July 4

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1838 - The Saints celebrate the United States Independence Day with the laying of the cornerstones for the Far West Temple in Missouri.  The day proved to be enjoyable to all.  Sidney Rigdon gave a fiery speech against the mob action in Missouri later known as the “Mormon Declaration of Independence.”  This speech is sometimes criticized for its ill-advised and inflammatory words, but expressed the determination of the Saints not to be driven from their homes again.  However, the events of the next few months proved otherwise and the Saints would be leaving Missouri for Illinois by years end.

1839 - Elders Parley P. Pratt and Morris Phelps escaped from jail in Columbia, Missouri, during the Independence Day celebrations.  They had been held since November 1838.

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1887 - Fireworks at Temple Square set the roof of the Tabernacle on fire, but there was little damage.

1919 - William Harrison “Jack” Dempsey becomes the first Latter-day Saint to win the Heavyweight Boxing World Championship title, a title he holds until 1926.

1976 - President Spencer W. Kimball addresses over twenty-three thousand people attending a Church-sponsored U.S. Bicentennial devotional at the Capitol Center in Landover, Maryland.

2000 - The 150th anniversary of the Church in Scandinavia was celebrated in Denmark with the unveiling of a statue titled, “The Family” in the national park in the hills of Rebild.  It symbolizes a Mormon family as they prepare to make the voyage to Utah in the late 1800's.  Also, the first LDS meetinghouse in Iceland is dedicated by Elder William Rolfe Kerr of the Seventy in the capital of Rejkjavik.