National Utah Day is observed every year on May 31 and this unofficial holiday allows us to honor the culture and people of this state. Utah is known for its skiing landscapes and Salt Lake City, which is home to the largest saltwater lake in the western hemisphere. Salt Lake City even boasts a rich Native American heritage. On this day, it’s time to dive deeper into the rich history of Utah and celebrate this unique state.
History of National Utah Day
National Utah Day, albeit an unofficial holiday, celebrates the 45th state that gained statehood in the U.S. and the people and indigenous population that contributed to its formation. The settlement history of Utah is rather unique as it is believed that a religious group trekked a significant distance in search of a land where they would be free from persecution.
Utah was originally inhabited by Native American tribes including one named Ute, which is where the state gets its name from. When the state entered the Union, the Mormon locals proposed that it be named Deseret, which meant ‘honeybee,’ according to the Book of Mormon. However, Congress felt the name sounded like ‘desert’ so they named it after the Ute tribe.
The first Mormon pioneers settled in the territory in 1847. Now, around 60% of the state’s population are members of the Mormon church. Owing to this, the culture, politics, and daily life of the state are greatly influenced by the church, however, it has still embraced change over the years.
The federal government owns approximately two-thirds of Utah’s land with around one-tenth under the state’s ownership. The native Americans there are provided with a small proportion for their use. Currently, Utah’s economy relies heavily on tourism, owing to its fantastic skiing options near the mountains, agriculture, mining, and manufacturing. Utah has evolved into a dynamic and diverse state that is thronged with many tourists from America and around the world.
National Utah Day is an opportunity to acknowledge the history and growth of the state. Over the years, it has come into its own and found its way onto must-visit destination lists and has become a viable option to move to.
National Utah Day timeline
The territory of Utah is established by the U.S. Congress.
Great Salt Lake City replaces Fillmore as the territorial capital of Utah.
Utah is admitted as the 45th state of the U.S.
The state of Utah passes the Utah Transfer of Public Lands Act to obtain control over a significant portion of federal-owned land in Utah.
National Utah Day FAQs
What do you call a person from Utah?
People who live in Utah are called Utahns and Utahans.
What is Utah is famous for?
Utah is best known for its Great Salk Lake and its beautiful mountains that ski enthusiasts often flock to.
What does Utah celebrate on July 24th?
“July 24 is still celebrated as Pioneer Day in Utah and several other Western states. The bravery of the original settlers and their strength of character and physical endurance is commemorated with festivities including games and music, speeches, parades, rodeos, and picnics,” according to the Library of Congress.
How To Celebrate National Utah Day
How about visiting Utah on National Utah Day? If you stay close by, you can head over there for a weekend getaway or even plan a long trip to soak in everything Utah has to offer.
Plan a ski trip in Utah
Utah is known for its beautiful mountains that provide excellent skiing landscapes. You can go ski there for a birthday, anniversary, or just to escape the city.
Read about Utah
If you don’t know much about Utah, that’s okay. National Utah Day is the perfect way to equip yourself with all the knowledge you need about this glorious state. Search for articles online or head to the public library and settle down with some books that best describe its people and stories.
5 Super Interesting Facts About Utah
The name ‘Utah’ comes from the Ute tribe, which essentially means ‘the mountain people.’
The Great Salt Lake is the largest lake to the west of the Mississippi River.
Natural sandstone arches
The Arches National Park contains over 2,000 natural sandstone arches.
The Uintah County Library in Utah is home to a collection of handmade dolls that have been modeled after every U.S. First Lady up to Nancy Reagan.
U.S.’s first department store
Utah is home to the country’s first department store called Zion’s Co-operative Mercantile Institution, which was later bought by Macy’s.
Why We Love National Utah Day
It celebrates Utah’s history and culture
Utah is full of history and culture owing to its Native American and Mormon pioneer ancestors. Its beautiful evolution from a territory to statehood now boasts a thriving economy and life. National Utah Day helps us remember everything this state has to offer.
Utah is a famous tourist spot
Due to Utah’s geographical position, it has been blessed with magnificent mountains, canyons, national parks, and forest lands. The mountains offer skiing landscapes and Utah is also home to the largest lake, the Great Salt Lake. National Utah Day encourages us to acknowledge the beauty of Utah in all its glory.
Utah had the first woman senator
Utah gave the United States its first woman senator, Martha Hughes Cannon. A remarkable woman, she was a leader in Utah's women's suffrage movement and helped put it in the state's constitution. She also established the first board of health and a school for the deaf and blind in Utah.
National Utah Day dates