• Image from Program
  • Image from Program
Citation: The Utah Semi-Centennial Commission, Utah State Historical Society Administration Files, Pioneer Jubilee Program, Utah State Archives and Records Service, Series 3192.


This event was to be one for the record books. As these images note, there were concerts, dances, games, parades, and even a museum. The Pioneer Monument, “In Honor of Brigham Young and the Pioneers,” was unveiled and presented to the state on the first morning of the festivities. The Book of the Pioneers describes a gathering of the surviving pioneers (318 were able to attend) who marched to the monument passing “an immense and enthusiastic throng, shouting and waving welcome to the veterans” before the official unveiling of the monument to the “roar of cannon.” Prayers and speeches were followed by the presentation of a “Pioneer Badge” made for each of the veteran pioneers (Book of the Pioneers, Volume 2, Pages 3-6).

Other events included baseball games, bicycle races, concerts and plays, and singing and writing competitions. There were a number of parades, after which our current Days of ‘47 parades pattern themselves. The “Pageant of Progress” documented the history of “Utah’s growth and development.” 10,000 children participated in the Children’s parade, each one throwing a flower at the base of the newly unveiled Pioneer Monument “until the base was covered.” The Parade of Counties included a float highlighting the “natural and industrial products” of each county. Yet, the crowning glory of the Jubilee was the Pioneer parade, meant to be the “most extensive and diversified spectacle of its kind ever witnessed west of the Mississippi.” (Book of the Pioneers Volume 2, page 13).

The organizers’ goal to rival Chicago’s World Fair of 1893 is evidenced by the temporary Hall of Relics, sporting twelve columns and a replica of “The Signal of Peace” statue, which was originally showcased on the Lincoln Park Grounds in Chicago.

During the planning, the Commission had sent out a call for “curios and souvenirs pertaining to pioneer times,” to be collected into a single repository and displayed during the Jubilee. These items were intended to form the foundation for a future exhibit by the State Historical Society. Similar to the cabinets of curiosity created throughout the 19th century, this Hall of Relics held everything from books, newspapers, and household items to tools, weaponry, and the personal effects of Brigham Young. For 25 cents adults could wander through and envision the lives of the men and women, now “gray and scarred by the experiences forced upon them in reclaiming and colonizing the sterile valleys of Utah,” whom they were celebrating (Book of the Pioneers, Volume 2 page 12; Catalogue of the Relics, Souvenirs, and Curios Associated With the Pioneers of Utah, DUP).


Page Last Updated July 20, 2017.