A flock of seagulls . . .
In 1847, a year before US acquired the territory from Mexico, Brigham Young led the first Mormon settlers to the edges of the Great Salt Lake, claiming, "this is the place," thus ending their search for peace. Seeking refuge from religious persecution, the Mormons sought a "land nobody else wanted." They developed the first irrigation system in America which allowed them to cultivate a rich soil and build thriving farms, that is until a swarm of big, ugly crickets, "a cross between a spider and a buffalo" swooped down on them from the mountains, threatening their harvest. Fervent prayer brought help from in an unlikely package, a flock of seagulls "miraculously appeared" in 1848 and gobbled up the offending crickets. (See Stamps page for State Bird.)
Name Origin: Indian. ("Upper")
Capital: Salt Lake City
Area: 84,899 square miles
Statehood: January 4, 1896 (45th state)
Nickname: The Beehive State
Famous For: Mormon Tabernacle, Great Salt Lake, Bridal Veil Falls, Arches National Park, Nine Mile Canyon, Dinosaur National Monument, Kodachrome Basin State Park, Bryce Canyon, Coral Pink Sand Dunes, Natural Bridges National Monument, "Newspaper Rock" (ancient news reports written on walls of caves).