Archive for January, 2015

January Announcement for the Utah Westerners




Between 1867 and 1938, thousands of men and women from around the world worked in the Uinta Mountains cutting ties for the growing transcontinental railroad system. These hardy individuals have left behind an indelible mark upon the landscape of the Uintas, which is being uncovered through history and archaeology. Over two hundred cabin sites have been documented by archaeologists, and these buildings, associated artifacts, and even location on the landscapes tell the important contribution of loggers and the North Slope of the Uintas played in the development of the western railroad system. With little written record remaining of these itinerant works, archaeology is providing that important voice to the past. Christopher W. Merritt, Deputy State Historic Preservation Officer in the Utah Division of State History, will discuss this little-known, but fascinating area of Utah history.

Christopher Merritt received his doctorate from the University of Montana in Anthropology after spending four years studying the history and archaeology of the Overseas Chinese experience in Montana. He also received an MS from Michigan Technological University in Industrial Archaeology, where he employed scientific materials testing to determine the origin and distribution of locally made Mormon ceramics in Utah and Nevada. Merritt has led excavations in several states, including Utah. Among other activities, he was involved in the archaeological work on the remains of a Mormon pottery shop near downtown Salt Lake City and spent two years in field expeditions at the Rosebud Battlefield in Montana. Merritt has worked for the U. S. Forest Service, in private archaeological contracting, and most recently as an archaeologist for the Utah Division of State History. He also teaches courses in anthropology and archaeology at both Weber State University and Salt Lake Community College.


January 9, 2015 at 11:04 am Leave a comment

December Announcement for the Utah Westerners


Over the 37 years that award-winning political cartoonist, Pat Bagley, has been doing cartoons about the Beehive State, one thing he has never worried about: running out of material. From the MX Missile fight to Mormon polygamists marrying underage girls, Utah always promises to provide fodder for satire. After all, Pat Bagley works for the Salt Lake Tribune, a newspaper that, apart from having web sections labeled “Local News,” “National News,” and “Opinion,” also has an online pull down tab for “Polygamy.”

Bagley has drawn more than 12,000 cartoons at the Tribune and the history and heritage of Utah have figured prominently in them. From the story of the Crickets and the Gulls, he has adopted the seagull as a recurring character. Iconic images such as bees, the beehive, the statue of Moroni, handcarts, This is the Place, and the Salt Lake Temple itself, have been used as symbolic shortcuts to illustrate screwy Utah politics.

Each day, Bagley looks forward to opening the paper and seeing what stranger-than-fiction item this wonderful state has served up for him. He will share some of his many cartoon highlights and anecdotes gleaned from his nearly 40 years as a witty yet insightful, sometimes hard-hitting, and brilliant political cartoonist.

Pat Bagley was born in Salt Lake City, but raised in southern California. Always interested in politics, Bagley went on to receive a degree in political science with a history minor at Brigham Young University. While still a student at BYU, Bagley doodled a political cartoon which he submitted to the student newspaper, The Daily Universe. Not only was it published there, it was reprinted in Time Magazine weeks later. He went on to become the editorial cartoonist at the Salt Lake Tribune, but his cartoons have appeared in many prestigious periodicals such as The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, Newsweek, and The Los Angeles Times. He is syndicated in hundreds of American newspapers.

Bagley has also written and/or illustrated many books on political, social, and religious satire, children’s books, and history. Some even satirized George Bush and his administration (one being Clueless George Goes to War!) and the 2008 election (Fist Bump Heard ‘Round the World). Others poked fun at Utah and Mormon culture such as Treasures of Half-Truth; Oh, My Heck: A Pretty, Great Cartoon Book; The Best of Bagley: 20 Years of Cartoons from the Salt Lake Tribune; and Bagley’s Utah Survival Guide. He has also partnered with the Tribune’s Robert Kirby in books of humor, among them Pat & Kirby Go to Hell and Wake Me for the Resurrection.

Pat Bagley has won numerous awards for his work, including the Herblock Prize for best national cartoonist (2009) and Best of the West (best editorial cartoons, 2012). He was the first cartoonist to win the Wilbur Award for Religious Communication in 1991, given for “outstanding communication of religious values in the news and entertainment media.” Bagley was also a Pulitzer Prize finalist in 2013.

January 5, 2015 at 2:14 pm Leave a comment

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