Summarized by Kent Larsen
History May Be Written in Stone, But Is It the Truth?
Los Angeles Times 1Jan00 N1
By Christopher Reynolds: Times Travel Writer
Author James W. Loewen takes a look at the veracity of historical
markers in his new book "Lies Across America: What Our Historic Sites
Get Wrong." In the book, Loewen includes the LDS Church-owned Mountain
Meadows Massacre monument, removed last year, as well as many other
historical markers that contained incomplete or inaccurate
information. The LDS Church and the Mountain Meadows Association
replaced the marker last fall with one that gives more information
about the tragedy.
The old marker simply left off who attacked the California-bound
Fancher wagon train at Mountain Meadows, 30 miles north of St. George,
Utah. More than 100 men, women and children were killed in what is
considered by some the worst non-military massacre in the history of
the American West.
Loewen completed his book before the monument was replaced, so the
book doesn't mention the replaced monument. According to the Los
Angeles Times' Reynolds, Loewen tries to explain why the marker left
out who attacked the Fancher wagon train, "Because, Loewen writes, the
Mormon church bought property there in the 1960s and chose the wording
of the marker, with the tacit approval of state officials."