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5 Fun Facts About July 15 In Utah History

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1. Pioneer Day: July 15th is a significant date in Utah history as it marks Pioneer Day, a statewide holiday commemorating the arrival of the Mormon pioneers in the Salt Lake Valley on July 24, 1847. The pioneers, led by Brigham Young, had completed a treacherous journey across the Great Plains and through the Rocky Mountains in search of a new home where they could practice their religion freely.

2. Brigham Young Statue: On July 15, 1897, a bronze statue of Brigham Young was unveiled in Salt Lake City to commemorate his role in leading the Mormon settlement of the state. The statue, which stands over 12 feet tall, is located in the heart of the city and has become a popular tourist attraction.

3. Salt Lake City Library Opening: The Salt Lake City Library officially opened its doors on July 15, 2003, after years of planning and construction. The new library building, designed by architect Moshe Safdie, is a striking addition to the city's skyline and has won numerous awards for its innovative design.

4. Utah Statehood: On July 15, 1894, Utah was granted statehood by the United States Congress after years of political struggle. The move was a victory for Mormon leaders who had been fighting for statehood for over 40 years and marked the end of the controversial practice of polygamy in the state.

5. Mountain Meadows Massacre: On September 11, 1857, a group of California-bound pioneers were ambushed and killed by a Mormon militia in what became known as the Mountain Meadows Massacre. While the actual massacre occurred on a different day, July 15th marks the date when the surviving members of the wagon train were officially expelled from Utah territory by Brigham Young, who feared reprisals from the U.S. government. The incident remains one of the darkest moments in Utah history.
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