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Statehood exhibit set to open at Capitol building this spring

By Amanda Butterfield | Posted - Jan. 4, 2010 at 5:55 p.m.


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SALT LAKE CITY -- Since Monday is Statehood Day in Utah, the Capitol Preservation Board thought it was a good time to announce its newest exhibit. It focuses on Utah in the Union.

On the bottom floor of the Capitol, the old exhibit highlighting the Restoration of the Capitol building is coming down. In its place will be a giant time line about Utah in the Union.


Utah covers 84,916 sq. mi., 65% of which is owned by the federal government. -Utah.gov

"It's gonna be 6 feet [tall] and 12 feet wide. It's going to be a time line of Utah history, going from about 1848 to 1895, '96; just the years Utah was trying to become a state," explained Jeremiah Chin, research assistant.

Capitol curator Judith McConkie said, "We want people to know it took 47 years and seven conventions to enter the Union as an official state."

Once it's up, visitors will be able to read more about the historical events that made Utah a Union and compare them to events that were going on the same time across the country. But the exhibit isn't just in this one room.

"It's a building-wide exhibit about Utah," McConkie explained.

**Statehood of Utah**
![](http://media.bonnint.net/slc/1685/168573/16857371.jpg)Utah was Mexican territory when the first pioneers arrived in 1847, but became a U.S. Territory as part of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo in 1848, which ended the Mexican-American War. Early Mormon pioneers formed a political government which functioned as the State of Deseret between 1849-70, but their petitions for statehood were denied because of the practice of polygamy. In 1850, an "outside" form of government was imposed on the area by federal officials and Fillmore was designated the capital. A governor was sent to the new territory, called Utah, which is named after the Ute Tribe, to oversee law and order. Salt Lake City replaced Fillmore as the territorial capital in 1856. Utah was admitted as the 45th state in the union on January 4, 1896.
She showed KSL News the exhibit will be in several places in the building. Display cases will be filled with Utah's history, including papers from the day the state entered the Union, the signed Utah Constitution and a large 45-star American flag. There will also be a much-needed updated topographical map, with images taken from space. Visitors will also be able to see another highlight up close: the official proceedings of the constitutional convention for the state of Utah. A member of the Capitol Preservation Board found them on eBay.

McConkie said the exhibit will open March 8, the anniversary of the day legislation was introduced to Congress to allow Utah into the Union as the 45th state.

The exhibit is geared to fourth- and seventh-graders learning about Utah history, but it will be free to everyone once it opens.

Want to test you're knowledge of Utah history? CLICK HERE to take a quiz curator Judith McConkie came up with for KSL viewers.

E-mail: abutterfield@ksl.com

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Amanda Butterfield

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