Utah has a unique history when many memorable moments. It was first explored on behalf of Spain by Franciscan friars Escalante and Dominguez in 1776. In 1824 the famous American frontiersman Jim Bridger discovered the Great Salt Lake. The Mormons arrived in 1847 and became the construction of what is now modern day Salt Lake City. The first transcontinental railroad was complete in 1869 when the golden spike was driven in at Promontory Summit.
Here are some other fun facts about Utah you might not know…
- Utah’s state animal is the elk.
- Utah’s state bird is the sea gull.
- Utah’s state centennial astronomical symbol is the Beehive Cluster located in the constellation of Cancer the Crab.
- Utah’s state centennial star is Dubhe, one of the seven bright stars composing the Big Dipper in the constellation Ursa Major.
- Utah’s state cooking pot is the dutch oven.
- Utah’s state emblem is the beehive.
- Utah’s state fish is the Bonneville cutthroat trout.
- Utah’s state flower is the sego lily.
- Utah’s state folk dance is the square dance, the folk dance that is called, cued, or prompted to the dancers and includes squares, rounds, clogging, contra, line, and heritage dances.
- Utah’s state fossil is the Allosaurus.
- Utah’s state fruit is the cherry.
- Utah’s state vegetable is the Spanish sweet onion.
- Utah’s historic state vegetable is the sugar beet.
- Utah’s state gem is topaz, as is prominently found in the Thomas Mountain Range in Juab County, Utah.
- Utah’s state grass is Indian rice grass.
- Utah’s state insect is the honeybee.
- Utah’s state mineral is copper.
- Utah’s state motto is “Industry.”
- Utah’s state rock is coal.
- Utah’s state tree is the blue spruce.
- (17) Utah’s state hymn is “Utah We Love Thee” by Evan Stephens.
The author of “Utah, We Love Thee”, Evan Stephens, was born in Pencader, South Wales, and emigrated to Utah with his parents in 1866. He was about 11 or 12 years old at the time. In adulthood, Evans secured himself as a prominent local musician. He was Latter Day Saints Tabernacle Choir conductor from 1890-1916 and he served as the chairman of the music committee for the Utah statehood program. He wrote “Utah, We Love Thee”, in 1895, to be sung at the inauguration exercises when Utah became a state on January 4, 1896. The song, with words and music written by Evan Stephens, was published by the Deseret Sunday School Union, Salt Lake City, Utah, in 1917.
Lyrics for Utah, We Love Thee
Land of the mountains high, Utah, we love thee
Land of the sunny sky, Utah, we love thee!
Far in the glorious West, Throned on the mountain’s crest,
In robes of statehood dressed, Utah, we love thee!
Columbia’s newest star, Utah, we love thee,
Thy lustre shines afar, Utah, we love thee!
Bright in our banner’s blue, Among her sisters true,
She proudly comes to view, Utah, we love thee!
Land of the Pioneers, Utah, we love thee,
Grow with the coming years, Utah, we love thee!
With wealth and peace in store, To fame and glory soar,
Godguarded evermore, Utah, we love thee!