.

[Source: On This Day in Mormon History, http://onthisdayinmormonhistory.blogspot.com]