55 years ago today - Apr 22, 1965

Ezra Taft Benson's son Reed publicly endorsed John Birch Society founder Robert Welch's accusation that U.S. president Eisenhower had been a Communist agent. Then the loyal son probably consulted Apostle Benson in advance about his apparent plan to use the Birch Society to disrupt the next general conference with rumors of a violent demonstration by African-Americans. Ezra Taft Benson's official biography by Sherri Dew (Deseret Book) is silent about Benson's and his son's devotion to the Birch Society but observes that in 1965-66 Reed Benson "continued to be involved in the fight for freedom which his father supported . . ."

["Reed Benson Says Welch Was Correct in Calling Eisenhower Communist," Provo Daily Herald, 22 Apr. 1965, 2; Dew, Ezra Taft Benson, 391. From D. Michael Quinn, Ezra Taft Benson and Mormon Political Conflicts, Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought 26:2 (Summer 1992), also in Quinn, The Mormon Hierarchy: Extensions of Power Salt Lake City (Signature Books, 1994), Chapter 3.]

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