Tabernacle timeline

Published: Sunday, April 1 2007 12:06 a.m. MDT

Three boweries provided shelter for meetings on Temple Square during the earliest years of settlement. The "Old Tabernacle" then served the purpose from 1852-1867, before the oval Salt Lake Tabernacle succeeded it.

1863: Construction begins.

1864: Cornerstone laid.

1867: Completed enough to use.

1867: First general conference held Oct. 6, without permanent seats.

1870: April's general conference postponed 30 days so the balcony could be finished.

1875: Dedication Oct. 9, by President John Taylor.

1884: Heating and gas-lighting system installed.

1890: The Manifesto unanimously accepted at October conference.

1909: U.S. President William Howard Taft visits Salt Lake and speaks in the Tabernacle.

1919: April general conference postponed because of a flu epidemic and not held until June 1-3.

1919: The king and queen of Belgium visit Salt Lake and attend a recital to hear the Tabernacle organ.

1924: The first-ever radio broadcast of general conference on Oct. 3.

1930: The centennial of the church is observed in April.

1939: The First Presidency delivers a message on world peace, Oct. 6.

1942-45: The Tabernacle is closed during World War II.

1947: Copper replaces aluminum on roof.

1940s-1979: Home to Utah Symphony.

1948: The Mormon Tabernacle Choir performed its 1,000th national broadcast over radio.

1949: For the first time, general conference from the Tabernacle was broadcast on TV, over KSL, in October.

1953: TV broadcasts of general conference in the Tabernacle go outside the Mountain West for the first time.

1957: October general conference in the Tabernacle is canceled due to a flu epidemic.

1957: Aluminum screws added to roof; roof is insulated and fireproofed, and fire sprinklers added throughout.

1958: New Tabernacle baptistry is dedicated.

1959: A small flash fire is extinguished in the auditorium before any real damage is done.

1963: 400 well-worn benches are refinished.

1966: Original Tabernacle doors receive a face-lift.

1967: For the first time, seven Mexican radio and TV stations carry general conference in April.

1968: Full basement dug under the Tabernacle.

1972: New computerized lighting system added.

1972: Tabernacle designated a civil engineering landmark

1977: Some interior remodeling. Included is seating for more general authorities.

1981: A network of 500 satellite dishes at stake centers to carry general conference live is announced.

1993: The centennial of the Salt Lake Temple is observed in a April 6 program by the Tabernacle Choir.

1996: President Gordon B. Hinckley announces April 6 that a new assembly hall four times the size of the Tabernacle will be constructed.

1999: Tabernacle is last used for a general conference's main seating, Oct. 2-3

2000: The first general conference is held in the Conference Center, April 1-2.

2005-07: Modern retrofit started in January 2005.

2007: President Gordon B. Hinckley offers rededicatory prayer, March 31, for the Tabernacle at general conference.

— Compiled by Lynn Arave

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