Friday, August 31, 2012

Mormon World Records 2



by Seattle Jon (bio)

Paul Skousen might not be the best known of the Skousen crew, but he did pen The Skousen Book of Mormon World Records and Other Amazing Firsts, Facts, and Feats. This is my little tribute to his good work. Read previous Mormon World Records here.

via U.S. National Archives

Q: Was a Mormon involved in raising one of the most recognized flags in the world?
A: The famous flag raising in 1945 on the captured Japanese island of Iwo Jima was made possible, in part, thanks to a Mormon. The original flag wasn't dramatic enough for the photographer, so Elder A. Theodore Tuttle, a marine, was sent to his ship to retrieve a larger flag. The resulting photo became world famous. As for that smaller flag, it was stowed away to see glory at another island on another day.

Q: What was the world's oldest unpaid medical bill?
A: When mobs broke into Carthage Jail in 1844 and murdered Joseph and Hyrum Smith, John Taylor was shot four times but survived. Dr. Thomas Barnes cared for Elder Taylor's injuries and nursed him back to health. In a letter dated November 6, 1897, Dr. Barnes gave his daughter, Miranda, graphic details of the shootings, and added, "We took the best care of him (John Taylor) we could till he left us. He got well but never paid us for skill or good wishes." Many decades later, Taylor's grandson, Raymond, became aware of the unpaid debt and decided to settle things with the family. In Santa Rosa, California, he finally located Mrs. Bertha Haskett. She was a direct descendant of Dr. Barnes. Upon hearing of the Brother Taylor's quest to pay his grandfather's medical bill, Mrs. Haskett declined money but suggested any funds to to Southern Illinois University to create a collection about Mormons in Illinois. She quit-claimed the bill to a history professor at the university, Dr. Stanley B. Kimball. Some time later, Taylor received this letter from Dr. Kimball: "Please consider this letter as a statement to you for the sum of $1 which will fully satisfy this more than one hundred year old medical bill." Taylor dispatched a dollar immediately.

QWho undertook the longest bus ride to an LDS temple in history?
A: In 1979, the longest round-trip bus ride for patrons attending the Mesa temple was for families in the Canal Zone of Panama. The 8,000-mile bus trek was over some narrow, dangerous roads through all kinds of weather and danger of attack by gangs of robbers in some areas. On January 12, 1979, several families were the first to make the journey. The $160/person trip required most of them to sell many of their personal belongings to afford the once-in-a-lifetime adventure.

QWho in the church has walked the farthest to church?
A: Ranking close to the top must be Annie Starling Pilcher of Enoch, Texas. For 43 years, she walked from her home to church and back again, a round trip of about 11.5 miles. This totaled more than 25,800 miles, or the equivalent of about once around the earth.

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