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5 Fun Facts About July 22 In Utah History

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1. On July 22, 1847, Brigham Young and the first group of Mormon pioneers entered the Salt Lake Valley after months of travel, marking the official founding of Salt Lake City and the state of Utah.

2. On July 22, 1973, three workers were killed in a massive explosion at the Thiokol chemical plant in Box Elder County. The explosion, which was caused by a chemical leak, is still considered one of the worst industrial accidents in Utah history.

3. July 22 is also Pioneer Day in Utah, a statewide celebration of the state's pioneer heritage that includes parades, fireworks, and other festivities.

4. On July 22, 2002, Elizabeth Smart, a 14-year-old Utah resident, was abducted from her Salt Lake City home by Brian David Mitchell and his wife. Smart was held captive for nine months before she was rescued by police.

5. In 1967, the University of Utah's artificial heart program was launched, with Dr. Willem Kolff and Dr. Don Olsen leading the research. The program would ultimately result in the development of the first successful artificial heart transplant in 1982.
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