September 11 - 1857 - The Mountain Meadows Massacre
Many wagon trains went through Utah in the 1850s, usually without any incident. Yet when the Baker-Fancham Party went to Southern Utah, a militia composed of Mormons in the area attacked the party and eventually killed every member of the group over the age of seven. The Mountain Meadows Massacre was blamed on Native Americans by the people who committed the massacre. People figured out that some group of Mormons had to have been responsible, but exactly how far up the church authority the commands went was hard to decipher. Due to the Civil War, no one was prosecuted until the 1870s, when one person, John D. Lee, was excommunicated from the church, prosecuted for the crime, and sentenced to death. Yet. after Lee was executed by a firing squad, who else was responsible was never fully decided.