SALT LAKE CITY — It was on Jan. 4, 1896 that Utah officially became a state.
President Grover Cleveland signed the proclamation, making Utah the 45th state in the nation. According to publications by the Utah Department of Heritage and Arts, the territory of “Deseret” had desired to become a state for decades, but Congress had repeatedly rejected it on the grounds that Mormons were practicing polygamy, as well as women voting.
In 1890, Wilford Woodruff, the president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, issued what was known as “The Manifesto” and officially abandoned the practice of plural marriage.
When Utah was officially declared a state, the ban on polygamy was explicitly mentioned in the presidential proclamation:
According to historical accounts, Salt Lake City erupted in celebration at becoming the 45th state in the nation.