The Heyday of Saratoga Springs Resort, 1960s-1995

By B. Lancaster

Saratoga Springs Resort, on Utah Lake, has been around in one form or another since 1884. It was originally developed by John Beck, a Mormon miner and farmer and called Beck’s Hot Springs. He later named it after the New York hot springs of the same name, Saratoga Springs Resort. Originally the resort boasted six hot tubs and two large plunge baths. Over the years the resort expanded to include many rides, games, activities, and buildings. It would go on to host many large events including concerts. (American Fork Citizen)

In 1900, Beck sold the resort to the Utah Sugar Company. Shortly after this Edward Southwick was put in charge of running the resort. Southwick wasn’t just the manager of the resort; he also worked in many different positions, including as a lifeguard. He even personally saved the lives of three different people. Saratoga Springs Resort would be sold several times over until it was eventually bought by Frank Eastmond in 1930. Eastmond and his family were the final owners of the resort and kept it up and running until its eventual closing in 1995. (Utah Historical Quarterly)

The resort made front-page news in April 1968, when the Deseret News reported that several of the main buildings had caught fire. The early-morning fire caused more than $50,000 worth of damage and destroyed several of the resort’s main attractions. The cause of the fire was unknown at the time the article was printed. But it was known that the fire had started around 1 a.m. in the laundry room. It quickly spread throughout most of the rest of the building and eventually caused an explosion in the swimming area due to the chlorine tank in the building. Besides the large main building that housed the indoor swimming pool, dressing room, ticket office, business offices, snack bar, and nickel arcade, the main dance hall was also destroyed. At the time the dance hall had been one of the main attractions and had been a staple of the resort for many years. Luckily no one was harmed during the fire or subsequent explosion.

The Orem-Geneva Times had a Now Hiring ad in its newspaper on March 27, 1969. It stated that the resort was hiring about one hundred employees, which was more than double the number it had hired in the past, for all sorts of positions including lifeguards, ride operators, game operators, waiters and waitresses. The resort was open from Easter weekend until Memorial Day only on the weekends but would then open up daily until Labor Day weekend.

After the fire that destroyed some of the resort’s main attractions, a large remodeling project began. The resort wasn’t just rebuilding the structures that were lost, but also adding to the resort as well as updating everything. The project wasn’t completed until 1973 and cost around a half million dollars to finish, according to the Lehi Free Press in May 1979. Some of the new additions were three natural hot springs, campgrounds, picnic grounds, kiddie rides, mini golf, an arcade, as well as a dining terrace. These updates were very well received and caused the resort to become an even more popular local destination.

The biggest change to the resort was the ride “Kamikaze.” It was built in 1978 and cost around $150,000, according to the Lehi Free Press in August 1979. Kamikaze was a three-story 350-foot slide and was the most popular attraction that the resort ever had. It stood where the original dance pavilion had been before the fire. Kamikaze was built to replace several of the larger amusement rides that the park had had before that had become too expensive to keep due to running costs as well as insurance costs. Luckily it ended up being more popular than any of the previous attractions and brought in hundreds of thousands of visitors.

Even though Kamikaze was only opened in 1978 and the park had been doing fairly well, things started to take a downturn in 1980. The resort’s running costs had gotten higher with the amount of staff needed having nearly tripled since the 1950s. It all culminated in the decision to hold a rock concert at the resort. The British band Deep Purple was the headliner and it was a very popular event. Sadly the band was never able to perform due to there not being a backup generator after the initial generator was broken during the pre show. This caused the large crowd to erupt in anger and to start to tear the resort down with their bare hands. They caused extensive damage to the buildings, resulting in thousands of dollars in damages, according to the Deseret News in June 1995.

After many ups and downs the Saratoga Springs Resort was officially closed and dismantled, according to a June 1995 article in the Deseret News. This was due to its waning popularity over the years and the fact that it had become rather run down ever since Utah Lake had flooded most of the resort and caused major water damage. After the buildings and attractions had been torn down the land was sold to developers to create a large housing development that would eventually become the city of Saratoga Springs.

B. Lancaster graduated from the University of Utah in December of 2020 with a Bachelor of Science in Communication.


Primary Sources

“Free Swimming Passes to Climbers,” The Lehi Free Press, July 16, 1959.

“Saratoga to Sponsor Moonlite Boat-o-cade Next Monday,” The Lehi Free Press, July 16, 1959.

Leo Loveridge, “Fire, Blast Hit Saratoga,” Deseret News, April 27, 1968.

“Saratoga Resort Now Hiring,” Orem-Geneva Times, March 27, 1969.

“Saratoga Day Set For Citizen/ Free Press Readers,” Lehi Free Press, August 23, 1979.

“Transformation of Saratoga Underway,” Lehi Free Press, May 31, 1979.

Jean Gordon, “Saratoga History Spans Battleground, Resorts,” American Fork Citizen, April 2, 1981.

Secondary Sources

Richard S. Van Wagoner, “Saratoga, Utah Lake’s Oldest Resort,” Utah Historical Quarterly 57, no. 2 (1989).

Dennis Romboy, “Utah Lake Resort Sails Off Into The Sunset,” Deseret News, June 30, 1995.

Tom Wharton, “Whatever happened to … Saratoga resort on Utah Lake?” The Salt Lake Tribune, April 5, 2015.

History,” Saratoga Springs, Utah.

Ecker Hill Serves As One of the Most Historical Ski Jumping Hills in History

By Sophia H. Chartrand

In Park City, Utah, Ecker Hill may just seem like an ordinary mountain in the Wasatch Back to individuals. However, everyone may not know about how much historical impact it holds.

From the 1930s to the late 1940s, Ecker Hill was an original amateur and professional ski jumping mountain. The finest world-class jumpers traveled from all over the world to attend and compete in regional and national championships. The hill was just a handful of world-class ski jumps in North America. From 1930 to 1949, Utah would host national meets regularly, with approximately 10,000 people in attendance. (Roper)

Ski jumping in Utah started in 1915, where several young Norwegians settled in Utah, including figures like Marthinius “Mark” A. Strand and Axel Andresen from the Norwegian Young Folks Society. The group started hosting ski competitions in the intermountain area once a year at Dry Canyon, which is now considered the upper campus at the University of Utah. (Kelly)

However, in 1928, Utah Ski Club leader Peter S. Ecker wanted to attract more professional ski jumpers to competitions in Utah. The team decided that if it was going to attract the best ski jumpers in the world, it would have to build a world-class jumping mountain. With aid from the Rasmussen brothers, the team planned to establish a jumping facility at the Rasmussen Ranch near Parley’s Summit. Fast forward a year, the jumping enthusiasts—Ecker, Strand, and Andersen—created the site with the help of the Rasmussen family and local supporters. (Kelly) The glory days would finally occur, as the world-class jumping hill became a reality on March 2, 1930. The Park Record reported on March 7, 1930, that the Utah governor at the time, George H. Dern, named the hill after Peter Ecker, hence the name Ecker Hill.

The Salt Lake Telegram also reported on March 16, 1930, about competitor Ulland Fredboe expecting to break a personal record at the next tournament. These kinds of articles were extremely common during peak event times, highlighting different skiers and estimating whether or not they would break a world record.

Shortly after events started occurring, competition events increased at the hill. The Park Record reported on December 19, 1930, that a ski jumping event would be held on the first day of the new year. On New Year’s Day 1931, approximately 500 observers gathered on Ecker Hill to watch Alf Engen break the world’s professional ski jumping record. Engen jumped 231 feet, breaking the previous world record by two feet. On that same day, he smashed the world record again by jumping 247 feet. The Salt Lake Telegram honored that record in an article published on February 21, 1931, stating that it would be recognized as a national record. But that wasn’t the only time that Alf Engen broke world records. The world-class ski jumper set world records several times throughout the 1930s. His top mark was 296 feet, which was the longest jump ever recorded at Ecker Hill. (Roper)

There were many legendary names mentioned in ski history during the 20th century. According to a Salt Lake Telegram article published on February 23, 1933, there was a Champions Tournament that hosted competitive ski jumpers and athletes from all over the world. These names included Sigmund Ruud; Norwegian champion Torger Tokie; American record holder Reidar Anderson; and 1938 Norwegian champion Peter Hugsted (Roper)

In 1937, Utah hosted the U.S. National Ski Jumping Championship at Ecker Hill, led by Joe Quinney, the acting president of the Utah Ski Club. Alf Engen claimed the winning title while Norwegian Olympic champion Ruud followed behind. However, the U.S. Ski Association reversed the winning titles due to a technical ruling involving how house distances were calculated. (Roper)

While tournaments were held on Ecker Hill, two different jumps were used. The biggest take-off, known as “A,” was reserved for jumpers who jumped on a more professional level. The lower jump, known as “B,” was usually used for training and lower-qualified jumpers. There was sometimes a third jump that was reserved mainly for Alf Engen. It was much larger than the other take-offs so that the world-class jumper could pursue breaking world records. Jumps were also used not just by skiers, but toboggans as well.

Ecker Hill earned a spot on the National Register of Historic Places in 1986. On September 1, 2001, a permanent historical monument was set in stone, commemorating the historical ski jumping hill that still stands on the outskirts of Park City, Utah. The use of Ecker Hill has boosted Utah ski tourism to what it is today and is still remembered as the peak of ski jumping.

Primary Sources

Tom Kelly, “Summit County’s Skiing Origins, From Silver To Snow,” Park Record, March 11, 2020.

Frank Rasmussen, “Ski Tournament,” Park Record, March 7, 1930.

“Fredboe, Ulland Set to Break New Jump Mark at Ecker Hill,” Salt Lake Telegram, March 16, 1930.

Clark Stohl, “Ski Riders Reconstructing Ecker Hill for 1931 Tournaments,” Salt Lake Telegram, August 1, 1930.

“Ski Tournament New Year’s Day,” Park Record, December 19, 1930.

“Engen’s 247-Foot Leap to Be Recognized as National Record,” Salt Lake Telegram, February 21, 1931.

“Ski Riders Thrill Thousands at Ecker Hill in Holiday Meet,” Salt Lake Telegram, February 23, 1933.

Secondary Sources

Roper, Roger. “Ecker Hill.Utah History Encyclopedia.

Greek Life Evaluation Study at the University of Utah, 1962

By Brianna Winn

From networking to academics to philanthropy, Greek life has been and still is a huge part of the collegiate experience. Fraternities and sororities today and in the past, have been seen in both a positive and negative light since the implementation of the organizations into the University of Utah.

Utah’s fraternity and sorority life began in the fall of 1909 when the first fraternity was chartered and established. The first sorority on campus was founded in 1913. According to the University of Utah’s official Greek life website, today, the University of Utah has 18 fraternities and sororities with over 1,600 students involved.

The Fraternity Study Committee was appointed in November 1960 by President Albert Ray Olpin to conduct a comprehensive study of the fraternities and sororities on campus. According to the Committee, President Olpin had three main objectives with this study: “to discover and describe as objectively as possible, the past and present characteristics of fraternities and sororities, to project their future role on campus, and to identify ways and means by which fraternities and sororities can meet their goals within the framework of the University education objectives.” (Report to Dr. A. Ray Olpin, p. 3) This study was proposed to assist in the long-range planning for Greek life on campus.

Just like today, a good deal of attention, both positive and negative, was focused on fraternities and sororities across the nation. “Fraternity and sorority organizations have found themselves in conflict with some university administrations to the point that the individual chapters had left several campuses.” (Report to Dr. A. Ray Olpin, p. 3) The Committee that was appointed by President Olpin consisted of representatives from the Regents, administration, faculty, students, and alumni.

The Daily Utah Chronicle reported on October 10, 1962, that this study was one of the most complete studies of its kind to be undertaken by a university. The 98-page report was compiled over for a year and a half by the Committee.

The first meetings of the alumni dealt with defining the scope of the research program and outlining the different sources of information that would be needed to meet the objectives of the study. “Following the collection of data from students, faculty, alumni, parents, and school records, the Committee has considered the material and used the information as a basis for making recommendations.” (Report to Dr. A. Ray Olpin, President, p. 4)

On October 3, 1962, The Daily Utah Chronicle article announced that the University had just completed a study of the fraternity and sorority systems on campus. The Committee had released the results of the study. The Daily Utah Chronicle reported that most of the Greek houses were originally constructed as private homes and later converted to fraternity and sorority dwellings. This caused problems such as congestion, inadequate facilities, limited parking, and strained relationships with private citizens living in the area.

The Daily Utah Chronicle reported on October 10, 1962, that the factors of importance in this study were issues such as, the rapid enrollment growth of the school with an increase in out-of-state and married students and the development of a strong residence hall program. Also, the article reported other issues such as, the construction of the Union facilities to meet students’ out-of-classroom needs, the inadequacies of housing for fraternities and sororities and the need for the development of understanding between the University community about the ways in which fraternities and sororities could contribute to the educational objectives of the University.

The data in this study were collected through interviews, surveys, use of school records, and involved both affiliated and non-affiliated students, faculty, parents, and alumni.

The Daily Utah Chronicle reported October 10, 1962, that as the final feature of the study, the committee made some recommendations. Thus, based on the belief that the fraternities and sororities at the University of Utah are an important part of the University community, and they make substantial contributions to the educational experiences of students.

This study found, that the membership in fraternities and sororities has remained relatively constant in the last seven years as have the number of those who have gone through fall rush. Also, there are three fraternities and three sororities that limit their membership based on a belief in the Christian religion. The majority of faculty, students, parents, and alumni felt that more information about sororities and fraternities is needed by incoming students if they are asked to join the organization. Regarding housing, if future building and construction are to take place, the University support will be needed to achieve the necessary changes. Lastly, although all national organizations have specifically outlawed any type of hazing, there is some evidence that pre-initiation activities remain a problem in some fraternities. However, progress is being made in this area and hazing activities have become less severe in recent years. (Report to Dr. A. Ray Olpin, pp. 42-45)

The Greek organizations continue to grow across the United States because of their strong national organizations that give financial, housing, membership selection advise, assistant and support. The Chronicle reports April 28, 1970, that the Greeks have given more of their time, energy, and means than any other group to make the University of Utah what it is and to help make many programs successful.

In an article published on April 4, 1970, The Daily Utah Chronicle said through a unique combination of unity in its ranks and diversity in its membership, the Greek system will continue its vital contribution to University life.

Greek organizations are and have been important to colleges all around the nation. Although they must be monitored and frequently observed, they provide students with a plethora of networking, scholarship, academic, and social opportunities.

Brianna Winn is a junior at the University of Utah. She is currently pursuing a degree in communication with an emphasis in journalism.

Primary Sources

“Housing, Scholarship, Finances Studied,” The Daily Utah Chronicle, October 2, 1962, 2.

“Greek Study Complete; Committee Reports,” The Daily Utah Chronicle, October 10, 1962, 2.

“Recommendations Made by Greek Study Forum,” The Daily Utah Chronicle, October 3, 1962, 2.

“Recommendations Seek Control,” The Daily Utah Chronicle, October 4, 1962, 2.

“What have the Greeks Done for U?” The Daily Utah Chronicle, April 28, 1970, 2.

Cynthia J. Wootton, “Greeks: Progress or Perish,” The Daily Utah Chronicle, April 30, 1970, 5.

Secondary Source

Fraternity Study Committee, University of Utah. Report to Dr. A. Ray Olpin, President, University of Utah. Salt Lake City, Utah: University of Utah, 1962.


The Flaming Gorge Dam Power Lines: Good for Utah, or a Needless Tax Burden?

By Martin Kuprianowicz

In 1956, Congress authorized the Colorado River Storage Project, which called for the construction of four large dams: Glen Canyon Dam in Page, Arizona, Flaming Gorge Dam on the Green River in northeastern Utah, Curecanti Dam on the Gunnison River in western Colorado, and the Navajo Dam on the San Juan River in northwestern New Mexico. The plan, approved by Congress, provided a financing system which would return to the taxpayers the full cost of these dams and participating projects over an 86-year period.

The project was designed to promote irrigation and water control, but most importantly it was to provide electricity. For most of the revenue to “pay out,” the cost would come from the sale of the electric energy produced by these dams to publically-owned, consumer-owned, and privately-owned utilities. However, the public was not entirely in favor of this latest federal construction project, and a letter to the editor in the May 16, 1961, issue of The Daily Utah Chronicle labeled it as “a tremendous sum of money” which could be easily saved if only private companies were allowed to build the powerlines, and not the federal government itself.

The main purpose of this project was to provide more people with electricity. An article in the February 23, 1961, edition of The Murray Eagle headlined “Power Officials Addresses Murray Rotarians Monday” said that the development of electricity paved the way for creation and use of the thousands of devices and appliances in Utah. These powerlines, as argued by the federal power official, were a step forward for Americans and modern-day humans.

In March 1961, The Salt Lake Times reported that Rep. David S. King called upon Interior Secretary Stewart L. Udall to give congress revised budget requests, claiming that the current budget requests were not “appropriate to the plan of an all-federal transmission system,” originally endorsed by the Eisenhower Administration. At this time, the powerlines from Flaming Gorge to Vernal, Utah and the powerlines from Vernal to Colorado were already under construction, but were projected to exceed the originally proposed budget.

In June 1961, the front page of The Lehi Free Press described Lehi Mayor Harold D. Westering’s effort to gain more funds for the Flaming Gorge powerlines project, as the city council at the time was arguing that the originally proposed budget plan was not realistic to the actual costs of the project. The mayor met with congressmen in Washington DC such as Senator Moss and Congressman King, in an attempt to gain more funds for the construction of the powerlines from Flaming Gorge. The congressmen sent letters back to the mayor and other Utah officials explaining the advantage of Utah having these federal powerlines.

By September 1961, a compromise was reached on the budget plan for the construction plan of the federal powerlines, according to the front page of the September 25, 1961, issue of The Provo Daily Herald. A report ordered by interior secretary Stewart L. Udall and the Bureau of Reclamation called to “exhaust every possible effort” to work in cooperation with private utilities and to report back on the federal projects progress by February 15, 1962.

Construction of the Flaming Gorge Dam was successfully completed on August 17, 1964. Without the building of these federal powerlines, Utah may not have developed as swiftly as it has. The Salt Lake Valley is one of the most developed and modernized regions in Utah, and this is greatly due to the consistent and powerful flow of electricity to the region. Now, we are seeing a major transformation in the Salt Lake Valley as major technology companies are relocating to Utah and building headquarters here. Had the construction of the federal powerlines from the Flaming Gorge dam been postponed or never happened, the Salt Lake Valley may not be the technological, industrial, and cultural hub that it is today. It may have been playing “catch up” with surrounding states with more prevalent access to vast quantities of electrical power, and look very different today.

Martin Kuprianowicz is a senior at the University of Utah. He is majoring in communication with an emphasis in journalism and minoring in Spanish.

Primary Sources

“Contract Awarded for Generators at Flaming Gorge,” Provo Sunday Herald, January 22, 1961, 2.

“Power Official Addresses Murray Rotarians Monday,” Murray Eagle, February 23, 1961, 9.

“King Requests Udall Revise Budget for Transmission Systems,” Salt Lake Times, March 17, 1961, 3.

Johnson, T. S., Letter to The Editor: “Proper Power?” Utah Daily Chronicle, May 16, 1961, 2.

“Council Hears Mayor on Washington Trip; Takes Action on Lehi Freeway,” Lehi Free Press, June 15, 1961, 1.

Dominy, F. E., “Bureau of Reclamation Work in the Colorado River Basin,” Bureau of Reclamation, Upper Colorado River Office, June 29, 1961.

Lammi, E. W., “All-Federal Power Line Is Approved,” Provo Daily Herald, September 25, 1961, 1.

Secondary Source

Udall, Morris K. Those Glen Canyon Transmission Lines – Some Facts and Figures on a Bitter Dispute, July 1961.




















Max Morath and His Role in the Preservation of a Truly American Artform

By Garrett Whaley

Ragtime is a truly American genre of music. It’s fun and danceable — dominated by the piano. Ragtime is characterized by “a highly syncopated treble lead over a rhythmically steady bass,” according to the Library of Congress in an article titled The History of Ragtime. It was most popular in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s. Ragtime helped define a generation, and progress music and popular culture for young adults in the United States during this period.

Max Morath performed at Weber College for the first time on April 6, 1962. Courtesy of Special Collections, J. Willard Marriott Library, The University of Utah.

Max Morath was a ragtime pianist. Ragtime saw its peak of popularity well before his career ensued; nonetheless he kept the genre and culture alive throughout his performing and touring career, which lasted most of his adult life. A music career was seemingly written in the stars for Morath. According to a New York Times article, published on July 30, 1982, Morath’s mother was the pianist for a silent movie theatre in Colorado Springs, so he was surrounded by ragtime piano from a very young age and began touring in 1959, performing on piano.

Max Morath had a genuine desire to entertain, and to create a unique experience for his audience. Being a ragtime artist in the mid to late 1900’s wasn’t a top pick for most, as ragtime wasn’t exactly a top genre. Jazz, a near descendant of ragtime, had taken over the mainstream, and the first semblance Rock n Roll began to rear it’s head. People, especially young people, weren’t all that concerned with ragtime. But Morath was focused on more than just popular genres and trends. “A pianist who sings ends up in nightclubs at piano bars. I’ve done that and I detest it. But I found that with the repertory of rags and World War I songs and a demonstration of the kind of songs that people have thought of as ”off color,” I could walk into a convention in Omaha with a suitcase full of lighting equipment and put on a unique 45-minute act,” Morath said in an interview with the New York Times, on July 30, 1982. This is what set Morath apart. He knew the power of a strong and unique performance, rather than buying into the gimmick of popular music.

And his unique approach paid off. According to an article in the Weber College Signpost published on March 30, 1962, Morath performed at Weber College on April 6, 1962, in their Union. According to another article in the Weber College Signpost, published on April 4, 1963, the show was so widely enjoyed that the university invited him back to perform a second time, the following year, on April 10, 1963; “Max Morath Returns By Demand” read the headline of the Signpost article. In an article published in the Ogden Standard Examiner, on April 8, 1963, Dianne Bitton was quoted, saying, “It is because he made such a hit last year with both students and members of the community that the students decided to bring him back for a return engagement.” Perhaps praise for Morath spread south, because on the same tour in 1963, Morath performed at our very own University of Utah Union, on Friday, April 12, according to a Daily Utah Chronicle article published April 10, 1963. Another article published on April 3, 1962, in the Daily Utah Chronicle, quoted Variety Magazine, which dubbed Morath “the ideal spokesman” for ragtime.


By popular demand, Morath returned to Weber College for a second show on April 10, 1963. Courtesy of Special Collections, J. Willard Marriott Library, The University of Utah.

Among his prowess in touring and live performance, Morath developed two national television programs throughout his career. The first, in 1960, was called Ragtime Era. It discussed the rise of ragtime music, it’s interaction with American culture, and how it has come to shape his life and career, according to a New York Times article, published February 21, 1961; the article described Morath’s role in the program as “an infectiously gay spirit, hilarious but in good taste.” His second program, “The Turn of the Century” debuted in 1969; it was a one man show, similar to his coveted live performances, according to a New York Times article published on July 30, 1982.

Today Morath is 93; a living legend who carried on the culture of one of America’s most influential music genres to generations who would otherwise have missed out on the sensation of ragtime.

Garrett Whaley is a junior at the University of Utah. He is studying journalism.

Primary Sources

Jack Gould, “Max Morath Presides on ‘Ragtime Era,’” The New York Times, February 21 1961, 71.

“‘Gay 90’s’ Week To Be Featured At U B With Rag-Time Artist,” Weber College Signpost, March 30, 1962, 1.

Sally Coltrin, “Upright Piano, Old Suit Marks Ragtime Session,” Daily Utah Chronicle, April 3, 1962, 1.

“Max Morath Returns By Demand,” Weber College Signpost, April 4, 1963, 1.

“Pianist Will Offer Evening of Ragtime,” Ogden Standard-Examiner, April 8, 1963, 10.

“Carefree Music Spotlights Max Morath,” Daily Utah Chronicle, April 10, 1963, 1.

John S. Wilson, “Max Morath in Rag and ‘Unragtime,’” The New York Times, July 30, 1982, 63.

Secondary Source

History of Ragtime,” the Library of Congress.

Bill McGill: The Jump Hook that Never Was

By Paul S. Toala


Bill McGill was named All-American as a junior at The University of Utah. Used by permission, Special Collections, J. Willard Marriot Library, The University of Utah.

“With the first pick in the 1962 NBA Draft, the Chicago Zephyrs select, Bill McGill, center, from the University of Utah” and the crowd went wild! Confetti and the celebratory aroma of champagne stain the air as lifelong dreams and hundreds of hours in the gym are realized in mere seconds. The 6-foot 9-inch African American center who hailed from Los Angeles, California. According to the Salt Lake Tribune, McGill was once known as “one of the greatest of all time”. Spectators would gawk in awe as McGill would display his now world-renowned jump hook shot, that would both dazzle opponents as well as National Basketball League team owners. To many in society, receiving a free education due to an athletic scholarship and becoming an instant celebrity after being drafted to the NBA are accolades to truly celebrate over and one would assume that with his athletic frame, such accomplishments would come easily but, that was not the case. McGill faced many challenges both during and after his basketball career; these challenges included systemic racism, crippling depression as well as financial instability.

McGill would go on to have an outstanding career at the University of Utah basketball team. In his three-year stint with the team, He was able to become the school all-time leader in rebounding and second as the all-time scorer with 2,321 points according to Sports Reference. Most players today are not able to obtain that many points if they were to stay for the full four years at a university. McGill’s college stats are impressive but are much different than draft prospects of today as the rules to allow freshmen in college to enter into the draft has made it so that players don’t have 3 to 4-year college careers anymore. McGill was the first black player for the University as well as its first black All-American.


McGill displays athletic ability in a photoshoot for the Salt Lake Trbune. Used by permission, Special Collections, J. Willard Marriott Library, The University of Utah.

In 1962, Bill McGill was selected as one of the top players in the region and joined the U.S. basketball team to compete at the world basketball championship according to The Chronicle. His college career boasted stats that have not been matched to this day and was the reason as to why he was nominated into the region’s hall of fame. Hidden behind the fame, stats, and accomplishments on the court were what McGill described as pressure to live up to expectations while being ridiculed and stared at, as recorded on his biography “The Hill and the Jump Hook”. The burden of being the first African American player at The University of Utah and the racism and bigotry that followed was not able to derail McGill from highest scoring center in NCAA history.

Circumstances and values have changed and are vastly different now from what they were in the 1960s. Racism and discrimination towards people of color was as regular as going to church on Sunday mornings in Utah. Racism and discrimination did not make any exceptions, especially for the up and coming basketball superstar at The University of Utah. From his collegiate career on “The Hill” to his days in the NBA and ultimately to his days on the streets without a home, the life of the one they called “Bill the Hill” was something to be admired.

After his groundbreaking career at The University of Utah, Bill McGill was drafted first overall to the Chicago Zephyr’s but was halted for a moment by ongoing knee problems that occurred in both high school and college according to McGill’s bibliography. While in the NBA, McGill would find himself in the position that he was unfamiliar with; McGill bounced around from team to team in the NBA which caused the young man to begin to feel out of place. In a documentary of McGill’s life called “How Top NBA Draft Pick Ended Up Homeless” by BCC, he was quoted saying that he felt depression and anxiety due to the fact that he was unfamiliar with how to handle both the national fame as well as money management. These feelings of anxiety and depression, crippled McGill and ultimately led him to his next chapter of life.

That next chapter of life for McGill was unfortunately filled with drug abuse, alcohol, and homelessness. He blamed his off the court issues on several things but the two things that McGill noted that were the most impactful were: 1. Never finishing his degree while in college. 2. His inexperience with financial and real-world life after his NBA career according to LA Times.  He was forced to live on the streets of his hometown Los Angeles and had to bathe in local laundromats and sleep at bus stops. Before his death in 2014, he encouraged young college athletes to both learn more about life after sports as well as pioneer the beginnings of research on athletes and depression.

Bill McGill was an accomplished athlete. The stats and all of the accolades are ones that can hardly be replicated nor beaten. All-American status, NBA #1 overall draft pick and instant celebrity are titles that are now associated with McGill. Unfortunately, titles such as homeless and “NBA bust” are also infused with his legacy. A promising career that never blossomed into what it could’ve been were replaced with feelings of inadequacy and self-doubt as he walked the streets of his hometown as one without a home. He would not let this be the end of his story as McGill was able to find help and finish his life the only way he knew how, with a jump hook.

Paul Solomua Toala was a senior at the University of Utah. He was a member of the football team and majored in communication studies and minored in Spanish.

 Primary Sources

“McGill, Green on World Roster,” Daily Utah Chronicle, April 3, 1962.

Billy McGill,”

#40, Bill McGill,” NBA Stats.

“Utah basketball: Utes pioneer Bill McGill dies at 74,” The Salt Lake Tribune, July 12, 2014, 1.

“Billy McGill has difficult time with life after basketball,” Los Angeles Times, February 20, 2011.

Kenny Brown and Regan Morris, “Billy McGill: How top NBA draft pick ended up homeless,” BBC, January 16, 2014.

Billy McGill and Eric Brach, Billy “the Hill” And the Jump Hook: The Autobiography of a Forgotten Basketball Legend (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2013).

Secondary Source

Speckman, Stephen. “A Book for Life,” Continuum, Spring 2014.








Tuition Increases and Fee Hikes at the University of Utah, 1962-1964

By Hunter Thornburg


Aerial view of the ever-growing University of Utah campus in 1960. Captioned “Tomorrow’s Campus From West” in the lower right hand corner. Public domain image, J. Willard Marriott Library, The University of Utah.

It’s no secret that the cost of tuition has been climbing at the University of Utah, usually on an annual basis, voted upon by the Utah State Board of Regents. According to the Utah System of Higher Education website, the Board of Regents is a governing body made up of 17 citizens, appointed by the governor, who control the Utah System of Higher Education.

On November 19, 2007, Community College Week published an article that explained the process by which the Board of Regents decides upon future tuition rates. The final tuition increase is reached by combining first-tier and second-tier tuition rates. First-tier tuition rates are established directly by the Board of Regents, and those rates mainly affect employee compensation, depending on the education budget approved by the Utah State Legislature.

Second-tier rates are organized by Utah’s colleges themselves with the intent to cover all of the institution’s individual costs, if approved by the Board of Regents. When those rates are combined and the final increase is produced, colleges can expect to increase some aspects of tuition by up to 5.4 percent.

One of the more thoroughly covered tuition increases in Utah history took place in 1962. The University of Utah was considering beginning the construction of the Marriott Library, a project that had not been included in the annual budget. The Utes’ athletic department was also deemed somewhat under-funded.

The March 26, 1962, issue of the Daily Utah Chronicle contained an article by the Editor-in-Chief, Meg Rampton, regarding the approval of the fee hike. At the time of the approval, no specific uses for the funds were identified. The ASUU Executive Council held no objections toward the increase as long as the funds were used for “maintaining and improving high-quality academic standards.” The council assumed students would be comfortable paying higher fees if they were for that purpose. The fee hike was expected to add $500,000  to the University of Utah budget, and the ASUU Executive Council brought student opinion as far as what the funds should be used for to President A. Ray Olpin’s attention.


President A. Ray Olpin, president of the University of Utah from 1946 to 1964. Olpin led the university during a period of substantial development and evolution. Public domain image, J. Willard Marriott Library, The University of Utah.

According to the article titled “Where Is It Going?” in the March 26, 1962, issue of the Daily Utah Chronicle, many opinions were voiced as the U prepared to add half a million dollars to the budget. Many students felt as though the athletic program deserved a new fieldhouse, with new locker rooms, training facilities, and equipment storage. The faculty hoped to see a new library, and student government wanted to see improvements to the University of Utah faculty and classrooms. President Olpin wished to pick an option that would benefit the most students. The university had an obligation to use student funds for the improvement of the academic experience, and to let the students know how the funds were being used.

Months after the approval of the hike, in the June 1, 1962, issue of the Daily Utah Chronicle, those responsible for delegating the funds came to a decision. Despite improvements to campus buildings in the past, and the construction of many vital facilities like the Campus Bookstore, Student Health Center, and Music Hall, the University of Utah still struggled in two specific areas, classrooms and faculty. Students attended classes in buildings that had been neglected, in overflowing classrooms. Professors at the university often recognized these low-quality facilities and accepted positions at other universities, making it very difficult to increase the size and quality of the staff. The money from the 1962 tuition hike went directly into the improvement of academic facilities and faculty members.

According to the April 28, 1964, issue of the Daily Utah Chronicle, the Board of Regents attempted to build on this tuition hike, but could not agree on a new tuition rate. The board did not want to discourage potential Utes from attending the school because of excessive tuition, and instead increased parking fees and delegated the money toward further campus improvement. In addition to the campus improvement, the board began making room in the budget for the eventual construction of the Marriott Library.

It is important that students are aware of how their money is being used at the university and it is no secret that tuition has increased significantly since 1962. In fact, in March of 2019, the Board of Regents approved a 3.2 percent tuition increase at the University of Utah. These funds will go toward student services, safety programs, and raises for state-financed employees.

Hunter Thornburg is a sophomore at the University of Utah. He is studying communication with an emphasis in journalism, hoping to become a sports journalist.

Primary Sources

“Fee Hike? Only If Needed, Olpin Says,” Daily Utah Chronicle, February 15, 1962, 3.

Meg Rampton, “Regents Hike Student Fees,” Daily Utah Chronicle, March 26, 1962, 1.

“Where Is It Going?” Daily Utah Chronicle, March 26, 1962, 2.

“West Outlines Reasons For Support of Fee Hike,” Daily Utah Chronicle, June 1, 1962, 4.

Gene Townsend, “Development Director Gives Support To Tuition Increase,” Daily Utah Chronicle, April 9, 1964, 1.

“Parking Costs Jump, Tuition Hike Fails In Regents Confab,” Daily Utah Chronicle, April 28,1964, 1.

“Regents Approval Means Utah Tuition Is Headed Upward,” Community College Week, November 19, 2007, 14.

Secondary Sources

Purser, Annalisa. “Truth in Tuition,” @theU, March 18, 2019.

Hernandez, Rocio. “University Of Utah Proposes Tuition Increase To Pay For More Staff, Student Services,” KUER, March 19, 2019.

About the Board,” Utah System of Higher Education.


Arlene Francis Sparks Impact; Kingsbury Hall Continuously Fosters Rich Experiences

By Alison Tanner

Kingsbury Hall at the University of Utah serves as an iconic symbol of status and distinguished culture. It has hosted dozens of notable names, from Eleanor Roosevelt to Donny Osmond to Joe Biden. Some local performing arts groups are even known to have started at the Hall, including The Utah Symphony, Ballet West, and Repertory Dance Theatre. The university states that it “provides a valuable gathering space for community events and campus partners.”


Arlene Francis poses with a “Sold Out” sign for the play Old Acquaintances in Kingsbury Hall at the University of Utah. Reproduction and use by permission from Utah State History.

On March 6, 1962, The Daily Utah Chronicle published an article titled, “TV Star Sets U Appearance.” The article tells about the upcoming play, Old Acquaintance, by John William Van Druten, performed at Kingsbury Hall by well-known actress, Arlene Francis. Francis portrayed a young American novelist, whose work is admired but rarely given the attention she feels it deserves. Counter to her, is a rich, successful novelist played by good friend of Francis, Mary Cooper. According to the Chronicle, it was set to be one of the major notable events of the school year for the University of Utah. Visiting artists have influenced students and the local community for decades and Old Acquaintance foreshadowed the rich cultural atmosphere Kingsbury Hall would foster for years to come.

The arrival of Arlene Francis was a great honor for the University of Utah in the 60s. Francis wore many hats: radio presenter, actress and popular television personality known for her place as a panelist on the show “What’s My Line?” She was one of the sole female hosts throughout the program’s entire run, becoming a pioneer for women in television.


Arlene Francis arrives in Salt Lake City. Reproduction and use by permission from Utah State History.

Days after opening night, the Chronicle published a piece on March 9, titled, “Old Acquaintances gets Reception at Kingsbury.” The article said of Francis, “Noted for her graciousness on stage, as well as off, lent a note of slick sophistication to the part of Kit Markham. Arriving in Salt Lake only two days before the play opened, Miss Francis assumed her role with an ease acquired by most actresses only after hard weeks of rehearsal with the same cast.” (Trevithick, 1962) Finishing off its final shows, the play received extremely successful reaction from all of Utah. Writer, Joan Trevithick, mentioned that it was “fast-moving, exhibiting a battery of hard-hitting dialogue, unique not only in its humor, but also in its magnificent costuming and set decorations.” The play continued 2 more evenings before it closed. While it was free for students and faculty with their activity cards, many residents in the community attended to see the renowned TV star on stage.

Since Kingsbury Hall’s initial opening, on May 22, 1930, there have been a variety of changes that have played a pivotal role in making it what it is today. In 1996, the hall underwent a $14 million renovation. This included updated dressing rooms, bathrooms, refurbished lobbies, building a larger stage for performances and expanding the lobby area with a new plaza for guest accommodation. Around 5 years later, Kingsbury Hall created their own presenting series, titled Kingsbury Hall Presents. For the next decade or so, this program would bring some of the world’s greatest artists and speakers. In 2015, Kingsbury Hall Presents became UtahPresents, with the mission to bring more diversity and rich cultural experiences for those at the University of Utah, but for the surrounding Salt Lake region as well. The effects of each specific change are being felt today by students, faculty and locals, as Kingsbury Hall continues to host impressive artists, events and performances.

Alison Tanner is a senior at the University of Utah. She is currently studying Communication, with an emphasis in Journalism.

Primary Sources

Joan Trevithick, “TV Star Sets U Appearance,” The Daily Utah Chronicle, March 6, 1962.

Joan Trevithick, “Old Acquaintances gets Reception at Kingsbury,” The Daily Utah Chronicle, March 9, 1962.

Old Acquaintance. John William Van Druten. December 1940.

Secondary Sources

 Arlene Francis,” Encyclopedia Britannica, October 16, 2019.

Kingsbury Hall History and Mission,” The University of Utah.


‘Woman Power — Our Great Resource for Progress’ Lecture by Esther Peterson on the University of Utah Campus

By Casey Stevenson


A portrait of Esther Peterson, assistant secretary of labor, taken by a Salt Lake Tribune photographer for a March 1962 issue of the newspaper.

Esther Peterson, a former Utah resident, who made so many significant contributions on behalf of workers, consumers and women in so many diverse areas, including government, civic and business. Peterson was a forceful lobbyist and had been the assistant secretary of labor under President Kennedy. She came to The University of Utah to give a lecture that took place on March 1, 1962, it was titled, “Women Power – Our Great Resource for Progress.” Peterson wrote in her article, “Change and Challenge to Women in Education, “my concern lies with the new needs of students, particularly girls and young women, whose problems are far different from those of their mothers’ generation,” which greatly correlates with her topic for her University of Utah lecture. She was interested in what the people had to say, and any chance she got to get insight on pending proposals she took advantage of. With these traits Peterson had, nobody was surprised when she titled her autobiography Restless.

The Daily Utah Chronicle reported on February 27, 1962, that the talk would be held in the Orson Spencer Hall auditorium, under the auspices of the University faculty women. Her position as the assistant secretary of labor and director of the U.S. Women’s Bureau was mentioned as well as her position as the assistant director of education. The former Utah resident was also was an advisor to the United States delegation at the International Labor Organization Conference in Geneva, Switzerland.

On February 28, 1962, the Daily Utah Chronicle wrote about Peterson’s devotion to the labor movement and education, and after 12 years of teaching was appointed director of education for the Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America. Formerly she was the legislative representative of the Industrial Union Department of AFL-CIO. She was involved in other abroad experiences including serving in Sweden to study labor market policy and labor management relations.

It was reported by the Daily Utah Chronicle, on March 1, 1962, that Peterson would be presenting that night on campus. It was explained that after her 12-year teaching career, she had several posts with the Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America from 1939 to 1948. She had been accompanied while abroad by her husband who was a foreign service officer. Oliver A. Peterson was also a labor advisor in the State Department’s Bureau of African Affairs.


A photo of Esther Peterson and colleagues, taken by a Salt Lake Tribune photographer for a September 1961 issue of the newspaper.

Again, on March 1, 1962, the day of Peterson’s visit to the University of Utah, the Daily Utah Chronicle wrote another article about Peterson and her position. They reported that her visit is taking place just three weeks after President Kennedy’s first meeting about the newly established Commission on the Status of Women. Peterson’s concern is with women, college women in particular. She was being brought to the University as an example of someone who is a successful wife and mother but who is also quite the intellectual and contribution to society. She is being placed as an example for young women to strive to have an intellectual and meaningful life after she is done having children. The chronicle wrote that average women’s life expectancy after her youngest child is grown, was only 30 years. After their child is grown women are left wondering if she is even useful anymore. Peterson’s example was being portrayed as one to follow for young college women of her time.

The day following Peterson’s visit, March 2, 1962, the Daily Utah Chronicle wrote an article about the event. Peterson emphasized that, “our great resource for progress in womanpower.” She’s trying to explain that college is a huge investment and that she doesn’t want to see women’s usefulness be wasted after they receive their cap and gown. Her lecture was given to a select audience of civic and educational leaders of the state.

An article in the Davis County Clipper, written on January 24, 1964 explains that as Peterson was already one of the most well-known women in Washington, she would soon be the best-known woman throughout the entire nation. She was also the highest government office of her gender at the time and is only getting more popular. She held three major positions one including the position that was previously held by the late Eleanor Roosevelt, executive vice chairman of the President’s Commission on the Status of Women. At the time of the article, Peterson had just been assigned by President Kennedy to ensure that the consumers voices are heard and effective in the highest council of the federal government.

Esther Peterson was a successful director of education, assistant secretary of labor, director of the U.S. Women’s Bureau, legislative representative of the Industrial Union Department, just to name a few of her accomplishments and her undeniable personality and care for the people had a huge impact on the people around the country. Her message speaks loud and clear, don’t take your education lightly, it is an investment so don’t waste it. Use this privilege we have to an education and make a difference in the lives of the people around you. Make sure your usefulness doesn’t run out.

Casey Stevenson is a sophomore at The University of Utah. She is majoring in strategic communication.

Primary Sources

Labor Official Sets Talk on ‘Woman Power,’” Daily Utah Chronicle, February 26, 1962, 1.

Woman-Power Topics Labor Official’s Talk,” Daily Utah Chronicle, February 28, 1962, 1.

Former Utahn Readies ‘Power’ Talk,” Daily Utah Chronicle, March 1, 1962, 1.

Climate Of Unexpectation…,” Daily Utah Chronicle, March 1, 1962, 2.

Jan Peterson, “Womanpower: Resource For Future Progress,” Daily Utah Chronicle, March 2, 1962, 1.

Bert Mills, “Esther Peterson Becomes Well Known,” Davis County Clipper, January 24, 1964, 6.

Secondary Source

Peterson, Esther. “Change and Challenge to Women in Education.” Educational Horizon 42, no. 2 (Winter 1963): 52-59


The Trial of Jesse Garcia

By June Sim

The United States is known to be one of the countries that still continues capital punishment. The incarceration rate in America is 15 times higher than that of other developed countries. (The British Journal of Criminology, p. 97) It seems like the justice system is carrying out its purpose well, punishing those who need to be punished. However, unlike our expectation, there are findings that show races of convicts impact the outcome at the court. In other words, races of the convicts can lessen or increase the sentences when only the actions need to be considered. (The British Journal of Criminology, p. 97) Such tendency is thought to be shown in a juvenile’s case back in 1962 at Jesse M. Garcia’s trial.


Letters to the Editor of The Daily Utah Chronicle debated Garcia’s death-penalty sentence.

Jesse M. Garcia, a Mexican-American boy, faced his trial at the age of 16. While growing up, his life was full of sadness. His family was so poor that they had no food to comfort themselves. Young Jesse would always fall asleep wondering when he could eat something again. His parents were busy and so there were no adults to keep him safe and stable which lead to an unfortunate accident. (Daily Utah Chronicle, 1962) As reported by the Daily Utah Chronicle on February 14, 1962, Jesse was running after a bouncing ball that unfortunately went toward his baby niece who was on a couch. Jesse jumped on the sofa, not knowing she was there. His niece was seriously injured and taken to the hospital, where she later died. The accident could have been prevented if there were adults at home. At that time, the occurrence was dismissed as the accident was thought to be unintentional. However, many years later, when he got involved in his biggest trouble, this tragic accident was brought up again saying that the accident may have been intentional.

Jesse Garcia faced his biggest trouble when he got involved in a murder case that occurred on August 24, 1958. The Daily Utah Chronicle reported on February 15, 1962, that an inmate was found to be attacked and brutally murdered in a prison attic by other inmates. Due to this incident, the reality of life in prison was also revealed to the world. At the time, prisoners in the Utah State Prison could easily trade drugs, carry weapons, and inhumanely treat other inmates. As suspects of the brutal murder, three convicts were brought up, Jesse Garcia, Mack Merrill Rivenburgh, and Leonard Warner Bowne. The murder case was not handled thoroughly and the evidences of the murder were not clear. However, the press was only in a hurry to cover the shocking conditions of the prison, neglecting the important facets of the murder case. Bowne and Garcia continuously claimed of their innocence by mentioning the level of cruelty of their actions, and their lack of intention in the murder. But their claims were not considered. Eventually, Rivenburgh and Garcia were given death penalty whereas Bowne was sentenced to life imprisonment.


The Letters to the Editor section of The Daily Utah Chronicle illustrates students’ active engagement in a discussion of capital punishment.

On February 12, 1962, Daily Utah Chronicle reported that Garcia’s death became one of the crucial points in debate on capital punishment among those who believe capital punishment needs to be abolished. Garcia grew up in a very economically unstable environment. From an early age, Garcia had to struggle from a constant hunger and insecurity. Family wasn’t there to help him and serve as a buffer from the harsh world that Garcia had to face. His parents were too busy to take care of him. In such condition, Garcia got easily exposed to committing crimes which eventually led to a murder case.

On February 16, 1962, the Daily Utah Chronicle mentioned Garcia’s murder case from a racial perspective by comparing Garcia and Bowne. It was said that the stereotype on race brought different outcomes to the same crime. Garcia’s features as Mexican and growing up from an unstable background led the jury to think that Garcia has less chance of being rehabilitated than Bowne. On the other hand, Bowne was considered as a trustee while in the jail. It was reported that this may be because Bowne was a typical western boy with outstanding musical talent who grew up in stable background which made the jury see Bowne more favorably than Garcia. In other words, there may have been things other than the crime itself that punished Garcia heavily than Bowne. Without recommendation of leniency, Garcia was convicted of first degree murder. (The Salt Lake Tribune, 1962)

On Jesse Garcia’s case, people’s opinions vary. Some say that the case is an example of racial discrimination and that the legal process of the case should be analyzed critically. Others say the case was fairly handled as Rivenburgh, one of three convicts, was also given a death sentence despite of being white. It is still questionable whether Jesse Garcia’s sentence was justifiable. Given that Rivenburgh was penalized heavily, the idea that Jesse Garcia was fairly punished seems reliable. When it comes to trial and punishment, race can be a very sensitive topic to talk about. However, as long as America is full of people with diverse racial backgrounds, race is something that people will always talk about imposing suspicion on the fairness of the trial outcomes. Therefore, whether race factor was involved in past cases or not, to prevent any future cases from being impacted by the race factor, resolutions such as criminals’ right to avoid judges of certain races should be considered so that people would not get suspicious on the legal process.

June Sim is a junior at the University of Utah. She is currently majoring in communication with an emphasis in strategic communication.

Primary Sources

Tragedy Of Jesse Garcia Reflects A Displaced People,” Daily Utah Chronicle, February 12, 1962, 2.

Ethel C. Hale, “Garcia’s Life Marred By Sequence of Betrayals,” Daily Utah Chronicle, February 14, 1962, 2.

Ethel C. Hale, “Garcia Met With Crime At Prison, Prejudice At Court,” Daily Utah Chronicle, February 15, 1962, 2.

Ethel C. Hale, “Sign Of Bias Seen In Garcia-Bowne Comparison,” Daily Utah Chronicle, February 16, 1962, 2.

Fred Glauser, “Stigma On State,” The Salt Lake Tribune, March 15, 1962, 18D.

Secondary Source

Tonry, Michael. “Racial Disproportion In U.S. Prisons,” British Journal of Criminology 34 (Spring 1994): 97-115.