By Rosemary Pollock
Brigham Young's 200th Birthday Celebrated
SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH -- A celebration was held Friday, June 1,
honoring the 200th birthday of Brigham Young, second president of The
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. At a luncheon sponsored
by This Is the Place State Park and funded by George S. and Delores
Dore Eccles Foundation, President Gordon B. Hinckley spoke Friday
evening at the Mormon Tabernacle on Temple Square.
"I stand in absolute awe of Brigham Young," President Hinckley said.
"No other American entrepreneur accomplished what he did." "He built
a lively economy in a desert wasteland. It took a man of firmness and
determination to do what he did," President Hinckley added.
On the occasion of Brigham Young's 200th birthday, President Hinckley
confessed that he spoke to an oil painting of the frontier prophet
that hangs on a wall behind his desk. "Brother Brigham, today you are
200 years old," Hinckley told the image Friday morning. "I thought I
heard him reply, 'Yes and I'm still going strong,'" Hinckley joked to
a luncheon crowd of 900 at the Grand America in Salt Lake City
earlier in the day.
The day-long recognition was honored by members of Young's extended
family, including his only living grandchild. Members of the church
and family were present for a special Mormon Tabernacle Choir
concert, including talks by a great-great-grandson and by President
Gordon B. Hinckley.
Young was born June 1, 1801, in Whitingham, Vermont. He grew up in
New York state and coverted to the Mormon church in 1832, two years
after it was organized. He assumed leadership of the church after
Joseph Smith's assassination in 1844 and directed members to settle
as many as 400 colonies throughout the West.
"They weren't like other communities in the West that sprouted up
because of nearby mines, et cetera," said Craig L. Foster of the
Mormon History Association. "They were settled with society intact.
Young worked out city planning, water and social issues in advance,"
"If he hadn't been the leader of a religious movement that was not
well liked, I think historians would rank him as one of the greatest
leaders in American history," Foster said. "His impact on the West is
Brigham Young founded Salt Lake City in 1847 and was elected governor
of Utah, then called Deseret, in 1849. He died in 1877. Salt Lake
City resident Rebecca Timmins said she felt fortunate to attend the
celebration with her family. "I wanted my children to have an
understanding of the sacrifices made by Brigham Young, and the legacy
he has brought to our family and the church," Timmins said.
Mormons Celebrate 200th Anniversary
Washington Post (AP) 2Jun01 N6
By Christy Karras: Associated Press Writer
Happy Birthday, Brother Brigham
Salt Lake Tribune 2Jun01 N6
By Peggy Fletcher Stack: Salt Lake Tribune
2 leaders are honored on Brigham's birthday
Deseret News 2Jun01 N6
By James Thalman and Lynn Arave: Deseret News staff writers
Brigham Young, the American Moses, kingdom builder and family man was celebrated Friday in song, speeches and bronze.
Brigham Young's 200th birthday celebrated
BYU NewsNet 2Jun01 N6
By Larry Furr: NewsNet Staff Writer
LDS president gets award from Gov. Leavitt
Ogden UT Standard-Examiner 2Jun01 N2
By JaNae Francis