125 years ago today - Jan 4, 1896
Democratic president Grover Cleveland proclaims Utah as a state. Only two members of U.S. House of Representatives voted against enabling act in 1893. It caps the end of a long struggle which included a federal occupation, crushing statutes, imprisonment of Church leaders, alteration of a Church doctrine and marital pattern, and the reformation of a party system. At about mid-day, Salt Lake City erupted into an enthusiastic celebration. A shotgun fired in front of the Western Union Telegraph office signaled that word had arrived from Washington, D.C., that President Cleveland had signed the proclamation making Utah the forty-fifth state. This set off a deafening clamor of shouts, fireworks, bells, and cannon salutes. A gigantic steam whistle especially provided for the occasion sounded incessantly for two hours from the tower of the Salt Lake City and County Building. The streets were thronged with people heartily congratulating each other.