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5 Fun Facts About October 17 In Utah History

---Learn Every Day: UT Today In History Facts Texted Each Day - Text: history ut To: 618-270-4005---

1. Utah became a state: On October 17, 1895, Utah officially became the 45th state of the United States. This day is celebrated as Utah Statehood Day.

2. The Spanish flu pandemic: In 1918, the Spanish flu pandemic arrived in Utah, infecting thousands and killing over 1,400 people in the state. One of the hardest-hit areas was the mining town of Helper.

3. First documented UFO sighting: On October 17, 1952, two commercial pilots flying over Utah reported seeing a strange object in the sky. This is considered one of the first well-documented UFO sightings in history.

4. Mormon Tabernacle Choir performs at the Vatican: On October 17, 1955, the Mormon Tabernacle Choir performed at the Vatican for Pope Pius XII. This was the first time the choir had performed at the Vatican, and it was seen as a milestone in efforts to build interfaith relationships.

5. Elizabeth Smart found: On October 17, 2002, Elizabeth Smart, a 14-year-old girl who had been kidnapped from her Salt Lake City home nine months earlier, was found alive in Sandy, Utah. Her recovery was a joyful moment for the entire state, and her story remains one of the most well-known cases of abduction and survival.
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