Brief history of blacks in Utah

The Salt Lake Tribune/January 18, 2009

1824-26 - Black mountain man James P. Beckwourth travels through Utah.

1847 - Green Flake drives Brigham Young's wagon into the Salt Lake Valley. Two other black pioneers are part of the initial Mormon migration.

1850 - Census reports 50 blacks in Utah - 24 free, 26 slaves.

1852 - Territorial Legislature recognizes legality of owning slaves.

1869 - Two black military units, dubbed "Buffalo Soldiers," patrol Utah.

1890 - Trinity African Methodist Episcopal Church opens in Salt Lake City.

1890s - Several black newspapers such as the Broad Ax and Utah Plain Dealer are launched.

1919 - NAACP opens a Salt Lake City branch.

1921- Mignon Richmond is the first black to graduate from college in Utah.

1925 - Mob lynches black prisoner in Price.

1939 - A petition circulates calling for restricting blacks to one section of Salt Lake City. The petition eventually is declared unconstitutional.

1945 - World War II brings many blacks to Utah bases.

Late 1940s - Ella Fitzgerald is refused by whites-only hotels in Salt Lake City.

1950 - Ruby Price becomes the first black schoolteacher in Utah.

1963 - The Legislature rescinds law prohibiting mixed-race marriage.

1969 - Grover Thompson is elected the University of Utah's first student-body president.

1976 - The Rev. Robert Harris is elected Utah's first black legislator.

1978 - LDS President Spencer W. Kimball announces that blacks can hold the priesthood.

1984 - Tyrone Medley is named Utah's first black judge.

1986 - Legislation declares the third Monday of January as Human Rights Day. It later is named Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

1993 - 600 South in Salt Lake City is renamed Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard.

1996 - Grace Sawyer Jones becomes the state's first black college president, taking the reins at the College of Eastern Utah.

2001 - South Ogden's George Garwood us elected Utah's first black mayor.

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