Utah ( YOO-tah, (listen) YOO-taw) is a state in the western United States. It became the 45th state admitted to the U.S. on January 4, 1896. Utah is the 13th-largest by area, 30th-most-populous, and 11th-least-densely populated of the 50 United States. Utah has a population of more than 3 million according to the Census estimate for July 1, 2016. Urban development is mostly concentrated in two areas: the Wasatch Front in the north-central part of the state, which contains approximately 2.5 million people; and Washington County in Southern Utah, with over 160,000 residents. Utah 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.
Approximately 62% of Utahns are reported to be members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church), making Utah the only state with a majority population belonging to a single church. This greatly influences Utahn culture and daily life. The LDS Church's world headquarters is located in Salt Lake City.
The Utah War was a 19th century armed conflict between Mormon settlers in Utah Territory and the United States federal government. From 1857 to 1858, the settlers and the government battled for hegemony over the culture and government of the territory. One famous incident during the ordeal was the Mountain Meadows massacre, which was a massacre of unarmed California-bound settlers from Arkansas (perhaps wrongly seen as in league with the federal government).
The Presidential Election of 1856 was a contest between James Buchanan of the established Democratic party and John C. Frémont of the newly organized Republican party. Buchanan eventually prevailed, but the credibility of the Democratic party had been shaken. The Republicans charged the Democrats with being soft on the "twin relics of barbarism"—polygamy and slavery. To regain credibility for the Democrats, Buchanan needed to address the charge, but was also concerned with maintaining the integrity of the union between the states. The only politically viable option for Buchanan was to take the hard-line on polygamy and depose Brigham Young as governor of the Utah Territory. Buchanan chose to appoint Alfred Cumming as the new governor and ordered the U.S. Army to escort Cumming to the Utah Territory.
Fawn M. Brodie (September 15, 1915–January 10, 1981) was a biographer and professor of history at UCLA, best known for Thomas Jefferson: An Intimate History, a work of psychobiography, and No Man Knows My History, the first important non-hagiographic biography of Joseph Smith, Jr., the founder of Mormonism. She also wrote biographies of Thaddeus Stevens, Sir Richard Burton and Richard Nixon.
Brodie was the second of five children of Thomas E. and Fawn Brimhall McKay. Born in Ogden, Utah, she grew up in Huntsville, about ten miles east. Both her parents descended from families influential in early Mormonism. Her maternal grandfather, George H. Brimhall, was president of Brigham Young University. Her father, Thomas Evans McKay, was a bishop, president of the LDS Swiss-Austrian mission, and an assistant to the Council of the Twelve. Brodie's paternal uncle was David O. McKay. An Apostle in the LDS church when Brodie was born, he later became the ninth President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
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Coordinates: 39°18′N 111°36′W / 39.3°N 111.6°W