Portal:Utah

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Location of Utah

Utah (/ˈjuːtɑː/ YOO-tah, /ˈjuːtɔː/ (About this soundlisten) YOO-taw) is a state in the western United States. It is bordered by Colorado to the east, Wyoming to the northeast, Idaho to the north, Arizona to the south, and Nevada to the west. It also touches a corner of New Mexico in the southeast. Of the fifty U.S. states, Utah is the 13th-largest by area, and with a population over three million, the 30th-most-populous and 11th-least-densely populated. Urban development is mostly concentrated in two areas: the Wasatch Front in the north-central part of the state, which is home to roughly two-thirds of the population, and Washington County in the south, with more than 170,000 residents. Most of the western half of Utah lies in the Great Basin.

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. (Full article...)

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U.S. Route 491 (US 491) is a north–south U.S. Highway serving the Four Corners region of the United States. One of the newest designations in the U.S. Highway System, it was created in 2003 as a renumbering of U.S. Route 666 (US 666). With the 666 designation, this road was nicknamed the "Devil's Highway" because of the significance of the number 666 to many Christian denominations, which believe it to be the Number of the Beast. This Satanic connotation, combined with a high fatality rate along the New Mexico portion, convinced some people the highway was cursed. The problem was compounded by persistent sign theft. These factors led to two efforts to renumber the highway, first by officials in Arizona, later in New Mexico. There have been safety improvement projects in recent years, and fatality rates have subsequently decreased.

The highway, now a spur route of US 91 via its connection to US 191, runs through Colorado, New Mexico, and Utah, as well as the tribal nations of the Navajo Nation and Ute Mountain Ute Tribe. The highway passes by two mountains considered sacred by Native Americans: Ute Mountain and an extinct volcanic core named Shiprock. Other features along the route include Mesa Verde National Park and Dove Creek, Colorado, the self-proclaimed pinto-bean capital of the world. (Full article...)
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View from Angels Landing
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Zion Canyon at sunset in Zion National Park as seen from Angels Landing

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Thomas Fitch (January 27, 1838 – November 12, 1923) was an American lawyer and politician. He defended President Brigham Young of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and other church leaders when Young and his denomination were prosecuted for polygamy in 1871 and 1872. He also successfully defended Virgil, Morgan, and Wyatt Earp along with Doc Holliday when they were accused of murdering Billy Clanton, and Tom and Frank McLaury during the October 26, 1881 Gunfight at the O.K. Corral.

Fitch wrote for and edited a number of newspapers during his life and served in multiple political offices. He was a stout Republican and campaigned for Abraham Lincoln across Nevada. He developed a reputation as a capable lawyer and a terrific speaker and was nicknamed the "silver-tongued orator of the Pacific." He was a member of the California State Assembly in 1862 and 1863. In 1864, he was living in Virginia City, Nevada, where he edited the Virginia Daily Union. He became friends with Mark Twain who credited him with improving his writing. Fitch was a delegate to the Nevada state constitutional convention and also served as a member of the Utah state constitutional convention. He was a member of the Arizona Territorial Legislature in 1879. (Full article...)

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The Utah War (1857–1858), also known as the Utah Expedition, Utah Campaign, Buchanan's Blunder, the Mormon War, or the Mormon Rebellion was an armed confrontation between Mormon settlers in the Utah Territory and the armed forces of the United States government. The confrontation lasted from May 1857 to July 1858. There were some casualties, mostly non-Mormon civilians. The war had no notable military battles. (Full article...)
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Moab, Utah
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Moab, Utah, from the northern canyon walls that surround it.

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Coordinates: 39°18′N 111°36′W / 39.3°N 111.6°W / 39.3; -111.6