When Utah became the 45th state on January 4, 1896, it was the culmination of almost half a century of effort by Utah statesmen and citizens. Accordingly, the state celebrated with parades, speeches, bells, choir performances, and other ceremonies. Many public, private, and religious buildings were decorated with bunting and flags, and many citizens showed their public spirit fervor by dressing in patriotic costumes and attending rallies and dances.

  • Image 01

    The Salt Lake Temple draped with the enormous 45-star flag that had hung in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints Tabernacle during Statehood Day ceremonies. This photograph was taken in 1897, when the flag was moved to the Temple to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Latter-Day Saint migration to the area. 
    [George W. Reed photograph collection, P0184n01_05_60]

  • Image 02

    The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints Tabernacle decorated for statehood celebrations. 
    [George D. Pyper photograph collection, P0001n1166]

  • Image 03

    The ZCMI Building, downtown Salt Lake City, decorated for Statehood Day. 
    [ZCMI photograph collection, P0507n01_01_10]

As Utah historian Dale Morgan noted, "men live rich and quiet lives outside the boiling currents of their times." In many parts of Utah, life had to go on the same as it had on January 3, 1896, and as it would on January 5th. Children had to attend school, railroads had to run, chores had to be done, business had to be conducted. This portion of the exhibit depicts daily life in Utah around the same time as the statehood celebrations.

Created by Roy Webb, Multimedia Archivist; updated by Multimedia Staff 2022. Contact us.