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119 years ago today, Utah became a state

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Posted at 11:33 AM, Jan 04, 2015
and last updated 2015-01-04 13:51:18-05

SALT LAKE CITY — Happy birthday, Utah!

119 years ago today, President Grover Cleveland made a proclamation making Utah the 45th state in the nation. The presidential proclamation signed on Jan. 4, 1896 required the state to give up the practice of polygamy as a condition of statehood.

Read the presidential proclamation here:

The presidential proclamation making Utah a state on Jan. 4, 1896 (from Utah State Archives)

The presidential proclamation making Utah a state on Jan. 4, 1896 (from Utah State Archives)

The presidential proclamation making Utah a state on Jan. 4, 1896 (from Utah State Archives)

The presidential proclamation making Utah a state on Jan. 4, 1896 (from Utah State Archives)

Utah state archives from the time said that upon news of statehood, people erupted in “pandemonium” and filled the streets.

Here’s a picture of Salt Lake City streets from 1896:

The streets of Salt Lake City in 1896, upon word of statehood (pic from Utah State Historical Society)

The streets of Salt Lake City in 1896, upon word of statehood (pic from Utah State Historical Society)

Celebrations were held across the state. At the LDS Tabernacle in Salt Lake City, a huge flag was draped with the 45th star illuminated. The tabernacle organ also was decorated.

Here’s a picture of the LDS Tabernacle from 1896:

The LDS Tabernacle organ in 1896 for Statehood Day celebrations (from Utah State History Archives)

The LDS Tabernacle organ in 1896 for Statehood Day celebrations (from Utah State History Archives)

The state song, “Utah We Love Thee,” debuted at the statehood celebration the following Monday. It was made the official state song in 1937, according to Utah State Archives. (In 2003, it was dumped in favor of the catchier “Utah, This is the Place” and renamed the “state hymn.”)

Utah We Love Thee, which became the official state song in 1937.

Utah We Love Thee, which became the official state song in 1937.

Heber M. Wells was inaugurated the first governor of the new state of Utah.

Heber M. Wells, the first governor of the state of Utah. (From Utah State History Archives)

Heber M. Wells, the first governor of the state of Utah. (From Utah State History Archives)