Today is Pioneer Day.
July 24th is a Mormon Holiday (and a state holiday in Utah) celebrating the entry of Brigham Young and other Mormon pioneers entering the Salt Lake Valley on July 24th, 1847.
The pioneers migrated west because of persecution and general bulling in Illinois and other parts of the United States. In oversimplifying terms, the Mormons were running away from bullies.
Utah War began. President Lincoln eventually intervened, and Pioneer Day was celebrated once again.
Betcha didn't know that Lincoln wasn't only responsible for ending slavery. He also abolished mormon beat-downs, and probably invented Lincoln Logs as well...
In Utah, Pioneer Day is celebrated with rodeos, parades, fireworks, and tons of congestion. Many reports from Salt Lake City say traffic congestion (and fatalities) are highest during July 4th and during Pioneer Day.
Those crazy mormon drivers....
For the other 49 states and the rest of the world, it's simply July 24th. If you feel like showing some props to your mormon bretheren, here are some fun ways to do it:
- Listen to Donny & Marie all day (I forget, which one's country, and which one's rock and roll? Does it matter?)
- No coffee or booze. Drink lots of lemonade or root beer, and use words like "golly" and "gosh darnit."
- Watch every mormon's favorite episode of South Park... and sing along! (dum dum dum dum dum...)
- Learn some fun mormon facts
Or, you know, just do your normal stuff and don't bother. That's what I'm doing today...
So if you're LDS, happy Pioneer Day. Enjoy your festivities, and try not to party too hard. At least you didn't die of dysentery on the Oregon Trail... that's one thing to celebrate. I guess...