-- March 1953
The family's preparations to move to D.C. were temporarily halted when Flora and Barbara were in an automobile accident that totaled the family car. Flora was left unconscious for a time; Barbara suffered a broken shoulderas well as cuts and bruises.Told there was nothing he could do, Benson reluctantly agreed to remain in Washington. As he struggled to concentrate on work, his mind easily drifted,he later recalled, constantly "running over the years of our life together." (1)
-- 24 Mar 1953
First Presidency counselor J. Reuben Clark said he was "apprehensive of Bro Benson in Washington." (2)
-- March 28, 1953
Benson oversaw the distribution of a 1,200-word official "General Statement" on farming. As much a personal testimony of the "eternal principle" of freedom as a secular pronouncement of U.S. policy, the declaration was "influenced to some extent," Benson explained, "by an old-fashioned philosophy that it is impossible to help people permanently by doing for them what they could and should do for themselves. It is a philosophy that believes in the supreme worth of the individual as a free man, as a child of God, that believes in the dignity of laborand the convictionthatyou cannot buildcharacter by taking away man's initiative and independence."
Benson's blunt statement put America's farmers on notice that government supports were intended as temporary mechanisms to help protect and stabilize free markets, and not as permanent relief or subsidies. (3)
-- Apr 09, 1953
Adam S. Bennion is ordained a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, replacing John A. Widtsoe, who had passed away.
-- Apr 13, 1953
Elder Ezra Taft Benson, the U.S. secretary of agriculture, appears on the cover of Time magazine, which highlights his national and international influence as a member of President Dwight D. Eisenhower's cabinet.
"For the Benson machine," Time magazine reported, "prayer is the basic fuel." "He spends as much time on his knees as he does on his feet," one associate observed. Benson also removed all ash trays from his and adjacent offices—or converted them into containers for paper clips and other small objects—and by his example discouraged smoking in departmental meetings. Benson's daily work schedule as secretary did not differ much from his routine as an apostle and earlier. (4)
-- Thu Apr 16, 1953
[David O. McKay] "[A]t meeting of Presidency and Twelve in the Temple: Expressed the feeling that the family ties are fundamental, that the family is the foundation of society. Stated that the First Presidency have suggested to the auxiliary organizations that in choosing members of the General Boards women should be chosed whose family ties will not interfere and that frequently the First Presidency refuse to approve sisters whose names have been submitted because those recommended were rearing young families." (5)
-- Jul 15, 1953
[Quorum of the Twelve] Albert E. Bowen dies. (6)
1 - Gary James Bergera, "Weak-Kneed Republicans and Socialist Democrats": Ezra Taft Benson as U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, 1953-61, Part 2, Dialogue : A Journal of Mormon Thought, (Winter 2008, vol 41)
2 - Henry D. Moyle diary, 24 Mar. 1953. See Quinn, "Mormon Political Conflicts" for full cite and context.
3 - Gary James Bergera, '"Rising above Principle": Ezra Taft Benson as U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, 1953-61, Part 1', Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought (Fall 2008, v 41)
4 - "Apostle at Work," Time, April 13, 1953, 26; and "Secretary Benson Rearranges Things.". For context and full cite, see Gary James Bergera, '"Rising above Principle": Ezra Taft Benson as U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, 1953-61, Part 1', Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought (Fall 2008, v 41)
5 - McKay, David O., Office Journal
6 - Wikipedia, Chronology of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles (LDS Church), http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chronology_of_the_Quorum_of_the_Twelve_Apostles_(LDS_Church)
LDS History Chronology: Ezra Taft Benson
Mormon History Timeline: the life of Ezra Taft Benson