This week in Church history

50 years ago

During a 50-day tour of Europe, President David O. McKay took care of some special business while in Switzerland, July 5-8, 1952.

He announced in Glasgow, Scotland, on July 22, that land had been obtained in Switzerland to build the first temple in Europe. "The site has been secured at Berne and further negotiations are under way," he said in Glasgow just before departing to return to the United States, according to the July 23, 1952, Church News.

President McKay "explained that the temple would serve the entire European area and would become a sacred edifice in Europe where the ordinances of the Church will be administered to the faithful," the Church News article reported. The temple would serve 40,000 members living in Europe. Half of those lived in Switzerland and Germany, according to the report

The Deseret News 2001-2002 Church Almanac states that ground was broken for the temple in Switzerland's capital city in 1953 and it was dedicated by President McKay on Sept. 11-15, 1955, and became the Church's ninth operating temple.

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