the 8th has had some interesting events in history.  I thought it might be fun to look at a few as I start this week’s pioneer story.  Not all of the events depict pioneering events but many do.

History in general for July 8th.

  • July 8th, 1497: Portuguese navigator Vasco da Gama departs on his first voyage, becoming the 1st European to reach India by sea.
  • July 8th, 1776: Colonel John Nixon gives the 1st public reading of the Declaration of Independence to an assemblage of citizens in Philadelphia.
  • July 8th, 1923:  Warren G. Harding becomes 1st sitting US President to visit Alaska.
  • July 8th, 1947: There were a number of reports of a mysterious flying disc (spaceship) landing in Roswell.
  • July 8th, 1959:  Major Dale Buis and Master Sgt. Chester Ovnand become the first Americans killed in the U.S. phase of the Vietnam War.
  • July 8th, 2011 Space Shuttle Atlantis is launched in the final mission of the U.S. Space Shuttle program
    Church history on July 8th.
  • July 8th, 1838:  The Lord through revelation to the Prophet Joseph Smith in Section 119 of the Doctrine and Covenants defines the law of tithing as “one tenth” or 10% of a person’s interest annually.
  • July 8th, 1838:  Revelation given to the Prophet Joseph Smith in Section 118 of the Doctrine and Covenants concerning the “Will of the Lord concerning the Twelve”.
  • July 8th, 1862:  A federal law was passed and signed  by President Abraham Lincoln, defining plural marriage as bigamy and declaring it a crime. The Saints considered the law unconstitutional and refused to honor it.
  • Summer of 1906:  President Joseph F. Smith traveled to Europe, the first such visit of a Church president to the area. President Smith also visited Hawaii, Canada and Mexico during his presidency.
  • July 1937: The Hill Cumorah pageant, “America’s Witness for Christ,” began on an outdoor stage on the side of the Hill Cumorah in New York.
  • July 1942:  Church Welfare leaders urged members to plant gardens, to bottle as many fruits and vegetables as they could utilize, and to store coal.


  • July 8th, 1846:  William Clayton did not record anything for this date in his journal, but on July 9th he recorded that for the previous two days he had been fixing his wagons.
  • June 29th, 1846:  William Clayton arrived in Mt. Pisgah and set up camp with the saints.  Over the next several days there was an excitement about the area as Brigham Young and other leaders were seeking 500 volunteers to form what would become the Mormon Battalion.  Sadness and tragedy also struck Mt. Pisgah on July 14th when the youngest child of Edward Martin passed away.  On July 15th Brother Martin and William Clayton buried the child south of the camp, on a high bluff between two small oak trees.
  • July 8th, 1847:  The Van Guard Company of pioneers led by Brigham Young spent the day at Fort Bridger repairing wagons, setting wagon tires and did some trading at the fort.  Brother Egan traded two rifles for twenty buck skins which he intends to make clothing from.
Sixteen days after leaving Fort Bridger Brigham Young and the main body of the Van Guard Company entered the Salt Lake Valley.  Concerning the appearance of the valley William Clayton recorded on July 22nd, 1846 after climbing to a hill top in Emigration Canyon and first looking at the Salt Lake Valley;
“For my own part I am happily disappointed in the appearance of the valley of the Salt lake, but if the land be as rich as it has the appearance of being, I have no fears but the Saints can live here and do well while we will do right.  When I commune with my own heart and ask myself whether I would chose to dwell here in this wild looking country amongst the Saints surrounded by friends, though poor, enjoying the privileges and blessings of the everlasting priesthood, with God for our King and Father; or dwell amongst the gentiles with all their wealth and good things of the earth, to be eternally mobbed, harassed, hunted, our best men murdered and every good man’s life continually in danger, the soft whisper echoes loud and reverberates back in tones of stern determination; give me the quiet wilderness and my family to associate with surrounded by the Saints and adieu to the gentile world till God says return and avenge you of your enemies.  If I had my family with me, how happy could I be, for I dread nothing so much as the journey back again.”
Share your stories and the stories of the pioneers with your family and friends.  Learn from those who paved the way and be “Pioneer Strong”.

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