Celebrating Cultural Identity: Pioneer Day in Nineteenth-Century Mormonism

For its first half century, Pioneer Day was no mere holiday. Its festivities served to memorialize and solidfy the Saints freedoms, fundamental values, social roles, and heritage. According to sociologist Thomas O’Dea, Pioneer Day is “the greatest Mormon holiday.” In this article, author Steven L. Olsen studies the relationship between this community celebration and the Saints’ cultural identity.

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