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IN A TIME WHEN oxen were still pulling covered wagons across the high mountain plains, Deseret News readers were hearing about the major news events rocking the outside world - though they were sometimes inordinately late by today's standards.

From those times to the present, Deseret News "front pages" (often the major news stories were used on inside pages of early day editions, however) have chronicled major events drastically shaping humanity's progress.Here are some of the "front pages":

- TERRIBLE FIRE IN SAN FRANCISCO. The Deseret News, in its June 15, 1850, debut tells readers about a Dec. 24, 1849, fire so "appalling and destructive" that for a time it threatened to reduce the entire city to "a heap of smoking ruins."

- Pony Express begins carrying news in 1860.

- Transcontinental Telegraph is joined in Salt Lake City in 1861, effectively put-ting the Pony Express out of business.

- The abolitionist insurrection at Harpers Ferry on Oct. 16, headed by the notorious Capt. John Brown, of Kansas memory.

- Lincoln elected president - "Latest by Pony Express . . . announcing that New York had given Lincoln fifty thousand majority, and that his election was conceded." - Nov. 14, 1860.

- South Carolinans attacked Fort Sumter, starting the Civil War, April 1861.

- Emancipation Proclamation. "The progress of the civil war does not seem to lessen the demand for proclamations . . . ." - Oct. 8, 1862.

- The invasion of Maryland and Pennsylvania, by Gen. Robert E. Lee, culminated in the great battle of Gettysburg. ". . . It is believed . . . that not less than 50,000 men bled on that field, one half of whom were killed or have since died." - July 15, 1863.

- "With malice toward none, with charity to all . . . " Report of Abraham Lincoln's second inaugural address, published March 15, 1865.

- Lincoln's assassination. April 19, 1865, Deseret News subscribers learn that John Wilkes Booth shot the president.

- The proceedings at Promontory Summit, "via Ogden, May 10 (1869). - The last tie has been laid; the last rail is placed in position, and the last spike driven, which binds the Atlantic and Pacific . . . ." - May 15, 1869.

- Gen. George Armstrong Custer and a detachment of the 7th Cavalry massacred in Battle of Little Big Horn on June 25, 1876. Deseret News reported the incident on July 8.

- President James A. Garfield assassinated. " Sept. 19, 1:15 a.m. - The following official bulletin has just been issued: 11:30 p.m. - The President died at 10:35 p.m. . . . ." - reported on Sept. 24, 1881.

- Utah Statehood. "Proclamation Issued by President Cleveland. Official Message That Arouses Joyous Enthusiasm in the Hearts of the People - Washington, Jan. 4, 1896. The President at 10 o'clock this morning signed the Proclamation admitting Utah to Statehood" - Jan. 4, 1896.

- San Francisco earthquake. "The greatest and most desolating of all earthquakes in the history of modern America occurred in San Francisco this morning." The first news of the calamity came to Salt Lake City in a dispatch over the one remaining wire out of the calamity-stricken and unfortunate city - April 18 - 9:15 a.m.

- The "unsinkable" Titanic sinks. "HALIFAX, N.S., April 15. - The Canadian government marine agency here at 4:15 p.m. received a wireless dispatch that the Titanic is sinking. The message came via the cable ship Mina off Cape Race. It is said the steamers towing the Titanic were endeavoring to get her into shoal water near Cape Race to beach her." - April 15, 1912.

- Lusitania torpedoed - "New York, May 7 - No definite word as to the fate of the Lusitania's passengers had been received by the local office of the Cunard line up to 3:30 o'clock." - May 7, 1915, on the sinking of the Lusitania, which brought the United States into World War I.

- LINDBERGH SAFE IN PARIS - " LE BOURGET FLYING FIELD, France, May 21 - (AP) - Captain Charles Lindbergh, American aviator, landed here safely tonight completing his non-stop flight from New York to Paris." - May 21, 1927.

- The dirigible Hindenberg burns. - LAKEHURST, N.J., May 7 - The flaming destruction of the once-seemingly impregnable dirigible Hindenburg brought swift action today by the American and German governments to determine the cause of the disaster. Thirty persons were known dead or missing." - May 7, 1937.

- War declared. Citing a "Day that will live in infamy (the Dec. 7, attack by the Japanese on Pearl Harbor)," President Franklin Delano Roosevelt appears before Congress on Dec. 8, seeking a declaration of war.

- WORLD WAR II ENDS - "President Truman announced today that fighting in the Second World War has ended . . . ." - Aug. 14, 1945.

- KENNEDY ASSASSINATED - "President Kennedy was assassinated Friday in a burst of gunfire in downtown Dallas. Texas Gov. John Connally was shot down with him . . . ." Nov. 22, 1963.

- America's Shining Hour - Man Walks on the moon. "America's two moon pioneers completed man's first exploration of the lunar surface and lifted off in their spaceship Eagle today on the first step of their hazardous voyage back home." - July 21, 1969.

- Vietnam War ends - "U.S. Secretary of State William P. Rogers and foreign ministers of the other three parties in the Vietnam war signed a peace agreement today, ending America's longest armed conflict." - Jan. 27, 1973.

- Space shuttle explodes - "CAPE CANAVERAL, FLA. (AP) - Space shuttle Challenger exploded into a gigantic fireball 75 seconds after liftoff . . . ." - Jan. 28, 1986.

- Eastern Europe freedom movement rolls on - "MOSCOW (Reuters) - Amid mounting political turmoil and challenge to the authority of Mikhail Gorbachev, the Soviet Union's parliament met Monday to create a strong presidency . . . ." - March 12, 1990.