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For the early pioneers who dared to envision and create their Zion, there were thousands of opportunities for dreams to die, and thousands of reasons for them to give up hope. Yet the determined men and women who went before us found the faith and motivation to persevere in the face of adversity, to pursue the dream and become the nation's forty-fifth star. One hundred years later, the legacy of this dream continues to define Utah. The spirit of the pioneers' endurance, progression, and hope is the Utah experience of yesterday and today.
Utah: The Struggle for Statehood chronicles the state's arduous fifty-year path to statehood—from determined pioneers seeking a haven, to backroom lobbying in the halls of Congress, to Utah's victorious admittance to the Union.
The four-part, five-hour series was created by KUED's Ken Verdoia and Nancy Green. It was written and directed by Ken Verdoia. Three years in the making and filmed on location in four states, Utah: The Struggle for Statehood captures the Utah experience through archival photographs, original footage and historical re-creation, interviews with historians and writers, and moving written records of early Utah settlers brought to life through more than 200 speaking roles. The program is narrated by Verdoia and features the music of the Deseret String Band, pianist Bob Waldis, and a powerful theme created by Utah composer Tulley Cathey.
Distributed for KUED, public broadcaster based out of the University of Utah.