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 solidify the Saints’ freedoms, fundamental values, social roles, and heritage.

On the morning of July 24, 1849, the silence of the embryonic Salt Lake City was shattered by cannon fire. The first Mormon Pioneer Day celebration had begun. Once the cannon echoes had subsided, the Nauvoo Brass Band, stationed on two carriage beds, serenaded the awakening citizens with “martial airs.” At half past seven, a large American flag was “unfurled at the top of Liberty Pole and was saluted with the firing of six guns, the ringing of the Nauvoo Bell, and spirit stirring airs from the band.”1

At a given signal, the several thousand Mormons in Salt Lake City assembled into their respective wards. Led by their bishops and identified by distinctive banners, these wards then marched as separate groups to Temple Square. Arriving at Temple Square—the spiritual, if not physical, center of the Mormon capital—each ward sat together in the southeast corner of Temple Square under a bowery constructed for the occasion. This was perhaps the single largest assembly of Mormons in the nineteen-year history of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Once the wards were seated, a procession marched the few blocks to Brigham Young’s home in the “log row” to escort him to the celebration. The official records report:

The procession started from [President Young’s] house at nine o’clock. The young men and young ladies sang a hymn through the street—the cannons kept up one continual roar—musketry rolled—the Nauvoo Bell pealed forth its silvery notes—and the air [was] filled by the sweet strains of the brass band playing a slow march. On arriving at the bowery, the escort was received with loud shouts of “Hosana to God and the Lamb,” which made the air reverberate.2f

The program opened with the formal presentation of copies of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States to “Brother Brigham.” In the keynote address that followed, he told his followers that they had been led by God out of a wicked world to the “tops of the mountains” to escape the persecutions they had suffered for their beliefs and to enjoy true religious liberty for the first time. Poems, songs, and prayers reinforced the basic theme of celebrating the arrival of the first company of Mormons into the Salt Lake Valley two years earlier. The crowd re­sponded enthusiastically with shouts of “Hosanna” and “Amen.”3
At the end of the program, those in attendance made their way to nearby dining tables that accommodated not only the several thousand Mormon pioneers, but also scores of forty-niners heading to California goldfields and numerous Native Americans. Despite meager circumstances, one participant commented, “Such a feast of the body coupled with a feast of the soul has not been experienced on this continent for a length of time.”4

From these confident beginnings, Pioneer Day has become, according to sociologist Thomas O’Dea, “the greatest Mormon holiday.”5 In the second half of the nineteenth century, Pioneer Day was one of the most important public expressions of Mormon identity. Although Salt Lake City hosted the main event, tens of thousands of Latter-day Saints in towns throughout the western United States participated in their own parades, devotionals, feasts, sporting events, dances, and excursions. These were, for the most part, remarkably like the annual celebration in Salt Lake City but ob­served on a minor scale and adapted to local conditions.

The relationship between community celebrations and cultural identity has been examined by anthropologists from Émile Durk­heim to the present. A principal thrust of these studies has been the complex and systematic, yet traditional and predictable ways in which a dizzying array of ritual-type elements—songs, parades, costumes, speeches, feasts, decorations, sporting events, dances, artifacts, paintings, prominent individuals, collective memories, dramas and pageants, buildings and other physical spaces, to name just a few—create a public “model” for an idealized social reality. This idealized reality consists of acceptable attitudes, values, behaviors, and relationships that bind individuals to a community and engage them in the celebration of its past, confirmation of its present, and anticipation of its future.6 In short, through this “ritual process,” public ceremony becomes a metaphorical distillation and symbolic reenactment of idealized sociocultural reality. As such, community celebrations provide one of the most insightful and concise windows into the soul of a people.

This paper analyzes the role of Pioneer Day, the major Mormon community celebration, in symbolizing the central aspects of Mormon identity and solidarity in the second half of the nineteenth century. During this period, Pioneer Day expressed three basic dimensions of Mormon identity: (1) It demonstrated how Mormons felt about themselves as a religious and social group. (2) It reinforced the nature and meaning of Mormon social organization and cohesion. (3) It helped create and preserve a strong consciousness of the Mormon past.

To appreciate more fully the importance of these roles of Pioneer Day, we must first examine how the Latter-day Saints felt about this occasion. Although Mormons commemorated several other major events, the anniversary of their founding of Utah, better than any other occasion, enabled the Saints to express in word and deed the most elevated ideals and ambitions of their religion. The day’s uniqueness is captured by the Mormon Apostle Daniel H. Wells:

Among all the anniversaries that might be celebrated, that the memory dwells upon, with peculiar feelings of interest, of recollections dire, and deep fraught with every emotion to which the human heart is susceptible, this, the 24th day of July, the anniversary of the arrival of the pioneers in this valley, has been selected as the dawning of a brighter day, as an era in the history of this people upon which turned the axis of their destiny.7

The significance of the occasion led another Mormon leader, Willard Richards, to declare in 1850 that Pioneer Day was “a day fraught with greater interest to the family of man than any other since the death of Jesus and than expected since the birth of Adam.”8 An editorial in the Millennial Star scarcely a month before Brigham Young died identified this holiday as “the day of days, for without it all other days might become valueless as to results, even when abounding in promise.”9 Numerous other expressions echoed this early view that July 24 was the most important date in the Mormon calendar, a critical time of year for the community to reflect upon the significance of its founding and future.

Image of Pioneer Day Parade in Salt Lake City, 1887.
Pioneer Day Parade. Salt Lake City celebrates “the day of days” with elaborate floats, decorated buildings and spectator stands, and crowds dressed up in their “Sunday best.” Main Street about 300 South. Courtesy LDS Church Archives, Charles W. Carter, photographer, ca. 1887.

The Cultural Ideology of Pioneer Day

Pioneer Day enabled the Latter-day Saints to reinforce their cultural ideology in large-scale dramatic public events. Although many aspects of Mormon identity were highlighted on Pioneer Day, this holiday most emphatically reminded the participants that they were a free people, a blessed people, and a chosen people.

Pioneer Day served as an independence day for the Latter-day Saints. It was, from the first, an occasion for the the Mormons’ most patriotic expressions. The American flag, the United States Constitution, the Declaration of Independence, and other symbols of American political freedom were prominently featured during the celebrations, whether in Salt Lake City or in small Mormon towns. These symbols reminded participants of the Mormon doctrines of the divine mission of the United States and of the divinely established Constitution.10 Said one early Mormon, “It was [as] if the anniversary of the Pilgrim Fathers and the Fourth of July were welded into one,” and another reflected, “This day, in reality, is the Anniversary of our Birthday as a free people.”11

The Mormon sense of freedom, however, was not exhausted by the traditional expressions of American political independence. The Mormons had recently endured persecutions and violence that had left its two principal founders martyred, produced deep schisms among the leadership and membership alike, and threatened the very existence of the religion.12 Consequently, Pioneer Day was a celebration of freedom as much in the Jewish sense of Passover as in the American sense of political independence. Many Pioneer Day orations remembered Brigham Young’s 1847 trek in images reminiscent of Moses’ leading the children of Israel to the promised land. The 1884 Pioneer Day oration given in Provo by Judge Warren N. Dusenberry is an example:

We commemorate the day with feast and festivity, as a sacred passover and escape of the oppressed from their oppressors. We annually hail its return with joy and thanksgiving, because it is the anniversary of a triumph for religious liberty, and the laying the foundation of a great commonwealth.13

Pioneer Day thus reminded the Mormons that collectively they were a free people—politically guaranteed the worship of God and the practice of religion according to their conscience and spiritually delivered from those whom they perceived would have prevented the exercise of those beliefs and practices.

Salt Lake Tabernacle stand prepared for Pioneer Day program. Notice the choir singing, the numerous American flags, the elderly pioneers seated on the stand, and the covered wagons flanking the podium. Courtesy LDS Church Archives, Charles W. Carter, photographer, ca. late 1990s.

Pioneer Day also filled the role of a Mormon thanksgiving celebration, reminding the Saints of their identity as a divinely blessed people. Speeches, feasts, floats, decorations, and other elements of the occasion reminded the Mormons that through their righteousness and hard work and through the mercy of God the climate had been tempered and the desert had been made to “blossom as the rose.”14 On Pioneer Day, “feasts of the fat products of these valleys” were enjoyed throughout Mormondom.15 In 1851, W. W. Phelps summarized the Mormon attitude of thanksgiving with this toast: “The 24th of July. The Mormon Thanksgiving: for more land, more love, more light, more learning. Honored and blest be the ever great day. Come to the supper.”16

The environmental contrast between “Utah as it was” in 1847 and “Utah as it now is” was a major theme of Pioneer Day during the nineteenth century. This theme appeared in speeches, decorations, and parades. As one of many examples, the 1865 parade in Provo consisted of industrial and agricultural equipment and commercial and home crafts displayed on floats. To emphasize the theme of contrast, these passed under

two triumphal arches, raised for the occasion, one being decorated on one side with sage brush, Desert weed and sunflower; the other with wheat, corn, fruits and flowers, with [the] inscription, “Behold the contrast, ’47 and ’65,” the other expressing its opinion that the desert had been made to blossom as the rose.17

The First Presidency expressed the following message in a letter to Church leaders in England on the occasion of the first Pioneer Day celebration in 1849:

This is the anniversary of the arrival of the Pioneers in this valley. Then all was a barren waste; now the “desert blossoms like the rose.” Then a few weary worn-out pioneers, with scanty supplies, left the mark of their industry, enterprise, their perseverance and indomitable courage in this “howling wilderness.” Now thousands feasting, in abundance, and plenty, and offering gratuitous [gracious?] hospitality to hundreds of strangers.18

The blessings of a prosperous society and of a harmonious natural environment were seen as favors from a loving God who had mercy on the Mormons for their sacrifices in trying to obey his will.

Float recognizing Utah’s pioneer silk industry. This Pioneer Jubilee parade float depicts silk worms, mulberry leaves, and silk strands being woven into thread. Courtesy LDS Church Archives, C. R. Savage photographer, Salt Lake City, 1897.

Pioneer Day in the nineteenth century also reminded the Mormons that they were to consider themselves a divinely chosen people. In 1856 in Pleasant Grove, participants in the celebration were reminded that one object of Pioneer Day was “to qualify us to carry out the design of our coming here [the Intermountain West], the measures and missions enjoined upon us as the covenant people of God.”19 In 1851, W. W. Phelps referred to Pioneer Day as, “a day of exaltation—the pastime of the Lord’s anointed—a holiday of bliss.”20

In the same light, Pioneer Day was also seen as the foreshadow of an anticipated celebration at the advent of the Millennium, when all the promises of God to his chosen people would be realized. The celebration of 1856, for example, was remembered as “a foretaste of the day to come when the Spirit of God shall be poured out upon all flesh and when Zion shall be freed from struggling against the powers of Satan and a wicked world.”21 Brigham Young, however, said it best. In one of his first annual Pioneer Day orations, he reviewed the beginning of this tradition then, with his characteristic irony, offered the following observation:

Very soon we will meet in a larger congregation than this, and have a celebration far superior: we will celebrate our perfect and ab­solute deliverance from the power of the devil; we only celebrate now the deliverance from the good brick houses we have left; from our farms and lands and from the graves of our fathers; we celebrate our perfect deliverance from these things.

Our lives have been spared and we are yet upon this planet; and by and by we will celebrate a perfect deliverance from all the powers of earth; and we will keep our eyes set upon the mark, and go foreward [sic] to victory.22

This evidence suggests that Pioneer Day allowed Mormons not only the opportunity to vent the full range of emotions appropriate to their religion, but also to express in a variety of activities the meaning of the religious tradition they had founded and of the cultural identity they had found. Pioneer Day was a celebration of the beginning and anticipated fulfillment of this social and personal rebirth.

Float honoring Utah’s logo, the beehive. Young girls dressed as bees represent the state motto, “Industry.” Courtesy LDS Church Archives, C. R. Savage, photographer, Salt Lake City, 1897 Pioneer Jubilee parade.

The Sociology of Pioneer Day

The significance of Pioneer Day was not restricted to cultural ideology. Like other major celebrations, Pioneer Day involved participants in a variety of appropriate, often idealized, group activities. That is, Pioneer Day was also a celebration of Mormon sociology. An analysis of the sociology of celebrations begins with identifying the various social groups involved in the celebration and their respective roles.

Perhaps the most visible group in nineteenth-century celebrations included LDS Church officials. They were honored by being escorted in a procession or parade from their homes to the central square for the program, sometimes a distance of several miles.23 When escorts were no longer customary, Mormon leaders rode prominently in the parades. They were also usually the featured speakers of the programs. As focal points of the procession and “orators of the day,” Mormon leaders provided the formal sanction to the day’s events and provided the official link between the frontier community and its religious heritage.

Age and gender categories in the Mormon society were also given considerable attention on Pioneer Day. In the procession or parade, groups of “Aged Fathers in Israel,” “Aged Mothers in Israel,” “Young Men,” “Young Ladies,” “Young Boys,” and “Young Girls” wore parade dress and carried banners that prominently displayed mottoes appropriate to their respective social roles.24 For example, boys’ potential contributions to building up the Lord’s kingdom were emphasized with such banners as “Intelligence in Embryo” and “The Young Lions Seen in the Vision.”25 The expectation for girls to imitate their mothers was expressed in the mottoes “Mothers Teach Us How to Be Great” and “Virtue, Our Mother’s Pride.”26 The virtuous qualities of young ladies were emphasized in banners such as “The Daughters of Zion Rejoice in Zion’s Peace” and “Beauty Soon Fades but Virtue Lives Forever.”27 Teenage boys were identified with strength and courage: “Union Is Liberty Forever,” “Israel’s Defense,” and “Zion’s Bulwarks.”28 Adult men were identified as “God’s Noblemen,” “Pillars in the House of God,” “Defenders of the Kingdom of God,” and “Fathers in Israel Teach Righteousness and Rebuke Evil.”29 The social role of adult women—bearing and nurturing children, who were “Zion’s Best Crop”—was emphasized in mottoes such as “Our Children Are Our Glory” and “Mothers in Israel.”30 In a colorful, distinctive, and enthusiastic manner, Pioneer Day reminded the Mormons not only who they should be, but also how they should properly regard others within the community.

Social events were also an important part of Pioneer Day celebrations. Through participation in these activities, celebrants ex­pressed the meaning of Pioneer Day, provided a dimension of enjoyment to the event, and demonstrated the proper relationships among members of different age and sex groups. The usual activities of nineteenth-century Pioneer Day included dances and sports.

Dances were held in boweries, private homes, churches, council houses, social halls, and schools. They occurred during afternoons, evenings, and nights, with many continuing until the following morning. The traditional dances of the day were interspersed with songs, recitations, and humorous toasts. Many towns also held “juvenile dances” prior to the adult dances. These helped socialize the children by teaching them the steps they would use throughout their lives on similar occasions and by letting them play a vital role in the celebration. Although manifestly the most lively and least solemn of the activities on Pioneer Day, the dances added to its religious significance, as indicated in the following reflection: “In the evening our hall was filled with ‘Merry Mormons’ who met again to dance before the Lord and praise Him for His great kindness in leading us to these sequestered vales where we can in peace live the religion of heaven and build up the kingdom of our God.”31

Other than dancing, sports were the most widely held group activities of Pioneer Day. Foot, cycle, and horse races were usual exercises, but rodeos, cricket, and baseball attracted crowds in larger towns and cities. Competition usually occurred between major comparable social groups, e.g., marrieds versus singles, girls versus boys, and couples from one town versus those from another. Sports thus reinforced commonly recognized social differences and encouraged loyalty to one’s own group through friendly rivalries against other comparable groups or individuals.

Community Pioneer Day parade. As in many small Mormon communities, these central Utah townsfolk celebrate dressed as pioneers, commemorating the 1847 trek west. Courtesy LDS Church Archives, George Edward Anderson, photographer, ca. 1900.

Historical Consciousness in Pioneer Day Celebrations

Understanding their place and role in history has been of critical concern for the Latter-day Saints from the beginning. Pioneer Day has been a principal mechanism for the creation and maintenance of Mormon historical consciousness. This role was performed primarily by the programs and the parades.

In most cases, the “orator of the day” reviewed Mormon history to that point, and almost without exception focused on the hardships of the migration westward and the victory of the Saints over the hostile environment of the Great Basin. Devotion, obedience, sacrifice, and unity were primary virtues of the pioneers in this cosmic drama, while those opposed to Mormonism were seen as agents of the devil. The social and natural environments in which Mormons pursued their religious ends were seen as hostile. However, these were either transformed or overcome through the righteous efforts of “God’s elect.” The recitation of historical vignettes was designed to teach Latter-day Saints the values central to their religion and to demonstrate to the believers that they were part of a divinely ordained and directed phenomenon that was destined to realize the kingdom of God on the earth.32

Consistent with the role of Pioneer Day as a birthday celebration, these historical reflections generally viewed the pre-Utah period of Church history as primarily a prelude to the westward journey of the pioneers. By contrast, the exodus from Nauvoo, the trek of the pioneers (particularly of Brigham Young’s vanguard company), and the efforts to establish Zion in the American West were rehearsed in great detail. Orators in outlying Mormon settlements often adapted this general pattern to their particular case, including details of the founding of their own areas.33

The decorations and memorabilia displayed during the programs reinforced the historical significance of the occasion. Pioneer relics such as covered wagons from the 1847 company; the “Old Sow” cannon, which came to Utah in 1847; and William Carter’s plow, which turned the first half acre in the Salt Lake Valley and later in St. George, were among the many items customarily and prominently featured during the programs in the Salt Lake Tabernacle. The surviving pioneers were conspicuously seated on the Tabernacle stand and were honored in word, music, and deed. Communities throughout Mormondom honored the pioneers of their own areas in similar ways.34

The pioneer bias of Mormon historical consciousness was expressed as well in the processions. Customary entries included members of handcart companies and other pioneers, the Mormon Battalion, territorial militias, and local tribes of Native Americans; carriages, wagons, and cannons that had come across the Great Plains; and floats depicting the first cabin, the first printing of the Deseret News, the Pony Express, Utah “as it was” and “as it has become,” and pioneer industries, such as silk and iron.35

During Pioneer Day, historical events and personalities were emphasized or ignored according to their ability to express core elements of Mormon identity and sense of mission. Pioneer Day was one of the most important occasions for creating and maintaining the collective memory of the Latter-day Saints. It defined and popularized—in performance, costume, speech, song, and decoration—the historical consciousness that accompanied the Mormons well into the twentieth century.

Float depicting the first publication of the Deseret News. The man at the doorway of a replica of the first Deseret News building is handing out facsimiles of the first issue (1850) to parade spectators. Courtesy LDS Church Archives, C. R. Savage, photographer, Salt Lake City, 1897 Pioneer Jubilee parade.


In the nineteenth century, Pioneer Day served as one of the Latter-day Saints’ prime mechanisms for preserving and expressing their ideology—their religious heritage and fundamental values and ideals—solidifying their society and the roles of its members, and maintaining awareness of their history. The celebration began auspiciously, spread rapidly, and expanded in its vitality and importance until it rivaled general conference as the preeminent occasion of the Mormon calendar. A local correspondent to the Deseret News observed the following in 1875:

From the cannon firing at daybreak, and immediately after the martial band reminding everybody that the day of the 24th of July had dawned, to the procession and throughout the meeting, in the oration, the songs, toasts, sentiments, etc. there was a choice utterance and presentment of Latter-day Saintism.36

No other event expressed what it meant to be a Latter-day Saint in the nineteenth century better than Pioneer Day did, the greatest Mormon holiday.

About the author(s)

Steven L. Olsen is Manager of Operations at the Museum of Church History and Art. From 1990 to 1993, he was privileged to deliver this paper to audiences throughout Utah as a participant in the Utah Humanities Speakers Bureau. He thanks the Utah Humanities Resource Center for the opportunity and also thanks the hundreds of patient listeners who helped him expand and refine his knowledge of Pioneer Day.


1. The first Pioneer Day celebration and subsequent celebrations throughout the Mormon West were documented in considerable detail in newspaper ac­counts. The principal Utah newspapers were, of course, the Deseret News and the Salt Lake Tribune. However, many smaller newspapers in Mormon towns carried reports of these festivities. Much of the information for this paper comes from these newspaper reports as contained in Journal History, a chronological scrapbook compiled by the LDS Church Historical Department. For details of the first celebration, see Andrew Jenson, Journal History of the Church, July 24, 1849, 1–4, Archives Division, Historical Department, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Salt Lake City (hereafter cited as JH).

2. The sacred “Hosanna Shout” was introduced by Joseph Smith at the dedication of the first Mormon temple, in Kirtland, Ohio. In nineteenth-century Mormonism, a loudly expressed “hosanna” was also used as the highest form of consent to a public discourse or religious act.

3. JH, July 24, 1849, 2.

4. JH, July 24, 1849, 2.

5. Thomas F. O’Dea, The Mormons (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1957), 82.

6. For example, Émile Durkheim, The Elementary Forms of the Religious Life, trans., Joseph Ward Swain (New York: The Free Press, 1965); William A. Lessa and Evon Z. Vogt, eds., Reader in Comparative Religion: An Anthropological Approach, 3d ed. (New York: Harper and Row, 1972), especially pages 106–78, 323–80; Victor Turner, ed., Celebration: Studies in Festivity and Ritual (Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1982); Clifford Geertz, The Interpretation of Cultures (New York: Basic Books, 1973), 142–69, 412–54; Arnold L. van Gennep, Les Rites de Passage (Paris: E. Nourry, 1909); Edmund Leach, Rethinking Anthropology (London: The Athalone Press, 1961), 124–36; Victor Turner, The Ritual Process (Chicago: Aldine, 1969); Dramas, Fields, and Metaphors (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1974). On the analytical significance of prescriptive “models for” cultural reality, see Geertz, Interpretation of Cultures, 93–94.

7. JH, July 24, 1851, 2.

8. JH, July 24, 1850, 2.

9. JH, July 24, 1877, 4.

10. Doctrine and Covenants 98:5–6, 101:77–80, 109:54.

11. JH, July 24, 1869, 3; July 24, 1854, 4. See also JH, July 24, 1883, 2; July 24, 1885, 9; July 24, 1890, 2; July 24, 1897, 14.

12. See Warren A. Jennings, “Zion Is Fled: The Expulsion of the Mormons from Jackson County, Missouri” (Ph.D. diss., University of Florida, 1962); Max H. Parkin, “The Nature and Causes of External and Internal Conflict of the Mormons in Ohio between 1830 and 1838” (masters thesis, University of Utah, 1966); Leland H. Gentry, “A History of the Latter-day Saints in Northern Missouri from 1836 to 1839” (Ph.D. diss., Brigham Young University, 1965); Kenneth W. Godfrey, “Causes of Mormon/Non-Mormon Conflict in Hancock County, Illinois, 1839–1846” (Ph.D. diss., Brigham Young University, 1967).

13. JH, July 24, 1884, 4.

14. A general summary of this informal Mormon doctrine is found in Richard H. Jackson, “Righteousness and Environmental Change: The Mormons and the Environment,” in Essays on the American West, 1973–1974, ed. Thomas G. Alexander, Charles Redd Monographs in Western History 5 (Provo, Utah: Brigham Young University Press, 1975), 21–42.

15. Frontier Guardian 1 (September 19, 1849): 4; JH, July 24, 1875, 4.

16. JH, July 24, 1851, 5.

17. JH, July 24, 1865, 3. For similar expressions see JH, July 24, 1868, 3 (Cedar City); July 24, 1874, 1 (Salt Lake City); July 24, 1878, 4 (Mendon); July 24, 1883, 3 (Springville and Santaquin); July 24, 1869, 11 (Spanish Fork); July 24, 1876, 6–7 (Coalville and Monroe); July 24, 1883, 3 (Plain City); July 24, 1884, 3 (Paradise); July 24, 1890, 2, 4 (Provo, Manti).
18. JH, July 24, 1849, 5; the origin of the Mormon “myth of the desert” is examined in Richard H. Jackson, “Myth and Reality: Environmental Perception of the Mormons, 1840–1865, an Historical Geosophy” (Ph.D. diss., Clark University, 1970).

19. JH, July 24, 1856, 6.

20. JH, July 24, 1851, 3.

21. JH, July 24, 1856, 4.

22. JH, July 24, 1852, 5.

23. For example, Provo’s 1860 parade traveled to neighboring Springville to escort Bishop William Miller to the program, JH, July 24, 1860, 1. Provo’s 1878 parade traveled to Bishop Peterson’s house, “where a bowery had been erected for the occasion” of the program, JH, July 24, 1878, 2. In 1884 a parade went from East Bountiful to Centerville to escort W. B. Smith, the Stake President, to the Bountiful Tabernacle for the program, JH, July 24, 1884, 2.

24. Throughout territorial Utah, banners were a characteristic feature of Pioneer Day parades. In the newspaper accounts, particularly prior to 1870, banners were identified primarily by their mottoes, not their design. This kind of reporting reinforced the appropriateness of the motto to the social role of a specific group.

25. JH, July 24, 1856, 10; July 24, 1857, 2.

26. JH, July 24, 1854, 1; July 24, 1857, 3; July 24, 1860, 3.

27. JH, July 24, 1852, 1; July 24, 1854, 1; July 24, 1875, 6.

28. JH, July 24, 1852, 1; July 24, 1856, 7, 10; July 24, 1860, 2.

29. JH, July 24, 1856, 5; July 24, 1865, 3; July 24, 1860, 3; July 24, 1865, 5.

30. JH, July 24, 1851, 1; July 24, 1852, 1; July 24, 1857, 2; July 24, 1865, 1.

31. JH, July 24, 1865, 5.

32. For example, JH, July 24, 1851, 3–7; July 24, 1852, 1–3, 9; July 24, 1854, 5–6; July 24, 1862, 6–7; July 24, 1867, 5; July 24, 1869, 4; July 24, 1875, 2; July 24, 1877, 6–7; July 24, 1880, 5, and many other references to historical concepts formulated and reinforced in the orations.

33. For example, “Elder John S. Eldredge made a speech in behalf of the hardy Pioneers that first led the way to this desert region; reasoned in a clear and demonstrative manner, showing that God led that noble band, and that our Father in Heaven inspired his servant Brigham Young in all things and led him to this place, and that God has continued to lead this people and has delivered them from the hands of their enemies.” JH, July 24, 1860, 2.

34. Numerous photographs of nineteenth-century Pioneer Day celebrations have been preserved in the LDS Church Archives. These frequently include memorabilia connected with the pioneers or the pioneers themselves, appropriately decorated for the event.

35. Nearly every detailed newspaper account of parades in the nineteenth century mentions elements of the Mormon pioneer heritage worthy of honor on that occasion. The photographs in the LDS Church Archives, mentioned above, reinforce this emphasis.

36. JH, July 24, 1875, 7.

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