Here in the great state of Utah, we celebrate our pioneer heritage with parades, time off work, and fireworks! On July 24 in 1847 Brigham Young and the first group of Mormon pioneers entered the Salt Lake Valley. I have ancestors on both sides of my family who traveled to Utah as pioneers, not with the first group but later. My great great great grandmother Emily Hill Woodmansee was in the Willie handcart company which got a late start in 1856 and ended up stranded in a blizzard in Wyoming. She survived and went on to do wonderful things. You can read about her here. I'm so glad I wasn't born back then. I like my running water, electricity, and car. Thanks to those pioneers for being tough and giving us a reason to celebrate.