On Statehood Day, Monday, January 4, 2010, the Capitol Preservation Board will begin the process of installing a newly developed free exhibit of documents, memorabilia, educator materials, artifacts and program called Utah in the Union: The Story of the 45th State, celebrating Utah’s 1896 entry into the Union.
The building-wide exhibition will be open from March 2010 through January 2011.The exhibit is specifically designed for Utah students and visitors to the state and those particularly curious about Utah’s history.
By March 3, 2010 – the day Utah Territorial Delegate of Congress Joseph Rawlins introduced the Enabling Act to the House of Representatives in Washington D.C., pushing Utah into statehood – all historical objects, educational display cases and vintage photographs related to Statehood will be in place throughout all areas of the Utah State Capitol.
Exhibits feature several major pieces relevant to Utah history. Objects of interest include an original 45 Star flag to be placed in the Freedom Shrine on the first floor of the Capitol, as well as one of the original copies of the Proceedings Utah Constitutional Convention, published in 1896. In addition, there will be a new 7.5 x 6 topographical map of Utah taken from space, more than 30 historic photographs of Statehood celebrations, and an interactive timeline illustrating Utah’s seven attempts to join the Union.
Capitol Curator Judith McConkie, PhD, stated, “We are indebted to scholars and collectors who have gone before,” she said. “The Utah State Capitol seems, however, a fitting place for assembling a free and educational exhibit throughout the Capitol, especially for school children studying the history of Utah and visitors to our state.”
The Capitol Preservation Board would like to give a special thanks to those who have helped contribute to this exciting and worthy exhibition: The Daughters of the Utah Pioneers, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Church History Library, KUED, Utah State Historical Society and Archives, various state newspaper organizations and universities who have all contributed generously to the exhibition, helping to celebrate the 45th state.