Delicate Arch, with a dusting of snow, as the sun sets.
A great reason to live in Moab, Utah, or visit there.
Delicate Arch, with a dusting of snow, as the sun sets.
A great reason to live in Moab, Utah, or visit there.
Hey, I wonder when Fibonacci’s birthday falls. π
Lightning strike in Monument Valley, photo by Carolyn Slay of Oak Ridge, Tennessee; Smithsonian Magazine Tumblr Photo of the Day, February 20, 2014.
Rocks on the right can also be seen in this photo; can you help pinpoint the location of the photographer, and names of any of the other formations?
It’s just a click of the shutter? Ha!
I’m assuming not a lot of post-photo processing on this. Lynn Sessions had to figure out when the Moon would be in the North Window Arch, calculate exposure, and shoot off enough of them to get a decent shot before the Moon moved. I suspect the rocks were “painted” with a flashlight during the exposure.
(Haven’t yet found the technical details of the shot. But I did find this about the photographer:
I’m a frustrated amateur photographer who is trying to visit every corner in Utah as well as hike/photograph every canyon in southern Utah. More at http://www.DreamBreeze.com )
Patience, planning, creativity — then just push the button.
Last year I discovered Holly Munson’s write up from the Constitution Center about Utah’s perhaps odd path to statehood, certainly complementary to my reminder that you could fly your flags on January 4, to honor Utah’s statehood, under the U.S. Flag Code. Munson’s piece was distributed on Yahoo! News.
Her report is very solid, even though brief. Utah history is nothing if not a convoluted path to statehood through what amounted to a civil war, the Mexican War, the discovery of gold in California, the transcontinental railroads, mining and immigration, Indian wars, old west shootouts, rampant environmental destruction with sheep grazing and mineral extraction and smelting, union strife, astonishing agricultural applications, and a lot of books written from tens of thousands of Mormon pioneer journals — Mormonism appears to be impossible without ink and paper and time to write.
Go read her story.
What caught my eye was the George W. Reed photograph of the Salt Lake City Temple of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints — the LDS, or Mormon church. The Temple and the Tabernacle, also in the photo, both have their own unique architectural histories, and quirks that make them noteworthy purely from an architectural-historical view. (This George W. Reed should not be confused with the Civil War Medal of Honor winner, George W. Reed)
Reed was an early photographer for newspapers in Salt Lake City, and he took some wonderful photos for posterity. He was also a founder of the leading non-Mormon paper in the state, The Salt Lake Tribune. At points in its history, it’s been known as an anti-Mormon paper. The University of Utah’s library holds about five dozen of his photos in their collection, indexed electronically if not quite available yet; there Reed is described:
A pioneer in the development of Utah newspapers, George Reed was originally employed by the Deseret News and in 1871 helped in establishing the Salt Lake Tribune. His photographs include nineteenth century views of Salt Lake City, individuals at Reed’s Avenue home, Wasatch Resort in Little Cottonwood Canyon, and a photograph of the American flag hung on the Salt Lake Temple in 1896 to commemorate Utah’s statehood.
In the collection of Utah State University, in Logan, Reed has yet more papers. There we get a bit more of his history:
A pioneer in Utah journalism, George W. Reed was born in London, England, on April 7, 1833. He emigrated to Utah in 1862 and became manager of the Deseret News, a position he held until 1871 when he founded the Salt Lake Tribune. In 1882, after a decade at the Tribune, Reed sold his interest in the paper to P. H. Lannan. He married Elizabeth Tuddenham in 1866 and passed away December 1, 1909.
Yes, you’re right! That flag is backwards. Well, it’s backwards according to the modern U.S. Flag Code, which specifies that when hung from a building, the flag’s union should always be in the viewer’s upper left corner (“northwest” corner were it a standard map). In the photograph, the union is in the opposite corner. No, we know the photo is not reversed, because it accurately portrays the location of the Tabernacle, to the west and slightly south of the Temple.
But we hear the protests: The U.S. Flag Code did not exist in 1896! How can that be a violation of a code that did not exist?
That’s right, too.
That is an indication that the traditions of flag display that some people get riled up about, that many people think we should amend the Constitution to protect, are new inventions more than old traditions. Flag code violations are legion by well-meaning citizens celebrating the flag and patriotism, and rare by anyone with any malignant motives.
After a 49-year fight for statehood, through wars with the U.S., fighting with the U.S. forces in Mexico, the administrations of several presidents and 25 different U.S. Congresses, and pledges to change the rules of the church to ban polygamy and put that ban in the state constitution, the people of Utah, especially the Mormon officials, were not trying to insult America by displaying the flag incorrectly. Somebody said ‘fly the flag from the Temple,’ and some engineer or custodian got it done. By 1896, most of the First Amendment litigation done in the U.S. had involved whether Mormons could keep their marriage policies (Mormons lost). There was no intent to violate any rule of separation of church and state — nor would that be considered a violation today. Churches may fly the nation’s flag with all the approval that suggests; it’s the government which may not fly a church’s flag.
Finally, there is no grand story in the flag’s being flown backwards. It’s just one of those historical footnotes that mark the changing mores of the times, in this case, for standards of how to fly the U.S. flag.
Perhaps Utah history textbooks should make note of the day the U.S. flag was flown, backwards, to honor statehood.
More, and related resources:
Oh, yes! This is an encore post, too. We’re in the business of remembering history around here.
Utah joined the Union on January 4, 1896. It had been a 49-year slog to statehood for Deseret, the Mormon settlement in the Desert. The size had been pared down, so it would not be the biggest state, incorporating parts of what is now Nevada, Arizona, Oregon, Idaho, Colorado and New Mexico. New capitals had been tried and cast aside (Fillmore, Utah). Democratic Party rule was broken when LDS church authorities went door-to-door, calling every other family to the Republican Party, and party parity. The Mormon Church abandoned polygamy, and adopted a state constitution that gave the vote to women.
Finally, Utah became the 45th state.
Happy birthday, Utah! 118 years old today.
Much of this material appeared here before; this is an annual event, after all.
From a photographer named John Dale, via Arches National Park’s Facebook page.
GOP panic spreads. But will they run the correct way in their panic, say to vote for a clean, 12-month continuing resolution and and a raise to $18 trillion in the debt ceiling?
ObamaCare working in Utah. Who would have imagined that? The Sherburnes seem happy with what they bought.
Interesting exercise, probably for an undergraduate college history student: What became of these men during their service in the Utah Territory, and afterward? What effect did they have on Utah’s history, and Utah on them?
In September 1850, Millard Fillmore sent the Senate, for confirmation, his nominations of officers to run the Utah Territory, three years after Brigham Young had led the first band of Latter-day Saints into the Salt Lake Valley to settle:
National Archives notes: Executive Nominations for the First Session of the 31st Congress, 12/03/1849 – 09/30/1850
Production Dates: 09/26/1850
Notes in red ink indicate that confirmation dates for each of these nominees — all but one done two days later. Fillmore’s nominee to be U.S. marshall in the territory wasn’t confirmed until the following February.
Amazing to think of the speed with which these confirmations occurred, compared to today’s U.S. Senate — and remembering that Congress was not particularly friendly to Fillmore.
What other odd little delights are hidden away in the on-line holdings of the National Archives? What sort of DBQ exercise can history teachers make out of this stuff?
Photo by Craig Clyde, who explained:
Spent the night on the north end of Mount Timpanogos at 10,000 feet, by myself, taking it all in.
Photo from July 25, 2013. Flowers include “Blue-pod Lupine, Narrow Goldenrod, Giant Red Paintbrush and Mountain Bluebells.”
There’s a lot of encore material here — I think about this in the middle of the summer, and July 24 is a good day to commemorate arrivals: It’s Arrival Day.
July 24 – almost the end of the month, but not quite. In Utah, July 24 is usually a state holiday, to celebrate the date in 1847 that the Mormon refugees arrived in Salt Lake Valley and began to set up their agriculture and schools. In Salt Lake City, bands from across the state and floats from many entities form the “Days of ’47″ Parade. When I marched with the Pleasant Grove High School Viking Band, the route was 5 miles. We had only one band uniform, for winter — I lost nearly 10 pounds carrying a Sousaphone.
When the Mormons got to Salt Lake, after a couple of months’ trekking across the plains (then known as “The Great American Desert,” the Great Basin and the Mojave being little known), and after being on the run for well over a year, they got right down to priorities. Summer was nearly gone, and crops had to be planted quick. Within a couple of weeks, the Mormons had dammed local streams to create irrigation systems to grow what they could before fall (this is, popularly, the first major crop irrigation set up in America); they’d started to lay out plans for settlements, with straight streets based on Cartesian-plane grids: The first serious community planning? And they began construction of schools, knowing education to be one of the most important attributes in the foundation of free societies, a position Mormons have reneged on recently in Utah. Water, communities, schools.
Maybe spending a few weeks struggling across a prairie and risking your life focuses you on the important stuff. How would it improve America if we put more people on a bus to Omaha, put them out there, and said, “Hike to Salt Lake City from here.”
They’d focus. Can we start with Paul Ryan, John Boehner and Mitch McConnell?
Ah, the good old days!
July 24 features a number 0f other arrivals, too.
From various “Today in History” features, AP, New York Times, and others:
July 24, 1969: Apollo 11 returned to the Earth, and splashed down in the Pacific Ocean, Michael Collins, Buzz Aldrin and Neil Armstrong — Aldrin and Armstrong having landed on the Moon. In our celebrations of Apollo 11, and in our remembrances of President Kennedy, we may forget, though young kids rarely miss it, that Kennedy didn’t just say ‘Let’s put a guy on the Moon by 1970.’ Getting back safely was a key part of the challenge.
First, I believe that this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to the earth. No single space project in this period will be more impressive to mankind, or more important for the long-range exploration of space; and none will be so difficult or expensive to accomplish
On July 24, 1969, the crew of Apollo 11 returned, safely.
July 24, 1847: A larger contingent of Mormons, refugees from a literal religious war in Illinois and Missouri, entered into the Salt Lake Valley under the leadership of Brigham Young, who famously said from his wagon sick-bed, “This is the place; drive on!”
July 24, 1866: Tennessee became the first of the Confederate States, the former “state in rebellion,” to be readmitted fully to the Union, following the end of the American Civil War. (Does Tennessee celebrate this anniversary in any way?)
July 24, 1911: On July 24, 1911, American archeologist Hiram Bingham arrived at Machu Picchu in Peru. We still don’t know all the reaons the Incas built that city on the top of very high mountains. Cell service was not a factor.
July 24, 2005: Lance Armstrong won his seventh consecutive Tour de France bicycle race. Little did we know then, the journey wasn’t over. (Lance Armstrong is no relation to Neil Armstrong. Did I need to point that out?)
July 24, 1959: Visiting Moscow, USSR, to support an exhibit of U.S. technology and know-how, Vice President Richard Nixon engaged Soviet Communist Party Secretary and Premier Nikita Khruschev in a volley of points about which nation was doing better, at a display of the “typical” American kitchen, featuring an electric stove, a refrigerator, and a dishwasher. Khruschev said the Soviet Union produced similar products; Nixon barbed back that even Communist Party leaders didn’t have such things in their homes, typically, but such appliances were within the reach of every American family. It was the “Kitchen Debate.”
Try explaining this to high school U.S. history students. The textbooks tend to avoid this story, because it stops the class. That’s a sign it should be used more, I think. Does the Common Core even touch it?
Nixon’s arrival as a major political force in the Cold War grew clear from this event. The pragmatic stakes of the Cold War were drawn in stark contrast, too. It’s interesting to ponder that microwave ovens were not part of the exhibit.
July 24, 1974: In U.S. vs. Nixon, The U.S. Supreme Court ruled unanimously that President Richard Nixon had to turn over previously-secret recordings made of conversations in the White House between Nixon and his aides, to the special prosecutor appointed to investigate the Watergate affair and cover-up. Nixon would resign the presidency within two weeks, the only president to leave office by resignation.
July 24, 1975: An Apollo spacecraft splashed down after a mission that included the first link-up of American and Soviet spacecraft. (The Apollo mission was not officially numbered, but is sometimes called “Apollo 18″ — after Apollo 17, the last trip to the Moon.)
Hoping not to arrive painfully on touchdown:
Found just the perfect photo of Mt. Timpanogos and the U.S. flag. I may use it a lot, unless Bob Walker, the guy who took it, complains.
And, again, yes, you may fly your flag today, any day. According to the flag code, flags can be flown any day, appropriately, in addition to the score of dates recommended in the Flag Code.
Years ago in the Salt Lake Valley my sister Annette had a home on Wren Road.
One day she and a friend watched birds scurrying all over the property, plucking nesting materials. “I wonder what kind of birds those are,” my sister said.
“Did you ever wonder why they named it ‘Wren Road?’” her friend replied.
If you want your bird watching friends to think you’re experienced at it, remember Bewick’s, as in “Bewick’s wren,” is pronounced like the automobile, “Buick’s.”