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Help Us Show What A Great Utah Summer Looks Like!

10462653_705604846143601_3781725522508040951_nHello Utah! Summer is once again upon as and our state comes alive with celebration, recreation and the occasional relaxation.

We are happy to announce that we are bringing back #myutahsummer. What is it?

We want you to share with us your best summer moments – your visit to a great museum, an arts performance, cultural event, capturing a moment at your local library, and even a great moment volunteering for your community!

Simply share your photos via Facebook, Twitter and Instagram using the #myutahsummer hashtag. We will post selected images weekly from all over the state.

At the end of summer, we will take select photos and compile them into a video, capturing Utah’s Summer of 2015!

Click here to see last year’s video.

We hope you have an amazing summer, whether it’s attending a concert, cleaning up a park with friends, exploring a museum, or simply relaxing with a good book. Be sure to share it with us!

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Summer of Service

boy composting at a service projectSummer of Service is Utah’s statewide initiative to celebrate and mobilize youth 5-25 to make a meaningful difference in their local communities by volunteering June 1 to August 31.

Why serve:

  • Make a difference in someone’s life
  • Learn new skills to build your resume
  • Keep active, stay busy, avoid boredom
  • Have fun and make new friends
  • Earn a Presidential Service Award


  • Nonprofit Organizations
  • Track Hours SOSFaith Based Organizations
  • Community Events
  • Government Agencies and Schools
  • Individuals (neighbors, family, others)

Find Volunteer Opportunities:

Web: Youth Service Directory or State Directory
Phone: 2-1-1 from home phone or 801-736-8929

Qualify for Prizes:

Prizes are awarded in a monthly drawing based on a minimum of 10 hours served that is tracked through our website and a video or photo with story submitted to Mandee Curtis at For additional submissions for prizes, follow/like us on social media. Use #utahsummerofservice15 to tag your photos and videos.

How to Track Hours Online:

  • Click on “Track Hours” button on right-side of this page
  • Click “New User?”
  • Complete the new user registration. Once your account has been created, you will need to re-log in by clicking “go to Login Page”
  • Hover your mouse over the “Opportunities” tab and click “Volunteer Opportunities”
  • Click “Sign Me Up” to the right of Summer of Service 2015

How to Earn Presidential Service Recognition:

The President’s Volunteer Service Award (PVSA) is a premier volunteer awards program.  Youth are invited to participate and be recognized by our nation’s president for being active citizens. Along with the ultimate honor of presidential recognition, recipients will receive a personalized certificate, an official pin and a congratulatory letter from the president of the United States. Youth must complete the following amount of hours June 1 to August 31 for the PVSA:

  • Kids 5-12 (50 hours)
  • Youth 13-18 (75 hours)
  • Young Adults 19-25 (100 hours)

Summer of Service Prize Winners!

Click here to see this summers prize winners!

Need Help?

Call Mandee Curtis at 801-245-7281 for more information

Thank You Sponsors!

Lehi Legacy Center
Logan Aquatic Center
Roy Aquatic Center
Salt Lake County Ice Center

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Utah Historical Quarterly Current Issue

Volume 83, Number 2 (Spring Issue):

Published since 1928, the Utah Historical Quarterly is the state’s premier history journal and the source for reliable, engaging Utah history. Join the Historical Society for your own copy .

Each issue of the Utah Historical Quarterly is accompanied with rich web supplements that introduce readers to sources, photos, interviews, and other engaging material. These “extras” are located at

WEB EXTRAS: See here 



“Zachary Taylor Is Dead and in Hell and I Am Glad of It!”: The Political Intrigues of Almon Babbitt
By Bruce W. Worthen

A Bear and a Bandit
By Steve Siporin

Desert Cold Warriors: Southeastern Utah’s Fight against Communism, 1951-1981
By A. Chase Chamberlain and Robert S. McPherson

The Green River Launch Complex: A Photo Essay


Thumbing through documents, looking at historic images and objects, or even glancing at vital statistics: these actions pique curiosity and prompt us to ask, What happened here? Who were these people? How does this information pertain to the current day? Shaping the scraps and facts of the past into narratives is the joyful, difficult work of archaeologists, folklorists, historians, and many others. How researchers arrive at their conclusions and what stories they decide to tell is a varied and often controversial endeavor. This issue of Utah Historical Quarterly presents four pieces that suggest the depth of experience that can be discovered by digging into the past.

Our anchor article introduces readers to political drama in mid-nineteenth-century Utah. The general outlines are well known: three years after Brigham Young led his people to the eastern edge of the Great Basin, Congress rejected appeals for a State of Deseret, instead creating Utah Territory. What is less known is the political maneuvering and self-interest of the Mormons’ lobbyist in Washington, Almon Babbitt. He had some friends in Congress, including Senator Stephen A. Douglas, but none of the sophistication or perceived noble spirit of John Milton Bernhisel—his rival, who Young ultimately selected over Babbitt as Utah Territory’s delegate to Congress. Babbitt’s partisanship and inside maneuverings hindered Mormon efforts for statehood and contributed to a growing rift between the federal government and the Mormons that would culminate in the Utah War of 1857 and, later, the showdown over plural marriage. This article uses letters, speeches, newspapers, and other sources to recreate the shadowy deals and positioning that ultimately put Utah on the political map.

The second article in this issue examines the many parallels between two incidents that, on the surface, have little resemblance to each other: the killing of Old Ephraim, the famed grizzly bear of Cache Valley, and the killing of Domenico Tiburzi, an Italian bandit. In the hands of a skilled folklorist, the stories of the bear and the bandit reflect unsettling yet celebrated cultural and ecological transformations in northern Utah and central Italy. Old Ephraim and Tiburzi died—and the stories they inspired, born—coinciding with the perceived end of wilderness in both locales. In popular folklore, both became celebrated figures representing “relief and regret” over irreversible changes in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. This essay blends history and folklore to contextualize and compare powerful stories, illustrating that a common experience and a common humanity can exist between even the most disparate of places.

From Cache Valley and Maremma, Italy, we move to an entirely different subject—how the Cold War played out in San Juan County—with an article that demonstrates how historical research can yield unexpected information. With its sparse population and desert landscape, San Juan County is, perhaps, not the first place one would associate with the U.S. government’s efforts to counter the Soviet Union. However, because of uranium mines and missile tests, the county’s residents had a disproportionately large role in the nation’s Cold War preparations. In addition to the outsized drama of the Cold War, this story has a hometown flavor: missiles fired during high school football games and flirtatious soldiers at the local café.

The spring issue concludes with a photographic essay that substantiates the cliché that a picture is worth a thousand words. Of course, a historian might say that pictures need analysis and information—words—to be more fully understood. In this case, we present a set of striking photographs of the now-decommissioned Green River Launch Complex, a site closely associated with the missile tests of our third article. In its current state, the remains of the launch complex might simply appear to be old stuff in the desert. Within the historical setting, however, the role of that stuff in Utah’s rich and complicated past becomes more clear.


Robert S. McPherson, Viewing the Ancestors: Perceptions of the Anaasází, Mokwi ˇc, and Hisatsinom. Reviewed by Farina King

Thayer Tolles and Thomas Brent Smith, The American West in Bronze, 1850-1925Reviewed by James R. Swensen

Ronald K. Wetherington and Frances Levine, eds., Battles and Massacres on the Southwestern Frontier. Reviewed by Brent M. Rogers

Howard M. Bahr, Saints Observed: Studies of Mormon Village Life, 1850-2005.

Howard M. Bahr, Four Classic Mormon Village Studies. Reviewed by Richard Francaviglia

Eric A. Eliason and Tom Mould, eds., Latter-day Lore: Mormon Folklore Studies. Reviewed by Deirdre M. Paulsen

Nathan N. Waite and Reid L. Neilson, eds., A Zion Canyon Reader. Reviewed by Betsy Gaines Quammen


Sue Jensen Weeks, How Desolate Our Home Bereft of Thee: James Tillman Sanford Allred and the Circleville Massacre

Philip R. VanderMeer, Burton Barr: Political Leadership and the Transformation of Arizona

Royce Allen and Gary Willden, Images of America: South Davis County

Robert M. Utley, ed., An Army Doctor on the Western Frontier: Journals and Letters of John Vance Lauderdale, 1864-1890

Lily Yuriko Nakai Havey, Gasa Gasa Girl Goes to Camp: A Nisei Youth behind a World War II Fence

David J. Howlett, Kirtland Temple: The Biography of a Shared Mormon Sacred Space

Daughters of Utah Pioneers, comp., Museum Memories, Vol. 6

2015 Utah State History Conference

Mark your calendars and please join us!

The 63rd Annual Utah State History Conference
Deep Roots, Many Voices;  Exploring Utah’s Multicultural Past

Thursday, October 1, 2105
Workshops at the Rio Grande Depot

Friday, October 2, 2015
History sessions at the Utah Cultural Celebration Center in West Valley City.

Tours to be announced shortly!

RSVP for the annual conference now!

A conference schedule is now available.


Editions of Park Record and Springville Herald Now Available Online to the Public

For Immediate Release

Geoffrey Fattah, 801.245.7205

Communications Director, Utah Dept. of Heritage and Arts

22 January 2015


Editions of Park Record and Springville Herald Now Available Online to the Public

SALT LAKE CITY — The Utah Department of Heritage & Arts (DHA) is announcing the completion of its latest digitization project that makes available a 34-year run of the Springville Herald and expanded editions of the Park Record newspapers free to the public online.

People can now search 13,286 pages of the Springville Herald from 1924 to 1957. They can also search an additional 6,658 pages of the Park Record, making all editions available from 1881 to 1986. Both projects were completed in partnership with DHA and the University of Utah’s Marriott Library Utah Digital Newspapers archives (

“This collection is open to the public by appointment, but is very fragile,” said Amber Swanson with the Springville Public Library. “The grant from the Department of Heritage and Arts has made 34 years of the Springville Herald available online to anyone in the world. It will be a boon to researchers studying the history of Springville and the art movement of Art City.”

“Information is powerful, but it takes money and commitment to convert history to digital archives, available to all on the internet,” said former Summit County Council and Park City Council member Sally Elliott, who added that Park City’s rich journalistic tradition is now being shared online.

Elliott and Swanson both said they both worked with caring citizens and their local libraries to submit grant applications to the Utah State Library – a division of DHA.

DHA Executive Director Julie Fisher said the effort to preserve these two newspapers was clearly a good choice.

“The process of digitizing newspapers is a worthwhile investment that provides a cost savings over time,” Fisher said. “Historic small-town newspapers are virtually inaccessible if the only copy is found in the basement of a library. Just think how much easier it is to find an ancestor’s obituary now that they are digital and online. Digitization is a smart investment.”

The new collection joins a growing list of local newspapers now available online at

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Utah Division of State History Recognizes LDS Church History Department for Utah Territorial Papers and More

For Immediate Release

21 January 2015

Geoff Fattah, 801-245-7205

Public Information Office, Dept. of Heritage and Arts

Brad Westwood, 801-245-7248

Director, Utah Division of State History


Utah Division of State History Recognizes LDS Church History Department for Utah Territorial Papers and More


Salt Lake City – On Thursday, January 15th, the Utah Division of State History recognized the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ History Department for creating the bibliography and category records of the largest collection of Utah territorial records and for providing thousands of pages to complete the nearly 50-year run of the Salt Lake Evening Telegraph (1902 to 1950). The Utah Department of Heritage and Arts provided funding for this collaboration.

Available through the on-line catalog’s bibliographic entry in the Church History website (, the Utah Territory Legislative Assembly papers are the largest digitized collection. The preponderance of the territorial records is now available to all interested parties. The Brigham Young Office Files, for example, include the following territory-related papers and are available in a digitized format:

  • Federal and Local Government Files, 1844-1876 — Letters, minutes and proceedings, statements, addresses, petitions, and other papers relating to interaction of Young and Latter-day Saints with federal state, and local government officials, including the Utah War and numerous other events in territorial Utah.
  • Governor’s Office Files, 1851-1858 — Young’s files as governor of Utah Territory and ex officio territorial Superintendent of Indian Affairs; includes Indian claims files.
  • Utah Delegate Files — Correspondence with Utah territorial delegates to Congress.

State History director Brad Westwood said, “Through this important partnership, Utah citizens, students and historians will now have ready access to handwritten reports, letters, minutes, resolution and more, of Utah’s government wellsprings. The breadth of these holdings is stunning. I truly believe this resource, when explored, will appreciably change the historical facts of Utah’s early European settlements.”

Hundreds of other documents have not been digitized, but a patron can suggest digitization by pressing the digitization button on the screen showing the bibliographic entry in the catalog.

The Utah Division of State History also recognized the LDS Church’s History Department for their assistance with the Salt Lake Evening Telegram. The Evening Telegram was first issued on Jan. 30, 1902, by the Salt Lake Telegram Publishing Co. with the claim that it was the “only 1 cent paper in Utah.” Because State History had an incomplete collection of the Salt Lake Evening Telegram, it contacted the LDS Church’s History Department, which was able to fill in those gaps from their holdings.  The project covered 58,214 pages of gaps from 1903 to 1950.  The LDS Church scanned the missing pages and State History paid to have them indexed and posted on-line. Now there is a complete 50-year run on-line and available to the public thanks to this strong public/private partnership.  This newspaper offers an unprecedented view of life for the first half of the 20thcentury.

Dr. Gregory Thompson, Associate Dean of the University of Utah’s J. Willard Marriott Library for Special Collections and an Adjunct Professor of History, and chair of the Board of State History, said, “The Utah Division of State History appreciates the extraordinary effort made by the LDS Church’s History Department in making publicly accessible the records related to the Utah Territory as well as the Evening Telegram’s collection that describes events and activities of the past.”

Background on the Utah Division of State History

In 1897, public-spirited Utahns organized the Utah State Historical Society to expand public understanding of Utah’s past.  Today, the Utah Division of State History administers the Society, publishes the Utah Historical Quarterly, collects materials related to the history of Utah; assists communities, agencies, building owners, and consultants with archaeological and historical resources; administers the ancient human remains program; makes historical resources available in a specialized research library; offers extensive online resources and grants; and assists in public policy and the promotion of Utah’s rich history. Nearly 700,000 users accessed State History’s resources in 2014. Over 7 million people tour Utah’s historic sites annually, resulting in $718 million in spending and over 7300 jobs.


State History Issues Call to Explore Utah’s Multicultural Roots

State History Issues Call to Explore Utah’s Multicultural Roots

Salt Lake City – The Utah Division of State History invites the public, scholars, students, and organizations to submit proposals for papers, sessions, panels, roundtables, or multi-media presentations exploring Utah’s multicultural past. The conference theme is “Deep Roots, Many Voices: Exploring Utah’s Multicultural Past.” Sessions for the 63rd annual Utah State History conference will be held on Friday, October 2, 2015.

“Utah’s history is enriched by the study of a host of peoples, experiences, and voices,” said Brad Westwood, Director of the Utah Division of State History. “The histories of ethnicity, gender, work, and family, from the perspective of ordinary people, do more than pepper diversity in Utah history: they fundamentally change and enhance our understanding of the state and its past.”

This year’s theme seeks to draw upon this complex and rich “new” Utah history, while also seeking to expand on it by telling new stories, making history available in new ways, and engaging partners to widen our public dialogue. “I encourage those who love and research Utah history to focus on this theme in 2015,” added Westwood.

Proposals should be submitted by March 1st, 2015. Each proposal must include:

  • Each paper proposal, whether individual or in a session, should include a one-paragraph abstract (250-word limit) detailing the presentation and its significance. Submissions for entire sessions or panels should include a brief abstract (250 words) that outlines the purpose of the session
  • Bio (100-word limit) and accompanying c.v. with address, phone number, and email for each participant
  • Audio-visual requirements
  • Your permission, if selected, for media interviews, session audio/visual recordings, and electronic sessions or podcasts during or in advance of the conference. The Division of State History will use these recording in its effort to meet its history-related mission.

For questions or to submit a proposal, contact either Dr. Holly George at 801-245-7257 or or Dr. Jedediah Rogers at 801-245-7209

“Utah’s multicultural history is one of empowerment, creativity, and survival, as well as conquest, dispossession, and prejudice. Unfortunately, this history is underrepresented, and the state’s diverse ethnic and cultural groups and communities too often dismissed, their histories underrepresented,” said Dr. Jedediah Rogers, a historian with State History. “Utah’s demographics belie the rather tired image of a homogeneous state and its people. Utah is—and always has been—an eclectic mix of peoples and communities. Some have emerged as political “hubs,” notably Hispanics, who in 2011 made up 13 percent of Utahns. In 2015 State History will highlight the “deep roots” and “many voices” of our multicultural history—and the rich understanding of our people and state that arise from it.”

We invite proposals that explore the role of immigrant, ethnic, and cultural groups in the formation of the state’s identity and social and political institutions.

The Utah Division of State History recently received $42,050 from the National Park Service to increase the awareness of Asian and Pacific Islander communities’ contributions to Utah’s history. The project will engage with the role of Chinese laborers on the railroads and the Pacific Islander settlement of Iosepa. It is anticipated that updates on this project will take place during the 2015 conference.

For general conference information, please contact Alycia Aldrich at 801-245-7226 or email


Utah Division of Arts & Museums Seeks Nominations for Arts Leaders

December 29, 2014


Utah Division of Arts & Museums Seeks Nominations for Arts Leaders

The Utah Division of Arts & Museums seeks nominations for the 2015 Governor’s Leadership in the Arts Awards. Four awards are given annually in conjunction with Utah Arts and Museums’ Mountain West Arts Conference. This year the conference will be held on Thursday, May 7, 2015 at the Utah Cultural Celebration Center in West Valley City.

The Governor’s Awards in the Arts were established in 1980 to recognize individuals and organizations that make outstanding contributions to the cultural life of Utah. In 2007, the awards adapted to honor those who have demonstrated exemplary leadership in the arts. Today, the Governor’s Leadership in the Arts Awards recognizes those qualities that advance the arts for the people and communities in our state. “The amount of leadership and dedication in our communities is astounding” says Lynnette Hiskey, director of Utah Arts & Museums, “and we all benefit from their commitment to the arts.”

Last year, the awards went to the City of St. George, Spy Hop Productions, Timpanogos Storytelling Institute, and Shirley Ririe.

Nomination forms can be found online and submitted via email to Kirsten Darrington, Assistant Director of Utah Arts & Museums.

The deadline for submission is February 15, 2015.

Utah ranked first in the nation for volunteering for ninth year running

UServeUtah_VCLA2014ThumbFor Immediate Release

Utah ranked first in the nation for volunteering for ninth year running  

SALT LAKE CITY (Dec. 17, 2014) – For the ninth consecutive year, the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) has ranked Utah first in the U.S. for voluntarism because of Utahns’ generosity and commitment to improve their communities.

On Wednesday, Gov. Gary R. Herbert and the Utah Commission on Service and Volunteerism announced the 2014 Volunteering and Civic Life in America (VCLA) report ranked Utah as the No. 1 volunteering state in the nation for the ninth year running. The announcement was held in conjunction with release of the CNCS report.

“The VCLA report reaffirms that we have wonderful people who call Utah home and that care about their neighbors,” said Gov. Herbert. “Utahns proactively looking for opportunities to serve their community and help others save cost to government and to taxpayers. Their volunteer efforts pay significant dividends on many levels.”

Research from the VCLA 2014 report ranks Utah as the No. 1 volunteering state in the nation with 45.3 percent of adults volunteering. The report is part of the most comprehensive study of volunteering and civic engagement across the country. The data is gathered annually through the Current Population Survey conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau for the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Data was collect on the volunteering and civic activities of Americans age 16 and older.   

“Utah citizens are extremely generous and consistently demonstrate their commitment to impacting the lives of individuals in their communities,” said LaDawn Stoddard, executive director for the Utah Commission on Service and Volunteerism.

The total economic value of volunteer service in Utah was $3.5 billion based on the independent sector annual estimate of the average value of a volunteer hour, which was $22.65 in 2013. More than 900,000 volunteers served approximately 154.9 million total hours.

The spirit of Utah’s volunteerism is exemplified in individual cities. The report also ranks the nation’s largest cities and metropolitan areas for their volunteering and civic engagement rates. Salt Lake City increased its ranking, moving from number five to second in the metropolitan cities category nationally. For mid-sized cities Provo ranked No. 1 again at 53.2 percent with Ogden coming in a close second at 52.2 percent of adults volunteering.  The complete report can be accessed at  

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Exhibition at the Utah State Capitol Highlights the Work of Utah Women

For immediate release               

December 17, 2014


Exhibition at the Utah State Capitol Highlights the Work of Utah Women

“Women Artists of Utah” celebrates a selection of remarkable works by Utah women. Women have always been active and essential participants in our cultural heritage. This exhibit includes a variety of works, from early Utah masters to present-day emerging and established artists who have contributed to Utah’s rich artistic history. The breadth of work on view showcases a spectrum of artistic styles, from the collection’s inception in 1899 to work being produced by Utah’s contemporary women artists. “Women have always played an important role in the arts; especially in Utah as Alice Merrill Horne, who once elected to the legislature in 1899, established what is now the Utah Division of Arts & Museums” says Utah Arts & Museums director Lynnette Hiskey. “We are proud to own so many important works of art by Utah’s talented women.” The exhibition will be on display in the Utah State Capitol Building Dec. 23 – Mar. 13, 2015 on the fourth floor gallery.

One of those talented women is Susan Makov. “I have had great teaching colleagues and wonderful artist friends. There has never been a question of their talent or passion for their work. But of course passion alone does not make a career; there must be opportunity as well,” says Makov. “In large cities like New York, one may find opportunities to show work at influential and eminent institutions like the Museum of Modern Art. I chose to teach as my main career, and Utah and the American West offered me great prospects on that path. I know that being a professional artist means perseverance and dedication to the calling over decades and making a living doing it, like any other professional.”

Keisha Goeckeritz, whose piece Scribbles No. 10 was just purchased in 2013 when she was a student, will also be featured in this exhibit.  “I’ve always thought of myself as any other person that’s an artist, but there’s this worry that women artists tend to forfeit their abilities to obscurity.” Goeckeritz continues, “To me, being an artist isn’t a career, it’s what I am.”

If you have questions about this exhibit or the State of Utah Fine Art Collection, please contact Jim Glenn at or 801.245.7271 or Emily 801.363.0298