Elder D. Todd Christofferson was grand marshal of Utah’s 2023 Days of ’47 Parade in Salt Lake City on Monday, July 24 (Pioneer Day in Utah). Elder Christofferson was joined by his wife, Kathy.
Pioneer Day celebrates the Latter-day Saint pioneers who entered the valley in July 1847. Between 1847 and 1868, when the transcontinental railroad neared completion, some 60,000 to 70,000 Latter-day Saints migrated from the United States, Canada and Europe across the North American Great Plains to Utah and the surrounding regions.
Before these migrants arrived, the central Utah region was inhabited by several communities of Uintah, Timpanogots, Sanpits, Pahvant, and Moanunts peoples. These groups collectively identified themselves as Nuche (“the People”). As early as the 1600s, Spanish missionaries referred to Nuche bands as “Yutas.” By the early 1800s, English speakers variously rendered the Spanish term as “Utaws,” “Yutas,” “Eutaw,” “Eutahs,” “Utes,” and “Utahn.” As with other place names thought to have a Native American origin, United States government officials borrowed “Utah” in naming the territory in 1850. (Read more in this topic page about Utah.)
Last year, former Relief Society General President Jean B. Bingham was the parade’s grand marshal — the first female grand marshal in the annual parade’s history.