Mountain Meadow Massacre Site Designated National Historic Landmark

moutain meadow massacre site national landmark
Photo by Chronicle of the Old West

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar today announced the designation of 14 new national historic landmarks in 11 states and the District of Columbia that have played an integral role in the development of the country.

“Each of these landmarks represents a chapter in the story of America, from archeological sites dating back more than two millennia to historic train depots, homes of famous artists, and buildings designed by some of our greatest architects,” said Secretary Salazar. “By designating these sites as national landmarks, we help meet the goals of President Obama’s America’s Great Outdoors Initiative to establish a conservation ethic for the 21st century and reconnect people, especially young people, to our nation’s historic, cultural, and natural heritage.”

“These new listings will join approximately 2,500 other sites in the National Historic Landmark Program,” said National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis. “These places showcase our rich and complex history – from prehistoric time right up to the modern era.”

The new national historic landmarks include:

·        The Lightship LV-118 (Overfalls), now a museum in Lewes, Delaware, is the last lightship constructed for and commissioned by the U.S. Lighthouse Service.

·        Congressional Cemetery in Washington, DC, and Woodlawn Cemetery in New York City are early examples of collaborative landscape architecture and contain some of the finest examples of funerary art in the nation.

·        Four national homes for disabled volunteer soldiers – Western Branch in Leavenworth, Kansas; Mountain Branch in Johnson City, Tennessee; Battle Mountain Branch in Hot Springs, South Dakota; and Northwestern Branch in Milwaukee, Wisconsin – reflect the development of a national system of veteran health care in the United States.

·        The Olson House in Cushing, Maine, and the Kuerner Farm in Delaware County, Pennsylvania, are both intimately tied to the renowned 20th-century artist Andrew Wyeth. Wyeth spent 30 summers at the Olson House and is buried on the grounds. The house is depicted in many of his works including “Christina’s World,” one of the most famous American paintings. The Kuerner Farm was the inspiration for more than 1,000 Wyeth paintings over a 64-year period.

·        Grand Mound in International Falls, Minnesota, is an interconnected archeological landscape of mounds, seasonal villages, and sturgeon fishing sites going back to 200 BC.

·        Split Rock Light Station near Beaver Bay, Minnesota, appears virtually the same as it did when completed in 1910. The station greatly aided navigation in the busy and narrow shipping lanes of Lake Superior.

·        The Pennsylvania Railroad Depot and Baggage Room in Dennison, Ohio, is the only surviving station in the country that reflects the important role of trains and train stations in the transportation and care of troops during World War II. During the war, about 4,000 volunteers provided moral support and served meals around the clock to 1.3 million soldiers in the depot’s Salvation Army Servicemen’s Canteen.

·        The Arch Street Friends Meeting House in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, was built by noted Federal period architect and author Owen Biddle and has been in continuous use since 1805. It is also the largest Quaker Meeting House in the country.

·        The Mountain Meadows Massacre Site in Washington County, Utah, marks the location of the September 11, 1857, massacre of 120 emigrants by militiamen associated with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The event was the apex of decades of violence, mistrust, and fear.

Salazar also announced a name and boundary change for Medicine Wheel National Historic Landmark in Lovell, Wyoming which was designated in 1970. Renamed Medicine Wheel/Medicine Mountain National Historic Landmark, the site now includes almost 4,000 addition acres of significant and intact Native American sacred areas. The John B. Gough House in Boylston, Massachusetts, also received a boundary clarification.

The program, established in 1935, is administered by the National Park Service on behalf of the Secretary of the Interior. The agency works with preservation officials and other partners interested in nominating a landmark. Completed applications are reviewed by the National Park System Advisory Board, which makes recommendations for designation to the Secretary of the Interior. If selected, property ownership remains intact but each site receives a designation letter, a plaque, and technical preservation advice.

Additional information on the designations can be found at

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  • Not a Mormon July 2, 2011 at 6:57 pm

    “massacre of 120 emigrants by militiamen associated with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.”

    Except they weren’t just associated with the mormons, they were mormons. They were sent by mormon religious leaders holding civilian government positions in their – fortunately – short lived and illegal theocracy. It was a cult-sanctioned murder.

    Very disturbing to see that the mormons are getting a free pass again.

    • Also not a Mormon, BUT isnt a religous bigot. July 2, 2011 at 7:34 pm

      What free pass?? I think both sides have moved on. Your local yellow pages contain of listing of trusted professionals that you can talk to .

      J.K. Francher, a Harrison, Ark., pharmacist and freelance writer, said…[that he] never dreamed that a memorial service would come to fruition but “the spirit kicked in” and people of differing religious beliefs have reconciled. “The most difficult words for men to utter is ‘I’m sorry and I forgive you’.”Easing the burden of the victims was also the goal of Paiute Indian Tribal Chairwoman Geneal Anderson of Cedar City….

      During the ceremony, descendants of both the victims and perpetrators joined arms on stage hugging and embracing each other following a challenge by Rex E. Lee, Brigham Young University president…. Gordon B. Hinckley…said he came as a representative of a church that has suffered much over what happened. While people can’t comprehend what occurred…Hinckley said he was grateful for reconciliation by the descendants on both sides….”Now if there is need for forgiveness, we ask that it be granted.”[18]

    • Curious Observer July 2, 2011 at 11:28 pm

      I don’t think calling the LDS church a cult will get anyone riled up anymore. I mean there are about 12 million of them world wide. Mitt Romney was on the cover of Newsweek. for Gods sake. What you need to do is Tell a Mormon they don’t pay a full tithe. Or that you know they did’nt get there home teaching done for that month. Or you saw them drinking a beer. Thought I would give you a few pointers since you are such a NEWB.

    • Baptist 5 July 2, 2011 at 11:47 pm

      I might not like their liquor laws, but I think Mormons are pretty decent people. Didn’t this happen like 150 years ago?? I mean that doesn’t make it right, but I think they did shoot John D. Lee. I don’t think they preach slaughter and massacre in their churches.

  • Not a Mormon July 2, 2011 at 9:29 pm

    I’m not a bigot for having a well-informed opinion based on scholarly and Biblical research/evidence that Mormonism is a cult. Please leave the ad hominems out.

    As far as the “free pass”, yes. The opportunity existed for all persons involved in a position of authority to issue a severe lambasting against the murderers, their superiors who issued the orders, and the organization to which they belonged which allowed these people and the paranoia to exist and to fester.

    While the descendants of the victims, and the descendants of the framed Indians have the right to render undeserved and gracious forgiveness, the state and federal governments as well as all other parties not directly involved have the obligation to vehemently decry the despicable and sub-human actions taken by the mormon militia, their leadership, and their organization so as to make an example for would-be fear mongering, theocractic, xenophobic criminals for ‘time and all eternity’ as I believe the saying goes.

    Likewise, the descendants of the murderers, kidnappers, and conspirators should have dressed in sack cloth and covered their heads with ashes, and publicly cried for forgiveness at the feet of the victims’ families; making a public vow to teach the disgusting truth about this incident in a very public and open way, under the supervision of 3rd party watch dogs so as to ensure no mormon-friendly spin colors the ghastly facts.

    I don’t believe Hinkley when he said he “came as a representative of a church that has suffered much over what happened”, as if to mean the church and its leaders have felt remorse that they were complicit in the massacre so long ago and for all the anguish experienced. Rather, more likely, he meant that the church suffered bad PR because they were caught with their hand in the cookie jar murdering women and children and kidnapping survivors, and that he’s just happy its getting swept under the rug in today’s era of “political correctness” and “everyone just be kumbayah friends without actually confronting the causes of problems”.

    • Also not a Mormon, BUT isnt a religous bigot. July 2, 2011 at 10:51 pm

      Below are some examples of some pretty smart people, who unfortunately chose to use their lives spreading hate.

      “I explain herein why I bombed the Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City. I explain this not for publicity, nor seeking to win an argument of right or wrong. I explain so that the record is clear as to my thinking and motivations in bombing a government installation.

      I chose to bomb a federal building because such an action served more purposes than other options. Foremost, the bombing was a retaliatory strike; a counter attack, for the cumulative raids (and subsequent violence and damage) that federal agents had participated in over the preceding years (including, but not limited to, Waco.) From the formation of such units as the FBI’s “Hostage Rescue” and other assault teams amongst federal agencies during the ’80’s; culminating in the Waco incident, federal actions grew increasingly militaristic and violent, to the point where at Waco, our government – like the Chinese – was deploying tanks against its own citizens.

      Knowledge of these multiple and ever-more aggressive raids across the country constituted an identifiable pattern of conduct within and by the federal government and amongst its various agencies. For all intents and purposes, federal agents had become “soldiers” (using military training, tactics, techniques, equipment, language, dress, organization, and mindset) and they were escalating their behavior. Therefore, this bombing was also meant as a pre-emptive (or pro-active) strike against these forces and their command and control centers within the federal building. When an aggressor force continually launches attacks from a particular base of operation, it is sound military strategy to take the fight to the enemy.

      Additionally, borrowing a page from U.S. foreign policy, I decided to send a message to a government that was becoming increasingly hostile, by bombing a government building and the government employees within that building who represent that government. Bombing the Murrah Federal Building was morally and strategically equivalent to the U.S. hitting a government building in Serbia, Iraq, or other nations. Based on observations of the policies of my own government, I viewed this action as an acceptable option. From this perspective, what occurred in Oklahoma City was no different than what Americans rain on the heads of others all the time, and subsequently, my mindset was and is one of the clinical detachment. (the bombing of the Murrah building was not personal , no more than when Air Force, Army, Navy, or Marine personnel bomb or launch cruise missiles against government installations and their personnel.)

      I hope that this clarification amply addresses your question.”

      Sincerely, Timothy J. McVeigh

      “Understandably the majority of Americans who have dehumanized these millions of children with the label of fetus are able to kill in good conscience and to recognize and support the government which sanctions this. But then there are those who call themselves “Pro-Life”, and who claim that abortion is murder; they also claim that those who would use force to prevent it are just as morally reprehensible as the abortionists. For these people I have nothing to say other than you are liars, hypocrites, and cowards. There is no more fundamental duty for a moral citizen than to protect the innocent from assault. This in inherent in the values of all higher civilizations. You have the right, the responsibility and the duty to come to the defense of the innocent when the innocent are under assault. Would you protect your own children from the clutches of a murderer? Would you protect your neighbor’s children if they were under assault? If you answered yes to both of these, then you must support the use of force as justified in attempting to prevent the murder that is abortion. The fact of the matter is that if you recognize the right to protect the innocent from assault; and if you also recognize that abortion is murder but do not recognize the right to use force to prevent this murder, then the only logical conclusion is that you do not consider that the unborn have a legitimate claim to life. However, if you do recognize that abortion is murder, and that unborn children should be protected, and you still insist that force is unjustified to stop abortion, then you can be none other than cowards standing idly by in the face of the worst massacre in human history.
      There are those who would say to me that the system in Washington works. They say that the pro-life forces are making progress, that eventually Roe v. Wade will be overturned, that the culture of life will ultimately win over the majority of Americans and that the horror of abortion will be outlawed. Yet, in the meantime thousands die everyday. They say that the mechanism through which this will be achieved is the Republican party, and under the benevolent leadership of men like George W. Bush the wholesale slaughter of children will be a thing of the past. But with every day that passes another pile of corpses is added to the pyre. George W. will appoint the necessary justices to the Supreme Court and Roe will be finished, they say. All of this will be achieved through the lawful, legitimate democratic process. And every year a million and a half more die. I ask these peaceful, Christian, law-abiding Pro-Life citizens, is there any point at which all of the legal remedies will not suffice and you would fight to end the massacre of these children? How many decades have to pass, how many millions have to die? Is there any point when the cries of the children will not go unanswered? I think that your inaction after three decades of slaughter is a sufficient answer to all of these questions.
      The Republican party is the modern day equivalent to the Pharisaical sect in ancient Judea. “You are like whited sepulchers, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men’s bones, and all uncleanness. Even so you also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within you are full of hypocrisy and inequity.” Matthew 23:28. The coward Bush talks about the “culture of life,” but intends to effect no change with respect to Roe v. Wade. He made this perfectly clear when he stated during the stem cell debate that “American is not ready to abolish Roe v. Wade.” Three of the key justices who are instrumental in maintaining Roe v. Wade — O’Connor, Kennedy and Souter — were appointed by Republican presidents. No politician in Washington will ever seriously threaten abortion on demand. And the fools who listen to them, in their hearts, know this but do not care. You so-called “Pro-Life,” “good Christian people” who point your plastic fingers at me saying that I am a ‘murderer,” that “two wrongs don’t make a right,” that even though “abortion is murder, those who would use force to stop the murder are morally the same,” I say to you that your lies are transparent.
      Tell me plastic people, are you not the ones waving the flag in support of the coward Bush’s operation in Iraq? Do you not say that Washington’s cause justifies the bombing and shooting of thousands of people? Answer me, is the causus belli of promoting democracy in the Middle East more weighty for waging war than the systematic murder of millions of your own citizens? After all, the unborn are citizens, are they not? Is not that the basis of your argument for a “right to life” guaranteed in the Declaration of lndependence and embodied in the Bill of Rights?
      You will say that there is no reason to raise a hand against your own government, that such is forbidden by Romans 13. The fact is all governments everywhere, including our own, have their roots in usurpation. Two hundred and twenty five years ago our ancestors overthrew their government because they were not being represented for purposes of taxation. Tell me you good patriots, is the causus belli “taxation without representation” more weighty than the deliberate murder of 50 million people? You lie, and your lies will find you out.
      Along with abortion, another assault upon the integrity of American society is the concerted effort to legitimize the practice of homosexuality. Homosexuality is an aberrant sexual behavior, and as such I have complete sympathy and understanding for those who are suffering from this condition. Practiced by consenting adults within the confines of their own private lives, homosexuality is not a threat to society. Those, consenting adults practicing this behavior in privacy should not be hassled by a society which respects the sanctity of private sexual life. But when the attempt is made to drag this practice out of the closet and into the public square in an “in your face” attempt to force society to accept and recognize this behavior as being just as legitimate and normal as the natural man/woman relationship, every effort should be made, including force if necessary, to halt this effort.
      This effort is commonly known as the homosexual agenda. Whether it is gay marriage, homosexual adoption, hate crimes laws including gays, or the attempt to introduce a homosexual normalizing curriculum into our schools, all of these efforts should be ruthlessly opposed. The existence of our culture depends upon it. It is the duty of the state to promote the public welfare and this includes holding up values and model behaviors which tend to create a healthy society capable of reproducing itself by the natural means of the family unit. This model behavior which lies at the heart of a healthy society is the marriage between a man and a woman. To place the homosexual relationship along side of the model and pronounce it to be just as legitimate a lifestyle choice is a direct assault upon the long term health and integrity of civilization and a vital threat to the very foundation of society — and this foundation is the family hearth.”

      Exerpt from Eric Rudolph Statement

      Here is the letter from the Unabomber printed in Wednesday’s New York Times. The paper reported that it had received the letter on Monday. The paper said three passages were deleted at the request of the FBI, and those gaps are noted.

      (Passage deleted at the request of the FBI)

      This is a message from the terrorist group FC.

      We blew up Thomas Mosser last December because he was a Burston-Marsteller executive. Among other misdeeds, Burston-Marsteller helped Exxon clean up its public image after the Exxon Valdez incident. But we attacked Burston-Marsteller less for its specific misdeeds than on general principles. Burston-Marsteller is about the biggest organization in the public relations field. This means that its business is the development of techniques for manipulating people’s attitudes. It was for this more than for its actions in specific cases that we sent a bomb to an executive of this company.

      Some news reports have made the misleading statement that we have been attacking universities or scholars. We have nothing against universities or scholars as such. All the university people whom we have attacked have been specialists in technical fields. (We consider certain areas of applied psychology, such as behavior modification, to be technical fields.) We would not want anyone to think that we have any desire to hurt professors who study archaeology, history, literature or harmless stuff like that. The people we are out to get are the scientists and engineers, especially in critical fields like computers and genetics. As for the bomb planted in the Business School at the U. of Utah, that was a botched operation. We won’t say how or why it was botched because we don’t want to give the FBI any clues. No one was hurt by that bomb.

      In our previous letter to you we called ourselves anarchists. Since ”anarchist” is a vague word that has been applied to a variety of attitudes, further explanation is needed. We call ourselves anarchists because we would like, ideally, to break down all society into very small, completely autonomous units. Regrettably, we don’t see any clear road to this goal, so we leave it to the indefinite future. Our more immediate goal, which we think may be attainable at some time during the next several decades, is the destruction of the worldwide industrial system. Through our bombings we hope to promote social instability in industrial society, propagate anti-industrial ideas and give encouragement to those who hate the industrial system.

      The FBI has tried to portray these bombings as the work of an isolated nut. We won’t waste our time arguing about whether we are nuts, but we certainly are not isolated. For security reasons we won’t reveal the number of members of our group, but anyone who will read the anarchist and radical environmentalist journals will see that opposition to the industrial-technological system is widespread and growing.

      Why do we announce our goals only now, though we made our first bomb some seventeen years ago? Our early bombs were too ineffectual to attract much public attention or give encouragement to those who hate the system. We found by experience that gunpowder bombs, if small enough to be carried inconspicuously, were too feeble to do much damage, so we took a couple of years off to do some experimenting. We learned how to make pipe bombs that were powerful enough, and we used these in a couple of successful bombings as well as in some unsuccessful ones.

      (Passage deleted at the request of the FBI)

      Since we no longer have to confine the explosive in a pipe, we are now free of limitations on the size and shape of our bombs. We are pretty sure we know how to increase the power of our explosives and reduce the number of batteries needed to set them off. And, as we’ve just indicated, we think we now have more effective fragmentation material. So we expect to be able to pack deadly bombs into ever smaller, lighter and more harmless looking packages. On the other hand, we believe we will be able to make bombs much bigger than any we’ve made before. With a briefcase-full or a suitcase-full of explosives we should be able to blow out the walls of substantial buildings.

      Clearly we are in a position to do a great deal of damage. And it doesn’t appear that the FBI is going to catch us any time soon. The FBI is a joke.

      The people who are pushing all this growth and progress garbage deserve to be severely punished. But our goal is less to punish them than to propagate ideas. Anyhow we are getting tired of making bombs. It’s no fun having to spend all your evenings and weekends preparing dangerous mixtures, filing trigger mechanisms out of scraps of metal or searching the sierras for a place isolated enough to test a bomb. So we offer a bargain.

      We have a long article, between 29,000 and 37,000 words, that we want to have published. If you can get it published according to our requirements we will permanently desist from terrorist activities. It must be published in the New York Times, Time or Newsweek, or in some other widely read, nationally distributed periodical. Because of its length we suppose it will have to be serialized. Alternatively, it can be published as a small book, but the book must be well publicized and made available at a moderate price in bookstores nationwide and in at least some places abroad. Whoever agrees to publish the material will have exclusive rights to reproduce it for a period of six months and will be welcome to any profits they may make from it. After six months from the first appearance of the article or book it must become public property, so that anyone can reproduce or publish it. (If material is serialized, first installment become public property six months after appearance of first installment, second installment etc.) We must have the right to publish in the New York Times, Time or Newsweek, each year for three years after the appearance of our article or book, three thousand words expanding or clarifying our material or rebutting criticisms of it.

      The article will not explicitly advocate violence. There will be an unavoidable implication that we favor violence to the extent that it may be necessary, since we advocate eliminating industrial society and we ourselves have been using violence to that end.

      But the article will not advocate violence explicitly, nor will it propose the overthrow of the United States Government, nor will it contain obscenity or anything else that you would be likely to regard as unacceptable for publication.

      How do you know that we will keep our promise to desist from terrorism if our conditions are met? It will be to our advantage to keep our promise. We want to win acceptance for certain ideas. If we break our promise people will lose respect for us and so will be less likely to accept the ideas.

      Our offer to desist from terrorism is subject to three qualifications. First: Our promise to desist will not take effect until all parts of our article or book have appeared in print. Second: If the authorities should succeed in tracking us down and an attempt is made to arrest any of us, or even to question us in connection with the bombings, we reserve the right to use violence. Third: We distinguish between terrorism and sabotage. By terrorism we mean actions motivated by a desire to influence the development of a society and intended to cause injury or death to human beings. By sabotage we mean similarly motivated actions intended to destroy property without injuring human beings. The promise we offer is to desist from terrorism. We reserve the right to engage in sabotage.

      It may be just as well that failure of our early bombs discouraged us from making any public statements at that time. We were very young then and our thinking was crude.

      Over the years we have given as much attention to the development of our ideas as to the development of bombs, and we now have something serious to say. And we feel that just now the time is ripe for the presentation of anti-industrial ideas.

      Please see to it that the answer to our offer is well publicized in the media so that we won’t miss it. Be sure to tell us where and how our material will be published and how long it will take to appear in print once we have sent in the manuscript. If the answer is satisfactory, we will finish typing the manuscript and send it to you. If the answer is unsatisfactory, we will start building our next bomb.

      We encourage you to print this letter.

      FC (Theodore Kaczynski)

      Volunteer at a homeless shelter. Say “Hi” to a neighbor. Call a long lost family member. All of these things will make you feel a LOT better! DO NOT take candy from kids, push old ladies, or cut the neighbors prize roses. And remember”The Constitution only guarantees the American people the right to pursue happiness. You have to catch it yourself.” ~Author unknown, commonly attributed to Benjamin Franklin

    • Jack Johnson July 2, 2011 at 11:32 pm

      “I’m not a bigot for having a well-informed opinion based on scholarly and Biblical research/evidence that Mormonism is a cult”

      I just feel this is just a smidge bigoted. Just a hair. My opinion.

      I mean, Hitler thought he was well-informed too.

    • John P. July 3, 2011 at 12:00 am

      I agree with Not a Mormon. Also Keep Gold Cross Out! Go Dixie Ambulance.

      • Sherriff John Brown July 3, 2011 at 12:03 am

        This is the wrong thread for this. GO GOLD CROSS, YOU DONT CHARGE THE MAX ALLOWED, LIKE DIXIE!

    • Definately A Mormon July 3, 2011 at 12:19 am

      You don’t have to believe Hinkley at all. I for one feel the members as a whole feel sorry this happened and are still seeking understanding today. There are a few parts in your statement where I almost feel baited to make some kind of harsh rebuttal. But, I still love ya. Hope things go good for you, and I LOVE MY CULT.

      BTW- If you give me your name, address and phone #, I can send a very special pair of young men to your house to leave a free copy of the Book of Mormon!

  • Dale Gribble July 2, 2011 at 11:38 pm

    Please guys, let Not a Mormon have an opinion without jumping all over him. I am here to tell you I head a secret clandestine group that meets in the uppermost of the Mormon temple. We are plotting our Next Mountain Meadow Massacre as we speak. Gordon B. Hinkley leads these meetings, along with D.B. Cooper and Jimmy Hoffa. If is not people we seek this time, but hundreds of innocent Twinkies and Ding Dongs, that we intent to slaughter at our next youth conference.

    • Hank Hill July 2, 2011 at 11:43 pm

      Dale! How could you! I never even had a clue. “Dale Gribble”, that is hilarious.

    • The tooth Fairy July 2, 2011 at 11:49 pm

      Dale!, You forgot me! I am also at those meetings. Oh!, and the suffering those ding dongs will endure.

Comments are closed.