8. Harry S. Truman
Photo from When the White House Comes to Zion, courtesy of Ronald L. Fox
September 21, 1948
Like many of the Presidents who came to visit Salt Lake City and speak at the Tabernacle, President Truman spoke of the importance of Utah’s resources. He also referenced his Grandfather Young’s interactions with Brigham Young, saying:
“Today, I am most cordially received by the President of the Mormon Church, the successor of Brigham Young. I wish my old grandfather could see me now!”
He also mentioned the Mormon pioneers several times—for their devotion and their wise use of resources:
“Those pioneers had faith, and they had energy. They took the resources that Nature offered them, and used them wisely. Their courage and fighting spirit made them secure against enemies.
“They have left you a great heritage. You now have the responsibility for the wise use of the resources of this region. You now have the duty to protect your rights and your welfare against enemies who threaten them. . . .
“What is the magic word in the prosperity of the farmers and the livestock men of this region? That word is water. The first thing the Mormon settlers did, when they came here, after giving thanks to God for a safe arrival, was to dig irrigation ditches. They knew what they were doing. So long as you have water enough for farming and grazing, the basis of your welfare is assured.”