Heck, Maine isn’t exactly a shining example of sustainability, but it recycles six times more trash than Utah, generating nearly a million tons less trash. Writing about the 1976 Teton Dam flood one year later in Logan's Herald Journal, a columnist recalled initial concerns about an overwhelming mosquito infestation in the region. "It's brought out the best of everyone in this town.". Love them or loathe them, seagulls are as much a part of the seaside as a bucket and spade and ice cream. If you're now wondering how a seagull story ended with a Simpsons reference, then you don't know me and you certainly don't know minor league baseball: The Calgary Cannons, formerly the Salt Lake Gulls, moved to New Mexico in 2003 to become the Albuquerque Isotopes. Utahns generate more than a ton per capita per year, reports a national study. That September, during the Mormon church's General Conference, Apostle Orson Hyde lent authority to claims of divine intervention when he said of the seagulls, "The hand of Providence prepared agents, and sent them to destroy the destroyer; a circumstance that was rare, one that was never known to exist before, and never since to any extent." Back in the 1980s, Utah archaeologist David Madsen would stop by his father's house once in awhile to visit and chat. It's a classic tale indelible to TV history—much like the seagull story is tied into ours. Arguably from that moment forward, "The Miracle of the Gulls" became a legend for all times, repeated forever. In fact, she said about 65 percent of what we throw away could be recycled. Accordingly, Lisa Simpson embarks on a research project focusing on the town's "cromulent" founder Jebediah Springfield, who reportedly led a "fiercely determined band of pioneers" out of Maryland in 1796 "after misinterpreting a passage in the Bible." However, when minor league baseball returned to Salt Lake City in 1994, the new team abandoned the nickname "Gulls" and became the "Buzz" instead. Even though Black Friday is still weeks away, Amazon is offering early deals during their Holiday Dash event, which goes through November 19. We took a trip to the Trans Jordan landfill the other day. Various monuments have been constructed in its honor, including one at Temple Square in downtown Salt Lake City. “I think we Utahns still have a Western frontier attitude,” my realtor told me when I asked why there was so little recycling. But maybe the most bizarre and off-putting artifact is a joke. Furthermore, Williams suggests that the truth isn't necessarily found only in the factual details of a historical event. Get exclusive deals, product news, reviews, and more with the Mental Floss Smart Shopping newsletter. The winner of one of the most important elections of 2020 has finally been decided. Usually, these DNA kits are $199, but Holiday Dash has made it easier for you to learn more about yourself with this incredible deal. From whence they came and what was their purpose, the pioneers could not determine. '", Obviously, the Madsens disagreed. Flocks of seagulls are a familiar sight at the Salt Lake County Landfill according to Salt Lake County Sustainability Manager Ashlee Yoder. A charming 10-verse folk ditty from 1952 places the seagull story in 1849, but it sounds like it would make a catchy tune, regardless: 'Twas sea gulls feathered in angel-white,/ And angels they were forsooth./ These sea gulls there by the thousands came/ To battle in very truth./ They charged down upon the cricket hordes/ And gorging them day and night,/ They routed the devastating foe/ And the crickets were put to flight. At first, it appeared their savvy academic efforts would be rewarded. But, in late May, a swarm of the crickets amassed on the fields, threatening to eat anything in their path. Given all this evidence, the Madsens had discovered an alternate seagull story—one so firmly entrenched in history and science that they were beyond the point of believing the classic tale. According to Gates, the pioneers tried everything to drive away the crickets, but to no avail. As a ravenous fan of The Simpsons, I couldn't help but recall an episode called "Lisa the Iconoclast" this whole time. Occurrences of this racist wisecrack seem to come almost entirely from the 1970s, which is right around the time the LDS church ended a longtime ban on people of color entering the priesthood. According to Trans Jordan landfill site, less than 15 percent of Salt Lake Valley trash is recycled (less than half of the national average). "To me," she added, "the facts speak for themselves.". Personally, I had never expended the intellectual energy to thoroughly question the veracity of the seagull story until recently. In Little Salt Lake they are still sowing, also at Cedar City, that county being so much later the grain is not yet up, but the grasshoppers are there, ready to sweep down the grain as soon as it comes up. "He started looking into it," David recalls, "and he couldn't find hardly any written evidence that there was anything like what was claimed to be this seagull miracle.". There was no Miracle of Gulls, either. To illustrate, Madsen uses a colorful comparison: "I estimate that if a whale fell out of the sky, you could get more calories just eating the crickets than you could cutting up that whale.". It's a truth about the people who share the story—their beliefs, their values, their ideas, their virtues and biases. We all know the story. Rising from the borders of the lake appeared myriad snow-white gulls. "But the reviewer, a professional Utah historian and a solid member of his Mormon faith, disapproved it on the grounds that it would be inappropriate for Mormon readers and that, besides, the title was an attempt to be 'cute.'". The crickets continue to eat at crops and other plants, even causing more than $25 million in a 2003 infestation. Mental Floss may receive a commission for purchases made through these links. Why Utah Loves Seagulls (but not crickets) BY Jason Plautz. This article contains affiliate links to products selected by our editors. After Brigham Young led the first band of Latter-day Saints into what is now Salt Lake City, Utah, the pioneers had the good fortune of a relatively mild winter. Gulls, do, however have a long and storied connection to trash. "And there's a whole array of ethnographic and ethnohistorical data on how they were doing that—how they were capturing them, how they were preparing them, how they were eating them. Around the time the U.S. elects a president, Rabbit Hash votes a new four-legged mayor into office. Though there are accounts of seagulls and other birds eating the crickets, many journals from the time didn't even mention seagulls. We need to look at ourselves here in Utah. However, there is some question as to how accurate the legend of the 1848 Cricket War actually is. "It is distilled information that is presented in a group that's sort of like shorthand language to help teach and perpetuate the group identity.". However, she notes that the food items that draw the seagulls to the landfill could be reduced if Utahns recycled more food into compost. They lighted on ponds and pools and in a week all larvae and mosquitoes were gone, and the gulls left—for where? The new nickname is a reference to a Simpsons episode in which Homer prevents the Springfield Isotopes, the town's minor league baseball team, from moving to Albuquerque. A persistent series of hardships had already befallen the weary desert dwellers when hoards of insidious insects descended upon their fields. During Holiday Dash you can save $40 on this practically essential kitchen appliance. It wasn't until he had thoroughly studied the subject when David began to have doubts. Le Creuset products are some of the best out there, but that also means they're some of the most expensive. She added, "Sorry, I can't think of a better way to say they poop on the windshields, making good visibility difficult.". Mormon settlers in Utah thought they had seen the worst of it in 1848 when a late April frost threatened to wipe out their crops. Utah’s state bird, rarely seen elsewhere, has a huge presence at dumps. by Stephen Dark, Ryan Cunningham, Dylan Woolf Harris, Darby Doyle, Randy Harward and David Riedel, By Rebecca Ory Hernandez and Megan Wagstaff. Susa Young Gates, in her 1930 biography of her father, Brigham Young (second president of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and first governor of the Utah territory), chronicled this tribulating event in Mormon history: "Just as the crops were giving promise of a much needed harvest, swarms of crickets hovered over the ploughed lands like a devastating army, darkening the earth for miles around, eating off every blade of grass and every growing thing.". We will keep updating this page once sales come in, but for now, here are the best Amazon sales to check out. The unofficial elections are organized by the Rabbit Hash Historical Society, the nonprofit organization that owns the town, and residents cast their votes by donating $1 toward the organization. In fact, most historians believe that the settlers were much more pro-active and set up reinforcements to ward off the crickets themselves. We're practically taught it from the first day of school. The Mormons have a prettier story, that is why. It wasn't until decades later in 1913 when the Seagull Monument on Temple Square was "erected in grateful remembrance of the mercy of God to the Mormon pioneers," as its plaque informs.
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