The state known as Utah began when
Brigham Young led a group of Mormon pilgrims seeking freedom
from religious persecution into the Great Salt Lake Valley,
where they established a settlement in 1847.
The state gets its name from
the Ute, an Indian tribe who lived there before the pioneers
arrived. The golden spike completing the first transcontinental
railroad line was driven at Promontory, Utah, in 1869, leading
to a further influx of settlers. Utah was admitted as the 45th
state in 1896. The capital,
Salt Lake City, is also the world
headquarters for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day
Saints, and Mormons make up 70 percent of the population. Every
year since 1849, Salt Lake City has remembered the Mormon
pioneers on Pioneer Day.
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