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Dixie State University

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Annual Juanita Brooks Lecture Series to host lecture on the Utah War

Dixie State University’s annual Juanita Brooks Lecture Series will host noted military historian William P. MacKinnon as he shares the unfamiliar stories of the Utah War.

MacKinnon’s address on the Utah War, which took place from1857 to 1858 and was a turning point in Utah history, is set to take place at 7:30 p.m. on April 17 in the M.K. Cox Performing Arts Center on the Dixie State campus. A reception offering the opportunity for attendees to meet MacKinnon will be held immediately following the lecture. Admission is free and the public is welcome to attend.

In his address, MacKinnon will describe the stunning story of the Utah War and how Col. Thomas Kane, Utah women and others negotiated a peaceful settlement between the U.S. Army and members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Sent by U.S. President James Buchanan, the Army was instructed to drive members of the LDS church out of the Intermountain West due to their practice of polygamy. Without a single shot being fired, Kane and church leaders, with the help of many women, negotiated an end to the war with President Buchanan’s officials.

“MacKinnon’s lecture will be thought provoking and a great opportunity for the campus and community to come together to discover new layers of Southern Utah’s rich history,” Kathleen Broeder, special collections archivist at Dixie State, said.

MacKinnon is a wealth of knowledge concerning LDS history, as he served as the president of the Mormon History Association in 2011. A Los Angeles resident, MacKinnon is the author of “At Sword’s Point: A Documentary History of the Utah War” and has published over 30 articles on the history of the American West.

The Juanita Brooks Lecture Series celebrates the life and work of its namesake. Brooks, a historian whose work is well received by other historians and completely changed the landscape of LDS history, became a role model for LDS historians and women in research and academia. The annual lecture series in her honor is possible thanks to an endowment from Obert C. Tanner.

“William MacKinnon is carrying on Juanita Brooks’ legacy with this year’s lecture focusing on the women behind Thomas Kane’s success at diverting disaster during the brief Utah War,” Broeder said.