Appendix A: Temple Milestones

Richard O. Cowan and Robert G. Larson, The Oakland Temple: Portal to Eternity (Provo, UT: Religious Studies Center; Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 2014), 211–218.



1846    Ship Brooklyn sailed from New York (February 4)

            Mormon Battalion recruited in Iowa (July 15)

            Brooklyn Saints arrived in San Francisco Bay (Saturday, July 31)

1847    Mormon Battalion arrived at San Diego (January 29)

            John Horner became one of first settlers in Alameda County (March)

            Brigham Young and Mormon pioneers arrived at Salt Lake Valley (July 24)

            President Young sent epistle to California Saints (August 7)

1848    Gold discovered at Sutter’s Mill (January 24)

1851    Parley P. Pratt presided over Pacific Mission at San Francisco

1856    George Q. Cannon published Western Standard in San Francisco (February)

1857    Brigham Young called Saints to return to Utah (fall)

1892    Oakland Branch organized when California was reopened (October 2)

1894    Karl G. Maeser directed Church exhibit in San Francisco

1896    Tabernacle Choir gave concert in Oakland (April 14)

1898    Wilford Woodruff died in San Francisco (September 2)

1906    San Francisco earthquake occurred (April 18)

1915    Church exhibit at Panama Pacific exhibition attracted interest

1917    United States entered World War I (April 6)

1918    End of World War I brought decade of growth in California

1927    First Northern California stake organized at San Francisco (July 10)

1928    Elder George Albert Smith attended Boy Scout meeting in San Francisco (April).

1933    Excursions to Salt Lake Temple in June and Arizona Temple in December.

1934    Elder David O. McKay visited future temple site (January 21)

            Oakland Stake organized (December 9)

1937    Property purchased on Lake Merritt for possible future tabernacle

            Bay Area Genealogical Committee functioning

1942    Construction restricted because of World War II (March)

            First Presidency authorized purchase of Oakland Temple site (November 16)

1947    Key parcel purchased, giving access to temple site (August)

1949    Plans announced for Los Angeles Temple (January 17)

1955    Architect Harold W. Burton presented plans for Interstake Center (January 14)

            Harold W. Burton became Church architect

            Swiss Temple first to use films in presenting endowment

            Interstake genealogical library recommended

1956    Third stake organized in East Bay Area (August 19)

1957    Ground broken for Interstake Center by Steven L. Richards (July 20)

1960    Interstake Center dedicated by President McKay (September 25)

1961    Plan to build temple announced (Monday, January 25)

            Genealogy library established in new Interstake Center

1962    67 percent of pledged amount collected; construction to begin (by May)

            Ground broken by President McKay (Saturday, May 26); contract awarded

            Pouring of concrete started (September)

1963    Cornerstone laid by Joseph Fielding Smith (Saturday, May 25)

            Temple roofed over and interior work progressing (December)

1964    Temple president appointed (January)

            Sculptures of Christ and Apostles lifted into place (spring)

            Pacific Northwest stakes added to the Oakland Temple District (June)

            President McKay made surprise visit (Sunday, August 2)

            Tours for students leaving for school (Saturday, September 12)

            Keys handed over to temple president; VIP tours (Friday, September 25)

            Public open house (October 5–31)

            Temple dedicated, overflow in separate building for first time (T–Th., November 17–19)

            First endowment session, for stake leaders (December 17)

            “And It Came to Pass” pageant opened

1965    Temple opened to general Church membership (Tuesday, January 5)

            Sunday lecture series inaugurated in Interstake Center

1967    Temple floodlighting praised by architects

1970    Pageant performances increased to twelve, moved to summer

1977    Messiah performances inaugurated at Interstake Center

1978    50,000 Christmas lights attracted attention

1979    Kieth Merrill upgraded pageant script, new costumes

1980    Genealogy “name extraction” program inaugurated

            First Tongan ward, representing growing ethnic population

1988    Temple closed for extensive renovation (December 29)

1989    Earthquake caused only a few minor cracks (October 17)

1990    Temple reopened with two additional endowment rooms (October)

1991    No damage to temple during “Oakland Hills Firestorm”

1992    New visitors’ center and genealogy library dedicated (September 12)

1993    “Easter Miracle” performance and special display

1996    Ship Brooklyn plaque next to visitors’ center dedicated

1998    Christmas lights increased to 500,000

2004    Visitors’ center remodeled to emphasize Christ and the Restoration

2006    Dedication of Sacramento Temple took workers and patrons from Oakland (September 3)

2014    Temple commemorated fiftieth anniversary (November 17)