Utah is known as the “Beehive State” as well as the “Mormon State”. The name “Utah” comes from the name of the Ute Tribe meaning “People of the Mountains”. Its largest city is “Salt Lake City”. The State is ranked the 13th largest in the state. Wyoming has a population of roughly 2,763, 885 (2010 Census). Its highest point is “Kings Peak” at 13,528 feet above sea level. Its lowest point is “Beaver Dam Wash” at 2,000 feet above sea level. It was admitted to the Union on January 4, 1896 as the 45th State. Belonging to the Western United States, its populations are primarily around Salt Lake City with much of the rest of the state as uninhabited. Its population is the sixth most urbanized in the United States as well as one of the fastest growing populations. Utah is notorious for its information technology, research, governmental services, transportation, tourism, and mining. Utah is bordered by Wyoming on the Northeast, Colorado on the East, Arizona to the South, Idaho on the North, and Nevada on the West, with a small corner next to New Mexico. Utah is the most religiously homogeneous state in the Union with over 60% of its population as Mormon (Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints or the LDS Mormon Church).
Utah was originally populated by the Fremont and Anasazi Native American tribes for thousands of years prior to European contact. Ute-Aztecs, Anasazi, and Fremont tribes disappeared from the region around the 15th century. The Navajo, the Goshute, the Paiute, the Shoshone, and the Ute settled the region by the 18th century and were the ones present by the time Europeans came to the region. By 1540, the Spanish explored the region beginning with expeditions by Francisco V’squez de Coronado during his search for the legendary C’bola. The Dominguez-Escalante Expedition of several Catholic Priests left Santa Fe in 1776 hoping to find a way to California through Utah. By 1821 Mexico achieved its independence from Spain and took over the region as part of Alta California. By the 19th century the area was explored by hunters, trappers, and fur traders. The first white person to come to the region and see the Great Salt Lake was Jim Bridger in 1824 who had believed he had reached the Pacific Ocean. After this, hundreds of hunters, traders, and trappers established trading posts in the region to service thousands of settlers who stopped at the Lakes enroute west to California. In 1844, Joseph Smith of the Mormons passed away in Carthage Illinois, triggering an enormous migration of Mormon pioneers out west following Brigham Young, the then president of the Church of Latter Day Saints. For the next 22 years, over 70,000 pioneers came to Utah. Utah became the center for Mormon activity in the West which included Idaho, Nevada, Arizona, Wyoming, California, Canada, and Mexico. Utah belonged to Mexico when the first settlers came through in 1847. During the Mexican-American War the U.S. captured the whole Southwest taking over the territory in 1848. Utah was given with the Compromise of 1850 with Fillmore as the capital. It was at this time that the region was named “Utah” after the Utes. Salt Lake City replaced Fillmore as Capital in 1856. After all this, numerous disputes between the U.S. Government and the Mormons over polygamy while the Mormons were pushing the establishment of the State of Deseret which would not be accepted due to practice of plural marriage. This eventually led to the infamous Utah War as well as the Mountain Meadows Massacre. The First Transcontinental Telegraph was completed in 1861 and was finalized in Salt Lake City with Brigham Young becoming the first to send a message on it along with Abraham Lincoln. In 1861 Federal troops left Utah to focus on the American Civil War and left in the hands of the LDS until Patrick Connor arrived with a regiment of volunteers from California in 1862 bringing more non-Mormons to the area and developing the mining industry. 1865 saw the Black Hawk War which was responded to by the infamous Ghost Dance of 1872. This was a three-way conflict between the Timpanogos Utes, the Federal Government of the United States, and the LDS Authorities. By 1869 the First Transcontinental Railroad was completed and brought more into the area. From the 1870-1880’s the U.S. established laws to punish practitioners of polygamy which in result was banned by the LDS Church. This allowed Utah to be accepted into statehood on January 4, 1896. Tourism based on outdoor recreation became very popular in the region with the development of Utah’s National Parks such as Bryce Canyon National Park, Zion National Park, Arches National Park, and Canyonlands in the 1900’s. By 1939 Skiing became very popular with its start in the Alta Ski Resort. Utah economy relies on mining, oil shale, oil, and natural gas-drilling, ranching, and recreation. Utah is one of the 15 states that have not ratified the U.S. Equal Rights Amendment. Uah is one of the two states to outlaw all forms of Gambling and strongly controls its alcoholic beverages.
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This page was last updated on 8/16/2015
- Baurley, Thomas 2015 Alternative America: Travel Guide to the U.S.A. Technogypsie Publications, Riverside, California.
- McGowan, Leaf 2015 Magical America. Technogypsie Publications, Riverside, California.
- Wikipedia 2015 “United States of America” Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia. Website https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States referenced 8/16/15.
Photos of Utah:
Photos of Utah: