Alvino Rey’s Music Legacy in Utah

By Aila Amer

Alvino Rey is an important part of Utah’s history because he added a unique touch to music during the 1940s. Rey lived in Sandy, Utah, and he framed his music in a very unique way. According to Bosse, “The work considers both dance and music as equal members of a gestalt, framing dance as a particular type of music reception, and addresses the question of how non-musicians make sense of musical sound through movement.” (Bosse, p. 354)

He was known for playing exotica, which is a combination of Latin music, lounge jazz, Hawaiian music, and using unconventional instruments. “Exotica offers a behind-the-scenes look at the sounds and obsessions of the Space Age and Cold War period as well as the renewed interest in them evident in contemporary music and design.” (Adinolfi, book cover) Then Rey started playing jazz and brought a unique twist to the style characterized by an “ensemble approach based on riffs—repeated phrases upon which instrumentalists built their solos—and an open-ended, freewheeling, style of improvisation.” (Stowe, 53)

He was particularly known for playing the pedal steel guitar. “Well we cooperated a lot to make the pedal guitar a tone color along with the rag section, reed section and a rhythm section that [added] another color in the band and we tried to get that across various albums. Maybe it will catch on someday,” Rey said in hos oral-history interview.

He and his band performed at Jerry Jones’s Rainbow Randevu, a club in downtown Salt Lake City. According to a story published in the Salt Lake Telegram on September 4, 1941, Rey and his group were “known for a captivating style of music.” Rey and his orchestra performed in various “smart spots” including the Biltmore in New York and Casa Mañana in Hollywood.

Rey and his band had an early hit in 1942: “Deep in the Heart of Texas” brought the self-styled “King of the Guitar” national stardom. Rey died in Salt Lake Lake City in 2004 at the age of 95.

This topic is significant to communication and Utah history because when many think of Utah they think of Mormonism or White residents, but because of his cultural music there’s more to remember about Utah. He was in front of people and delivering sounds in various ways and left a cultural and social legacy.

Aila Amer is a senior at the University of Utah and will be graduating spring 2019. Her major is Communication Journalism sequence and is minoring in Political Science. She is an aspiring Journalist and future Foreign Ambassador.

Sources

“Alvino Rey’s Band Due,” Salt Lake Telegram, September 4, 1941.

“Rey and Kings Due Back,” Salt Lake Telegram, November 25, 1941.

Stowe, David W. “Jazz in the West: Cultural Frontier and Region During the Swing Era” Western Historical Quarterly, 23, no. 1 (February 1992): 53–73.

Alvino Rey,” oral history, June 14, 1994, National Association of Music Merchants.

Saxon, Wolfgang. “Alvino Rey Is Dead at 95; Virtuoso of the Steel Guitar,” The New York Times, February 27, 2004, A25.

Bosse, Joanna Nettle. Exotica, Ethnicity, and Embodiment: An Ethnography of Latin Dance in United States Popular Culture. Ph.D. diss., University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2004.

Adinolfi, Francesco. Mondo Exotica: Sounds, Visions, Obsessions of the Cocktail Generation. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2008.

 

 

Russian Leader Visits Campus

By Chase Thornton

Kerensky

Alexander Kerensky in 1917. Public domain.

Alexander Kerensky led the beginning of the Russian Revolution. He was a lawyer who pioneered the first wave of the Russian Revolution in the year 1917. He was noted as a very influential political leader in Russia and spent many of his later years traveling to other countries and states to give informative and educational speeches about policy and influence in the political system. (Whitman)

Alexander Kerensky made one of his stops at the University of Utah campus to give a speech to students, faculty and the general public about his experiences as a political leader. Kerensky, during a two-day visit to Utah, discussed “Russia and the International Situation.” Kerensky also held meetings for faculty members and students to answer questions and further discuss other topics related to the Russian condition. Kerensky was president of the Russian Democratic Provisional Government. (Utah Chronicle)

Alexander Kerensky would travel all across America teaching the general public of Russian policy and international affairs and discuss briefly of his time spent pioneering the revolution in 1917.

332px-Alexander_Kerensky_LOC_hec_24462

Kerensky at the National Press Club in 1938. Public domain.

After many years of war and despair among the Russian people there, Kerensky was able to give a vision of sight to the people of Russia escaping political turmoil and senseless violence that ensued. The Russian people celebrated on Easter Sunday, April 15th, during one of the most religious holidays for the Russian people. This signified a new era of hope and renaissance for the future generations of the Soviet Union. (Frazier)

However, it wasn’t an easy transition from war to peace, the people of Russia battled internally whether or not they will be safe from the tyranny of war. Debates of whether Russian was going to stay into the war invoke a response in the Russian Government. A telegram was sent out depicting that the war efforts will continue with all of the given treaties at hand. This telegram broke out to the public and the trust of the Russian Authorities was no longer intact, until the forceful resignation of the war minister and foreign minister.

Kerensky did not have 100% support of all people, and even had some rather outlandish ideas about communism causing the death of millions of people in Russia. He believed that concentration camps would be utilized to demolish a great number of innocent people. (Safire)

Kerensky eventually became the new Supreme Commander of the Russian Army. However, throughout his political career, he continued to support the war efforts being made which again made him considerably unpopular among his people. He ultimately decided that he needed to gain the leftist support so he rebranded his platform by including more socialists and more Mensheviks revolutionists. This was an unsuccessful attempt and never gained control or support of his people. (Simkin)

Sources

Whitman, Alden. “Alexander Kerensky Dies Here at 89,” New York Times, June 12, 1970.

“Russian Leader Visits Campus,” Utah Chronicle, February 15, 1945, 1.

Frazier, Ian. “What Ever Happened to the Russian Revolution?” Smithsonian, October 2017.

Simkin, John. “Alexander Kerensky.” Spartacus Educational, November 2017.

Safire, William. “Ghost at the Summit: The Lessons of Alexander Kerensky,” Chicago Tribune, April 2, 1993.

 

Midget Auto Races

By Forest Smith

Gaining popularity in the 1930s until around 1941 when the United States entered World War II, America was experiencing a new wave of exciting entertainment. Racing. From drag races to motorcycle stunts, these events brought people from far and wide to witness the gas-powered automobile in action. Out of all the ways to race the most far-reaching and easily accessible was the midget races. Motor Sports Magazine reported in 1938 that midget racing garnered an audience of over 5 million Americans around the country during the 1937 season. Contrary to their name, no little people participated in the event. It was the cars that were the midgets.

Midget cars were small buggies with open cockpits, exposed thin wheels, and powerful engines. (Hall, p. 249) Popular Science Monthly reported in May 1938 that many of the engines came from motorcycles, outboard boat motors, and ancient vehicles. These smaller cars ran on oval-shaped tracks a mere fifth of a mile long. This allowed the sensation to spread across the country as fast as tracks could be made; some were even indoors. The small oval arenas were made of dirt, cinder, or pavement and due to their size, forced the drivers to skid around the corners for most of the race. Motorsports Magazine reported in 1938 that a wooden bowl had been constructed in the Boston Square Garden. This wooden track proved hard to navigate even among master drivers.

MidgetAdvert

Advertisement for Midget Racing, Utah Chronicle, May 16, 1940.

The small buggies—affectionately named doodlebugs by fans—could reach speeds up to 60 mph on the straightaways. These little carts were dangerous and required both bravery and skill to pilot. Injuries were common among the racers as they would take the brunt of any rollover impact directly to their head and shoulders. As reported by The Salt Lake Tribune in 1941, Charles R. Winters, 22, died as a result of a tragic incident at the Utah State Fairground track. He lost control of his midget car and flew into a railing, sustaining fatal injuries. On August 14, 1941, the Tribune reported more injuries: Tex Sherwood sustained severe burns after his car caught fire and Mike Julian miraculously escaped injury-free after a crash that caused his car to roll five times and jump a fence.

Midget auto races were held in a flurry of heats, with as many as 30 cars participating in a single evening. Popular Science Monthly reported in 1934 that the events ranged from single-lap qualifiers to a 30-lap main event. The show would take place a mere 300 feet from the audience, creating an unprecedented connection between the onlookers and the racers. Motorsports Magazine interviewed a fan in 1938 who said, “I feel as though I’ve been racing with those fellows.”

Old footage really shows how exciting this sport can be. You feel very close to the action and can see the drivers wrestling with each other and their vehicles. It is no wonder that the sport spread around the country as fast as it did.

But midget racing was short-lived in the U.S. as big stock cars stole the spotlight from the petite midget cars after World War II. (However, midget racing remains popular in Australia to this day.) The Bonneville Salt Flats just outside of Salt Lake City became an epicenter for young speedsters to race their inventions. Some of the cars used on the Salt Flats take obvious influence from the midget cars that used to run the show.

Forest Smith is a senior at the University of Utah majoring in mass communication with a focus in journalism.

Sources

“Race Driver’s Final Rites Set for Friday,” Salt Lake Tribune, July 9, 1941, 1.

Jack Peters, “The History of Midget Auto-Racing in America,” Motorsports Magazine, September 1936, 29.

Midget Auto Racing in America,” Motorsports Magazine, February 1938, 34.

Andrew R. Boone, “Racing Midget Autos,” Popular Science Monthly, May 1934, 26-28.

Advertisement, Midget Racing, Utah Chronicle, May 16, 1940, 4.

“Adair Drives to Stirring Auto Victory,” Salt Lake Tribune, July 17, 1941, 13.

“Tex Sherwood Returns to Midget Races,” Salt Lake Tribune, August 15, 1941, 21.

Hall, Randal L. “Carnival of Speed: The Auto Racing Business in the Emerging South, 1930-1950,” The North Carolina Historical Review 84, no. 3 (July 2007): 245-75.

 

 

The Life of a Japanese-American Artist in the Topaz Internment Camp in 1940s Utah

By Sayaka Kochi

Following the attack on Pearl Harbor by the Imperial Japanese Navy on December 7, 1941, an estimated 120,000 American citizens were forced into isolated camps because of their Japanese ancestry. Their ethnicity separated Japanese-Americans living in the United States from white culture, and racism took away their human rights. Additionally, many were placed in camps under the false pretense of giving them safe places to live at that time.

topaz

Photo of the Central Utah Relocation Center, better known as Topaz. Special Collections, J. Willard Marriott Library, The University of Utah.

One of these internment camps was located in central Utah; the camp, Topaz, was named after a nearby mountain. Chiura Obata, a Japanese-American artist and former professor at the University of California, Berkeley, was one of those who were sent to Topaz. According to Sandra C. Taylor, Obata was “a sensitive, political aware man” who continued his art activities in the Topaz art school while teaching painting to Topaz internees with a hope of raising people’s spirits in the camp. (Taylor, p. 73)

Obata has been a widely recognized Nikkei artist (Japanese word for emigrants and descendants) since before the abandonment of his life in California. On March 11, 1928, the Oakland Tribune reported Obata’s art exhibition in the East-West Gallery of Fine Arts in San Francisco. His artworks had a variety, and every piece of his work expressed his appreciation of art.

Obata was not merely a well-known artist but also a student-oriented teacher. According to the California Magazine published on March 15, 2016, Obata held his last painting demonstration combined with an art sale for “any art student, regardless of race or creed” before he moved into the camp. In April 1942, Obata closed his art studio due to a relocation to the camp, and along with it, he sold his masterpieces, raised money, and donated all earnings into the establishment of a scholarship for students in the University of California.

His enthusiasm for the arts did not decline but grow, even after he was forced to relocate and was imprisoned in the middle of the desert. The Utah Nippo reported on January 25, 1943, that the eighth governor of Utah, Herbert B. Maw, was presented with the scenery painting of Topaz by Obata in the induction ceremony of the new councilmen of the Topaz community government in the Central Utah Relocation Center. Furthermore, the article of the Utah Nippo published in January 1943 announced that Obata’s silk paintings were sent to President Roosevelt as a gift. Even though Obata was interned during World War II, his artistic talent was never oppressed.

Arts_taught_by_Chiura-1

Two of the watercolor paintings produced by the students taught by Chiura Obata in Topaz. 
Park Record, March 12, 2011.

In 1945, with the end of the bloody chaos across the world, Obata was released and allowed to return to his beloved old home. Soon after he returned to the campus of the University of California as an art professor, three water paintings drawn by Obata, while he was interned in Topaz, were exhibited in the University of Utah. This University of Utah Japanese art exhibition sponsored by the War Relocation Authority was reported by the Utah Chronicle on November 15.

Obata left his teaching job in 1954. Upon his retirement, he got word from Clark Kerr, the first Chancellor of the University of California, who said, “You have been able not only to exercise your own creative gifts to the fullest extent, but also to help develop and guide the talent of students. In addition, your exhibits, lectures and demonstrations have given pleasure and instruction to countless people throughout California and in many parts of the United States.” (In Memoriam, p. 137)

In the midst of turbulent times, Obata was acknowledged to be one of the best artists in spite of his Japanese ancestry. His dedication to arts and his contribution of teaching arts have been outstanding, even now. At the Utah Museum of Fine Arts, Obata’s new exhibition named “Chiura Obata: An American Modern” was held in 2018. Through his experiences under the restraint and the patience, he created the arts which carry the strong message: “Who gets to be called American?” (Mann) This message can be sympathetic and relevant with today’s society as well.

Sayaka Kochi is a senior at the University of Utah. She is majoring in communication with an emphasis in journalism.

Sources

“Chiura Obata, Art: Berkeley,” University of California: In Memoriam (September 1978): 137

Cirrus Wood, “Artist Interned: A Berkeley Legend Found Beauty in “Enormous Bleakness of War Camp,” California Magazine, March 15, 2016.

Court Mann, “UMFA’s new Chiura Obata exhibit asks: ‘Who gets to be called American?’” Deseret News, June 1, 2018.

“Governor Maw Visits Topaz,” Utah Nippo, January 25, 1943, 4.

Hal Johnson, “So We’re Told,” Berkeley Daily Gazette, April 20, 1942, 6.

“Jap Internees’ Art Displayed,” Utah Chronicle, November 15, 1945, 1.

“Pres. Roosevelt to Be Presented Silk Paintings,” Utah Nippo, January 15, 1943, 4.

Taylor, Sandra C. “Book Reviews of Topaz Moon: Chiura Obata’s Art of the Internment,” Utah Historical Quarterly 69, no. 1-4 (2001): 72-73.

Abolished 1940’s University of Utah Magazine “Unique”

By Janice Arcalas

The November 1942 issue of Salt Lake Telegram called the magazine Unique the University of Utah’s first pictorial magazine. The pictorial magazine’s first issue was published in the spring quarter of 1942. It sold approximately to 200 coeds. The Salt Lake Telegram also reported the magazine featured more pictures than ever in a university publication. The publication contained the work of over 40 business and editorial staff members for the first issue.

In the November 1945 issue of the Utah Chronicle, it announced that Unique would be coming out and sold by “cute” coeds.

According to the Board of Regents meeting minutes from July 1947 to June 1949, University of Utah President Ray Olpin reported that Unique had been abolished due to not meeting the standards of the university, and the action was unanimously approved by the board.

Unique

From the Utah Chronicle, February 24, 1944.

One article from the Utah Chronicle in the February 1944 issue included what was contained in the pictorial magazine. One section said the magazine contained a feature on the personal lives of the new sorority pledges. A few ads, cartoons and jokes were also reported to be contained in Unique. One section said it had a couple of pages about the soldiers. The writer takes time to mention the wonderful job Company B did.

Miss Christie Wicker was the first female editor of the magazine. The Salt Lake Telegram reported in November 1942 that she had waited for the verdict of students as to whether the magazine would be in favor as much as the Humbug, a humor magazine. The Humbug though, was banned by the Board of Regents the previous year because it was “a disgrace to the in-situation.”

The first issue of Unique magazine wasn’t well accepted by students, reported the Salt Lake Telegram in the November 1942 issue, but it engaged students by featuring a section of odd part-time jobs, which kept the pages of topics on the war, gossip, cartoon, and jokes to a minimum.

Unique magazine was staffed by a few members of the Beehive. The Beehive is the University of Utah’s Honorary Activity Society. The Salt Lake Telegram announced that seven university students were chosen to be members of the Beehive in the March 1943 issue. The mentioned members were Miss Wicker, who was editor; Mr. Muir, a business staff and Mr. Brasher, associate editor of Unique.

Unique magazine seemed to be a casual pictorial magazine, but the current magazine of the University of Utah Continuum seems to have a more professional quality to it. On the website it says it aspires to enhance the image of the university and to seek insight on university-related events to help stimulate thought, formulate opinion and place in perspective the unfolding chapters of the university’s history.

Janice Arcalas is a senior at the University of Utah. She is majoring in communication with an emphasis in journalism and minoring in Korean and Korean studies.

Sources

“Anxious for Verdict on Campus Magazine,” Salt Lake Telegram, November 18, 1942, 6.

“Seven University Students Chosen Members of Beehive Honorary Activity Society,” Salt Lake Telegram, March 10, 1943, 14.

Unique Again Thrills Unique Editor,” Utah Chronicle, February 24, 1944, 1.

D. Huddleston, “Unique Order Pervades Campus as Pat’s Publication Appears,” Utah Chronicle, November 21, 1945, 1.

Andrew Hays Gorey, University of Utah Graduate, Journalist and Editor

By Donald Aguirre

When we think of Utah, images of the Wasatch Mountains, the Great Salt Lake, and orange-rusted landscapes of southern Utah occupy the mind. As we take in these very Utah landscapes, we may encounter hidden gems. Andrew Hays Gorey would be one of those buried treasures.

Gorey was born on June 6, 1921, in Salt Lake City and as his Salt Lake Tribune obituary notes, he found his calling to journalism at the age of 5 when he wrote a story about the death of a pet. The reporting bug inspired an extensive career that stretched from copy boy at a local newspaper to editor of The Utah Chronicle, a political correspondent for Time, and defender of the free press.

When Gorey died in April 2011, The Salt Lake Tribune noted that it had won its first Pulitzer Prize in 1957, the same year Gorey became editor at the Tribune. Gorey was editor by age 24. The Salt Lake Tribune called it the “ridiculous age of 24,” in the same article, noting his talent at such a young age.

Hays Gorey

Utah Chronicle editor Hays Gorey. Used by permission, Special Collections, J. Willard Marriott Library, University of Utah.

Gorey understood how to speak to his local community about national issues. Three days after the attack on Pearl Harbor, he penned a column where he encouraged his university audience to contribute to the war effort. “The sacrifices we will be called upon to make will be made cheerfully. We know what the goal is; we recognize the intrinsic worth of that goal enough to want to attain it, and to help in the struggle to attain it,” he wrote for the Utah Chronicle on December 10, 1941.

He didn’t skirt the issues, even in his early college days. “It is indeed gratifying that these teethless [sic] organs of the student government system at last came in for a little much-deserved adverse criticism; their past activity, or rather, inactivity, more than warrants condemnation,” he wrote in The Utah Chronicle on November 6, 1941, criticizing the inefficiency of overabundant student councils monitoring school activities. As a columnist at the University of Utah paper, he made his thoughts clear and opinions direct.

The following week on November 11, 1941, in the same publication he addressed those who had called him a “radical” and a “communist” for his scorching criticism, but he never walked his opinion of the student government back. Gorey cherished the First Amendment. His column defending the free speech rights of former Senator Rush Holt—an unashamed isolationist—in The Utah Chronicle on November 19 rang true with his principles.

While he was at Nieman Reports he asked the question on whether balanced and relevant news was being produced beyond eloquent writing and eye-catching headlines. “We must worry not only about what a thorough analysis of the printed article will show we did say—but what the general impression of our entire presentation, headline, play, and article had on the reader,” Gorey wrote in January 1950 in his article, “Making Makeup Matter.”

Gorey_Hays_Shot_2-1

Used by permission, Utah State Historical Society.

In April 2011 The Washington Post reported in its obituary that Gorey had won a Nieman Fellowship to Harvard in 1949 and after his stint at The Salt Lake Tribune he landed a job as national correspondent at Time magazine in 1965. “Gorey was best known nationally for his work at Time [sic] from 1965 to 1991,” wrote Jan Gardner from Nieman Reports, the same publication where Gorey added his two cents when he was alive.

In a C-SPAN interview on January 13, 1984, Gorey defended the existence of the free press and made no apologies for an adversarial and engaged journalistic body. “The interest of the public demands that the press be aggressive, be alert, be skeptical, be cynical if you will and it doesn’t matter if it’s a Republican in the White House or a Democrat, we should be equally vigilant,” he said during the hourlong discussion.

Gorey had shown years prior how tenacious the press could be when he interviewed Special Prosecutor Leon Jaworski in November 1973 for Time shortly after the Saturday Night Massacre where President Richard Nixon fired special prosecutor Archibald Cox. He pressed for answers on behalf of the American people amid a constitutional crisis.

His columns, editorials and interviews garnered the respect of his colleagues. He was considered a “journalist’s journalist,” by former Salt Lake Tribune publisher Jack Gallivan, as reported by Paul Rolly in The Salt Lake Tribune on April 5, 2011.

Gorey ran the journalistic gamut. He was a University of Utah alumnus who started off as a copy boy and ended up doing a great many things in the service of muckraking.

Donald Aguirre is a senior at The University of Utah. He is a journalism student majoring in communication and is the owner & creator of the blog, The Mockery Times.

Sources

Hays Gorey, “New Foreign Developments Awake America to Fact Of Former Over-confidence,” Utah Chronicle, December 10, 1941, 4.

 Hays Gorey, “Columnist Maintains Council Activity Supervision is Failure,” Utah Chronicle, November 6, 1941, 4.

Hays Gorey, “Editorialist Defends Attack On Activity Councils Suggests Sportsmanship,” Utah Chronicle, November 13, 1941, 4.

Andrew Hays Gorey, “Making Makeup Matter,” Nieman Reports, January 1950, 5,

Journalism: Mr. Gorey defended a recent editorial published in Time magazine,” C-SPAN, January 13, 1984.

INVESTIGATIONS: Nothing Is Inviolate,” Time, November 26, 1973,

Hays Gorey: A distinguished newsman passes,” Salt Lake Tribune, April 8, 2011.

Gardner, Jan. “Spring 2012: Class Notes,” Nieman Reports, March 15, 2012.

Bernstein, Adam. “Obituaries,” Washington Post, April 12, 2011.

Rolly, Paul. “Former Tribune editor and Time reporter was a ‘journalist’s journalist,’” Salt Lake Tribune, April 5, 2011.

Hays Gorey,” Salt Lake Tribune, April 7, 2011.

 

History of the Utonian Yearbook 1940-1945

By Dillon Anderson

Dating back to the early 1800s, students of various college campuses have kept a record of their time on campus through yearbooks, making them a rich source of history. (Lear, p. 184) Such as it is, by annotating the details of the Utonian books, one can build a working index of their materials, which, in turn, can assist teachers and students in future research endeavors for years to come. In the same way that the Utah Chronicle finding aid has and will continue to contribute to our understanding of the past, my hope is that this index will do the same.

1940 edition: The 1940 edition of the Utonian was a crimson-colored book, featuring a woman in an elegant white dress dancing on the cover. The edition was 334 pages in length and contained many illustrations. Entire pages are dedicated to student and faculty administration, sports teams and campus organizations, and portraits for seniors, juniors, sophomores and freshman students are found throughout. In 1940, the Chronicle reported that the book cost $4 and that overall sales, to that point, had reached an all-time high.

Student Leadership: Herbert Price, President; Rose Bud Marshall, Vice President; Montana Torkelson, Secretary; Hemer Culp, 2nd Vice President; Grant Aadnesen, Senior President; Fred Price, Junior President; Richard Ensign, Sophomore President; Keith Montague, Freshman President.

1941 UtonianDedicated To: “President George Thomas, world citizen, American, Utahn …. son of the West. Forthright and intelligent is the cataclysmic world, he stands unflinchingly for the principles of democratic and spiritual freedom. Born in the land of blue skies and surging mountains we may look to him for the best in man. An inspired educator and leader, he has guided the University of Utah along the road of vanity and moderation. Social adjuster … gentleman … scholar … son of the West … our President Thomas.” 

1941 editionThe 1941 edition was a silver-colored book, featuring a woman and man (standing side-by-side) with the Block U embossed between them. The edition was 338 pages in length and, according to a 1941 Chronicle article, was at least two pages larger than any in the University’s history. According to that same article, the edition was expected to “possibly set records both for advertising space and for sales.”

Student Leadership: Hamer Calp, President; Connie Mortensen, Secretary; Scott Dye, Treasurer; Elisa Rogers, Vice President.

Dedicated To: “Lively reminiscence of classrooms and libraries … athletic fields and bleachers … the dance floor and theatres … the offices and editorial rooms—this year, 1941 Utonian.” 

1942 editionThe 1942 edition was a black-colored book, featuring a woman and man standing underneath a blue tree with words, lettered in blue and gold, reading above them: A Year of College Life At The University Of Utah. The edition was 352 pages in length and apportioned to feature portraits of seniors, juniors, sophomores and freshman. More than previous editions, much of the book was dedicated solely to the portraits. According to a 1942 Chronicle article, the advertising section of the book was compromised by the then-ongoing war.

Student Leadership: Wendell Paxton, President; Luella Sharp, Vice President; Betty Jo Snow; Frank Child, Treasurer.

Dedicated To: N/A

1943 editionThe 1943 edition wore a burnt orange cover with images of blue trees, as well as the words “Utonian” inside a red square. At the bottom of the cover, red script read, “Nineteen Hundred Forty-Three.” It is unclear how many pages were in this issue, but in terms of format, this edition was keen on highlighting the events and activities that took place on campus during that year. Interestingly, the Chronicle reported in 1943 that males were required to wear coats and neckties for their portraits. Failure to comply often resulted in a considerable time delay, according to the article.

Student Leadership: Val J. Sheffield, President; Virginia Weilenman, Vice President; Athelia Sears Tanner, Secretary; Robert B. Barker, Treasurer; Mary Anna Recore, Historian; Lynn Warburton, Second Vice President; Huck Adelt, Second Vice President; Marjorie Muir Hess, Historian.

Dedicated To: “The people in it are leaders. They are the men and women who plan and worry and sit up nights. They hold conferences and argue and their decisions are final. They are brainy and unselfish and they have foresight. They lead and 3,000 students follow. It’s a busy life they live … filled with disappointments and headaches sometimes, and sacrifices … But it’s a pleasant life, too … and worthwhile, for these people find … a life made rich.” 

1944 edition: The 1944 edition was a yellow-covered book, featuring the number “44” above royal blue letters that spelled, “Utonian: Nineteen Hundred Forty-Four.” Blue and red stars also decorated the cover. True to tradition, the edition was 356 pages in length, seemingly larger than any of the preceding yearbooks in the university’s history.

According to a 1944 Chronicle piece, the war brought on a shortage of materials, which led to the University cutting down on the use of film. As a result, the institution was only able to take one picture instead of two for student portraits, and because some students were unable to pay yearbook fees in advance of the deadline, said students were not pictured in that year’s edition. The book also features an entire section on the war, resplendent with photos of the Army and Red Cross.

Student Leadership: Ed Muir, senior proxy president; Margaret Cornwall, Vice President; Peggy Berryman, Secretary; Jay Skidmore, Treasurer; Bill Pingree, Treasurer.

1945 utonianDedicated To:  “We said goodbye so many times to so many friends. We stood side by side with the governor, the president and the deans as we paid tribute to the fellows off to war. 

1945 editionThe 1945 edition was a red-covered book, and for the first time in this six-year snapshot, acknowledged the school’s Indian heritage on its cover. There, a profile of an Indian warrior, imaged in gold, stood upright while the words “Utonian” and “1945” surrounded him. This edition also departed from convention in terms of measure, as the book spanned just 336 pages, down from 356 in 1944.

Student Leadership: Eugene Overfelt, President; Shirley Bangerter, Vice President; Richard Warner, 2nd Vice President; Darlene Anderson, Secretary; Helen Keeley, Historian; Hope Horsfall, Treasurer.

Dedicated To: “To the Senior Utes, the class of 44’, who have blazed to the end or their Utah Trail, we dedicate this Indian issue of the Utonian.”

Dillon Anderson is a student at the University of Utah. He is majoring in literary journalism.

Sources

“Utonian Sales,” Utah Chronicle, January 4, 1940, 2.

“Utonian May Come Out On May 26,” Utah Chronicle, May 15, 1941, 3.

“Utonian Names Final Picture Deadline,” Utah Chronicle, March 5, 1942, 3.

“Coats, Ties Necessary For Utonian Shots,” Utah Chronicle, January 21, 1943, 6.

“Utonian Makes Plea,” Utah Chronicle, January 13, 1944, 2.

The University of Utah and the Utes: A Photo Gallery,” Utah Division of State History.

Lear, Bernadette A. “Book History in ‘Scarlet Letters’: The Beginning and Growth of a College Yearbook during the Gilded Age,” Book History 9 (2006): 179–212.

 

 

The Cadet Nurse Corps at the University of Utah

By Tyson Aldridge

The Cadet Nurse Corps was established across the country between the years 1943 and 1948 to help with the demand for nurses during the war. According to authors Willever and Parascandola, “124,065 nurses were graduated from the Cadet Nurse Corps, making the Corps one of the largest and most fruitful Federal nursing programs in history.” (Parascandola and Willever, p. 455)

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Image from Public Health Reports.

The need for nurses was at an all-time high after the United States entered World War II and as a result, nursing leaders were trying to find solutions to supply enough nurses for the war. The need for nurses increased as the war went on, but other higher paying jobs were taking women away from the nursing profession. Consequently, the Public Health Service created in June 1943 the Cadet Nurse Corps to focus on improvement of nursing education and recruitment of more nursing students. If admitted, a student would receive scholarships that covered tuition and fees, as well as a monthly stipend. The expectation for the nurses was to graduate in 30 months, as opposed to the usual 36 months, and perform nursing services for the duration of the war. The schooling was broken into sections. The first nine months the nurses were known as “probies.” “Junior cadets” were in the middle of their schooling and attended classes as well as applying their learning in the field at actual hospitals. During the final training period, the students were known as “senior cadets” and would be placed where nurses were needed.

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Image from Public Health Reports.

Like many other universities across the country, the University of Utah was part of this program. In the very first semester of the program, 150 women registered. To help boost morale and get the nurses excited for the upcoming program, a representative from the national nursing council came to the University of Utah and spoke to the freshman students at Kingsbury Hall. The representative, Mildred E. Newton, spoke about the urgent need for 65,000 nurses and the chance to serve the country they loved.

From the very beginning, the University of Utah was extremely supportive of the Cadet Nurse Program and the students in it. In the Utah Chronicle on September 23, 1943, Mrs. Hazelle Baird Maequin, an assistant professor of nursing education at the University of Utah, said, “The 15 nurses in the cadet corps are going to make up an important part of the wartime life on the campus this year.” The nurses were not kept from students; the university wanted them to be recognized and supported. This was shown when Carlson Hall, a dining room and living area on campus, was renovated to accommodate the nurses in the program. The hall normally would fit around 76 people, but after a few renovations and converting the hall to cafeteria style, 154 people could fit in the hall. Most of those 154 were nurses in the program, and all of the nurses lived at Carlson Hall.

A lot of the nurses as they went through schooling at Utah would receive hands-on training at nearby LDS Hospital, and most of the time when they were there, their living arrangements would change as well. Once a nurse completed her 30 or 36 months of training, she would receive a certificate of nursing and would be placed at either LDS hospital or one of the nearby local hospitals as a civilian nurse, or she would be placed in one of the branches in the military to serve as a nurse there.

Overall, the Cadet Nurse Corps program at the University of Utah was a great success. The university made the nurses’ time in school comfortable and enjoyable by providing places to live and places to study and eat. The University of Utah also made sure that the Cadet nurses were included in student activities on campus, and made sure that other students were aware of the program and its importance. This program helped improve nursing education, as well as prompting federal aid for graduate school studies for nurses. The effect is still felt today around local and national hospitals and nursing now is a respected profession. Modern-day nursing definitely got a kickstart because of this program.

Tyson Aldridge is a senior at the University of Utah. He is majoring in journalism communication.

Sources

“Campus Trains Cadet Nurses,” Utah Chronicle, September 23, 1943.

Helen Chamberlin, “Registration Swells Despite War,” Utah Chronicle, September 23, 1943.

“Nursing Official Outlines Program,” Utah Chronicle, October 21, 1943.

Walter A. Shead, “Continuation of Nurses Training to Provide for Thousands of Qualified Hospital Assistants,” Pleasant Grove Review, September 21, 1945.

War Affects Carlson Hall,” Utah Chronicle, September 23, 1943.

Kathleen Emerson Britton, “U.S. Cadet Nurse Corps,” Rochester Regional Health.

Parascandola, John and HeatherWillever. “The Cadet Nurse Corps, 1943-48,” Public Health Reports 109 no. 3 (May-June 1994): 455-457.

Utah Sugar Beets: A Struggling Industry

By Andres-Alcantar Castro

During World War II, President LeRoy E. Cowles encouraged University of Utah students to help struggling sugar beet farmers. Ads were placed in the Utah Chronicle to increase participation. The Chronicle reported that only 24 students had participated. Utah farmers continued looking for workers in the coming years but the industry fought to keep crops plentiful despite the shortage.

Sugar beets supplied half of the nation’s sugar by then. The U.S. military relied on sugar and foodstuffs for energy. In 45 years, Americans went from consuming 45 to 109 pounds of sugar per capita, making the U.S. the world’s largest sugar consumer. The sugar beet became a viable option because it grew where sugar cane couldn’t. Sugar beets, however, yielded a maximum of 15 percent sugar and thus required research to yield more. (Weeks, p. 370)

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Beets at loading station. 
Used by permission, Utah State Historical Society.

As early as June 1942, the North Cache News printed an article emphasizing the struggles that farmers faced in finding labor to thin their sugar beets. The locals suggested that farmers use children to help in the fields. While farmers were first reluctant, the crisis changed their minds. White-collar workers from Bingham City also helped the farmers of Cache Valley. The article points out that the labor shortage wasn’t only because of men turned soldiers, but also men working in the industries conducive to the war.

The Rich County Reaper reported on January 2, 1942, that 1.5 million workers would be needed by 1943 to produce sugar and other products. In addition, 12.7 million tons of sugar would be needed in 1943. This amount was twice as much as that needed in World War I.

University students might’ve thought the work was not worth doing because they were paid $1 per ton harvested. This amount translates to only $15 today, adjusted for inflation. The university, however, claimed it was patriotic to work in the beet fields and even offered transportation to and from the university to encourage students to do so. A Chronicle article published in the October 15, 1942, issue reported, “Even though it is difficult for students who are busy with defense jobs and activities …, they may, in a few spare hours after classes, do a job which to them might seem minute and unimportant, but which in reality will greatly aid in our war program.”

Layton_Sugar_Factory_Wagon_Dumping_Beets_into_Hopper

Layton Sugar Factory, wagon dumping beets into hopper.
Used by permission, Utah State Historical Society.

During this time, the Japanese relocation program had begun. The Topaz internment camp housed many of the displaced Japanese-Americans. On October 14, 1942, the Topaz Times printed a job announcement for topping sugar beets for $16 monthly pay. This work was attractive to Japanese men because they had little freedom. Fifty-six other Japanese men left for Cache County, while some went as far as Preston, Idaho, to work. Even Topaz only had 250 of the 400 workers needed there. Also, Mexican miners had started immigrating to Utah since the 1930s but by the 1940s about 60 families settled in Garland, Utah, to work in the sugar beet fields. Mexican immigrants were able to take advantage of the pay from the sugar beet industry and work toward building a community. (Solórzano, p. 18)

The new labor force helped the beet farmers harvest crops but they still required advancements in technology to reach their goals. Luckily, groups like the American Society of Sugar Beet Technologists were researching new ways to increase yields and were optimistic for the future of the industry. The Salt Lake Telegram reported on January 5, 1942, that a new method, tested in 326 beet fields, controlled irrigation and produced a higher sugar content within beets. Naphthalene acid amide was also a chemical being tested that could eliminate the leaf hopper, a type of fly that attacked the leaves on beet plants. The acid was reported to cause plant growth in some cases but damage in other cases.

The sugar beet industry suffered from a wide labor shortage, particularly because of the war. The university students’ reluctance to help was only part of a bigger problem. Farmers had to rely on immigrants and community members for their farms to survive. Small sugar yields helped win the war but more research needed to be done to make it successful.

Originally from the Columbia River Gorge area of Oregon, Andres Alcantar-Castro is a senior at the University of Utah. He will graduate in 2019 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in communication with an emphasis in journalism.

Sources

“Working in Beet Fields Is Patriotic and Fun,” Utah Chronicle, October 15, 1942, 5.

“Chairman Issues New Appeal for Student Labor,” Utah Chronicle, October 15, 1942, 1.

“Questions,” Topaz Times, October 14, 1942, 2-3.

“Farmers Accept Boys and Girls in Beet Fields” North Cache News, June 19, 1942, 4.

“Sugar Experts See Big Future for Industry” Salt Lake Telegram, January 5, 1942, 13.

“U. S. Farmers with Less Labor, Supplies, Machinery, Must Double the Production Shown in World War I,” Rich County Reaper, January 2, 1942, 3.

Solórzano, Armando. “The Making of Latino Families in Utah,” Beehive History 25 (August 31, 2009): 18.

Weeks, Michael. “Sugar State: Industry, Science, and the Nation in Colorado’s Sugar Beet Fields,” Western Historical Quarterly 48, no. 4 (October 2017): 367–391.

Carl Ravazza and His Orchestra, Rainbow Randevu, 1939-1941

By Adelina R. Whitten

Jazz music was booming in the 1930s and 1940s in the United States. Jazz in the West, specifically, “played a crucial role in producing and shaping jazz during the 1920s and 1930s, decades critical in the formation of the swing style,” writes Stowe in Jazz in the West. (p. 53) Big bands of the swing era took an inherent role in the West’s embodiment of the popular culture, crossing national boundaries. The audience of Western jazz followed and listened to most of the same bands popular with the rest of the public. (Stowe, p. 53) These bands followed touring patterns laid out by earlier popular culture forms, including the theatric vaudeville. (Stowe, p. 55)

Western jazz differed from jazz in other parts of the country. The racial attitudes of those in the West were one of these differences. According to Stowe, “The northern Midwest was relatively free of racial discrimination, while the Southwest exhibited virulent racism.” (Stowe, p. 61) African American and White swing-era bands were both surprisingly popular with White listeners. (Stowe, p. 63) The venues touring bands played “varied widely in the West, as elsewhere, and depended largely on the fame and drawing power of the group.” (Stowe, pp. 66-67) Municipal ballrooms, dance palaces, dime-a-dance halls, restaurants, and nightclubs were popular establishments, although urban ballrooms were the most desirable places to play. (Stowe, p. 67)

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Carl Ravazza and his ochestra played at Jerry Jones’ Rainbow Randevu in Salt Lake City. Utah Chronicle, April 9, 1941, page 5.

Carl Ravazza, a White violinist and vocalist from California, and his orchestra played several times in Utah, a state situated in the Western United States’ jazz scene. The San Francisco Examiner reported on July 29, 1968, that Carl Ravazza was popular among college students in the 1930s. This remained true during the 1940s. The Utah Chronicle, the University of Utah newspaper, advertised Ravazza at Jerry Jones’ Rainbow Randevu on September 22, 1938; January 19, 1939; April 9, 1941; and April 18, 1941. The Rainbow Randevu was a ballroom in Salt Lake City that often held swing and jazz groups. Ravazza and his orchestra played at the Rainbow Randevu consecutively in 1938, 1939, 1940, and 1941.

Newspapers in Salt Lake City frequently informed Utahns of Ravazza visits. On September 15, 1938, the Salt Lake Telegram reported that “the romantic voice of the west” was to begin a two-week engagement at the Rainbow Randevu, where there would be dancing every night. The Salt Lake Telegram reported Jerry Jones saying that other popular traveling bands would follow suit if the engagement was successful. It must have been, since Ravazza’s group returned at least four additional times in the next three years. In January 1939, April 1940, and March 1941, the Salt Lake Telegram reported return engagements by Ravazza’s group.

Rainbow Randevu Front Utah State Historical Society

Carl Ravazza and his orchestra, among other name bands, played at Jerry Jones’ Rainbow Randevu at 41 E. 500 South. The building was destroyed by a fire in 1948. Used by permission, Utah State Historical
Society.

Ravazza was popular in Utah, but also countrywide. The Utah Chronicle reported on April 18, 1940, that his famous theme song “Vienni Su” was credited with shooting him “into nationwide recognition.” This might be why the Salt Lake Telegram reported on April 29, 1940, that Ravazza was to stay in Salt Lake City and perform an additional three days. The newspaper noted that Ravazza had played the week before “to record crowds, which demanded a return engagement of the popular maestro.”

Jazz music was booming in the 1930s and 1940s in both the East and West. In the West, swing bands traveled from state to state on tour. Carl Ravazza and his orchestra toured the Western United States regularly, especially Salt Lake City where he visited at least four times. Advertisements in the Utah Chronicle showed jazz bands visited Utah quite frequently. These engagements were part of the Salt Lake City scene, where people from all walks of life would enjoy music and dancing. The social events provided an opportunity for Utahns to come together and participate in the entertainment of the time.

Adelina Whitten graduated from the University of Utah in December 2018 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in communication and a minor in sociology.

Sources:

“Ravazza Group To Open Here,” Salt Lake Telegram, September 15, 1938, 9.

Advertisement for Carl Ravazza and his orchestra at Jerry Jones’ Rainbow Randevu, Utah Chronicle, September 22, 1938, 3.

Advertisement for five entertainment groups at Jerry Jones’ Rainbow Randevu, Utah Chronicle, January 19, 1939, 3.

“Carl Ravazza Band Held Over Here,” Salt Lake Telegram, January 20, 1939, 20.

“Salt Lakers to Hear Ravazza Orchestra,” Utah Chronicle, April 18, 1940, 3.

“Randevu Books Ravazza Band,” Salt Lake Telegram, April 19, 1940, 24.

“Randevu Awaits Ravazza Return,” Salt Lake Telegram, April 29, 1940, 14.

“Ravazza Set For Randevu,” Salt Lake Telegram, March 17, 1941, 9.

Advertisement for Carl Ravazza and his orchestra at the Rainbow Randevu, Utah Chronicle, April 9, 1941, 5.

“Carl Ravazza Dies In Nevada at 58,” San Francisco Examiner, July 29, 1968, 41.

Stowe, David. “Jazz in the West: Cultural Frontier and Region During the Swing Era,” Western Historical Quarterly 23, no. 1 (February 1992): 53-73.