Utah became a state 123 years ago today — after abandoning polygamy

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

SALT LAKE CITY — Happy birthday, Utah!

123 years ago, the territory formerly known as “Deseret” became “Utah” after President Grover Cleveland signed a proclamation making us 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.

There were other hurdles, too: Women had the right to vote in Utah well before the rest of the nation. Slavery was also a hot topic.

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

Read the proclamation here:

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

Notice: you are using an outdated browser. Microsoft does not recommend using IE as your default browser. Some features on this website, like video and images, might not work properly. For the best experience, please upgrade your browser.