Wednesday, January 4, 2012
THIS DAY IN HISTORY: Jan. 4
On January 4, 1896, Utah was admitted into the union as our 45th state. The state remains heavily populated by Mormons, who arrived in 1847 to escape religious persecution. It was the founder of the Latter Day Saints, Joseph Smith, who led his followers out west to find a settlement where they could practice their religion. Ironically, Smith was murdered in 1844 shortly after announcing his bid for presidency. Polygamy, a mainstay of the Mormon faith, was officially abandoned by the LDS church in 1890, though it continues to be quietly (and not so quietly) practiced by breakaway Mormon fundamentalist groups.