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Location of Utah
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Utah (/ˈjuːtɑː/ YOO-tah, /ˈjuːtɔː/ YOO-taw) is a landlocked state in the Mountain West subregion of the Western United States. It borders Colorado to its east, Wyoming to its northeast, Idaho to its north, Arizona to its south, and Nevada to its west. Utah also touches a corner of New Mexico in the southeast. Of the fifty U.S. states, Utah is the 13th-largest by area; with a population over three million, it is 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 includes the capital city, Salt Lake City; and Washington County in the southwest, with more than 180,000 residents. Most of the western half of Utah lies in the Great Basin.

Utah has been inhabited for thousands of years by various indigenous groups such as the ancient Puebloans, Navajo, and Ute. The Spanish were the first Europeans to arrive in the mid-16th century, though the region's difficult geography and harsh climate made it a peripheral part of New Spain and later Mexico. Even while it was Mexican territory, many of Utah's earliest settlers were American, particularly Mormons fleeing marginalization and persecution from the United States via the Mormon Trail. Following the Mexican–American War in 1848, the region was annexed by the U.S., becoming 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 in 1896 as the 45th.

People from Utah are known as Utahns. Slightly over 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 a majority of the population belongs to a single church. A 2023 paper challenged this perception (claiming only 42% of Utahns are Mormons) however most statistics still show a majority of Utah residents belong to the LDS church; estimates from the LDS church suggests 60.68% of Utah's population belongs to the church whilst some sources put the number as high as 68%. The paper replied that membership count done by the LDS Church is too high for several reasons. 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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Dam at Jordan River Narrows in 1901

The Jordan River is a 51.4-mile-long (82.7 km) river in the U.S. state of Utah. Regulated by pumps at its headwaters at Utah Lake, it flows northward through the Salt Lake Valley and empties into the Great Salt Lake. Four of Utah's six largest cities border the river: Salt Lake City, West Valley City, West Jordan, and Sandy. More than a million people live in the Jordan Subbasin, part of the Jordan River watershed that lies within Salt Lake and Utah counties. During the Pleistocene, the area was part of Lake Bonneville.

Members of the Desert Archaic Culture were the earliest known inhabitants of the region; an archaeological site found along the river dates back 3,000 years. Mormon pioneers led by Brigham Young were the first European American settlers, arriving in July 1847 and establishing farms and settlements along the river and its tributaries. The growing population, needing water for drinking, irrigation, and industrial use in an arid climate, dug ditches and canals, built dams, and installed pumps to create a highly regulated river. (Full article...)
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Monument Valley
Monument Valley
Credit: User:Huebi
West Mitten Butte Monument Valley, view northeastward from Arizona to Utah

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Official portrait, 2005

Robert Foster Bennett (September 18, 1933 – May 4, 2016) was an American politician and businessman who served as a United States Senator from Utah from 1993 to 2011. A member of the Republican Party, Bennett held chairmanships and senior positions on various key Senate committees, including the Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee; Appropriations Committee; Rules and Administration Committee; Energy and Natural Resources Committee; and Joint Economic Committee.

Bennett was a popular and reliably conservative senator for most of his tenure, earning high ratings from conservative activist groups such as the NRA Political Victory Fund, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and the American Conservative Union. However, in 2010, Bennett became one of the most prominent targets of the Tea Party Movement, which criticized his support of the Bush Administration's bank bailout and argued that Bennett was insufficiently conservative. Despite an enthusiastic endorsement from Mitt Romney, Bennett was denied a place on the primary ballot by the 2010 Utah State Republican Convention, placing third behind two Tea-Party-backed candidates. (Full article...)

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Overlooking Park City in November 2013

Park City is a city in Utah, United States. The vast majority is in Summit County with some portions extending into Wasatch County. 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 8,396 at the 2020 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. As of 2021 the city 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 (combined with Canyons Village at Park City) and one minor resort: Woodward Park City (an action sports training and fun center). Both Deer Valley and Park City Mountain 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. (Full article...)
Brent Scowcroft (center) with Dick Cheney and William Webster
Brent Scowcroft (center) with Dick Cheney and William Webster

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Salt Lake City in 1913
Salt Lake City in 1913
Credit: U.S. Geological Survey
Downtown Salt Lake City, Utah in 1913, looking east along 200 South from West Temple Street. To the far left is the Salt Lake Temple. The very white building right of the Temple is Hotel Utah, about one year old at the time. Just visible on the right side of the photo is the Salt Lake City and County Building clocktower. The Wasatch Mountains are in the background.

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