70 years ago today - Nov 8, 1951

[J. Reuben Clark]
Mr. Sidney L. Cohen of the Intermountain Theatres in Salt Lake City (Associate General Manager), came to see my by appointment. He said, "I suppose you know why I am here." I said, yes, I thought I did, that I understood he knew about the rumor that Warner Brothers were going to produce a movie founded on the Mountain Meadow massacre. He said that was it.

I said I would like to begin by telling him a story, whereupon I told him the story of the Judge and the coachmen in Hyde Park, when the Judge seeing that a collision was inevitable, called out to the coachman, "For blank sake, drive into something cheap." I said that the Mormons were cheap, anybody could drive into us and get away with it now, but I said (later in the interview) one hundred years from now it would be a different story.

Then I said that I thought if they were going to produce the Mountain Meadow massacre they ought to write the story of the Saint Bartholomew massacre in France, or the story of the taking of Jerusalem by the Crusaders, and then said he knew the Jewish people had a little escapade they might take up also, that I thought they might then go back through the history of witchcraft in New England, but I saw no more reason for writing the Mountain Meadow Massacre than for writing these, and indicated they all were ancient history. ...

I told him, of the kind it was a very good story.

He said he thought that probably if they learned that such a picture would be offensive to as many people as would be affected by it, that they would wonder whether or not they could re-write the story and leave the Mormons out. I told him that would be impossible. I said, for example, they pictured John D. Lee a brute of the lowest order, yet I had seen Lee's descendants in Southern Utah and Arizona and they were among the leading citizens, adding that you could not have such a progeny from such an ancestor. I also told him that any story of the Mountain Meadow massacre would necessarily implicate some of the leading families of the southern part of the State who were

families of the highest standing.

I told him that President McKay was down in southern California and that he had in mind trying to see Warner Brothers about this matter. He knew about President McKay's being down in that area. ...

He seemed friendly and professed friendship and as having no desire other than to prevent the movie from being made.

[The Diaries of J. Reuben Clark, 1933-1961, Abridged, Digital Edition, Salt Lake City, Utah 2015]

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