March 26, 1830: The Book of Mormon is published.

The origins and beliefs of Mormonism are well-known and often lampooned, but Mormonism still stands as one of the earliest uniquely American Christian movements, and therefore a part of American culture. The contents of the Book of Mormon were apparently based on golden plates given to the movement’s founder, Joseph Smith, by Moroni, a prophet and angel whose father was a Nephite named Mormon (Nephites being an extinct Native American people, according to Mormon tradition). The book itself is said to contain the writings of prophets who lived in the Americas between 2200 BC until the 5th century AD.

The completed Book of Mormon went on sale in Palmyra, New York, by printer Egbert B. Grandin, who was reluctant at first, and claimed to have had to added in all the punctuation and capitalization himself. Although the initial 5,000-copy run was not very successful, today, these first-edition books now auction for upwards of $100,000. 

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    fans of the musical rejoice on this historic day!
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