Celebrating Pioneer Days
Friday, July 22, 2011 2:59:29 PM
This weekend, Utah celebrates the arrival of the first Mormon pioneers to Utah in 1847. Understandably, the Mexican slave traders and the Native Americans that they preyed upon were not happy. Neither were the numerous wolf packs that roamed the Salt Lake valley at the time.
However, the citizens of Illinois and Missouri were happy to help the immigrants along by giving them the bum’s rush out of their respective states. And, all because of a few extra wives that the faithful men had taken on. All in all, I think the immigrants got the better deal in spite of the hardships they endured pulling handcarts loaded with all of their worldly possessions into the howling wilderness in the dead of winter.
It is a well-known fact that the Mormons worked their butts off in both of those states, creating sparkling clean communities, and well-kept, respectful children. I think it was more than the wives issue; it was also a matter of being humiliated; in this case, keeping up with the neighbors by the locals.
It is a little-known fact that the U.S. government was so chapped at the Mormons and their flaunting of the mores of the times under President Buchanan, that they sent the U.S. Army to take over the Utah Territory just prior to the start of the Civil War. The Army got only as far as Wyoming before the Mormon militia moved in on them, burning their wagons, slaughtering their food cattle, and generally running amok through the army’s encampment. There is little doubt that had Utah been drawn into the Civil War, it would have joined the Confederacy against the Union. As it was, President Lincoln was so freaked out about this possibility that the government made many concessions to Utah (including ignoring polygamy) in hopes that they would not join the rebels.
Now, Utah just recently enacted a law that once again makes gold and silver ‘Money', and another law that for the first time designates a ‘State Gun’, to go along with the state bird, state flower, etc., so I think we are still bent on tweeking the government’s nose.
Well, enough of that. Happy Pioneer Days! Here are a couple of things to brighten your day:
Being a modest man, when I checked into my hotel on a recent trip, I said to the lady at the registration desk, "I hope the porn channel in my room is disabled." To which she replied, "No, it's regular porn, you sick bastard!”
I slunk off to my room, fired up my laptop, and discovered the really grim drift that events are taking in Africa. Just check this out: