Ezra Taft Benson Highlights

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    (1899–1994)

    Ezra Taft Benson Highlights

    Date

    Event

    1899

    August 4: Is born at Whitney, Idaho.

    1914–18

    Attends Oneida Stake Academy at Preston, Idaho.

    1918

    Begins attending Utah State Agricultural College, Logan, Utah.

    1918–21

    Serves as assistant Scoutmaster, then Scoutmaster in the Whitney Ward.

    1921–23

    Is ordained an elder by his father and serves as a missionary in Britain.

    1926

    Spring: Graduates from Brigham Young University.

    September 10: Marries Flora Amussen in the Salt Lake Temple.

    Fall: Begins attending Iowa State College at Ames, Iowa.

    1927

    Graduates from Iowa State College with an M.S. in agricultural economics. Returns to Idaho.

    Is ordained a seventy.

    1929–30

    Works for the extension division of the University of Idaho.

    1931

    Becomes head of the university’s new Department of Agricultural Economics and Marketing.

    1932

    Becomes superintendent of the Boise Stake YMMIA.

    1933–38

    Serves as executive secretary of the Idaho Cooperative Council.

    1935

    Is ordained a high priest and is set apart as first counselor in the Boise Stake presidency.

    1936

    Begins graduate studies at University of California at Berkeley.

    1938

    Becomes stake president in Boise, Idaho.

    1939

    Becomes executive secretary of the National Council of Farmer Cooperatives in Washington, D.C.

    1940

    Becomes president of the Washington (D.C.) Stake.

    1943

    October 7: Is ordained an Apostle.

    1946

    February–December: Serves as president of the European Mission; coordinates distribution of food and supplies to victims of World War II.

    July: Dedicates Finland for preaching of the gospel.

    1949

    Is elected a member of the National Executive Board of the Boy Scouts of America, succeeding President George Albert Smith.

    1953–61

    Serves as U.S. Secretary of Agriculture under President Dwight D. Eisenhower.

    1964–65

    Serves again as president of the European Mission.

    1966

    Dedicates Italy for the preaching of the gospel.

    1969

    Dedicates Singapore and Indonesia for the preaching of the gospel.

    1970

    Organizes the Tokyo Stake, the first Asian stake.

    1973

    December 30: Is set apart as President of the Quorum of the Twelve.

    1976

    September 14: He and Sister Benson celebrate their fiftieth wedding anniversary.

    1977

    Organizes the Helsinki Finland Stake, the first in Finland.

    1978

    Receives American Farm Bureau Federation’s Award for Distinguished and Meritorious Service; receives the George Washington Medal Award from the Freedom Foundation at Valley Forge.

    Participates in the dedication of the Orson Hyde Memorial Gardens in Jerusalem.

    1985

    November 10: Becomes President of the Church.

    1986

    January: Visits U.S. President Ronald Reagan in Washington, D.C.

    Participates in dedication of the Denver Colorado Temple.

    1987

    July: Participates in the British Isles Sesquicentennial in London.

    August: Participates in dedication of the Frankfurt Germany Temple.

    1988

    February: Participates in groundbreaking for the San Diego California Temple.

    May: Is honored as Utah State University’s most distinguished alumnus.

    1989

    August: Participates in the dedication of the Portland Oregon Temple.

    December: Participates in dedication of the Las Vegas Nevada Temple.

    1990

    January, March: Attends regional conferences in Utah and Idaho.

    1992

    May: Participates in groundbreaking for the Bountiful Utah Temple.

    August 19: Attends funeral services for his wife, Flora.