On this day in 1896 Utah is admitted into the Union as the 45th state. In 1846 Joseph Smith's successor as the head of the Mormon Church, Brigham Young, led an exodus of persecuted Mormons from Nauvoo, Illinois, along the western wagon trails in search of religious and political freedom. In July 1847, the 148 initial Mormon pioneers reached Utah's Valley of the Great Salt Lake. The pioneers then began preparations for the tens of thousands of Mormon migrants who would follow. In 1850, President Millard Fillmore named Young the first governor of the territory of Utah, and the territory enjoyed relative autonomy for several years. Relations became strained, however, when reports reached Washington that Mormon leaders were disregarding federal law and had publicly sanctioned the practice of polygamy. In 1857, President James Buchanan removed Young, a polygamist with over 20 wives, from his position as governor, and sent U.S. army troops to Utah to establish federal authority. Tensions between the territory of Utah and the federal government continued until Wilford Woodruff, the president of the Mormon Church, issued his Manifesto in 1890, renouncing the traditional practice of polygamy, and reducing the domination of the church over Utah communities. Six years later, the territory of Utah was granted statehood.

QoD: I'm not a natural leader. I'm too intellectual; I'm too abstract; I think too much. The humble Newt Gingrich. On this day in 1995 The 104th Congress becomes the first held entirely under Republican control since the Eisenhower era. Thanks in large part to Newt Gingrich and the corruption that permeated Congress in the previous Congress. You getting a feeling of Deja vu gone horribly wrong?