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From 65 to 230 million years ago, numerous types of dinosaurs roamed the state of Utah. Fossilized remnants of these prehistoric creatures are still being unearthed today. Several Spanish explorers entered Utah in the late 1700's, but chose not to settle in the region.
In search of religious freedom, Mormons began migrating to the Salt Lake Valley in 1847 and started building Salt Lake City. Conflicts with the Indians resulted in three wars which began with the Walker War in 1853. Two years later, the Tintic War began and in 1865, the Mormons were at war once again in the Black Hawk War.
Controversies arose with the federal government over polygamy that continued until the practice was renounced in 1890. These controversies were partly responsible for the government's unwillingness to admit the region as a state. But, after decades of disagreements, Utah became the 45th state on January 4, 1896.
The railroad was the beginning on non-Mormon settlement in Utah. And, as the railroads expanded in the early 1900's, they paved the way for growth in the states industries. Utah has a wealth of natural resources and has long been a leader in the production of silver, gold, copper, lead, zinc and molybdenum. It also has rich deposits of oil and low sulfur coal.
Both mining and agriculture play an important role in the state's economy. Utah has more computer software firms than any other state and one of the nation's four largest concentrations of biomedical firms. The state's 147,000 acres of reservoirs and lakes and 11,000 miles of fishing streams along with other attractions, brings tourists from around the world.
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