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About 2.5 million people call Utah home. Franciscan friars first explored the area during 1776. Jim Bridger, a frontiersman, discovered a unique area called the Great Salt Lake. Mormons arrived in 1847, after fleeing persecution in the Midwest and in the East. They built Salt Lake City and the U.S. got hold of Utah after the Mexican War, which was in 1848. The first transcontinental railroad finished up by a ceremony where the golden spike was driven in, at Promontory Summit, and this was 1869.
The Mormon church gave up polygamy in 1890 because of strife with the federal government. This was six years before Utah became an actual state. Utah has a lot of natural resources and they include gold, copper, lead, zinc, silver, and molybdenum. They also have a good industry in oil, and this comes from oil shale deposits. The state has low sulfur coal in veins beneath the surface. Agricultural products include cattle, hay, dairy, nursery and greenhouse, and hogs. Utah has seen increased tourism as well as a growing computer-related, biomedical, and aerospace industry.
There are 11,000 miles of streams to fish in as well as 147,000 acres of reservoirs and lakes, in Utah. Visitors enjoy Bryce Canyon, Arches, Canyonlands, Zion National Park, Capitol Reef, Dinosaur National Park, the Mormon Tabernacle (Salt Lake City), Monument Valley, and the Rainbow Bridge, amongst others. The 2002 Winter Olympics were in Salt Lake City.