I’ve got two requests, and hope some of you might be able to help.
#1: Do any of you have contact with Ken Jennings of Jeopardy fame? If so, the people of Wisconsin (at least some of us) would love to find out if he could be enticed to come our way to do a fireside or community luncheon (April 7, ideally, or any time) . I know it’s unlikely that he could, but hope springs eternal.
#2: Do any of you know if there is any evidence that William B. Ide, former President of the Republic of California, was actually LDS? A page at Uncle Dale’s Readings in Mormon History states that there isn’t any evidence, and I think he’s right. He had lived in Springfield, Illinois, not far from Nauvoo, and an Oregon newspaper in 1846 said he was a Mormon Apostle, but back then newspapers were not yet infallible. William B. Ide is featured at the Famous Mormons site, but perhaps he should be moved to a site for famous alleged Mormons. Maybe ReluctantMormons.com?
The story of William B. Ide and his brief Presidency is a great one. Thirty Americans, stirred up by rumors against the Mexican government, marched on Sonoma, captured the leading citizen there as their sole prisoner, raised the famous Bear Flag, and declared that they were now an independent Republic with William Ide as President. Not bad for an afternoon’s work. Shortly afterwards, California became part of the United States. Now, instead of being a Republic ruled by a Mormon President, California has become a subject nation ruled by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals – and it actually does include a Mormon, Jay S. Bybee (also featured at the Famous Mormons site). Some things never change.