Created: September 9, 1850
Statehood: January 4, 1896
The state lies in the heart of the West and is bounded by Idaho to the north, Wyoming to the northeast, Colorado to the east, Arizona to the south, and Nevada to the west.
Mountains, high plateaus, and deserts form most of the Utah landscape. The capital, Salt Lake City, is located in the north-central region of the state. At Four Corners, in the southeast, Utah meets Colorado, New Mexico, and Arizona at right angles, the only such meeting of states in the country. Utah became the 45th member of the union on January 4, 1896.
Before the arrival of the first Mormon pioneers in 1847, Utah was inhabited by several Native American tribes, including the Ute, for whom the state is named. Such colorful characters as Jim Bridger, Etienne Provost, Miles Goodyear, and Jedediah Smith explored, trapped, mingled with the Indians, and gave dozens of place names to the area's distinctive geographical features.
The Mormons came in 1847, looking for a religious sanctuary in the remote West. Immigrating in large numbers, they laid out communities, built homes and churches, established farms supported by an irrigation system, skirmished with the native people, achieved territorial status in 1850, and generally prospered. Non-Mormons came too, especially after precious metals were discovered in the 1860s, and they added diversification to Utah's society. By the time of statehood in 1896, the total population approached a quarter of a million people.
Salt Lake City is the world headquarters of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, commonly known as the Mormon church. With Mormons making up nearly seven-tenths of the state's population, the beliefs and traditions of the Mormon church continue to exert profound influences on many facets of the state's life and institutions.
San Juan county's population is about one-half Native American, containing nearly one-third of the state's total Native American population. These are mostly Navajo, who reside primarily in the Four Corners region of the Navajo Reservation. The Ute live on the Uintah and Ouray Reservation. A number of Southern Paiute, among the most economically depressed of the tribes, live on several small reservations in southern Utah.
[Extracted from britannica.com, historytogo.utah.gov]
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