“”I left Great Salt Lake City a good deal confused as to what state of things existed there and sometimes even questioning in my own mind whether a state of things existed there at all or not.
Famously, the Mormons had to pretend to give up polygamy in order to get Utah admitted to the Union.
Utah is notorious for having the largest concentration of poor Republicans in the country (around Provo and American Fork particularly), as well as being the largest per capita consumers of Jello and Prozac. Their Dutch oven cooking is pretty awesome though.
- Ski bums
- Desert rats
- Robert Redford (rowr!) and...
- Sundance Film Festival
- Jack Mormons
- Whacky fundamentalist Mormon splinter groups
- The steady stream of gamblers who clog I-80 west to the casinos in West Wendover, Nevada, every weekend
- The steady stream of gamblers who clog I-80 east to the Wyoming Downs Racetrack and OTB Parlor in Evanston, Wyoming.
- Of the United States, Utah has the biggest fraud problem. Sen. Ben McAdams, D-Salt Lake City noted that the FBI is investigating $1.4 billion in fraud cases in Utah alone. He quipped that "our fraud industry is double the size of our ski industry."
- Utah's one of many states where the only election which matters is the GOP primary. Utah's congressional map looks like a giant pinwheel: they can split Salt Lake City into enough pieces to ensure it's impossible for a Democrat to win. All you ever hear is that they "run bad candidates", but even a war hero can't compete with a religious devotion to Republicanism.
- The Mormons originally proposed the state's name as "Deseret," which supposedly means "honeybee" in the language of the Jaredites, a tribe in the Book of Mormon. The area of the proposed state was over twice the size of Utah, including most of what is now Nevada and parts of what are now Colorado and Wyoming. The name "Utah" comes from "Ute," the Native Americans who were there before Mormons.
- Utah's state highway sign is supposed to look like a beehive, an homage to the state's nickname, The Beehive State. It kind of looks like a ribbed condom with a hole in it, possibly an expression of the Mormon church attitude toward birth control.
- You can't detonate nuclear bombs in Utah (if you somehow manage to legally own one).
- Utah is the only state where a church-owned university has the largest enrollment. Brigham Young University has about 35,000 students, while the University of Utah (the state's largest public university, established in 1850 as the University of Deseret) has about 29,000 students.
- Prior to statehood the Mormon inhabitants waged a low-intensity guerrilla conflict known as the 'Mormon War' or 'Utah War' against non-Mormons in the area. The war had no full-scale battles and mostly consisted of Mormon militias killing civilians and seizing their property.
- Fort Douglas, the army base outside of Salt Lake City, was originally founded to discourage secessionist tendencies in the Mormon population, and is the only fort ever constructed in an American city whose guns point down at the city rather than away from it.
- The Great Salt Lake is really, really salty (between 5% and 27% salinity, depending on location and time of year), but it's still not as salty as the Dead Sea. It will eventually dry up and become part of the neighboring Bonneville Salt Flats, where all the land speed records are set.
- The Great Salt Lake is where 99% of the world's source of brine shrimp (or "sea monkeys") come from. Every year from October to February of the next year, two companies (who hold the dipoly on harvesting) descend on the lake to harvest the Brine Shrimp eggs. Workers are forced to live on site, work seven 17-18 hour days a week, and are only paid $120 a day. (Which, depending on the work load, averages well below the national minimum wage.) Due to the distance between the lake and any nearby city, it is not uncommon for workers who are injured on the job, or who become violently ill, to be made to wait a full day before their employer can be bothered to take them to the hospital.
- The single largest industry in Utah is dietary supplement manufacture. This is due in no small part to Utah Senator Orrin Hatch's support for the quack industry. Hatch co-sponsored the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994, which spawned the industry.
- You cannot buy cream soda at the Capitol because certain brand names reference alcohol. Yes, really.
- Dietary supplements become Utah’s #1 industry, topping $7.2 billion by Stephen Daniells (23-May-2012 Last updated on 23-May-2012 at 17:18 GMT) Nutra ingredients-USA (Archive.org, 2015)
- Support Is Mutual for Senator and Utah Industry
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