Utah’s First Female Editor: Louisa Green Richards and The Woman’s Exponent

by BAYLEE STEPHENSON

LuLu_Greene_Richards

Louisa Greene Richards was the first female editor in Utah. She served as the first editor of the Woman’s Exponent. Digital Collections, Utah State Historical Society.

The Woman’s Exponent carved a path for women, equality and woman suffrage in Utah through the assistance of two incredible editors. Emmeline B. Wells is probably the most notable editor to have worked for the publication, but had it not been for her predecessor, Louisa Greene Richards, the newspaper would not have existed. Richards, known fondly as Lula or Lulu, was born in 1849 as the eighth of thirteen children to Evan Greene and Susan Kent in Kanesville, Iowa. (Bennion, 2) Greene and Kent were first cousins by their mothers, who were the sisters of the president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Brigham Young. Richards relocated to Salt Lake City, Utah, with her family in 1852 when Brigham Young and the Mormon pioneers left Iowa. It was in Utah that she found her passion for writing. (Bennion, 2)

Richards had always enjoyed writing and had a knack for poetry. It is believed that her first poem was written when she was fourteen, with her first step into journalism happening at the age of twenty when she began editing the Smithfield Sunday School Gazette. That same year she made the decision to attend the University of Deseret, presently known as The University of Utah. (Bennion, 3) By late 1871 she had finished school and was in Salt Lake City inquiring about a teaching position. While there, she received a letter requesting that she return home due to a family illness. She didn’t have the funds for the journey and decided that she would stay up all night and write poetry in the hopes that she might be able to sell it to a publisher in exchange for the fare she needed to get to Smithfield. The next day she went to the Salt Lake Daily Herald to meet with the editor, Edward L. Sloan, to sell her poetry for the $7.50 she required. She was successful in her endeavor. (Romney, 262)

Richards made the journey back home to be with her family, which is where she received a letter from Sloan asking her if she would be interested in editing a paper for Mormon women that he would print on the Herald’s presses. (Bennion, 3) She had her reservations regarding the idea and wrote to Eliza R. Snow, the president of the Relief Society, the women’s organization within the church, to ask her if she could discuss the prospect of the newspaper with the president of the church, Brigham Young. Richards believed that if Young approved of the paper then she should pursue the opportunity of running the new publication. Young gave Richards a calling to serve a mission, which is a personal assignment to be done for the church for a designated time frame, as the editor of the paper. (Bennion, 3)

On April 9, 1872, Sloan sent a copy of the Daily Herald to every member of the Relief Society with an advertisement promoting the Woman’s Exponent and its first issue. It read, “…a proposed woman’s journal … will be found in the Herald this morning. A more extended notice of it is crowded out until to-morrow by a press of other matter.” The ad was in two spots on the third page, one announcing the new paper and another expanding on what the publication would be writing about and who its target audience would be. That ad elaborated on the Exponent’s mission to write to the women of the Relief Society and the goals it had set. The advertisement announced Richards would be the acting editor of the bi-monthly paper, which would release its first issue on May 1, 1872. Subscription costs were based on delivery frequency, ranging from $1.00 to $18.00.

Richards married shortly after she became the editor of the paper and during her time she had two daughters, both of whom died. She helped build and mold the publication into the successful female-centric paper remembered under the leadership of Emmeline Wells. Wells took over in 1877 when Richards stepped down to pursue being a wife and mother full time. (Bennion, 9) While her personal life changed, and grew during her tenure as editor, she never neglected the paper and prioritized its success. The paper focused on what mattered to women as well as what was going on within the news.

WomansExponent-Volume1-Number11-1872

The November 1, 1872, issue of the Woman’s Exponent featured the news that a Connecticut woman might be the first female to cast a ballot for the president of the United States. Special Collections, J. Willard Marriott Library, The University of Utah.

Richards was unable to meet the release date of May 1, 1872, so the first issue of the paper published on June 1. It featured articles and information that Richards thought to be the most interesting and important to women at the time. The paper didn’t simply focus on matters of the home, or what could be considered the traditional normative role women typically took within society due to the religious influence. On page 4, an article titled “Our Position” delved into Richards’s intentions for the paper, which stated that the purpose was not to advocate for woman suffrage, “for it is enjoyed by women of this Territory.” Women in Utah had received the right to vote per a decision by the territorial legislature in 1870, years prior to the 19th amendment. This right was revoked by Congress in 1887, but was ultimately restored in 1895 upon it being written into the state constitution. (White)

The Exponent aimed to speak for many of the women within the state, knowing that there would be dissenting opinions. Richards knew that there was still much to be done for women’s rights, but she strived to reach the majority in the hope that the topics discussed and covered were those that were significant to the women of Salt Lake City. On page 5 of the first issue, an article titled “Woman’s Rights and Wrongs” examined the equality that women lacked in relation to their male counterparts. This article explained the hardships women faced in doing the same amount of work as a man and receiving only a portion of the pay, as well as addressing the issue that women have the right to do any job their desire regardless of gender should they be able to adequately perform. Whether Richards intended for the publication to speak on behalf of women, equality, and at times for woman suffrage, it did and it became a key player in advocating for women in Utah.

The first issue of the Exponent set the stage for what would come from Richards, and later her successor, Emmeline Wells. The front page of the publication began with an article titled “News and Views.” This article commanded the entire front page of the paper and disclosed the news and opinions of Utah, as well as what was happening nationwide. Topics discussed in this article included religion, politics, suffrage, and race. Richards didn’t shy away from discussing what she believed in and what she thought the women of Utah wanted to be reading. The bold approach she took in writing and editing the paper helped catalyze the publication into the success that it experienced during its 42-year lifespan. On page two of the first issue, there is an article written by Eliza R. Snow on “The Female Relief Society,” which became a regular column in the Exponent penned by Snow. It gave readers a summary of the happenings of the church at the time. Richards felt that providing women with insight into the church was important as most of her readers were members of the religion. She also felt that having this section written by the president of the relief society was important for the women consuming the material.

The articles seemed to mildly contradict in that the written purpose was not to advocate for equality, but the articles themselves did articulate the support and advancement of equal rights for women. Emmeline B. Wells, who was known for her work within the woman suffrage movement, became Richards’s successor when Richards chose to withdraw as editor. Under the new leadership of Wells, the publication began taking a stronger stance on equality and woman suffrage.

On August 1, 1872, the Exponent published an article titled, “Why Women Should Vote.” This article touched on the fact that while some women cared nothing for politics and would most likely not vote, women should still be able to participate in voting and the voting process. The article stated that it was an important part of our society and should not exclude half of the nation’s population, as women had well-informed opinions and deserved to have a voice within democracy and politics. This article was extremely well received because women in Utah already possessed the right to vote and it led to further articles regarding woman suffrage and equal rights.

For example, on October 1, 1872, there was an article titled “Lady Lawyers” that recognized the remarkable accomplishment of two women who were admitted and sworn into the bar to become attorneys-at-law in the state of Utah. And while it wasn’t their intention or desire to practice law, they understood the large impact this would have for women across the nation. The article acknowledged that just a few years prior to this event, women were often ridiculed for their pursuits. The article also addressed the right of a woman “to earn her living in any honorable career for which she has capacity.” Utah was a remarkably advanced state within the union at the time and encouraged women to pursue their aspirations and career goals.

The first few months of the Exponent under Richards’s leadership laid the foundation for this progressive paper. Just five years after she signed on to the project, she decided to remove herself as acting editor. On July 15, 1877, the final issue of the Woman’s Exponent crediting Richards was published. That issue continued to advocate for equal rights, provide updates on the LDS church, and share poetry. The issue also shows significance in that it sold ad space on the last page, which generated revenue and income for the publication. Throughout all the stories and articles published in this issue, there is no acknowledgement of Richards’s departure. In a following issue of the paper, dated August 1, 1877, Richards penned an article titled “Valedictory,” in which she bid the paper farewell and discussed her reasons for departing the Exponent. She made it clear in her message that she would not be losing contact with her readers, but would be communicating with them as a contributing writer for the Exponent. She noted that she was in good health, but her “head and eyes need recruiting.” She also wrote that she believed her time would be best spent dedicated to domestic duties. Richards was content to relinquish all claim to the Exponent, because she knew she would be leaving it in good hands. She ended her farewell by asking her “sisters old and young” to subscribe and write to the Exponent to make it “more interesting and successful in performing its mission.”

After retiring as the editor of the Woman’s Exponent, Richards turned to being a wife and mother full time, but she never stopped writing. Her poetry is what launched her into her career with the Exponent; her poetry is how she continued to express herself throughout her life. Richards published a few of her poems during her five-year run with the paper and afterward found herself publishing a book, Branches That Run Over the Wall. Richards spent her life dedicating her time to her family and her writing. Never forgetting who she was or what she believed in, and was never afraid to speak her mind in the effort of being an independent woman at a time when that wasn’t always fully embraced. Louisa Lula Greene Richards was the first female editor in Utah and became a respected public figure and advocate for women all over the state.

The Woman’s Exponent provided women with an outlet and a resource that wasn’t a common commodity at the time. The publication had a female editor, the first in the state and breached topics that were both helpful, informative, and at times controversial. Looking back at the many issues of the paper, it is obvious that these women were dealing with issues that are still prevalent today. We are still fighting for gender equality in many regards, we are still fighting to give women an independent voice and we are still fighting to break into male dominated industries. Utah was a unique place, where women held positions without it being perceived as a woman trying to take over a man’s role. These women were praised for their work and made strides in the fight for equality for women everywhere. The paper was so successful that it even spurred the conception of Exponent II, a quarterly publication launched to give feminist Mormon women a voice. (Sheldon) Women across Utah, especially within the Mormon community, have been deeply impacted by the Exponent and the work of Richards and Wells. Their efforts have resonated with women across generations for over 100 years and even led to the development of other publications. This progressive paper was created by women for women.

Baylee Stephenson graduated in May 2017 from The University of Utah with a degree in communication. She moved to New York City after graduating to pursue a career in product development and now resides in the city full-time.

Sources

Louisa L. Richards, Branches That Run Over the Wall: A Book of Mormon Poem and Other Writings. Salt Lake City, Utah: The Magazine Printing Company, 1904.

“Valedictory,” Woman’s Exponent, August 1, 1877, 36.

Woman’s Exponent, June 15, 1877, 25-32.

“Lady Lawyers,” Woman’s Exponent, October 1, 1872, 68.

“Why Women Should Vote,” Woman’s Exponent, August 1, 1872, 36.

“News and Views,” Woman’s Exponent, June 1, 1872, 1.

“Our Position,” Woman’s Exponent, June 1, 1872, 4.

Eliza R. Snow, “The Female Relief Society,” Woman’s Exponent, June 1, 1872, 2.

“Woman’s Rights and Wrongs,” Woman’s Exponent, June 1, 1872, 5.

“Woman’s Exponent,” Salt Lake Daily Herald, April 9, 1872, 3.

Bennion, Sherilyn Cox. “Lula Greene Richards: Utah’s First Woman Editor.” BYU Studies 21, no. 2 (1981): 1-14.

Romney, Thomas C. “Louisa Lula Greene Richards.” The Instructor (September 1950): 262-263.

Sheldon, Carrel Hilton. “Launching Exponent II.” Exponent II. http://bit.ly/2otlTLP

White, Jean Bickmore. “Women’s Suffrage in Utah,” Utah History to Go. http://bit.ly/2kWl4rr

 

 

 

Florabel Muir, First Woman Reporter for the Salt Lake Tribune and Pioneer for Women in Journalism

by MADISAN HINKHOUSE

Florabel Muir was a pioneer for women in journalism, from being the first female reporter for The Salt Lake Tribune after getting her start at a lesser known Salt Lake paper called the Salt Lake Herald, to being the first woman to witness and report on an execution. In this analysis of the life and career of Muir, I will explore these implications and other aspects of her career in the world of journalism.

1950_BookMuir, born in 1900, grew up in Rock Springs, Wyoming. She credited her upbringing for her ability to handle the “rough and tumble” side of journalism, meaning blood, fights and murder. Muir described Rock Springs as a mining town where rugged people had a better chance of survival, and most arguments were settled with fists. She was the youngest of eleven children. She wrote in her autobiography, Headline Happy, “Being a nonconformist from an early age, I developed a great strength of will to keep myself from being swamped with do and don’ts from the rest of the family.” (Muir, 3)

The non-conformity began when Muir attended college at the University of Washington, where, following in the footsteps of her sisters, she studied to be a teacher. She went to work for the student newspaper to make extra money. This is where she was “bitten by the bug.” Muir writes about the time she spent as a teacher in rural Wyoming, but teaching was not what she wanted to do. (Muir, 3-4)

She made her way to Salt Lake City in search of a reporting job. Muir posed as an experienced reporter in an attempt to land a job. The language she learned while at the student publication helped her sound more experienced than she was. Even with this language and prior experience Muir worked odd jobs for nearly three months before getting a reporting job with the Salt Lake Herald. (Muir, 2-5)

Her career in professional news began in 1926 as a police reporter, according to an obituary published in Boxoffice in 1970. In her autobiography, Muir reflected on the hardships she faced being a woman in an industry dominated by males. She recalled when she got her start with the Herald: Women were not looked upon as proper instruments with which to get out the gutsier parts of the newspaper.” (Muir, 3) In this time, the 1920s and 1930s, editors allowed women to cover societal events and club pages. According to Muir, those beats bored the “bejesus” out of her. This boredom inspired her determination to cover murders, robberies and malfeasance with the boys. (Muir, 3; Boxoffice)

Although The Salt Lake Tribune was her first choice, it had never had a female reporter and the editor, Forest Lowry, had no intention of hiring one. Eventually Francis Matson, editor of the Salt Lake Herald, gave Muir a job covering the City and County Building. (Muir, 3-5)

In regard to landing the job, Muir wrote: “Matson was motivated primarily by a sly urge to dish out a cowering insult to a veteran Tribune reporter, Tom Higgs, with whom he had been feuding, by sending a girl to cover the beat against him.” (Muir, 4) This is only the beginning of the obstacles Muir faced in the journalism world solely based on her gender.

Muir worked hard to make a name for herself in Salt Lake City covering murders and scandals. She wrote in her autobiography about a time when she ruined the only good shoes she had by tramping through blood and gore to get information on a murder for a story. She wrote about sneaking around policemen to prevent being arrested for breaking and entering. “I do not intend to convey the impression here that walking around in blood is standard practice among newspaper reporters, but it does seem in retrospect that I have had more than my share of it,” Muir wrote in her memoir. (6)

She eventually landed a job with The Salt Lake Tribune as the newspaper’s first female general assignment reporter. While at the Tribune, Muir made it clear to her editor that she was not going to cover society or club news, which was the standard for women journalists. A history of the newspaper describes Muir’s career following her time with the Tribune as “violence studded.” She covered gang wars, murder and sensational trials. (Malmquist, 419-420)

Muir’s breakthrough for women reporters came when she was the first woman to cover the legal death of a man whose story she originally covered when he murdered his lover. During her time in Salt Lake City, Utah law stated only men could witness executions, leaving women out of a possible story during an already turbulent time for women in news, as discussed above. In order to cover the execution, Muir went to Utah’s attorney general and was ruled a reporter, not a woman, according to a 1944 article in Time. (Muir, 28-29)

Muir was successful in her push to cover the execution, but was provided a male back-up reporter, just in case she became ill while witnessing a man die. As it turned out, her backup is the one who fell ill watching a man die in front of a firing squad. (Malmquist, 419-420)

She writes a detailed and insightful chapter in Headline Happy about covering the execution. She remembered her editor telling her she had handled the story better than expected, considering she was not the reporter who became sick. She observed, “I graduated into the big time that day. I could handle a story like a man. That was very important to me.” (Muir, 32)

Through her career, Muir moved on to work for the New York Daily News, where she wrote a daily column, according to a 1932 story in Variety magazine. Muir wrote columns that were syndicated to Chicago and Los Angeles, giving her a wide readership and well-known name among journalists. (“Florabel Muir succeeds”) She spent time in her career covering Hollywood-esque beats while also heading out on multiple special assignments according to another article in Variety. (“Charterer as a Scenarist”)

In her autobiography, Muir relates a colorful story of a time when she was shot in the “derriere” while following an infamous New York gambler for a story. It happened in July 1949 when she followed Mickey Cohen to various night spots around Hollywood. She wrote that she was waiting for someone to kill him in hopes that she would be there when it happened. She succeeded, but not without scars. When the shooting began, a bullet hit an object and then Muir, but she got the “newsbreak” that several other reporters missed because they gave up and left before the shooting started. (Muir, 1-2)

Muir found herself in trouble later in her career, once for buying and reselling liquor licenses and once for spitting in the face of another reporter, according to Variety. The story, published October 14, 1953, detailed how the former got her fired from a beat at the L.A. Mirror, and that she didn’t resign, as other news outlets reported.

At the end of her career, Muir was widely respected by fellow writers and journalists. One Variety reporter observed in 1938, “Many of Miss Muir’s kidding phrases were fine bits of reporting and evidenced a showmanship slant of the principals.” From my research, I conclude that Muir enjoyed the peak of her career between 1926 and 1938.

A 1950 review of her autobiography published in Variety praised Muir and cited her “delicious sense of humor and double barreled talent for superb writing craftsmanship.” The book accounted the adventures of her exciting career in journalism.

Muir died of a heart attack at the age of 80. In the New York Times obituary she was quoted as saying, “I was having a talk with my croaker the other day. He says ‘Florabel, your ticker ain’t worth a pot in hell—you take it easy, so I guess I will.’”

While researching and reading her autobiography, I grew to admire Muir’s love of journalism of being a reporter. She claimed to be suffering from an occupational disease called “Headline Happy,” which she described as a “wonderful, stimulating form of looniness in the like of which is found only in the newspaper game.” She wrote that colleagues found her expeditions to get stories crazy. She claimed they were right: she was crazy about journalism. (Muir, 1)

Madisan Hinkhouse is an alumna of The University of Utah with a fiery passion for journalism and the First Amendment. She enjoys fly fishing, skiing and spending more time outdoors than indoors.

Sources

“Florabel Muir resigns,” Variety, February 16, 1932, 3.

“Charterer as a Scenarist,” Variety, June 21, 1932, 53.

“Florabel Muir, Take a Bow,” Variety, December 28, 1938, 45.

“The Press: Florabel,” Time, November 13, 1944, 70.

Florabel Muir, Headline Happy (New York, New York: Henry Holt and Company, Inc., 1950).

“‘Headline Happy’ Is Just That,” Variety, October 25, 1950, 61.

“Miscellany: Florabel Bounced By L.A. Mirror,” Variety, October 14, 1953, 2.

“Florabel Muir succeeds Hedda,” Variety, February 9, 1966, 4.

“Florabel Muir, 80, of The Daily News,” The New York Times, April 28, 1970, 41.

“Florabel Muir, 80, Dies following heart attack,” Boxoffice, May 4, 1970, 4.

Malmquist, O. N. The First 100 Years: A History of The Salt Lake Tribune, 1871-1971. Salt Lake City, Utah: Utah State Historical Society, 1971.

 

Printed Voices of the Salt Lake City LGBT Community in the Early 1990s

by BRIAN ROBLES

A newspaper’s success is heavily dependent on the character and strength of the people behind the scenes. This is especially true of the alternative press, including newspapers targeted for the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) community. Without a large group of readers and subscribers, it would make printing and distributing a heavy cost not easily paid. Luckily, there are people who are willing to champion this cause. In recent years, Salt Lake City has become one of the most LGBT-friendly cities in the U.S., which contrasts with the city’s conservative image. (Breen) This is in part due to the LGBT community that pioneered for a voice.

Tracy Baim, an award-winning journalist in the gay community, wrote in her book, Gay Press, Gay Power: The Growth of LGBT Community Newspapers in America, that:

There is a reason a gay press was needed. When the media of the previous two centuries were not wholly ignoring everything about homosexuals and the growing gay-rights movement, they were doing far worse: moralizing, demonizing, criminalizing, medicalizing, “repairing,” proselytizing, polarizing, ostracizing and often just pitying those poor, sad, pathetic “avowed” homosexuals. (Baim, 15)

Gay media were able to supply the LGBT community with something that it desperately needed: gay news that was relevant to the community. Because the mainstream media tended to show the gay lifestyle in a negative light, it was important for readers to have somewhere to turn for reinforcement that it was OK to be gay. The gay press was able to provide role models and inspirational authors who were able to help readers find a positive self-image. A study on the effects of media on gay identity states that without these role models there “was a sense of being excluded from traditional society.” (Gomillion and Giuliano, 347) Without the gay press, the LGBT community of Salt Lake City would have found themselves as outsiders with no room for their alternative lifestyle.

The purpose of this project is to illustrate the crucial role that the writers, editors, and publishers of certain Salt Lake City publications played in creating a voice for the LGBT community in the early 1990s. Their staunch support and willingness to represent this minority demographic enabled the LGBT community to have its issues gain public awareness. Highlighted are the attempts by these editors and publishers to draw the lay public into action.

Excerpts from three publications that were published through the early 1990s in Salt Lake City will be presented and interpreted in this article. These publications were: The Bridge, Outfront Review, and The Pillar of the Gay Community. The editors and publishers of these papers reflected on specific LGBT issues at the beginning of each publication, which helped set the tone of that particular publication. Their blurbs, pieces, and publications provided a place for these community contributors to try to bring the LGBT voice of out complacency and to bring the community together as a collective chorus that would assure that their voices would be heard.

The Bridge

Starting in 1990, a monthly publication called The Bridge, and its copublishers Becky Moorman and Alice Hart, brought the call to action and urgency to the Salt Lake City LGBT community. The forceful tone found throughout the publications present LGBT issues that demand to be heard. The Publishers’ Notes varied from introductions of the month’s publication to celebrations of queer culture to short shout-outs to close friends. These Publishers’ Notes are how we see just how deeply invested Moorman and Hart were in their community. According to the note in the second issue of The Bridge, published in November 1990:

Besides being a service to the gay and lesbian communities of Utah, The Bridge is Utah’s watchdog to the arts (and art censors): literary and visual. And if you don’t believe they need guarding; you don’t get out much. America’s art, music, and culture are going to the congressional dogs, and the constitution right along with it.

From the beginning, Moorman and Hart showed a penchant for the political. This was a publication that had publishers who were not willing to let their community be voiceless any longer.

caption

Cover of The Bridge. This publication, and others discussed in this article, are available at the Special Collections Department, J. Willard Marriott Library, University of Utah.

The Bridge was a call to action for the LGBT community. The publishers were not merely interested in presenting alternative news; they wanted to shape their history and society. The editors and publishers of The Bridge believed that involvement was the way to bring change. But that is not to say that Moorman and Hart were solely interested in what affected the LGBT community. In the sixth issue, published in March 1991, Moorman and Hart wrote to their readers regarding pending legislation — The Hate Crimes Statistics Act and Anti-Abortion laws. The Hate Crimes Statistics Act, which was ultimately adopted in 1992, required the state to collect and publish the hate crimes committed in the state. Pro-life versus pro-choice was also a hot topic at the time with the Planned Parenthood v. Casey case discussing abortion. In this sixth issue, the editors were not afraid to show where they stood nor were they afraid to push their readers to action:

“Be sure to voice your support for the Hate Crimes Statistic Bill and to mention how disgusted you are with the new anti-abortion law. Remember to boycott Utah. Cancel your conferences. Encourage everyone you know out of state not to travel here, spend money or do business with Utah companies until the unconstitutional ban on choice is lifted. Gut and burn any cars you see with anti-choice bumper stickers. Or if you’re a republican pro-lifer, bomb an abortion clinic for Jesus. There’s no one in them right now; which makes it less fun, but infinitely safer.”

This use of language — asking the readers to participate in boycotts and the like — was to encourage readers to come out and start taking an active role in their community. While this call for boycotting and law breaking was strong, the idea itself proves to be a radical one and may have perhaps alienated some of the readers of these notes. The other issue with boycotting Salt Lake City as a whole is that it would hurt the LGBT community just as much as the general population. A powerfully emotional, and perhaps too zealous, call to action can prove to be more detrimental than helpful in this case.

As mentioned, not all of the Publishers’ Notes were written in this authoritative call to action, but it was the urge for readers to become one of their community, to shirk their fear of retaliation due to the way they chose to love, that made The Bridge such an important publication. The February 1992 issue featured one of the more powerful calls to raise the voice of the LGBT community:

Love & Hate — this is the month for it! Hate Radio! Hate Crimes! Hate legislation! Homosexuals are the fashionable to-hates. The last sanctioned discrimination. Legislators, churches hide behind silence and exclusion — tacitly financing violence. Stop the straight war on gay love. No one can afford to be a fence-sitter. Violence is everyone’s problem. We can only stop it by saying STOP in as loud a voice as we can. Ask everyone. TELL everyone. They don’t have a right to NOT have an opinion. Don’t be complacent. Don’t let anyone be complacent. They may not like you for it now. Equality is contagious. If you keep on person from being silent – other’s will speak up. Others will listen. Silence is death. There may be blood on your hands for every time you heard gays talked about, joked about, whatever and didn’t say STOP!

Here Moorman and Hart explain that it’s not only a right, but also an obligation to raise one’s voice and to participate. They take a stand against those who don’t walk their talk. Discrimination of any kind is kept in power by the silence of the people who may oppose it in their hearts but never lend their voices to the cause. As a member of a community, one has certain responsibilities. If readers chose to read this particular publication and be a part of the community, it was their responsibility to become an active member to help further the progress of the LGBT movement in Salt Lake City.

Image courtesy of J. Willard Marriott Library, University of Utah.

Image courtesy of the Special Collections Department, J. Willard Marriott Library, University of Utah.

Outfront Review

The second publication of focus is the bi-monthly publication Outfront Review, originally Out Front Magazine, whose editor provided a more unified vision to their readers. Throughout the years, Editor Randy Richardson used a voice that seemed more suggestive than authoritative in the call to arms for the LGBT community of Salt Lake. While reviewing the Editor’s Notes in these publications, it’s found that Richardson spoke more with an appeal to pathos in contrast to Moorman and Hart’s lean to logos.

Like The Bridge, Outfront Review called for the LGBT public to participate in politics in order to gain awareness and make political strides. Outfront Review presented this same line of thinking in November 1992 when Richardson wrote:

“When you VOTE, remember all those who have gone before us and died needlessly because we had no rights. Remember all of those who never had a chance because AIDS was a Gay disease. Do it in remembrance of all those who have fought hard all of these years to get us to where we are today … think of all of our children … what future will they have, what legacy shall we leave them?

“PLEASE VOTE. We know you are out there, and that you do really care!”

This piece shows that appeal to emotion in the mention of children and the dead but its plea is similar to that of The Bridge in that the editor still seeks participation from the community.

The second issue, published in November 1992 discussed the role of the community in politics. The Editor’s Note addressed the need for the community to come together rather than remain segregated into gays, lesbians, bisexuals, or transgender individuals ­— an issue that continues even today. Editor Richardson wrote: “Perhaps we need to look at forming a united gay and lesbian alliance … so that we can discuss things together, in an open forum … and then vote to obtain a majority opinion, speaking with one voice, representative of … and in … the best interest of our desires, goals and objectives as a community.”

The Pillar

Image courtesy of J. Willard Marriott Library, University of Utah.

Image courtesy of the Special Collections Department, J. Willard Marriott Library, University of Utah.

This brings us to The Pillar of the Gay Community (The Pillar for short), which began publishing in 1993 with a specific demographic in mind — gay men. As The Pillar grew in popularity, it became apparent that the niche it filled could be inclusive to all of the LGBT community. The paper started to expand its role in the LGBT community, which can be seen in the paper’s changing tagline. For example, it started as a publication for “For Utah Mehn,” [sic] then billed itself as being for the “Lesbian and Gay Community” before broadening its focus to the “the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgendered Community” of Salt Lake. The Pillar was the longest lived of the three publications presented in this article and continued publication until 2007. Its longevity may be due to its mix of LGBT news, entertainment, and flat out in-your-face attitude. Here, in the paper’s debut issue published April 1993, the writers set the record straight on what they will contribute to their community — and what the community could expect in future issues:

Why another paper in an over-developed market such as Salt Lake City you might ask? Great Question! We at The Pillar feel that there is a “hole” that is not being filled in the Gay Media and we hop to plug it! With the demise of The Bridge, and the Outfront, a group of us desired to compliment The Womyn’s Community Newsletter by mirroring them in our Mehn’s community. We are not out to offend anyone but get use to seeing Faggot, Dyke, and Queer in print and some outrageous Gay consciousness raising at times. We are firm proponents of the Gay Human Rights and we make no apologies for being homosexually proactive.

As mentioned in the note above, The Bridge and Outfront Review had both closed their doors, leaving a gap for this publication to fill.

The Pillar seemed to combine the best aspects of both The Bridge and Outfront Review. In the premier issue, readers were introduced to what they could expect from The Pillar — an unapologetic, authoritative use of language, which is reminiscent of the pieces published in The Bridge. But then The Pillar also adopted that same desire for unity that The Bridge sought, as seen in the “From The Editor” piece by Kim Russo in the December 1995 issue:

Too many times and on too many occasions when we have had a conflict or could not come to an agreement as an organization, we tended to “eat our own.” Instead of resolving differences or understanding that we can disagree and still function as a group or organization, anger took its turn and we “ate our own.” Torie Osborne coined that phrase and I resolved never to forget it. She said that in gay and lesbian communities around the nation, when conflict occurred, members would turn against each other and tear the other one down. How right Torie is. Therefore, resolve to be fair and not too critical. You know of all communities that should stick together because they have personally experienced their own kind of pain, it is us. Indeed may we stand together through it all.

This piece echoes Richardson’s note from Outfront Review, showing us that there was, and is, still the need for the community to band together.

Conclusion

The Editor’s Notes and Publisher’s Notes are often missed or skipped over for the traditional news and entertainment articles. This is a problem as these notes and additions to periodicals reveal so much emotion in them and provide insight to why the LGBT publications existed in the first place. The stories found between the covers of the publications discussed here held many of the same qualities found throughout great journalistic articles, but these notes presented something similar to a dialogue, which helped make these documents relevant even after nearly two decades. It was like reading a letter from a dear friend. They provided summaries of what had happened, and hopes of what may come, and always pushed readers to be better in their community and their lives.

The efforts by the influential people of the time helped make the LGBT community as strong as it is today. There’s still work to be done and maybe today’s publications, like QSaltLake, will be what The Bridge, Outfront Review, and The Pillar were for the LGBT community in the early 1990s. There’s still a need for gay press to spur the people into action, to inform them of what rights they have (or don’t), and to unite the factions within the LGBT community.

Brian Robles is a senior at The University of Utah. He is majoring in mass communication.

Sources

Kim Russo, “From The Editor,” The Pillar of the Gay Community, December 1995, 6.

Kim Russo, “From The Editor,” The Pillar of the Gay Community, May 1994, 2.

“Premier Issue,” The Pillar of the Gay Community, April 1993, 1.

Randy Richardson, “Editor’s Note,” Outfront Review, November 15-30, 1992, 2.

Randy Richardson, “Editor’s Note,” Outfront Review, November 1-15, 1992, 3.

Randy Richardson, “Editor’s Note,” Outfront Review, July 15-31, 1992, 3.

Alice Hart and Becky Moorman, “Publishers’ Note,” The Bridge, February, 1992, 5.

Alice Hart and Becky Moorman, “Publishers’ Note,” The Bridge, March, 1991, 4.

Alice Hart and Becky Moorman, “Publishers’ Note,” The Bridge, November, 1990, 3.

Baim, Tracy and John D’Emilio. Gay Press, Gay Power: The Growth of LGBT Community Newspapers in America. CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, 2012.

Breen, Matthew. “Gayest Cities in America,” The Advocate, January 9, 2012.

Gomillion, Sarah C. and Traci A. Giuliano. “The Influence of Media Role Models on Gay, Lesbian, and Bisexual Identity.” Journal of Homosexuality 58, no. 3 (2011): 330-54.

 

 

 

 

 

Forgeries, Bombs, and Joseph Smith: The Rise and Fall of Historical Documents Dealer Mark Hofmann

by JESSICA L. ONEIDA

October 15, 1985, began just as any other crisp, fall morning in Salt Lake City, Utah. Steven Christensen, a businessman who was described in the January 23, 1987, edition of the Deseret News as “an avid collector of Mormon documents,” made his way to work in the Judge Building located downtown. At the same time, Kathy Sheets, the wife of Christensen’s former business partner, J. Gary Sheets, began her day in the quiet suburb of Holladay, located 20 minutes south of the city. When two bombs, which killed both Christensen and Kathy Sheets, suddenly exploded within mere hours of each other, the entire valley was shocked. Newspaper headlines in the days following the bombings, such as, “Bombings shatter area’s composure: ‘It’s beginning to seem like Lebanon,’” found in the October 17, 1985, issue of the Deseret News, indicated that fear was a tangible issue within the community. This is a very telling piece of historical evidence that shows the seriousness of the event and its influence. This intensity and mystery maintained itself throughout the two-year-long journey that included the investigations, trial, and eventual conviction of Mark W. Hofmann for the murders of Steven Christensen and Kathy Sheets.

The book, Salamander: The Story of the Mormon Forgery Murders by Allen D. Roberts and Linda Sillitoe, describes the early years of Hofmann and his upbringing in Utah during the 1960s and 1970s. His family was active in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS) and he took an interest in some unique hobbies as a child, including performing magic tricks. Even though Hofmann was raised in the Mormon religion, he concluded that he did not believe the teachings of the church and secretly rejected the religion as a whole by the time he reached his teenage years. Since his family was still very active, Hofmann kept his newfound beliefs and feelings to himself and managed to convince his peers that he was still interested and involved. He kept up the act by serving a religious mission and marrying within the church. An amused Hofmann took pleasure in tricking his family and fellow church members about his involvement, which could stem back to his early years. Roberts and Sillitoe discuss his childhood and how he “loved tricking people and practiced his illusions diligently.”

After he married, he began to discover and collect historical books and documents, mostly regarding the history of the Mormon religion and the early development of the LDS Church. During the course of his collecting, he began to come across ancient Mormon documents among the pages of some of the books. One of the most controversial and most discussed letters that Hofmann brought to light was the Salamander Letter. This letter called into question the seriousness and validity of Joseph Smith’s discoveries and translations during the beginnings of the religion. Smith founded the LDS Church after discovering ancient writings near his home in western New York.

As Hofmann became more involved with his collecting, he connected with Christensen, who also enjoyed finding these rare documents having to do with Mormon history. The set of documents that sparked the bombings and the controversies was called the McLellin Collection, written by William E. McLellin.

"Mark Hofmann watches as Mormon leaders inspect some of Hofmann's documents." Special Collections Dept., J. Willard Marriott Library, University of Utah.

“Mark Hofmann watches as Mormon leaders inspect some of Hofmann’s documents.” Special Collections Department, J. Willard Marriott Library, University of Utah.

McLellin was “an early church apostle who later left the church,” according to the Deseret News on October 27, 1985. The article reported that he left the church because he had issues with some of the beliefs and practices taking place and that he “came into frequent conflict with church leaders.” The desire for this collection stemmed from the actual content within the letters. The Deseret News reported the basis of this content as giving “some of the first accounts of President Smith’s involvement in plural marriage.” On October 27, 1985, the Deseret News wrote, “The collection has proven elusive over the years, prompting some to dispute its existence. Yet it’s believed by many scholars and historians to exist.” This brought about the initial controversial nature of the documents and called into question some of the other documents Hofmann collected and sold.

While many of the documents he produced were questioned for authenticity and accuracy, Hofmann was talented enough that he had many experts defending their quality. One such example, as reported by the Deseret News on October 17, 1985, was Leonard Arrington, who was a professor of Western history at Brigham Young University. He said “documents discovered previously by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and he doesn’t believe they are forgeries.” Over the course of Hofmann’s activities, he sold many of his forgeries to collectors and the LDS Church alike. It was only a matter of time before the validity of his career was threatened.

Many motives were suggested as to why Hofmann orchestrated the bombings that led to the deaths of Christensen and Sheets. One of the most recurring ideas, however, was the motive of Hofmann covering up his shady dealings. The January 23, 1987, edition of the Deseret News reported, “Police and prosecutors believe that Christensen … may have discovered the fraud and threatened to expose Hofmann.” Hofmann must have felt the pressure and the article further suggested that, “Rather than risk a lucrative career in documents dealing, Hofmann killed Christensen and then planted another bomb at the home of J. Gary Sheets.”

"Mark Hofmann sits with his lawyers during the trial." Special Collections Dept., J. Willard Marriott Library, University of Utah.

“Mark Hofmann sits with his lawyers during the trial.” Special Collections Department, J. Willard Marriott Library, University of Utah.

The whole scheme came to a breaking point when a third bomb was prepared but malfunctioned and exploded in Hofmann’s car with him inside on October 16, 1985, the very day after the initial bombings. Officers found similarities between both bombings as reported by the Deseret News on October 17, 1985: “The bomb that injured Hofmann is almost identical in connection to devices that killed Steven F. Christensen and Kathy Webb Sheets.” The article continued, “Wednesday’s bomb apparently did not contain the shrapnel that sprayed in all directions in the first two blasts.”

The case took one year and three months to be compiled and executed. While it wasn’t until April 1986 that Hofmann’s role as a suspect was confirmed, he didn’t actually go to trial until January 1987. On January 23, 1987, the Deseret News reported the outcome of the trial. The judge overseeing the trial concluded that, “Due to the indiscriminate nature of the killings and the type of devices employed … I want you to serve the rest of your natural life in the Utah State Prison.” Hofmann pleaded guilty on “two counts of second-degree murder” and because of his confession, “prosecutors dismissed more than two dozen other complaints charging the documents dealer with theft by deception, communications fraud and bomb construction.” Hofmann is currently serving his life sentence in the prison located in Draper, Utah.

Jessica Oneida is in her fourth year at the University of Utah. She is majoring in Strategic Communication with minors in Business Administration and Design.

Sources

Jerry Spangler, “Booby-trapped bombs claim 2 in S.L. area,” Deseret News, October 15, 1985.

Brett DelPorto and Jerry Spangler, “Officers sifting evidence for clues to killer and motive in fatal bombings,” Deseret News, October 16, 1985.

Ellen Fagg and Jerry Spangler, “3rd bomb victim faces criminal charges,” Deseret News, October 17, 1985

Jerry Spangler, “Police focus on evidence, not theories,” Deseret News, October 18, 1985.

Brett DelPorto, Kathy Fahy, and Angelyn N. Hutchinson, “Hofmann retreats from statement; 2 bomb victims are eulogized,” Deseret News, October 19, 1985.

Marianne Funk, and Jerry Spangler, “Police sift documents to build Hofmann case,” Deseret News, October 23, 1985.

Jerry Spangler, “Hofmann wouldn’t get fair trail in Utah, attorney says,” Deseret News, October 25, 1985.

Linda Sillitoe and Jerry Spangler, “Still unseen McLellin Collection a mystery within murder mystery,” Deseret News, October 27, 1985.

Jerry Spangler and Jan Thompson, “Hofmann identified as the man who carried box into building,” Deseret News, April 14, 1986.

Jerry Spangler, and Jan Thompson, “Judge wants life in prison for Hofmann,” Deseret News, January 23, 1987.

Roberts, Allen D. and Linda Sillitoe, Salamander: The Story of the Mormon Forgery Murders. Salt Lake City, Utah: Signature Books, 1988.

Turley Jr., Richard E., Victims: The LDS Church and the Mark Hofmann Case. Chicago, Illinois: University of Illinois Press, 1992.

The Salt Lake Tribune’s Coverage of the Cancellation of ‘Brokeback Mountain’

by MIRANDA A. KNOWLES

Ang Lee’s 2005 film, Brokeback Mountain, portrayed  two cowboys, Jack Twist and Ennis Del Mar (performed by Jake Gyllenhaal and the late Heath Ledger), who showcased their “forbidden” love. The film created controversy all over the world — including in Utah.

According to ads in the Deseret Morning News and Salt Lake Tribune, Brokeback Mountain was scheduled to play at 12:45 p.m., Friday, January 6, 2006, at Megaplex 17 at Jordan Commons. But the previous night, the film was pulled from its schedule and replaced by another film after the owner of Megaplex 17, Larry H. Miller, learned that the film was about two gay cowboys. The film’s cancellation brought up public debate all over Utah. From January 6, 2006, to January 31, 2006, The Salt Lake Tribune’s coverage of the cancellation showed both sides of the controversy and the power of communication as it shapes public debate.

Findings

The Brokeback Mountain vs. Larry H. Miller controversy began during a KCPW-FM interview with Miller and Jonathan Brown. The interview on the Salt Lake City public radio station was done on Thursday, January 5, 2006, the day before the film was released in theaters, and aired the next day. An article by Sean P. Means and Sheena McFarland published in The Salt Lake Tribune on January 7 discussed the interview between Miller and Brown. According to the article, Brown said during the interview, “Miller was unaware of the storyline of Brokeback Mountain … until Brown described it to him Thursday.”

The Salt Lake Tribune’s Brandon Griggs also discussed Miller and Brown’s interview in his article, published January 11. The article said Miller’s initial response to booking the film was because the film had received seven Golden Globe nominations. Miller saw this as a sign of its “potentially broad appeal.” Toward the end of the radio interview Miller stated,“It is possible that the content of this [film] … is offensive enough to a large enough segment of the population that this is one that slipped by our screening process. Maybe I’ve been a little naive and not paid proper attention to it and let it slip through the cracks. If I have, then I made a mistake.”

Nothing in the interview made it sound like Miller would take matters to the extreme and completely cancel the film before it began playing. The interview made it sound like Miller would first see how audiences reacted to the film. If there was a negative response, then he would pull the film from showing. However, two hours after the interview, Miller canceled the show from playing.

This cartoon, by the Salt Lake Tribune's Pat Bagley, appeared . Used with permission.

This cartoon, by the Salt Lake Tribune‘s Pat Bagley, appeared in the paper on January 10, 2006. Used with permission.

The Salt Lake Tribune’s website posted an update on the cancellation shortly after the decision to pull the movie from theaters appeared. The update, posted on January 6, stated, “The Megaplex 17 announced it was pulling the film late Thursday afternoon. The change-of-heart came too late to remove the title from the theater’s ads in today’s Salt Lake Tribune”

The update was the beginning of a media frenzy that included numerous editorials, columns, and letters to the editor. Of the articles published, most focused on Miller’s lack of response, how the film was doing in award season, the business aspect of the cancellation, the world’s reaction to the cancellation, and what the film was about — love. The issues at large, such as morals, civil liberties, and press bias were brought up through countless letters to the editors.

Means and McFarland were among the first journalists to report on the cancellation. In their article, published January 7 and titled, “‘Brokeback’ gets boot,” they discussed the details of the cancellation and what Focus Feature (the production company of the film) had to say about it. The article also interviewed Carol Adams about her reactions to the film’s cancellation. The local woman wanted to see the film and was saddened to learn that it had been canceled.

Articles also discussed  negative public relations, Miller’s continuous silence on the issue, and of course the world’s reaction. According to Lesley Mitchell’s article, published in The Salt Lake Tribune on January 12, “Miller’s silence has helped give the story international appeal.” Another article by Griggs, published January 15 and titled, “‘Brokeback Mountain’: Why all the fuss?,” discussed the huge reaction to the film and the cancellation. This article is the most blunt of any article published in The Salt Lake Tribune because Griggs stated the hard truth on why the film was pulled from the schedule: “Men having sex.” Griggs explained that the homosexual relationship was the reason why people were getting so upset. Griggs also addressed hypocritical morals when  he wrote, “How is a gay love story more morally offensive than other movies — such as ‘Hostel,’ a horror film that shows sadists fulfilling their depraved fantasies by paying to torture other people; or the stoner comedy ‘Grandma’s Boy,’ which features drug use in almost every scene — now playing at Miller’s theaters?” His questions and bluntness were met with countless letters on the matter by Utah’s citizens.

Similarly, Griggs’ article, “‘Brokeback’ squelch has spotlight on Utah again,” published January 11, discussed the world’s reaction and Heath Ledger’s. Ledger was quoted as saying, “It’s all just really unnecessary” and “Personally I don’t think the movie is [controversial], but I think maybe the Mormons in Utah do. I think it’s hilarious and very immature of a society.” Griggs also reported, “Articles about the snub have made international headlines. NBC’s Jay Leno and MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann joked about it on the air Monday night.” Steven Oberbeck’s article, “Miller’s move: shrewd or rash?,” published January 13, quoted Paul Mero of the Sutherland Institute, a conservative think-tank in Salt Lake City. Mero stated, “Considering the conservative nature of our population, I’m sure a lot of people think: We’ll, it’s [Millers’] business and he’s entitled to do with it what he wants.”

The cancellation was something to talk about, and Utah’s citizens made sure their voices were heard. The letters were short, blunt, and very opinionated. One Salt Lake Tribune reader, Karla G. McGuigan, said the decision was an “encroachment into American citizens’ rights to civil liberties.” However, another reader, Bret A. Stapley, responded with, “Larry H. Miller is a private business owner who decides what is best for his own business. This is not a case of ‘government censorship’ or a civil liberty violation.”

Robert Seifert also questioned Larry H. Miller’s morals in a letter titled, “Miller’s moral compass.” Seifert, like Brandon Griggs, brought  up the hypocrisy of playing Hostel and not Brokeback Mountain. Seifert stated, “To sum up, pulling ‘Brokeback Mountain’ tells young people that being gay is unacceptable, so not pulling the movie ‘Hostel’ (being shown in the same theater complex) sends the message that torturing and mutilating other human beings is all right.” Harry A. Rodes disagreed in his letter, titled, “Morally correct decision”: “I would like to call on moral-minded people in Utah to actively support Miller’s businesses, especially his movie theater, to show the state and the country that there are still some people who have not given in to societal pressure to accept that which is immoral. He should be praised, not condemned.”

Readers also began saying that The Salt Lake Tribune was biased toward the gay community. Morgan T. Beach wrote in a letter titled, “Tribune’s gay bias,” published January 17: “I wonder how  many favorable articles and commentaries you would devote toward a movie of the same caliber, romanticizing the polygamous lifestyle.” The same day another Salt Lake Tribune reader, JoAnn Nokes, sent in a letter titled, “Get on with Life.” Nokes wrote, “Decisions are made daily. So accept it and let’s get on with life.”

Though The Salt Lake Tribune did indeed publish positive reviews for the film, it was not the only newspaper in Utah to do so. According to a journal article published in August 2008 by Brenda Cooper and Edward C. Pease, Brokeback Mountain was rated positively by several Utah newspapers. The article stated, “Despite the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ (LDS) position that homosexuality is a sin and that practicing homosexuals may be excommunicated, the church-owned daily newspaper, the Deseret Morning News, gave the film three and a half stars out of four, and The Daily Herald of Provo, Utah — home of the LDS-owned Brigham Young University — also reviewed Brokeback positively.”

Conclusion

Utah’s reaction to Larry H. Miller’s decision to pull Brokeback Mountain from his theatre was one of great debate. The divide between Utah’s views on heterosexuality, ethics, morals, and business standards was showcased through the great response of Utah’s citizens. In 2009, Cooper and Pease published another article on the topic of Brokeback Mountain. The article, published in Western Journal of Communication, discussed how newspapers framed the controversy over the film. Cooper and Pease’s study found that of the 188 Brokeback-Miller items published during January 6, 2006-February 2006, 55 percent opposed the cancellation of the film and 45 percent  defended the cancellation. The study also found that 153 letters were published statewide. Of the 153, 48 percent were pro-Miller, and 52 percent were anti-Miller. Of those 153 letters, 34 were published in The Salt Lake Tribune. My research, along with Cooper and Pease’s research, proves that Utah was greatly divided on the issue. People discussed the film’s cancellation and topics related to Miller’s decision, including morals, business practices, civil liberties, press bias, and the amount of attention devoted to the issue.

Miranda A. Knowles is a senior at The University of Utah. She is majoring in communication and minoring in sociology.

Sources

JoAnn Nokes, “Get on with life,” The Salt Lake Tribune, January 17, 2006, A8.

Morgan T. Beach, “Tribune’s gay bias,” The Salt Lake Tribune. January 17, 2006, A8.

Brandon Griggs, “Why all the fuss?,” The Salt Lake Tribune, January 15, 2006, D1.

Harry A. Rodas, “Morally correct decision,” The Salt Lake Tribune, January 15, 2006, AA2.

Robert Seifert, “Miller’s moral compass,” The Salt Lake Tribune, January 13, 2006, A12.

Steven Oberbeck, “Miller’s move: shrewd or rash?,” The Salt Lake Tribune, January 13, 2006, A1.

Brandon Griggs, “‘Brokeback’ squelch has spotlight on Utah again,” The Salt Lake Tribune, January 11, 2006, A1.

Bret A. Stapley, “Simple as That,” The Salt Lake Tribune, January 11, 2006.

Lesley Mitchell, “Media pros say silence on pulling gay movie gives the story legs,” The Salt Lake Tribune, January 11, 2006.

Karla G. McGuigan, “Denial of Civil liberties,” The Salt Lake Tribune, January 10, 2006.

Sean P. Means and Sheena McFarland, “‘Brokeback’ gets boot,” The Salt Lake Tribune, January 7, 2006, A1.

“Update: Miller’s theater pulls Brokeback mountain,” The Salt Lake Tribune, January 6, 2006.

Cooper, Brenda and Edward C. Pease. “Framing Brokeback Mountain: How the popular press corralled the “Gay Cowboy Movie.” Critical Studies in Media Communication 25, no. 3 (Aug. 2008): 249-273.

Cooper, Brenda and Edward C. Pease. “The Mormons Versus the ‘Armies of Satan’: Competing Frames of Morality in the Brokeback Mountain Controversy in Utah Newspapers.” Western Journal of Communication 73, no. 2 (April-June 2009): 134-156.

Utah’s First Pro Sports Champ: The 1970-71 Utah Stars

by TALON CHAPPELL

On a cool night in Salt Lake City, Utah, Bill Howard, broadcaster for the Utah Stars, called what would be the last game of the 1970-71 ABA season. The Stars met up with the Kentucky Colonels in a win or go home matchup to determine the champion of the American Basketball Association. With 21 seconds remaining, Mike Butler made a driving layup to put the Stars ahead 129 to 118. The dull roar in downtown Salt Lake City turned into a frenzied cry of excitement as 13,000 fans arose from their seats in the Salt Palace arena. The noise grew louder with every passing second ticking off the clock. Kentucky’s Cincy Powell hit a 3-point shot with two seconds remaining to make the score 131-121 in favor of the Stars. It wasn’t much consolation as Stars center Zelmo Beaty raised his arms in triumph and excitement of the inbound play to come. Beaty received the ball and bedlam ensued as a mob of ecstatic Stars fans rushed the court to show appreciation for the team they had quickly come to love. In their first year in Salt Lake City, the Utah Stars had won the ABA championship. (“We’re No. 1”)

In the days following the historic ABA finals victory, the Stars received local media attention that rivaled most NBA franchises. When team owner Bill Daniels relocated the Stars from Los Angeles to Salt Lake City in June 1970, he claimed that the Utah Stars would become “the Green Bay Packers of professional basketball.” (Roblez) Some owners and media members were skeptical and believed the team would never be able to gain the fan support and media exposure needed in order to survive in the ever-shaky ABA. But Utah sports fans proved the critics wrong and became one of the most passionate and supportive fan bases in the entire league.

At a time when the ABA was fighting for fan support and television viewership with the more established NBA, Utah Stars fans exceeded expectations by continually filling the gem of Salt Lake City, the Salt Palace. An article in the May 28 edition of the Davis County Clipper recalled the ABA attendance record set during the Stars’ inaugural season in Salt Lake City. In the 42 regular season home games in the 1970-71 season, the Salt Palace welcomed in 262,342 fans, averaging just over 6,000 fans per game. In its first year, the franchise had broken the ABA attendance record set by the Carolina Cougars the previous season with 254,163 fans. Attendance grew as the regular season ended and the playoffs began. In the final seven playoff games played at the Salt Palace (three against the Indiana Pacers and four against the Kentucky Colonels), the Stars averaged 12,923 fans per game, 700 more people than the Salt Palace could seat.

Advertisement published in The Salt Lake Tribune.

Advertisement published in The Salt Lake Tribune. Image courtesy of the newspaper.

When the Stars were not playing at home, media outlets like the Salt Lake Tribune kept diehard fans (especially those in more rural areas of Utah) in the know during the 1971 playoff run. When the Stars defeated the Indiana Pacers in game seven of the Western Division Finals in Indianapolis, they returned home to the warmest welcome any team from Utah had ever seen. Salt Lake Tribune reporter Steve Rudman recalled the scene at the Salt Lake International Airport on April 29, 1971, as 3,000 raucous Stars fans welcomed home the newly crowned ABA Western Division Champions: “The arrival at the airport, with its attendant pomp and ceremony, was the culmination of a very hectic 24 hours, a time in which the Stars defeated Indiana, 108-101, partied half the night in celebration and then made the long trip back from Indianapolis after a couple of boring hours in Chicago. But it was all worth it for the Stars.” The celebration continued as more fans lined the streets of Salt Lake City to await the motorcade bringing the Stars back home to the Salt Palace.

A few days later, the Stars began their ABA championship series against the Kentucky Colonels of the Eastern division. On May 9, Rudman and the Salt Lake Tribune had to break the news to the Stars faithful that the team had dropped its second straight game to the Kentucky Colonels in Louisville after winning the first two games of the best-of-seven series in Salt Lake City. “The home court advantage may be some consolation,” he wrote, “but the Utah Stars really did want a split here. Instead they dropped both games and now it would appear Kentucky has the momentum going.”

Ten days after Stars fans were thrown into a pool of uncertainty after the game four loss to the Colonels, the Stars returned home for the final game of the best-of-seven series and defeated the Colonels 131-121 en route to the ABA Championship. While Stars fans jumped, yelled, hooted and hollered, local reporters were busy at work writing stories that had never been covered before in the state of Utah, the story of a professional sports championship.

In his article on May 21, 1971, Dan Pattison of the Deseret News proclaimed the win as the “Miracle on West Temple Street.” Pattison also gave Stars fans an inside look at the glory and pride felt by Stars players. Stars forward “Wondrous” Willie Wise said he wanted to wear his Utah Stars uniform “forever,” and center Zelmo “Big Z” Beaty proclaimed his appreciation to his teammates and the fans all over Utah. “I feel like I’m on top of the world,” he told Pattison. “It took eight years of playing for me to do something like this. I’ve played with some great guys before, but not like these guys. We just couldn’t let the fans down. It was a pleasure to play in Utah this season.”

Numerous sports reporters for the Salt Lake Tribune offered their congratulations to the team and had plenty to say about the historic win for the Stars and for the state of Utah. John Mooney, the renowned sports editor, wrote a short but sincere thank you to the Stars on the front page of the May 19, 1971, Salt Lake Tribune sports section. In the short letter, Mooney applauded the graciousness and humility of Stars coach Bill Sharman as well as team owner Bill Daniels and team president Vince Boryla, who would constantly thank media writers for their attention to the team and for their help in building a loyal fan base. “Every game when you walked by and said ‘Good luck,’ someone would say, ‘Whether we win or lose, thank you for everything you’ve done to help us this far,’” Mooney wrote. In the world of sports, where members of the media can often be blamed for added pressure on athletes or the demise of front office staff, the Stars showed true class by embracing their local sports writers as their partners in the business of success. Near the end of his letter, Mooney wrote, “The Stars won magnificently, but graciously. They had words of thanks for everyone, especially the fans who adopted a wandering ball club and took it to their hearts. The whole organization was major league, all the way.”

Also on the front page of the May 19, 1971, Salt Lake Tribune sports section was a stirring fan piece by reporter Dick Rosetta. All of Utah jumped on the Stars bandwagon, in the best sense of the word. Fans came from the red-rock cliffs of St. George and Kanab, from the arches and canyon lands of Moab and Price, from the farm country of Fillmore and Vernal and from the college towns of Ogden and Logan. People talked about the opportunity the Stars had to put Salt Lake City in a national spotlight. Stars fan Ron Henriksen told Rosetta over the noise inside the arena that night, “What difference does it make what time of year it is? Can you imagine what this has done for Utah over the nation? Man, anyone who could argue against basketball must be nuts.” That night fans didn’t even care about the crammed seating, lack of seating, uncomfortable heat or deafening noise, they were just glad to be there. Stars fan Dennis Dall proclaimed to Rosetta, “Ah, the sound doesn’t matter, the Stars do their own talking. They are the greatest thing that’s ever happened to this state.” That night, the Salt Palace was a portrait of pent-up people, ready to prove that Utah, yes, even Utah, could house a champion.

Over the next three seasons the strong Stars roster continued to dominate ABA competition, finishing all three years atop the Western Division standings. The Stars also made history by signing the first professional basketball player straight out of high school, a young and extremely talented Moses Malone, who went on to become an NBA champion, hall of famer and NBA top-50 all-time player. (Moses Malone Biography) But despite their talent, the Stars were unable to re-create the playoff magic that captivated Utahns in the Spring of 1971. The 1974-75 season was a disappointing one for the Stars and their fans, finishing with a record of 38-46, good enough for fourth in the Western Division standings. Monetary troubles began to plague new team owner James A. Collier in 1974, forcing him to sell the team to the Johnson brothers, Snellen and Lyle, before the 1975 season. The duo proved to be unfit to manage the small earnings of an ABA franchise and just like that, the Utah Stars disbanded after playing just 16 games in the 1975 ABA season. (Roblez)

Despite the disappointing end to the franchise, the Utah Stars were a catalyst for what is now a thriving sports culture in the state of Utah. Without the Stars, the notion of moving the NBA’s New Orleans Jazz to Salt Lake City would never have been considered. Other professional teams have come and gone: the Arena Football League’s Utah Blaze, the American Professional Soccer League’s Salt Lake Sting and even the WNBA’s Utah Starzz (a fitting homage to the state’s basketball heritage). None came close to having the same impact that the Utah Stars had on Salt Lake City.

Stars radio broadcaster Bill Howard once said, “The Stars boosters include the young, the elderly, the professional man, the blue collar worker, the household; all of whom dig the action and the emotion of professional basketball.” (“We’re No. 1”) Not only did this wide array of fans appreciate the Stars, but also the growing population of Utah’s sports reporters. The team was not only a professional opportunity for its players, but for those who covered them as well. The Stars gave news reporters in Salt Lake City the unique opportunity to cover a nationally recognized entity that Utah had had only a few times before. Anyone who wants to cover professional sports in a small market city need only look at the relationship between the Stars and their various news writers to truly understand the impact the team left on its followers.

Today, the most influential reminder of the Stars is former player Ron Boone, who remained a Salt Lake City resident even after his playing career with the Stars and the NBA’s Utah Jazz. Boone described the Stars 1971 ABA championship as “the greatest accomplishment” of his career and claims that Salt Lake City was where he spent his “best years” as a player. (Biga) Boone remains a fixture of the Utah Jazz broadcasting team, where he has been color commentating on television and radio since 1991. He is, perhaps, the greatest icon left from a team and an era that truly, in the mind of Utahns, has earned its heavenly place among the stars.

Talon Chappell is a senior at the University of Utah. He is majoring in mass communication with an emphasis in journalism.

Sources

“Stars Make It Big,” Davis County Clipper, May 28, 1971.

Dan Pattison, “Stars Gave Utah a Night to Remember,” Deseret News, May 19, 1971.

John Mooney, “Nice Guys Do Win Pennants And Stars Can Prove It,” The Salt Lake Tribune, May 19, 1971, 1.

Dick Rosetta, “Th’ Stars’ Fans Know No Calender,” The Salt Lake Tribune, May 19, 1971, 1.

Steve Rudman, “Colonels Clip Stars in Overtime, Even Series,” The Salt Lake Tribune, May 9, 1971, 1.

Steve Rudman, “Stars Return to Wild Cheers,” The Salt Lake Tribune, April 30, 1971, 1.

1970-71 Utah Stars Roster and Stats,” Basketball-Reference.com.

ESPN, “Moses Malone Biography,” espn.go.com.

KSL Sports, “We’re No. 1: Highlights of the 1970-71 Season,” YouTube.

Leo Bigas, “Ron Boone, Still an Iron man After All These Years,” Leo Adam Biga’s Blog.

Matt Roblez, “Remember the ABA: Utah Stars,” Remember the ABA.com.

Willard Richards: A Man of Many Faces

by Emily R. Sylvester

Introduction: 

The journey to the Salt Lake Valley was extensive for Mormon pioneers. Mormons were looked down upon in the East so Joseph Smith, the first Prophet of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, made plans and encouraged the members of the Church to travel to the West.

Joseph Smith, Hyrum Smith, John Taylor, and Willard Richards were Church leaders who were in conflict with many and were prosecuted in Nauvoo, Illinois. Soon after being jailed, a mob came to Carthage Jail and killed Joseph and Hyrum. Taylor was severely injured and Richards managed to escape unharmed. Brigham Young, who became president of the Church after Joseph Smith was murdered, went into action and arranged a large group of Mormons to head West in 1846. (Layton)

Findings:

Willard Richards, who was Brigham Young’s cousin, became a convert to the Church in 1836. Richards held many roles throughout his life. At points in time he served as secretary of the government of the State of Deseret, presided over the council of the Legislative assembly, worked as postmaster of the Great Salt Lake City, was involved with the Emigrating Fund Company, served as recorder and general historian of the Church, and was the founder of the Deseret News. (Richards) He also was an influential herbal medicine doctor and held high authority positions in the Church.

Willard Richards. Photo courtesy of the Special Collections Department, J. Willard Marriott Library, The University of Utah.

Soon after he converted to the Church, he traveled far to meet Joseph Smith. Once acquainted with Smith, Smith appointed Richards to be his private secretary. He became the Church historian and recorder in Nauvoo in 1841. (Searle) He worked very closely with Smith and kept all of his personal journals, even up to his death in Carthage Jail. “During his final hours in Carthage Jail, Joseph Smith apparently instructed Willard Richards to continue the history according to the plan and format that they had previously followed.” (Searle) Searle also noted that the history was written under the supervision of Brigham Young and that it seemed well to give Willard Richards nearly all the credit for the compilation and publication of the history of Joseph Smith. (Searle)

Willard served a mission in England from 1837-1841, and was ordained an Apostle by Brigham Young in 1840. (Quinn) Later, he left Nauvoo and traveled to Winter Quarters, Nebraska, and eventually traveled to the Salt Lake Valley with Brigham Young. (Quinn) Once he arrived to the Salt Lake Valley, he became very involved. After Joseph Smith’s death, Brigham Young became president of the Church, and Richards was then ordained by Brigham Young as 2nd counselor.

In a letter written by Richards to his sister, he expressed his feelings toward the religion saying, “I must tell you sister what it is to be a ‘Later [sic] Day Saint’ a ‘Mormon’ vulgarly. It is to believe & practice every known or revealed truth, in relation to every being & thing.” (Richards) He was a very dedicated member in his church, and continued to dedicate himself to several other commitments throughout his life, including being editor of the Deseret News, a Church-owned publication.

Just three years after several Mormons had settled in the Salt Lake Valley, Richards founded the Deseret News. The first issue was written by Richards on June 15, 1850. The Deseret News’ first issue included the prospectus and stated:

“We propose to publish a small weekly sheet, as large as our local circumstances will permit, to be called ‘Deseret News,’ designed originally to record the passing events of our State, and in conexion [sic], refer to the arts and sciences, embracing general education, medicine, law, divinity, domestic and political economy, and everything that may fall under our observation, which may tend to promote the best interest, welfare, pleasure and amusement of our fellow citizens.” (Richards, 1850)

In that first issue, he also discussed the importance of keeping copies and a record of the publication, and encouraged people to take care of their copies so that “their children’s children may read the doings of their fathers, which otherwise might have been forgotten; ages to come.” (Richards) In a dissertation written by Monte B. McLaws, it discusses that since editors of the Deseret News were mostly in the Church hierarchy, the paper did not need close supervision because Brigham Young felt comfortable trusting many of the decisions made by Richards, and other editors close to the Church. (McLaws) The Deseret News was powerful among Mormons in Utah, and practically replaced all other reading materials. (McLaws)

Searle states that, “As a boy, Richards eagerly sought education and demonstrated both an affinity and an aptitude for learning.” (Searle) Searle notes that he became influenced by Dr. Samuel Thomson’s Practice of Medicine to become an herbal doctor. A few Mormons were impressed by Dr. Thomson. He discovered a plant, lobelia, which became the foundation of his medical system. (Divett) Thomson said, “I had the curiosity to pick some of the pods and chew them; the taste and operation produced was so remarkable that I never forgot it. I afterwards used to induce other boys to chew it, merely by way of sport, to see them vomit.” (Divett) He described it as an “Emitic [sic] Herb.” (Divett) Richards was inspired by this and became a dentist and doctor of herbs. (Markers: Willard Richards) He also organized a group called the “Society of Health” but for a period of time, members of the Mormon Church were hesitant to be supportive of medical practitioners. (Divett)

Conclusion: In a journal entry written about a sketch of Willard Richards, it states, “It would be difficult to name any one of the original band of Utah pioneers who filled a more active life than the subject of this sketch. The duties he performed and the offices he held from the time he embraced Mormonism until the date of his death, were so numerous that it is a matter of wonderment how one man could have sustained them all.” Willard Richards fulfilled many roles in his life as a religious leader, and within his community. In an oration given by Richards, he said, “Men cannot fight truth, life or salvation without a medium of communication.” (Richards) He influenced news writing, medicine, and the Mormon religion.

Emily Sylvester is a senior at The University of Utah. She is majoring in mass communication.

Sources

Willard Richards and Thomas Bullock, History, 1838-1856, The Joseph Smith Papers.

Willard Richards, Deseret News, accessible at Utah Digital Newspapers.

Willard Richards, Matthew Frederick and Claire Wilcox Noall, Box 8, Folder 13, 1805-1979. Manuscripts Division, Special Collections, J. Willard Marriott Library, The University of Utah.

Willard Richards, Matthew Frederick and Claire Wilcox Noall, Box 9, Folder 10, 1805-1979. Manuscripts Division, Special Collections, J. Willard Marriott Library, The University of Utah.

Willard Richards, “Oration,” Millenial Star, November 15, 1850.

“Willard Richards Called First And Only Apostle Ever Ordained In England,” Deseret News, August 9, 1958, 20.

About Us,” Deseret News.

Robert T. Divett, “Medicine and the Mormons,” Bulletin of the Medical Library Association 51, no. 1 (January 1963): 1-15.

H. Dean Garrett, “History of Willard Richards,” OnlineUtah.com.

Stan Layton, “The Mormon Trail: A Photographic Exhibit,” Utah History to Go, State of Utah.

“Markers and Monuments Database: Willard Richards,” Utah State History, State of Utah.

“Markers and Monuments Database: This is the Place Monument,” Utah State History, State of Utah.

Monte McLaws, Spokesman for the Kingdom: Early Mormon Journalism and the Deseret News (Provo: Brigham Young University of Missouri, 1977).

Claire Noall, Intimate Disciple, A Portrait of Willard Richards (Salt Lake City: The University of Utah, 1957).

D. Michael Quinn, “They Served: The Richards Legacy in the Church,” Ensign (January 1980).

Howard C. Searle, “Willard Richards as a Historian,” BYU Studies 31, no. 2 (1991): 41-62.

Flood Watch 1983: Newspaper Coverage of the Flooding of Thistle and Salt Lake City

by JAMES STARBUCK

During the spring of 1983, Utah was awakening from one of the wettest winters on record. The previous year saw record precipitation and, in the latter part of 1982, summer rains continued through the fall. Rainfall eventually turned to winter snows and, in the process, saturated the ground beyond its capacity. What was left in the spring was an unusually large snowpack that was waiting to release its moisture down the mountain streams. In normal years the snowpack melts slowly due to air temperatures that gradually warm through late June. This particular season, however, saw a very rapid warm up that created an equally rapid snowmelt and high run-off that overwhelmed local streams, buried a town underwater, and turned streets into rivers.

Throughout this record water year, each new storm was adding to a narrative that would become the prominent news story from mid-April through mid-June 1983. This narrative was conveyed through the two local newspapers, The Salt Lake Tribune and the Deseret News, and each story seemed to be a precursor to the subsequent stories that followed.

What would follow was a flood that had a lasting impact on Utah’s capital city and northern Utah, in general. This flooding was the result of heavy precipitation that accumulated during the 1981-82 water year, which began in October 1981, and culminated in September 1982. According to Linda Sillitoe in her article, “Floods,” it was a “water year that had broken all records; then September 1982 climaxed with ten times more moisture than normal.” Within this last month of the water year, saturated ground turned to mudslides that closed Big and Little Cottonwood canyons and flooded creeks to the point that the state’s Governor, Scott Matheson, declared a state of emergency, although federal aid was denied. (Sillitoe) September’s floods paled in comparison to what the following spring had to offer.

By spring, March again saw record rain and snowfall on top of soil that had reached its limits of absorbing water, and this record moisture continued on through April 1983. The soil limitations became evident on April 15, when a mountainside in Spanish Fork Canyon began to move and forced authorities to close the canyon. This mudslide was threatening U.S. Highway 6 and two railroad tracks and could potentially disrupt transportation and interstate commerce. The Salt Lake Tribune reported on Saturday, April 16, 1983, that during the previous afternoon, “the highway was measured at rising about a foot an hour. It is now about 15 feet higher than the original roadbed.”

In contrast to the reporting in The Salt Lake Tribune, the Deseret News took the opportunity to report on the impact the slide would have on the last run of the Rio Grande Zephyr, “the nation’s last privately owned, inter-city passenger railroad,” that was scheduled to run on April 24. (Fackrell) Inclusion of this bit of information brought a somewhat personal, or humanistic, approach to the paper’s reporting.

As the slide began to dam off the Spanish Fork River, rising waters were threatening the nearby town of Thistle. On April 17, 1983, the Deseret News stated that crews were giving up on “trying to keep the road or the railway open through Spanish Fork Canyon and will now concentrate on keeping residents of Thistle and nearby areas from being flooded.” The Tribune reported that within Thistle, 72 families were evacuated “as water backed up behind millions of tons of heaving, sliding mud.” (Clark)

By Tuesday, April 19, 1983, this rising water was now being called Lake Thistle. The township of Thistle was doomed. Already, the 22 homes that occupied the area were inundated by the lake, now as deep as 50 feet, and The Salt Lake Tribune reported that the town “is up to its rooftops in gray water. Thistle may be no more.” The Deseret News again added a human touch by reporting that “some of the residents are staying with friends and relatives and others in trailers set up in the Canyon Ward church house.” (Ward, Martz)

Federal aid finally came to the residents of Thistle on April 30, 1983, as President Ronald Reagan approved Utah’s request for disaster status for the Spanish Fork slide.  The Salt Lake Tribune reported on May 1 that the “emergency declaration could provide family financial relief grants and temporary housing assistance.”

In areas surrounding Thistle, similar slides were beginning to form, such as in nearby Payson Canyon. The Salt Lake Tribune quoted Utah County Sheriff’s Lt. Gary Clayton as saying that the slide was “a loaded gun up there just waiting to go off.” (Raine) This was a common sentiment felt across all of northern Utah as other streams and rivers were beginning to feel the strains of the spring runoff.  On May 1, 1983, an article in The Salt Lake Tribune prophesied on the floods that would threaten Salt Lake City. The article noted that the National Weather Service expected heavy rains that would cause “flash flooding and standing water in intersections and underpasses throughout the Wasatch Front.” The article also noted that the snowpack, which was only beginning to melt, contained 33 percent more water than the previous year and would strain the streams already swollen with run-off and steady rain. (Clark)

It would be nearly a full month after the Spanish Fork slide that the areas located in Salt Lake County felt the brunt of the melting snowpack. Spring storms were still falling on northern Utah throughout May, and by mid-month it was evident that disaster would soon strike Salt Lake City. On May 17, the result of these storms was beginning to show as “the rain and snow filled Red Butte and Emigration Creeks to overflowing and in some areas the bubbling water flowed into curbs and gutters.” (Sorenson) It was the same story in the surrounding suburbs of Salt Lake City, and the nearby towns located in Davis and Utah counties, as the groundwater began to push above ground. Eventually, the rains were reduced to isolated storms, but in their wake the makings of a “worst-case scenario” was brewing.

Sandbagging efforts created manmade rivers in Salt Lake City over Memorial Day weekend in 1983. Courtesy of Special Collections, J. Willard Marriott Library, The University of Utah.

By the end of May, the rains had given way to higher temperatures that soared into the 80s. (Sillitoe) As The Salt Lake Tribune put it, “The sins of Winter have been visited upon the Spring.” On May 26, crews began setting up dikes and stacking sandbags along the east-to-west thoroughfare of 1300 South to convert it into a river that would run from State Street westward to the Jordan River. Things then went from bad to worse during the Memorial Day weekend as temperatures rose into the 90s. (Sillitoe)

Water began flowing down the makeshift river on Friday, May 27, between dikes that were seven feet high. The waterway was also extended six blocks eastward to accommodate the overfilled reservoir in Liberty Park. The Deseret News noted that “traffic was snarled … as crews blocked major roads and turned them into rivers.” (Davidson) Around the Salt Lake Valley, the melting snowpack was overfilling the numerous creeks and streams and prompted Salt Lake’s mayor, Ted Wilson, to declare a state of emergency for the city. City and state officials also began pleading with the public to supply volunteers to help with the sandbagging efforts in and around Salt Lake.

The next day, May 28, in a downtown park known as Memory Grove, water surged over a pond and sent City Creek rushing down both Main Street and State Street. (Ure) It was this event that made the flooding front-page news in the Sunday paper as the water flow from the creek “set a record of 234 cubic feet per second; the old record was 156 feet per second.” ( Ling, Dowell, Pressley) Previously, the coverage of the flooding had been placed in the local sections of both papers, but this changed once the capital city was affected. That night, road crews and volunteers began the construction of a second river to divert City Creek southward down State Street.

To save the local businesses from water damage, volunteers worked on through the morning of Memorial Day rerouting the creek from Temple Square to 400 South in downtown Salt Lake City, turning the city into a modern Venice. Whether it was in the spirit of the holiday, or the fact that disaster had been averted, once the water began to flow an impromptu “street festival” broke out among the 4,000 or so volunteers who helped build the waterway. (Ward, Davidson)

City Creek flows down State Street as pedestrians cross makeshift bridges. Courtesy of Special Collections, J. Willard Marriott Library, The University of Utah.

This festive sentimentality was also evident as the Deseret News attempted to add a little tongue-and-cheek humor to the situation. In its Sunday edition, the paper laid out instructions on “how to turn a street into a canal,” and listed the four necessary ingredients: “thousands of tons of dirt, a multitude of volunteers, a few thousandths of an inch of plastic, and, of course, water.” (Warchol) Already, these rivers in the middle of the city were becoming something of a novelty.

In the few weeks to follow, wood bridges were constructed to allow for pedestrians and vehicles to cross the river and linked downtown with Interstate 15. Restaurants also capitalized on the novelty as office workers navigated around the waterways during their lunch hours. (Sillitoe) At times, an occasional fisherman could also be seen casting his lure into the brown waters from one of the bridges.

Eventually, the streets dried up and the numbers were tallied. On June 9, 1983, The Salt Lake Tribune relayed the figures calculated by the Utah Department of Transportation, which put the damage to roadways at around $63 million. The Great Salt Lake had also risen over 4.4 feet and was continuing to rise. This was five feet above what was called the “compromise level.” (Fehr)  In a controversial move, Gov. Norm Bangerter ordered giant pumps that were installed in 1987 to lift the water out of the lake and into the desert to evaporate, to the cost of $65 million. (Fidel)

Both The Salt Lake Tribune and the Deseret News built upon this story as it evolved with each storm throughout the spring of 1983. Although television news covered the events, it was the newspapers that really captured the narrative with each article. Television was better able to show the devastation through aerial views, but only once the events took place. The newspapers were able to begin their coverage much earlier. Not only did they report on the events as they happened, they also helped to predict what was to become.  Within each weather forecast throughout the spring, the papers gave predictions for air temperatures as well as the effects that the ongoing precipitation would have on future flooding.

The newspapers also helped the public to be informed on flood areas around the state. Although the events in Thistle and Salt Lake City were the prominent news stories, there were several other areas that were affected by the flooding as well. By the end of May, updates were regularly printed that gave accounts of flooding in specific areas. The narrative that came out of each article, fully told the story of how “the desert did more than bloom like a rose. It became waterlogged.” (Fehr)

James Starbuck is a junior at The University of Utah.  He is majoring in mass communication with an emphasis in new media and is minoring in arts and technology.

Sources

Jerrie S. Fackrell, “Crews give on canyon roads, tracks,” Deseret News, April 16,  1983, B1.

Ann Shields, “Shifting Mud Clogging Spanish Fork Canyon,” The Salt Lake Tribune, April 16, 1983, B1.

Doug Clark, “Mountain Collapse Stops River, Destroys Town,” The Salt Lake Tribune, April 18, 1983, B1.

George Raine, “Wall of Debris Holding Water Back,” The Salt Lake Tribune, April 18, 1983, A1.

John Ward and Maxine Martz, “Slide turns mountain town into a lake,” Deseret News, April 18, 1983, A1.

Douglas L. Parker, “Reagan Approves Disaster Status for Slide,” The Salt Lake Tribune, May 1, 1983, B1

Doug Clark, “Crews Monitor Streams Rains Threaten Floods,” The Salt Lake Tribune, May 1, 1983, B2.

George A. Sorenson, “Storm Provides Flood Control Crews With Preview of Coming Disasters,” The Salt Lake Tribune, May 17, 1983, B1.

Lee Davidson, “Crews Turn Streets Into Rivers,” Deseret News, May 27, 1983, B1.

“Warm Days Heat Up Utah Flood Battle,” The Salt Lake Tribune, May 27, 1983, B1.

Glen Warchol, “How to turn a street into a canal,” Deseret News, May 29, 1983, A6.

Jon Ure, “Flooding Erupts From Memory Grove,” The Salt Lake Tribune, May 29, 1983, A1.

Ben Ling, Thomas R. Dowell, and Roderick Pressley, “Sandbaggers Turn State Street Into Aqueduct,” The Salt Lake Tribune, May 30, 1983, A1.

John Ward and Lee Davidson, “Storms threaten to aggravate flood nightmare,” Deseret News, May 30, 1983, A1.

Will Fehr, ed., Spirit of Survival: Utah Floods 1983, Indianapolis, IN: News & Feature Press, 1983.

Steve Fidel, “Chiefs from ’83 remember Salt Lake Floods and their impacts on conditions now,” Deseret News, April 20, 2011, http://bit.ly/higJCe

Linda Sillitoe, “Floods,” Utah History to Go, http://1.usa.gov/9GmOKI

The History of LGBT Publications in Salt Lake City (1975-2010)

Queering readers in the “reddest of the red states”

by NICK CRITCHLOW

When writing about queer history in the United States, the LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender) community has been a very underground community due to societal disapproval and ignorance. Utah is well known for being a conservative Republican state with a predominantly LDS population, so one wonders how a community that is so marginalized can survive in a conservative state such as Utah. As with all underprivileged groups, we learn that the way they find camaraderie and strength within a hostile environment is through newsletters, magazines, and newspapers geared toward advocating for their community. We also find that with this particular community, there has come not only a unique culture that is distinct from the contemporary heteronormative status quo that we all grew up with, but there has also developed this mass communication and media system that has built and sustained a community in a harsh environment. What I will be studying in this project is the history of queer print publications in Salt Lake City, including GayzetteOpen Door, Salt Lick, and Triangle Magazine. I will be studying not only how these newspapers were set up, but also the role they played in building the LGBT community in northern Utah.

Before discussing the history of these publications in Utah, it is important to first give a background as to how the LGBT revolution in America began. The LGBT rights movement, as we know it in the United States, was basically kicked off after the Stonewall Riots in 1969 in Greenwich Village, New York.

Stonewall is considered a legendary event among LGBT activists as being the catalyst as to how gay people and gay rights came out of the shadows and into people’s homes and everyday conversations. Martin Duberman in his book, Stonewall, documented how this small event at a bar in New York City revolutionized the gay community in the United States forever.  The Stonewall Inn was a gay bar in New York City during the 1960s.  However, gay bars were illegal at the time and the bar, along with other bars where homosexuals were known to socialize, was raided by the police quite frequently. (Duberman, 183) As a result, many of the patrons were put into paddy wagons for either dancing with a same-sex partner or wearing three or more clothing items that are intended for people of the opposite sex. (Duberman, 192–193)

However, on June 28, 1969, patrons finally got tired of police coming into the bar to arrest them, so the clientele, mostly drag queens and lesbians, revolted and fought back against the police. It was a riot that lasted three nights; however, mainstream magazine publications such as Newsweek and TIME did not cover the riots until October. (Cusac, 1)

According to Arthur Lipkin in his book, Understanding Homosexuality, Changing Schools, the late 1960s in the US were such a time of political unease and protest that it allowed the gay community to finally be given a voice. “1968 was a watershed year for protest and disruption in the United States, in that environment, gay liberation was a cause waiting to explode.” (Lipkin, 90)

Within six months after the riot in New York, two gay activist organizations were formed, the Gay Activists Alliance and the Gay Liberation Front, and three newspapers were established to promote rights for gays and lesbians. According to the Encyclopedia of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender History, within a few years, gay-rights organizations were founded across the U.S. and the world. On June 28, 1970, the first Gay Pride marches took place in Los Angeles, Chicago, and New York to commemorate the anniversary of the riots. Similar marches were organized in other cities. Today, Gay Pride events are held annually throughout the world, mostly in the month of June in observance of the Stonewall riots.

There were, however, gay organizations prior to 1969. Organizations such as the Mattachine Society [1] and the Daughters of Bilitis [2] have been around since the 1950s. These groups were described as part of the homophile movement, which was a movement within the gay community that emphasized assimilation and presenting all gay identified people as “normal” citizens. They also were very underground and rarely engaged in activism. This was a strategy that was known as “the politics of respectability” within the gay community. (Gallo, 1–5, 11)

Now in the midst of all this consciousness-raising around the gay and lesbian community during the late 1960s and early 1970s, how does revolution like this work in a conservative state like Utah? We find that even within the heavily religious environment of Utah, gays and lesbians found a way to stay connected with one another, and support each other.  (I should clarify that I will be using gay and lesbian and LGBT interchangeably in this research, because bisexuals and transgender people were generally not included in the same category of gay and lesbian politics until around the 1980s and 1990s.)

The first LGBT newspaper of its kind that appeared in Utah was called the Gayzette and was founded by Babs DeLay and edited by DeLay and Gene Petten in 1975. The newspaper later evolved into the Salt Lick and then the Open Door, Triangle Magazine and into today’s incarnation, QSalt Lake. The publication contained local and national news centered on the needs of the gay and lesbian community, as well as some local advertisements and gay events.

The Gayzette was set up in a basic newsletter style with community announcements and some articles. There were no photos or advertisements, just stories and events in the community. The first issue was published on May 27, 1975, just one year after the Gay Student Union at the University of Utah was formed. It was Utah’s first gay organization and it is still in existence at the university to this day. It has since been renamed the Queer Student Union.

The printing for the newspaper was donated and done by the Feminist Women’s Health Center, a woman-controlled center that in their words was “dedicated to reclaiming our bodies from the medical profession.” (Gayzette, issue 1) The main article for the first issue of the newspaper focused on the formation of a Gay Community Service Center. The center was a small nonprofit dedicated to the gay community.  Proposed services for the center included a “Gayline,” which was a 24 – hour answering service manned by trained volunteers to aid in crisis intervention, alcohol and drug-related problems, emergency food and housing needs, employment, medical services, legal aid, and general referrals. There was also news of the elections of the committee members for the center. Most of the names of the people on the committee were men, which was reflective of the time period because during the 1970s, the gay rights movement was generally a male-based movement. Most lesbian-identified women were involved in the feminist movement at the time, rather than the gay rights movement.

According to Lee Walzer in her book, Gay Rights on Trial: A Handbook, lesbians had created their own political circles within feminism because they faced sexism within the broader gay rights movement. “Lesbian feminists were victims of sexism within the gay liberation movement, where women’s issues were deemed of lesser importance then the sexual liberation sought by gay men and the women themselves were often relegated to secondary, support roles.” (Walzer, 14) This is not to say that lesbians did not make great contributions to the gay rights movement, it was just not always a safe space for them to voice their concerns.

The main focus of the Gayzette was about educating the public about the myths of homosexuality and empowering gay individuals. “The gay person will be aided in defining his/her sexual orientation toward a positive self-concept that will confront the negative ideas transferred by society, family and the church.” (Gayzette, May 27,1975) The committee organized electronic media and a speaker’s bureau for organizations and groups who requested it. (The electronic media outlets they were using were not specified in the newspaper.)

What surprised me the most about reading the first issues of the newspaper was the strong emphasis on family. The first issue described dates for potlucks, social gatherings, movie nights, “keggers” and other activities. Being that many of the readers whom the newspaper was targeting were shunned from their biological families, friends, etc., a reader gets the feel for the sense of community that the people who were in charge of this newspaper were trying to forge. The newspaper almost gave a lonely and confused reader the impression that there was a loving family out there for them to utilize.

The second issue, which was published June 28, was a more developed newspaper with letters to the editor, a classified section, a list of events going on through the center, and stories of political legislation concerning the gay community in the United States. Two stories discussed the military ban on homosexuals; another was written just after California legalized all sexual acts between consensual adults. It was not until 2003 that sodomy laws were officially taken off the books in Utah with the US Supreme Court decision of Lawrence v. Texas, which decriminalized consensual sex between adult same-sex partners.

The latter incarnation, the Salt Lick, was formatted in a way where it resembled a genuine mainstream newspaper, with advertisements, articles and editorials, local and national news, as well as local community events. One interesting story that was actually printed in The Salt Lake Tribune in 1976 was a story of two women who applied for a marriage license. Technically, the two women were allowed to be granted a marriage license because according to the article, “Utah statute does not specifically prohibit marriage between members of the same sex.” This is interesting, because in 2004, voters in Utah passed an amendment to the state constitution that not only bans marriages between same-sex couples, but also any legal recognition or protections.

Another incarnation that appeared during the 1980s was  Triangle Magazine. It was set up in much the same way as the Salt Lick and the Gayzette, in that it contained both local and national news surrounding the gay and lesbian community. However, the tone of the newspaper was different than the newspapers during the 1970s; it had more serious coverage concerning AIDS. There were many advertisements about AIDS and condom use and articles on the gay community’s battles with the government concerning AIDS patients. Being that AIDS was discovered in the early 1980s and was prevalent in the gay community, especially among gay and bisexual men, it was an issue that really brought the community together in solidarity. “The impact of AIDS on the gay and lesbian community was profound,” writes Tina Fetner in How the Religious Right Shaped Lesbian and Gay Activism. “People from lesbian and gay communities formed organizations to educate the public on how to prevent the spread of AIDS, to distribute condoms for free, and to distribute bleach kits for intravenous drug users so that they could clean shared needles between partners. This quickly turned into an AIDS movement with multiple programs and organizations.”  (Fetner, 55)  Articles from the newspapers focused on ways to bring AIDS education to Utah and formation of organizations such as the Salt Lake AIDS Foundation, since renamed the Utah AIDS Foundation, which is still operating.

What I have gathered in this research is that despite Utah’s reputation of being a strong “red” state with conservative values, the LGBT community in Salt Lake City has thrived and been strong since the beginnings of the Gay Liberation Movement during the late 1960s. Due to the activism of these brave men and women, they have created a community and culture that is rich in a history that needs to be accounted for. Today, Salt Lake City has been documented as one of the 51 “gay-friendliest” cities in the United States, according to Gregory A. Kompes, author of 50 Fabulous Gay-friendly Places to Live. There are political and community-based organizations such as the Utah Pride Center, Equality Utah,  and the Utah AIDS Foundation. There is also an LGBT Resource Center at the University of Utah along with the Queer Student Union, as well as many bars, clubs, and social groups in the Salt Lake City area. The Utah Pride Festival which is hosted by the Utah Pride Center is the second-largest festival in Utah and it celebrates both the history and culture of the LGBT community.

Nick Critchlow graduated in August 2010 with undergraduate degrees in both mass communication and gender studies from The University of Utah. A strong radical queer feminist, he looks forward to using his education in helping create positive social change in the world.

Sources

Gayzette, May 27, 1975.

Triangle Magazine, January 1987.

Martin Duberman. Stonewall. New York: Dutton, 1993.

Marcia Gallo. Different Daughters: A History of the Daughters of Bilitis and the Rise of the Lesbian Rights Movement. New York: Carroll & Graf Publishers, 2006.

Anne-Marie Cusac. “The Promise of Stonewall – Stonewall Riot, New York, New York, 1969.”

Arthur Lipkin. Understanding Homosexuality, Changing Schools. Boulder, Colo.: Westview Press, 1999.

Tina Fetner. How the Religious Right Shaped Lesbian and Gay Activism. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2008.

Lee Walzer. Gay Rights on Trial: A Handbook. Santa Barbara, Calif.: ABC-CLIO, 2002.

Marc Stein, ed. Encyclopedia of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender History. New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons/Thomson/Gale, 2004.


[1] The Mattachine Society was one of the earliest homophile organizations in the United States and was founded in 1950.  Membership primarily comprised white, middle-to-upper-class men and was formed to protect and improve the rights of homosexuals.

[2] The Daughters of Bilitis is the first lesbian rights organization in the United States. It was formed in San Francisco, California, in 1955. The group was conceived as a social alternative to lesbian bars, which were considered illegal and thus subject to raids and police harassment. It lasted for fourteen years and became a tool of education for lesbians, gay men, researchers, and mental health professionals.

A Day That Will Live in Utah Infamy: Local Media Coverage of Salt Lake City’s Destructive Tornado

by JAMES G. LOWE

August 11, 1999, was a significantly unique day in Utah history. It is on very rare occasions that events occur that have never before transpired in a state’s history. It is rarer still, that professionals of journalism are required to report on events that they never thought possible. On that fateful day, both of these rarities occurred in Salt Lake City. Shortly before 1 p.m., swollen, purple storm clouds billowed over the city’s skyscrapers, foretelling of the event to come. Soon after, the first tornado to ever be seen in downtown Salt Lake struck, creating a journalistic environment never before seen in Utah.

The twister, an F-2 on the Fujita Scale of tornado severity, initially touched down just southwest of central downtown. Over a period of ten minutes, it blew through the city’s business district, heading north towards the state capitol. Significant damage occurred, resulting in gas leaks, power outages, interrupted phone service, and roofs being blown off of multiple business buildings and homes. (Janofsky) Extensive damage was done to the Delta Center now Energy Solutions Arena, the home of the Utah Jazz. Five hundred trees were destroyed, and another 300 trees were extensively damaged. Significant losses were felt in the residential district known as the Avenues, with over 300 houses being damaged, and thirty homes being deemed uninhabitable by the responding emergency officials. (Brough)

The most poignant loss came in the form of human casualties. One man, Allen Crandy of Las Vegas, was killed and more than 100 people were injured — with fifteen to twenty serious injuries reported. Crandy’s death marked the first ever recorded tornado-caused fatality in state history. An annual trade show known as “Outdoor Retailers” was occurring the day of the disaster, coincidentally taking place directly in the path of the tornado. The sole loss of life and multiple accounts of injury occurred at the convention. (“Tornado Hits”)

Immediately following the tornado, the atmosphere in Salt Lake City was distinctive. The city had felt a kind of devastation that it had no previous experience with and thus had no understanding of how to accurately cope. According to an article published the following day by The New York Times, Utah had experienced 32 tornados in 25 years leading up to this incident. Comparatively, in the same time period, Oklahoma had experienced 1,326. Despite this unfamiliarity, Salt Lake City’s responses to the disaster were tremendously effective. Both in providing immediate aid to the afflicted, as well as journalistically, Salt Lake responded professionally and practiced excellent damage control. (Wharton)

As it relates specifically to the journalistic efforts of the city, three major trends can be seen in the coverage of the catastrophe. News coverage, particularly print media, employed breaking news stories, personal accounts from members of the community, and editorials to accurately capture the history of the event, and to help the healing process of the public. Drawing on the works of both The Salt Lake Tribune and The Deseret News, and utilizing a weeklong time frame following the incident, this pattern can be visualized. 

In the seven days following the destruction caused by the tornado, both of Salt Lake’s local newspapers ran numerous articles responding the disaster. In the immediate aftermath, from approximately August 11 to August 12, both publications ran articles of the breaking news variety.  Summaries of the damage that had been done, as well as strong focuses on the human casualties, covered the front pages of both publications.

“The twister hit hard and fast, tearing apart buildings, shutting down power and scattering debris for miles,” The Deseret News reported in an article printed the following day. In the same story, the paper displayed the scope of the incident by quoting President Clinton. “The burden of recovery will be heavy, but it is a burden that the people of Salt Lake City need not carry alone. As they begin the difficult process of mourning, healing and rebuilding, our nation stands steadfastly behind them,” he said. (Bryson, et al.) The article ran with an accompanying photo of the tornado, providing the reader with not only with a vivid description of the damage caused, but also with a culprit.

The Salt Lake Tribune echoed that style in its immediate coverage. They noted that the state estimated the tornado caused $150 million in damage, and spoke in specific detail of its destruction. One article reported, “Insurers in Utah so far have received 700 claims totaling $7 million for tornado damage under individual homeowner and automobile policies.” (Mitchell)

As the days following the tornado passed, the media evolution continued.  There was a remarkable softening of content, as the focus observably shifted from reports on the extent of the destruction to profiles of individuals who were affected by its consequences. The Avenues, the residential area that absorbed the most significant damaged, received strong coverage by The Deseret News. In an article published two days after the tornado, the experiences of multiple individuals were discussed at length, specifically of the family of Grace Wilson. “They heard a ferocious wind, then looked out a window of their 16th Avenue home and saw lightning,” noted reporter Donna Kemp. “A nearby power line exploded, so (the family) cowered near the couch. They watched in horror as a tree crashed through their living room. And then the ceiling turned to sky.” Despite recounting the damage incurred to the Wilson’s home, the article had a quality of hope and comfort. It stated that once the family was safe in the basement, they turned to their faith to provide comfort, huddling together and praying until the storm passed. (Kemp)

The same story also profiled LaWanna Chilelli, also an Avenues resident: “‘Oh, my God,’” Chilelli cried when she walked in her front door at 4 p.m. Wednesday. A whirling funnel cloud had ripped off the little house’s roof.” Again, after recounting the horror felt by the individual, the focus was brought back to a tone of hope. “I was going to take a vacation day  — I’m glad I didn’t. I’m glad I wasn’t home. It’s a mess. But it’s just stuff. It’s just stuff, and I’ve got to remember that,” the article quoted Chilelli as saying.

The next day, August 13, The Deseret News ran a second Avenues article, enhancing their previous writing. The headline, “Humor, hope resonate in Avenues. Firewood jokes and unbroken china help the residents cope,” elucidated their goal and the direction of their evolving incident coverage.  Turning away from shock and awe tactics, the story was solely concerned with providing a face for the tragedy. “We’re going to rebuild bigger and better … with all sorts of goodies,” the article quoted an Avenues resident as saying. “I feel really lucky that (we’re) OK and that our cat came back.” (Kemp and Toomer-Cook)

The Salt Lake Tribune responded accordingly. In an article published on August 16, the Tribune looked to accomplish the same goal as The Deseret News, but utilized the American Red Cross as their vehicle of expression. More than 200 Red Cross volunteers had served some 20,000 meals and answered 300 of some 400 inquiries from family members trying to locate loved ones, the article said, drawing on the statistics as a symbol of compassion. “‘We have had more offers for help than we can handle,’ said Bob Dingman, a mental health counselor in the Red Cross.” The piece also focused on the rebuilding of the community environment, providing information regarding uprooted tree transplantation and readers with information on how to best help. (Ure)

The final installment of news coverage crafted for this scenario came in the form of columns, letters to the editor, and editorials. Both publications utilized this form of journalism to publish content that was not only personal, but personal in voice as well. The Salt Lake Tribune took this format especially to heart. An associate editor of the paper wrote a column on August 15 recounting the actions of the Tribune’s journalists: “What we provided was an all-encompassing, in-depth view of who, what, when, where, how and why,” he wrote. “We told stories about people directly involved, furnished information from the so-called experts, showed the damage through photographs …. I am proud of what was produced in The Tribune …. We tried our hardest to cover every angle. I believe we succeeded.” (McCarthey)

The Tribune continued this model as they published multiple articles submitted by readers, recounting in the first person their views on the incident. Also printed on August 15 was a piece submitted by Laurie J. Wilson, the department of communications chairwoman at BYU. “Some would call it an ‘ill wind’; I would label it fortunate,” she wrote. “It blew in compassion … service … gratitude. Here’s to the community that has been Salt Lake for the past few days. May it not take natural disaster to create it ever again.” (Wilson)

The devastating tornado that hit Salt Lake City on August 11, 1999, brought an atmosphere to the city that had never been seen before. With it came a journalistic responsibility that had never been experienced, yet was handled professionally and thoroughly. As can be seen through the writings of The Salt Lake Tribune and The Deseret News, this incident was covered in the form of breaking news, human interest pieces, and letters to the editor/editorials.

James Lowe is a senior in the College of Humanities at The University of Utah. He is a journalist for the Daily Utah Chronicle, and works as an intern for Simmons Media Group. He enjoys being active outdoors and spending time with his loved ones.

Sources

Amy Joi Bryson, Jennifer Dobner, and Lucinda Dillon, “Twister’s terrible toll 1 killed, 81 injured, 300 homes damaged,” The Deseret News, August 12, 1999.

Michael Janofsky, “Tornado Damages Downtown Salt Lake City; 1 Is Killed and Many Are Hurt,” The New York Times, August 12, 1999.

Donna M. Kemp, “Avenues residents pick up the pieces,” The Deseret News, August 12, 1999.

Tom McCarthey, “Letter From The Editor,” The Salt Lake Tribune, August 15, 1999.

Lesley Mitchell, “Tornado Claims Total $7M,” The Salt Lake Tribune, August 20, 1999.

Jennifer Toomer-Cook and Donna Kemp, “Humor, hope resonate in Avenues. Firewook Jokes and unbroken china help the residents cope,” The Deseret News, August 13, 1999.

Jon Ure, “Red Cross Workers Relieved Victims Are Few,” The Salt Lake Tribune, August 16, 1999.

Tom Wharton, The Salt Lake Tribune, August 9, 2009.

Laurie J. Wilson, “Twister Blew In Compassion and Service,” The Salt Lake Tribune, August 15, 1999.

Clayton Brough, et al. “Utah’s Tornadoes and Waterspouts, 1847-Present.” National Weather Service Salt Lake City.

Tornado Hits Salt Lake City.” University of Nebraska-Lincoln High Plains Climate Center.