Billy “The Hill” McGill: Utah’s Elite Center 1959-1962

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Billy McGill holds up the No. 1 and a basketball in anticipation of the 1962 NBA Draft. Used with permission from Utah State History.

By Brayden Ramsay

Billy “The Hill” McGill was the University of Utah’s first college basketball player to be drafted as the No. 1 pick overall in the NBA draft, and the eighth African-American athlete taken No. 1 overall in NBA draft history. (Witucki) McGill was a phenom while at Utah (1959-1962), scorching the stat sheet and leading the Utes to a final four appearance. McGill’s time at Utah was glamorous as he topped national sports headlines and was widely known as one of the top college basketball players in the 1960s. After a short stint in the NBA, McGill left the league and soon found himself homeless. He would regret not getting his degree from the University of Utah up until he died in 2014. (Goon) Unfortunately, this scenario is all too familiar to college athletes across the United States of America. (Welch) Especially when it comes to basketball and football players.

Billy “The Hill” McGill was a six-foot nine-inch center from Los Angeles, California. McGill was someone who showed lots of potential in high school and eventually decided to attend the University of Utah for his college athletics career. McGill was a standout for the Utes in his freshman and sophomore seasons but was still a talent with lots of potential yet to be uncovered. After flashes of bright spots throughout his first seasons at Utah, McGill burst onto the scene in 1961 showing the world that he was a force to be reckoned with.

Expectations were sky high heading into the 1961 season as Billy “The Hill” McGill was heading into his final year as a Ute. In January of 1961, The Daily Utah Chronicle reported that Head Coach Jack Gardner said Billy McGill was among the best in basketball. Gardner wasn’t the only person to take note though, as national news outlets and NBA teams were also noticing. Teams and fans were going to have their eyes on McGill during the season, not only for his dominating performances, but also for school records that people were excited for McGill to break.

The upper classmen took on the lower classmen in the University of Utah’s annual red vs white game in November of 1961. This may have been an exhibition game, but this is where fans were able to get their first glance at what McGill could become through the 1961 season. The Daily Utah Chronicle writer Joe Ribotto brought McGill’s 50-point effort to life as the Utes created opportunities for him to showcase his skill in the teams opening matchup. McGill also showcased his rebounding skills with 26 on the night.

Utah’s big man was just getting started. Throughout the 1961-1962 season, McGill would continue to have monumental games and inch his way closer to the University of Utah’s record books.

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Billy McGill looks to score a basket during a photoshoot with the Salt Lake Tribune in 1961. Used with permission from Utah State History.

McGill’s most famous game as a Runnin’ Ute came when his team needed it most, scoring 60-points in an effort against in-state rival BYU. In February of 1962, The Daily Utah Chronicle writer Dave Smith described McGill’s performance as “blistering” as he scored 19-points in the final 12 minutes of play to lead the Utes to a 106-101 victory.

Astronomical scoring games seemed to come easily for McGill, especially in crucial games. In March 1962, The Daily Utah Chronicle writer Norm Sheya put an emphasis on the importance of McGill’s 50-point performance that solidified the Skyline Conference Championship for the University of Utah. He would lead the Utes in scoring during Utah’s 19 point victory over Wyoming. This conference championship would allow a spot for the Utes in postseason play.

In his final year at Utah, McGill not only broke records. He shattered them. In March 1962, The Daily Utah Chronicle writer Dave Smith expounded on the records that McGill set during his time at the University of Utah. This list included most field goals made, best field percentage, most total points, and most points per game average.

McGill would find his name at the top of many NBA teams wish lists towards the end of his senior season. When draft night finally rolled around, his name was the first one called. In May 1962, The Daily Utah Chronicle writer Ernie Witucki was among the first to report that McGill had been selected as the number one overall pick in the NBA draft by Chicago. The signing of the contract would bring a close to a career where McGill scored over 2,000 points as a Ute and held almost every basketball record in the Skyline Conference.

The top of the mountain had finally been reached, and McGill accomplished what he had originally set out to do. Becoming the top draft pick and starting an NBA career is what most athletes could only dream of. It had now become a reality for the kid from Los Angeles. Sometimes though, dreams don’t always turn out as planned.

McGill’s life in the NBA started off well, signing a two-year contract to play for Chicago. He would eventually be traded to the New York Knicks where he would make a few appearances before being traded to the St. Louis Hawks which eventually led to the Los Angeles Lakers.

Although McGill was once the top pick in the NBA Draft, he struggled to find a team that would sign him for more than a few seasons at a time. The ABA would come calling in his final two years as a pro before McGill decided to retire. In February 2011, The Los Angeles Times writer Jerry Crowe wrote a story on how McGill had really struggled since leaving the University of Utah for the NBA. He didn’t have a degree, and when the NBA didn’t go as planned, he became homeless and had a difficult time finding somewhere to land on his feet.

This is an all-too-familiar story to many college athletes who leave school early to take their shot at professional sports. In 1999, Welch Suggs of the Chronicle of Higher Education did a study on graduation rates of college athletes. Suggs found that men and women who played basketball and football had the lowest graduation rate of other collegiate sports. Something that the NCAA requires is for college athletes to take part in one season of collegiate athletics before entering the NBA draft. Unfortunately, this means that kids go to college without the mentality to graduate before moving on to professional athletics. Instead, they attend college and get by in order to enter the NBA draft as quickly as possible.

Billy McGill died in Salt Lake City in July 2014. He was 74 years old. The Salt Lake Tribune writer Kyle Goon paid tribute to McGill after the basketball star’s death by talking to his former teammates. One teammate, Jerry Pimm, described McGill as “one of the greatest players I’ve seen or been associated with.” McGill is survived by his wife, Gwen, and his grandson, Ryan Watkins.

The tragedy of Billy “The Hill” McGill shows the importance of getting a college degree before looking for professional work. It’s always important to have a backup plan in place for any profession, but especially if the route of professional sports is taken. Injury, performance issues, and failing expectations are among the many reasons why professional sports have a high chance of not working out. Before college athletes take off for greener pastures, they should consider getting their degrees so that just in case things don’t work out, a backup plan is in place.

Brayden Ramsay graduated from the University of Utah in December 2019 after majoring in communication with an emphasis in journalism. He was on the sports desk at the Daily Utah Chronicle and plans to continue his education by earning a master’s degree in sports management.

Primary Sources

Jack Gardner: ‘McGill is Basketball’s Best.’” The Daily Utah Chronicle, January 26, 1961, 4.

Joe Ribotto, “McGill Tanks 50 Points As Utes Whip Frosh 150-126,” The Daily Utah Chronicle, November 28, 1961, 4.

Dave Smith, “McGill Scores Sixty for Conference Mark,” The Daily Utah Chronicle, February 26, 1962, 4.

Dave Smith, “Utah’s Record Smasher Faces Final Battle,” The Daily Utah Chronicle, March 2, 1962, 5.

Norm Sheya, “Utes, McGill Leave Skyline with Victory,” The Daily Utah Chronicle, March 5, 1962, 1.

Ernie Witucki, “It’s Settled — McGill Signs Chicago Packer Contract,” The Daily Utah Chronicle, May 15, 1962, 4.

Secondary Sources

Suggs, Welch. “Graduation Rates Hit Lowest Level in 7 Years for Athletes in Football and Basketball.” Chronicle of Higher Education, September 10, 1999.

Crowe, Jerry. “Billy McGill Has Difficult Time With Life After Basketball,” Los Angeles Times, February 20, 2011

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

 

United Nations Week — Utah, 1961

By Rachel T. Maughan

United Nations Week was celebrated in a variety of ways in the Salt Lake Valley during October 1961. In January 1961, the United Nations, under President John F. Kennedy, decided that the decade of the 1960s would be the Decade of Development. “Although it has experienced delays and disappointments the U.N. still embodies man’s best hopes this seems as surly as the world prepares to celebrate U.N. Day Tuesday.” (Provo Daily Herald, 10) The U.N. World Organization has relieved suffering and has preserved a measure of peace. Utah celebrated the 16th birthday of the United Nations by having multiple events across the state.

“Now therefore I, John F. Kennedy, President of the United States of America, do hereby urge the citizens of this nation to observe Tuesday, October 24 as United Nations Day.” (“United Nations Day: Faith Demonstration”) The General Assembly of the United Nations were on board with celebrating on October 24, which is the anniversary of the coming into force of the United Nations Charter. (“United Nations Day”) On a more local level, in Utah, Governor George D. Clyde declared October 23 through 29 to be designated as United Nation Week. (“U.N. Week Set”)

In the city of Bountiful, Utah, Mayor Harold L. Pope also signed a proclamation designating United Nations Week in his community. (Davis County Clipper, 6)

In the city of Orem, they had a ceremony called ‘Trees for Peace’ which involved elementary school kids planted more maple trees in Orem City Park. (Orem-Geneva Times, 1)

Also, high schools throughout Utah were each assigned a different country, and participated in a two-day reenactment of U.N. sessions held at the University of Utah. (Provo Daily Herald, 10)

The University of Utah had two major events to celebrate U.N. that week. The first was a pre-symphony reception for foreign students from high schools in the state, held Saturday in the rotunda and Gold Room of the Utah State Capitol. The second event of the week was a discussion on foreign policy issues in relation to the current session of the U.N. in 1961, and was scheduled for Monday in the auditorium of the Prudential Building. (“U.N. Week Set”) “Saturday’s concert includes an overture to Oberon by Weber; Schubert’s ballet music from ‘Rosemuta’ ‘Don Juan’ by Richard Strauss; and Tchaikovsky‘s ‘Pathetique’ Symphony, as a tribute to United Nations Day.” (“Symphony Season Opens”)

Warren C. Hickins

Warren I. Cikins, a State Department official, gave a talk called, “U.S. Foreign Policy and the United Nations,” on October 27, 1961, at the University of Utah campus. The photo was published in that issue of the Daily Utah Chronicle.

“US Foreign Policy and the United Nations” will be the theme of a talk given by Warren I. Cikins.” (“State Department Official”) The State Department planned to celebrate the 16th anniversary of the United Nations with a speaking tour and Cikins gladly volunteered. He spent two weeks traveling through the western states to speak to different crowds of people. “At the time, U.S. participation in the United Nations was a controversial topic, and the State Department was loudly criticized for “losing” China to the Communists.” (Fitzpatrick) Because of the turmoil within the U.N. many people were interested and attended his lectures.

On the last day of U.N. Week, students at the University of Utah held a fundraiser for UNICEF. The United Nations Children’s Fund saves millions of young lives all over the world. A collection drive took place Halloween night at the dorms. All of the proceeds went to the United Nations Children’s Fund and were distributed between 50 countries where three quarters of the world’s children were sickly starving or being neglected. (“Carlson Hall Collects”)

The 16th birthday of the United Nations was a perfect time to celebrate its successes and have a day/week to better inform and educate the country on its efforts. “No man is an island entire of itself.” here lies the fundamental reason for the existence of the United Nations organization.” (Provo Daily Herald, 10) The United Nations Organization focused on peace and giving aid to foreign countries in need. Their popularity at the time, was due to the growing awareness and concern for those in less fortunate countries.

Rachel Maughan graduated in December 2019 with a Bachelor of Arts in Communication.

Primary Sources

U.N. Week Set by Governor George D. Clyde,” Daily Utah Chronicle, October 21, 1960, 4.

Symphony Season Opens with UN Day Tribute,” Daily Utah Chronicle, October 20, 1961, 1.

United Nations Day: Faith Demonstration,” Daily Utah Chronicle, October 24, 1961, 2.

Foreign Policy Set as Theme for UN Talks,” Daily Utah Chronicle, October 26, 1961, 1.

State Department Official to Speak on UN Topic,” Daily Utah Chronicle, October 27, 1961, 1.

Carlson Hall Collects for UNICEF,” Daily Utah Chronicle, October 30, 1961, 3.

Celebrate UN Week,” Davis County Clipper, October 20, 1961, 6.

United Nations 16th Birthday,” Provo Daily Herald, October 23, 1961, 10.

This is United Nations Week,” Millard County Chronicle, October 26, 1961, 4.

“‘Trees For Peace’ Ceremony Note U.N. Day,” Orem-Geneva Times, October 26, 1.

Secondary Sources

Fitzpatrick, Christina Lehman. “The Newly Opened Personal Papers of Warren I. Cikins.” John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, July 3, 2012.

Guide to the Warren I. Cikins Personal Papers (#350), John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum.

 

 

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.