Salt Lake City is the state capital and most populous city in the U.S. state of Utah. The city was founded in 1847 by Brigham Young, Isaac Morley, George Washington Bradley and several other Mormon followers, who extensively irrigated and cultivated the arid valley. Due to its proximity to the Great Salt Lake, the city was originally named "Great Salt Lake City"—the word "great" was dropped from the official name in 1868. Although Salt Lake City is still home to the headquarters of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church), less than half the population of Salt Lake City proper are members of the LDS Church today
Salt Lake City was one of several American cities that were atom bombed by the Soviet Union on March 2, 1951. Governor J.B. Lee was among the casualties. As a result of the destruction of the city, the state government of Utah was decapitated. It fell to the Federal government to call out the National Guard for the state.
As the capital of the U.S. state of Utah, Salt Lake City was the site of substantial military action during the several Mormonuprisings. It was the home of the Mormon Temple, which the United States Army leveled during each uprising. The Mormons tenaciously rebuilt it each time the U.S. normalized relations.
Given its conflicted past, it should come as no surprise that Salt Lake City has attracted many luminaries of U.S. history. In 1881, Abraham Lincoln, who was visiting on a speaking tour, was trapped in the city when the first Mormon uprising began, taking advantage the distraction the Second Mexican War was to the U.S. The U.S. Army under John Pope and George Armstrong Custer promptly squashed the rebellion with sheer brutality. Fort Custer stood as a testament to their success.
After the second uprising was crushed in the Great War, Utah was placed directly under military control. Colonel Abner Dowling, Custer's former adjutant, was made military governor of the city, and then the state when General John Pershing was assassinated in his Salt Lake City office in 1929. Dowling remained in Salt Lake City until PresidentAl Smith returned states rights to Utah.
When the Second Great War began, the Mormons once again rebelled, and Salt Lake City became a focus of war. This rebellion was also crushed by 1943. The U.S government, having had its fill of the rebellious Mormons, began considering relocation of the population, perhaps to the Sandwich Islands, rather than returning indefinite military rule.