Celebrate the arrival of the first pioneer settlers to the Salt Lake Valley! The Days of ’47, Inc. remembers Utah’s early pioneers with a variety of events beginning with nominations for Pioneers of Progress awards and culminating with an all-day extravaganza with a Sunrise Service and Parade in downtown Salt Lake City on July 24th, 2013, a state-wide holiday, followed by our Rodeo Finals that evening at EnergySolutions Arena . Bring your family and friends to the 2013 festivities. Most are free!
Our 2013 Theme: “Pioneers — Our Anchor for the Future”
On July 24, 1847, Brigham Young and a determined company of Mormon pioneers realized their dreams upon entering the Great Salt Lake Valley, thus becoming the vanguard of one of the greatest treks in American history. Pulling handcarts or driving wagons with oxen or horses, thousands of pioneers carried a firm commitment to America’s belief in freedom of religion as they slowly trudged across the plains to a vast desert landscape that became known as the Utah Territory. Coming together from many nations, they sought to create a new life. This trek of the early Utah pioneers exemplifies the courage, foresight and faith that continue to inspire modern-day pioneers.
By remembering those remarkable 1847 pioneers and all those who followed, The Days of ’47 seeks to make their accomplishments and hardships live today through a variety of activities and celebrations each year. We believe the example of past and present pioneers’ courage creates a vision for our combined future that everyone can follow while we continue recognizing Pioneers — Our Anchor for the Future.
The Days of ’47, Inc. is a private, nonprofit, all-volunteer, charitable corporation to honor Utah’s early and modern pioneers and to keep their pioneering spirit alive.
Our 2012 celebration also emphasizes our sponsor and transportation partner, Union Pacific Railroad.
As Brigham Young’s weary Vanguard Company edged into the Salt Lake Valley on July 24th, 1847, they were completing an epic journey. Many soon followed in the trails they had blazed.
But Brother Brigham was never satisfied with a status quo, especially where overland travel was concerned. The Perpetual Emigrating Company and travel by handcart were two of Brigham’s innovations that would have a monumental impact on Mormon immigration and settlement. A third was his active role in supporting construction of the Transcontinental Railroad through Utah.
It was Young who, on May 21, 1868, contracted with the Union Pacific for the Church to build the rail grade from the top of Echo Canyon, near the Wyoming/Utah state line, to the Great Salt Lake. And it was Young who helped to create the Utah Central Railroad in 1869 and the Utah & Northern Railroad in 1871. These railways functioned as spur lines of the transcontinental route and connected most of Utah to the rest of the nation.
The benefits of these innovations were obvious and many. Mormon converts and missionaries could travel with relative ease to and from Utah, and goods created in Utah could find larger markets.
The wagon trains and handcart companies served well their purposes and passed into history where they are venerably acknowledged on Pioneer Day and throughout the year.
While the rail lines that Abraham Lincoln and Brigham Young envisioned continue to play key roles in the economic viability of Utah and our nation. Union Pacific trains still carry people and products on transcontinental rail grades and the Frontrunner commuter train follows the route of Brigham Young’s Utah Central Railroad.
This year as we acknowledge the 165th anniversary of Mormon settlement and the 150th anniversary of the Union Pacific Railroad, we can honor both histories which have been intertwined and interdependent since 1868.
By Scott R. Christensen
Our mailing address is:
The Days of ’47, Inc.
P.O. Box 112287
Salt Lake City, UT 84147-2287
801-250-3890 (general information)