The territory of modern Utah has been inhabited by various indigenous groups for thousands of years, including the ancient Puebloans, the Navajo, and the Ute. The Spanish were the first Europeans to arrive in the mid-16th century, though the region's difficult geography and climate made it a peripheral part of New Spain and later Mexico. Even while it was part of Mexico, many of Utah's earliest settlers were American, particularly Mormons fleeing marginalization and persecution from the United States. Following the Mexican-American War, it became part of the Utah Territory, which included what is now Colorado and Nevada. Disputes between the dominant Mormon community and the federal government delayed Utah's admission as a state; only after the outlawing of polygamy was it admitted as the 45th, in 1896.
A little more than half of all Utahns are Mormons, the vast majority of whom are members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church), which has its world headquarters in Salt Lake City. Utah is the only state where most of the population belongs to a single church. The LDS Church greatly influences Utahn culture, politics, and daily life, though since the 1990s the state has become more religiously diverse as well as secular.
Members of the Desert Archaic Culture were the earliest known inhabitants of the region; an archaeological site found along the river dates back 3,000 years. Mormon pioneers led by Brigham Young were the first European American settlers, arriving in July 1847 and establishing farms and settlements along the river and its tributaries. The growing population, needing water for drinking, irrigation, and industrial use in an arid climate, dug ditches and canals, built dams, and installed pumps to create a highly regulated river. Read more...
Robert Foster Bennett (September 18, 1933 – May 4, 2016) was an American politician and businessman. He was a United States Senator from Utah as a member of the Republican Party. Bennett held chairmanships and senior positions on a number of key Senate committees, including the Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee; Appropriations Committee; Rules and Administration Committee; Energy and Natural Resources Committee; and Joint Economic Committee.
The Wasatch Front region has seen large growth and development despite the economic downturn. Shown is the City Creek Center project, a development in downtown Salt Lake City with a price tag of $1.5–2.5 billion.