Monday, July 24, 2017

Blessed, Honored Pioneers . . .

Pioneer Day is an official holiday celebrated on July 24 in the U.S. state of Utah with some celebrations in regions of surrounding states originally by Mormon pioneers. It commemorates the entry of Brigham Young and the first group of Mormon pioneers into the Salt Lake Valley on July 24, 1847, where the Latter-day Saints settled after being forced from Nauvoo, Illinois, and other locations in the eastern United States. 

Parades, fireworks, rodeos, and other festivities help commemorate the event.  Similar to July 4, most governmental offices and many businesses are closed on Pioneer Day.  

In addition to being an official holiday in Utah, Pioneer Day is considered a special occasion by many members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church).  On Pioneer Day, some Latter-day Saints walk portions of the Mormon Trail or reenact entering the Salt Lake Valley by handcart.  Latter-day Saints throughout the United States and around the world may celebrate July 24 in remembrance of the LDS Church's pioneer era, with songs, dances, potlucks, and pioneer related activities. 

While the holiday has strong links to the LDS Church, it is officially a celebration of everyone, regardless of faith and nationality, who emigrated to the Salt Lake Valley during the pioneer era, which is generally considered to have ended with the 1869 arrival of the transcontinental railroad. 

Notable non-LDS American pioneers from this period include Episcopal Bishop Daniel S. Tuttle, who was responsible for Utah's first non-Mormon schools (Rowland Hall-St. Mark's) and first public hospital (St. Mark's) in the late 1800s. The Intertribal Powwow at Liberty Park in Salt Lake City honors the rich cultural heritage and contributions of the area's Native Americans, helping Utahns to gain a deeper understanding of the region's history.

As a great, great, great grand daughter of Brigham Young, this is a very special day to me.  I am hoping that here on the Oregon coast I can honor the day as a modern-day pioneer boiling water to wash the dishes and my hair, going up to the state park to take showers and re-building my darling little house here a mile and half from the beach!!

To all my Mormon (LDS) friends and family - 


Mary said...

There are a few Days of the year I wish I lived in Utah. THIS DAY is one of them. Thanks for posting.

Janet O. said...

And I AM living in Utah, but spending the day scrambling to get ready for Bonnie's classes and our family campout. This is also Dad's birthday, which we have most often spent in the mountains with him at camp.
Thanks for this lovely post explaining our heritage, Kris. You have such a deep, rich tie to this day, being a direct descendant of Brigham Young. Hubby has an ancestor that was in that pioneer company with him, and actually did the first plowing in the Salt Lake valley.
You are a pioneer woman, for sure!! :)

KaHolly said...

Very interesting! It would be fun to experience!