U.S. flags fly in Utah today in honor of Utah statehood. It’s also the day that new, elected state officers take their oaths and take their offices. Utah is 121 years in the union — as a state, it’s old enough to drink, though you may have difficulty finding a drink there among the teetotaling Mormons.
Utah joined the Union on January 4, 1896. It had been a 49-year slog to statehood for Deseret, the Mormon settlement in the Desert. The size had been pared down, so it would not be the biggest state, incorporating parts of what is now Nevada, Arizona, Oregon, Idaho, Colorado and New Mexico. New capitals had been tried and cast aside (Fillmore, Utah). Democratic Party rule was broken when LDS church authorities went door-to-door, calling every other family to the Republican Party, and party parity. The Mormon Church abandoned polygamy, and adopted a state constitution that gave the vote to women.
Finally, Utah became the 45th state.
Happy birthday, Utah! 121 years old today.
Big dance in Fillmore to celebrate, Saturday:
- Utah’s very interesting path to statehood (constitutioncenter.org)
- Utah statehood story at Utah.com
- Utah Becomes a State, at ILoveHistory.com, from the Utah Division of State History
- Utah statehood discussed at PBS page for “The Mormons”
- “Utah: The struggle for statehood,” Production from KUED Channel 7, the PBS station operated by the University of Utah; curriculum guide (the entire production is available online for classroom use)
- Iowa Statehood, December 28, 1846 – Iowans, fly your flags today (timpanogos.wordpress.com)
- Texas Statehood, December 29, 1845 – 167years ago (timpanogos.wordpress.com)
- LDS scholars: “Mormon moment” could expand into cultural shift (denverpost.com)
- When Did Utah Become a State (wanttoknowit.com)
- In Fillmore, Utah, the capital proposed during the administration of Millard Fillmore to try to sway presidential support, there is an annual dance on the eve of statehood day, and a fete on the actual day
- Maybe Utah citizens don’t want to fly the U.S. flag! Utah has demanded that the federal government turn over control and title to 31 million acres of land — probably the biggest land grab since the Treaty of Guadelupe — with a deadline for handover of last week. Surprised? The U.S. Department of Interior didn’t turn over any land. Utahn’s plan to steal $2 million from Utah public school students to sue the federal government.