Portal:Utah

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The Utah Portal

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Utah is a western state of the United States, in the Rocky Mountain region. The name Utah is derived from the Southern Ute word for "higher up." In addition to the Ute Tribe, the Paiute, Navajo, Shoshone, and Goshute nations also inhabit portions of the state.

Utah had a population of 2,389,039 in 2004, according to a Census Bureau estimate. About 85% of Utah's population resides in the valleys and on the western slope of the Wasatch Mountains in northern and central Utah. Residents are called Utahns. The state is generally rugged and arid, and has spectacular natural scenery. It is a popular summer and winter tourist destination. Salt Lake City, the ski resorts in the Wasatch Range, and the national parks of the south are the most popular destinations.

Utah's capital is Salt Lake City, a vibrant metropolitan city. The small community of Fillmore, in Millard County, was designated as the territorial capital in 1854, four years after Utah Territory was organized. In 1856, the capital was moved back to Salt Lake City, which became the capital of the state when Utah was admitted to the Union in 1896. Salt Lake City hosted the 2002 Winter Olympics, which gave a significant boost to the state's tourist industry (especially the ski resorts).

Salt Lake City, Utah is also the headquarters of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, of which approximately 60% of Utah residents are members. The LDS Church has a strong cultural influence on the state, resulting in Utah being one of just two states where gambling is illegal.

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Bryce Canyon Amphitheater
Credit: Jon Zander (User:Digon3)
Bryce Canyon Amphitheater

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The Utah War was a 19th century armed conflict between Mormon settlers in Utah Territory and the United States federal government. From 1857 to 1858, the settlers and the government battled for hegemony over the culture and government of the territory. One famous incident during the ordeal was the Mountain Meadows massacre, which was a massacre of unarmed California-bound settlers from Arkansas (perhaps wrongly seen as in league with the federal government).

The Presidential Election of 1856 was a contest between James Buchanan of the established Democratic party and John C. Frémont of the newly organized Republican party. Buchanan eventually prevailed, but the credibility of the Democratic party had been shaken. The Republicans charged the Democrats with being soft on the "twin relics of barbarism"—polygamy and slavery. To regain credibility for the Democrats, Buchanan needed to address the charge, but was also concerned with maintaining the integrity of the union between the states. The only politically viable option for Buchanan was to take the hard-line on polygamy and depose Brigham Young as governor of the Utah Territory. Buchanan chose to appoint Alfred Cumming as the new governor and ordered the U.S. Army to escort Cumming to the Utah Territory.

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Orson Scott Card at a book signing

Orson Scott Card (born August 24, 1951) is a prolific and best-selling author, working in numerous genres. He is best known for his novel Ender's Game and its many sequels. Ender's Game and its sequel Speaker for the Dead were both awarded the Hugo Award and the Nebula Award, making Card the only author (as of 2006) to win both of Science Fiction's top prizes in consecutive years.

His writing is dominated by detailed characterization and moral issues. As Card says, "We care about moral issues, nobility, decency, happiness, goodness — the issues that matter in the real world, but which can only be addressed, in their purity, in fiction."

A member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, some of his novels have stories explicitly drawn from scripture or church history. His religious and political beliefs have drawn the ire of some science fiction fans, making him a provocative figure within the genre.

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Coordinates: 39°18′N 111°36′W / 39.3°N 111.6°W / 39.3; -111.6