The group, led by Brigham Young, traveled more than 1,300 miles to reach the valley. It was on July 24 they reached their destination and Brigham Young said, “This is the right place.”
Between 1846 and 1868, 70,000 Mormon pioneers journeyed the trail from Illinois to Utah. It took about 75 days to travel the trail by handcart, according to LDS.org.
Pioneer Day is an official state holiday in Utah. The first statewide Pioneer Day celebration took place on July 23 and 24, 1857, according to Utah’s Online Library.
“Whether or not you are a descendant of pioneers, the Mormon pioneer heritage of faith and sacrifice is your heritage,” Elder William R. Walker said in an April 2014 General Conference talk. “It is the noble heritage of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.”
Today, we give thanks for those who came before us.