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State of Utah


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General Utah State History

During the Mesozoic Era (230 to 65 million years ago(, many types of dinosaurs lived in the eastern and southern parts of what is now known as Utah. Their fossilized remnants are still being discovered and unearthed.

Ancient Pueblo cultures, known as the Anasazi and Fremont Indians, had an agricultural lifestyle in southern Utah from about 1. A.D. to 1300. Utes and Navajos lived across what is now Utah for centuries before the arrival of explorers, mountain men, and pioneers.

While residents of the eastern United States were declaring independence from England,, Catholic Spanish Explorers and Mexican traders drew maps and kept journals documenting Utah's terrain, and the native people, as well as plants and animals.

In the 1820's mountain men roamed northern Utah, taking advantage of abundant fur trapping opportunities.

During 1847, members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons) migrated to the Salt Lake Valley seeking religious freedom. Before the first Transcontinental Railroad was completed at Promontory, Utah in May of 1869, more than 60,000 Mormons had come to the territory by covered wagon or handcart.

After decades of conflict and misunderstandings, Utah became America's 45th state on January 4, 1896. During the last century, people of many ethnic, cultural and religious backgrounds made Utah their home, drawn by the state's beauty, and by an abundance of economic opportunities. Together, this diverse populace made, and continues to make, great contributions to Utah's quality of life.

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