July 24 is Pioneer Day, commemorating the entry of Brigham Young and the vanguard group of Mormon pioneers into the Salt Lake Valley (then a territory of Mexico) on July 24, 1847.
Pioneer Day is considered a special occasion by Mormons throughout the world, and is marked by events commemorating the faith and travails of early Latter-day Saints. In the United States, groups of LDS youth and adults conduct reenactments, walking, pulling handcarts, or riding in horse-drawn wagons along portions of the historic Mormon Trail.
The Mormon pioneers were members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints who migrated from Illinois through Indian Territory, ultimately arriving in the Salt Lake Valley of what later became the state of Utah.
The journey was taken by about 70,000 people beginning in 1847 and ending in 1869, when completion of the first transcontinental railroad marked the end of the pioneer era of Mormon history.
Large numbers of Mormon converts from the eastern United States and Europe continued migrating to the Utah Territory until about 1890.
The following video presentation, entitled Faith In Every Footstep: The Epic Pioneer Journey, gives an overview of the Mormon Pioneer experience as understood by Latter-day Saints today. Narrated by members of the Church’s First Presidency in 1996, when the film was made, each of the three parts runs about five minutes.
Additional resources on the Mormon Pioneers are listed at the bottom of this page.
Explore the Pioneer Trail and its history at more than 40 locations:
Read more about it at the American West website:
Rachel Bruner also writes about the Mormon Pioneers on her pages at About.com:
A detailed encyclopedia-style article about the Mormon Pioneers is available at Wikipedia:
A description of Salt Lake City’s “This Is the Place” monument, including several illustrations: