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The Utah Portal

Location of Utah

Utah ( YOO-tah, 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.

The territory of modern Utah was inhabited by various indigenous groups for thousands of years, including the ancient Puebloans, the Navajo, and the Ute. The Spanish were the first 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 are 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", identifying as 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. This greatly influences Utahn culture, politics, and daily life, though since the 1990s the state has become more religiously diverse as well as secular.

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Fawn McKay Brodie (September 15, 1915 - January 10, 1981) was an American biographer and one of the first female professors of history at UCLA, who is best known for Thomas Jefferson: An Intimate History (1974), a work of psychobiography, and No Man Knows My History (1945), an early and still influential biography of Joseph Smith, the founder of the Latter Day Saint movement.

Raised in Utah in a respected, if impoverished, Latter-day Saint (LDS Church) family, Fawn McKay drifted away from Mormonism during her years of graduate work at the University of Chicago. She married Bernard Brodie, an ethnically Jewish academic who became a national defense expert; they had three children. Although Fawn Brodie eventually became one of the first tenured female professors of history at UCLA, she is best known for her five biographies, four of which incorporate insights from Freudian psychology. Read more...

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April selected anniversaries

  • April 14, 1983 - a landslide leads to the destruction of Thistle, Utah.
  • April 15, 1948 - Utah's first television station, W6SIX, begins broadcasting.

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Harris pictured in The Banyan 1923, BYU yearbook

Franklin Stewart Harris (August 29, 1884 - April 18, 1960) was president of Brigham Young University (BYU) from July 1921 until June 1945, and president of Utah State University from 1945 to 1950. His administration was the longest in BYU history and saw the granting of the first master's degrees. Under his administration the school became an accredited university. He set up several colleges, such as the College of Fine and Performing Arts with Gerrit De Jong as the founding dean.

Harris was an agricultural scientist, holding a doctorate in agronomy from Cornell University. He had served as the agriculture department head and head of the experiment station at Utah State Agricultural College and left BYU to become president of that institution. Harris also traveled to Russia, Iran, and the Middle East in order to provide expert advice on agriculture issues. The Harris Fine Arts Center on BYU's Provo campus was named after him. Read more...

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Overlooking Park City in November 2013

Park City is a city in Summit County, Utah, United States. It is considered to be part of the Wasatch Back. The city is 32 miles (51 km) southeast of downtown Salt Lake City and 20 miles (32 km) from Salt Lake City's east edge of Sugar House along Interstate 80. The population was 7,558 at the 2010 census. On average, the tourist population greatly exceeds the number of permanent residents.

After a population decline following the shutdown of the area's mining industry, the city rebounded during the 1980s and 1990s through an expansion of its tourism business. The city currently brings in a yearly average of $529.8 million to the Utah Economy as a tourist hot spot, $80 million of which is attributed to the Sundance Film Festival. The city has two major ski resorts: Deer Valley Resort and Park City Mountain Resort. Both ski resorts were the major locations for ski and snowboarding events at the 2002 Winter Olympics. Although they receive less snow and have a shorter ski season than do their counterparts in Salt Lake County, such as Snowbird resort, they are much easier to access. Read more...
Brent Scowcroft (center) with Dick Cheney and William Webster

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Moab, Utah
Credit: User:Diliff
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

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