Speak Your Piece: a podcast about Utah's history

Brad Westwood, Senior Public Historian, Utah Dept. of Culture & Community Engagement

The past is never truly “in the past.” It’s all around us, it informs us. It speaks to our shared and to our separate identities. “Speak Your Piece” is a podcast where contributors share their insights and discoveries about Utah's 12,000 year (plus) human story. Hosted by Brad Westwood, Senior Public Historian (Utah Dept. of Culture & Community Engagement), and co produced by Chelsey Zamir, a new episode is released every other week, sometimes more, sometimes less. SYP explores the key arguments with new and worthwhile older publications, articles or websites; or delves into a notable museum, archival collection, archaeological report; or allows a respected writer, curator or historian to speak freely, sometimes about difficult history. SYP seeks to tell a history of Utah in a way you might not heard it before., told by the people who know it best: historians, writers, curators, archaeologists, rare book dealers, archivists, librarians and more. Speak Your Piece is recorded and engineered at the Utah State Library in Salt Lake City. Jason Powers is the sound and post-production engineer. The SYP logo is a photograph entitled "Canyonlands," taken by Utah outdoor photographer Al W. Morton, circa 1955, within the Canyonlands National Park (NPS). The lone man in the image is Kent Frost, looking over a series of needle rock formations located in San Juan County, Utah. The image and rights are owned by the Utah State Historical Society. read less
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Episodes

Constance Lieber on Martha Hughes Cannon (1857-1932) the First Female State Senator (Utah) in the USA (S5, E12)
Oct 26 2023
Constance Lieber on Martha Hughes Cannon (1857-1932) the First Female State Senator (Utah) in the USA (S5, E12)
Date: April 17, 2023 (Season 5, Episode 12: 1 hour, 7 minutes long).  Click here for the Utah Dept. of Culture and Community Engagement version of this Speak Your Piece episode. Are you interested in other episodes of Speak Your Piece? Click Here. The episode was co-produced by Brad Westwood, Chelsey Zamir, and Dr. Katherine Kitterman, with sound engineering and post-production editing from Jason T. Powers, from the Utah State Library Recording Studio. In this Speak Your Piece episode, we hear from Dr. Constance Lieber, author and historian, on her book Dr. Martha Hughes Cannon: Suffragist, Senator, Plural Wife (Signature Books 2022), with SYP host Brad Westwood, and co-host Dr. Katherine Kittermann, Utah State Historical Society’s women’s history coordinator. In this episode, Dr. Lieber discusses the subject of her book, Martha “Mattie” Hughes Cannon, who in 1896, became the first elected female state senator in the United States, an extraordinary accomplishment as she was elected 24 years before most women in the United States could vote. A groundbreaking late 19th-century woman, Cannon vacillated between her goals, her public ambitions, being a devout Mormon, a polygamist wife (she was the fourth of six wives), an attentive mother, and a practicing physician.  Cannon was a standout suffragist locally and nationally, a compelling writer and orator, and a pioneering public health leader for the state.In this episode, hear Drs. Lieber and Kitterman discuss a myriad of insightful details compiled by Lieber after many years of research. A statue of Dr. Hughes Cannon is slated to be installed, sometime in 2024, within the U.S. Capitol National Statuary Hall, to represent Utah,  among likenesses of prominent Americans, from across the United States.For the speakers' bios, please click here for the full show notes plus additional resources and readings. Do you have a question? Write askahistorian@utah.gov.
Native American Boarding Schools in the Am. West & in Utah (ca. 1870s-1980s) with Dr. Farina King (Diné): Part 1 – an Introduction (S5, E1)
Jul 31 2023
Native American Boarding Schools in the Am. West & in Utah (ca. 1870s-1980s) with Dr. Farina King (Diné): Part 1 – an Introduction (S5, E1)
Date: August 29, 2022 (Season 5, Episode 1: 53 minutes long).  Click here for the Utah Dept. of Culture and Community Engagement version of this Speak Your Piece episode. Are you interested in other episodes of Speak Your Piece? Click Here. The episode was co-produced by Brad Westwood, James Toledo, and Chelsey Zamir with sound engineering and post-production work from Stephen Morris (Studio Underground) and Jason Powers (Utah State Library Recording Studio). The opinions shared in this podcast episode reflect the historical research of the guests and not the official views of the state of Utah.Content Advisory: This SYP series is about Utah’s Native American boarding school era, which spanned from the mid-1800s to approximately 1980s, when Native American children (ages 5 to 18+) were removed, then later encouraged, to leave their families and communities, in order to receive a 1-7 and later K-12 education. This history can be emotionally challenging for any listeners but even more so for those who experienced it, either first-hand or through multi-generational impact. If you or someone you know needs to talk to someone regarding the traumatic effects related to this history, contact the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline for Native Americans and Alaska Natives at 1-800-985-5990.This Speak Your Piece episode is the introduction to a five-part series. Historian Farina King takes questions from co-producers James Toledo and Brad Westwood, offering a basic national, then an Intermountain West story, about the Indian boarding school era. The interview offers insights, as both King’s and Toledo’s parents and grandparents were survivors and/or participants in these schools; or the foster-parent and school program known as “the Indian Student Placement Program (ISPP),” which involved tens of thousands of Native American children across the Intermountain West, from 1947 to 2000, in a program offered by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. As with most history, this is a complex story that cannot be generalized in one or two paragraphs. The SYP series is not an all-inclusive telling; rather it is an initial public conversation and historical inquiry. Further historical studies across Utah are needed. The Department of the Interior’s Federal Indian Boarding School Initiative has preliminarily identified seven Utah Indian boarding or day schools so far (as of 2022); others might be discovered as researchers bring this historical topic into focus.Part 1: Native American Boarding Schools in the Am. West & in Utah (ca. 1870s-1980s) with Dr. Farina King (Diné)  – an IntroductionPart 2: American Boarding School Policies with Native American College Adviser Franci Lynne Taylor (Choctaw) (Season 5: Episode 4) Part 3: Matthew Garrett on “Making Lamanites: Mormons, Native Americans, and the Indian Student Placement Program, 1947-2000” (Season 5: Episode 5)Part 4: Diné Elders Rose Jakub (Diné) and Gayle Dawes (Diné) on Their Boarding School Experiences (Season 5, Episode 6)Part 5: James Toledo on Multi-Generational Impacts from Boarding Schools and on the Need for Healing (Season 5, Episode 11) - Series Conclusion For the speakers' bios, please click here for the full show notes plus additional resources and readings. Do you have a question? Write askahistorian@utah.gov.
American Boarding School Policies with Native American College Adviser Franci Lynne Taylor (Choctaw) – Part 2 (S5, E4)
Jul 31 2023
American Boarding School Policies with Native American College Adviser Franci Lynne Taylor (Choctaw) – Part 2 (S5, E4)
Date: September 26, 2022 (Season 5, Episode 4: 54 minutes and 19 seconds long).  Click here for the Utah Dept. of Culture and Community Engagement version of this Speak Your Piece episode. Are you interested in other episodes of Speak Your Piece? Click Here. The episode was co-produced by James Toledo, Chelsey Zamir, and Brad Westwood, with sound engineering and post-production editing by Jason T. Powers, from the Utah State Library Recording Studio.The opinions shared in this podcast episode reflect the historical research of the guests and not the official views of the state of Utah.Content Advisory: This SYP series is about Utah’s Native American boarding school era, which spanned from the mid-1800s to approximately 1980s, when Native American children (ages 5 to 18+) were forcibly removed, then later encouraged, to leave their families and communities, in order to receive a 1-7 then later a K-12 education. This history can be emotionally challenging for any listeners but even more so for those who experienced it, either first-hand or by its multi-generational effects. If you or someone you know needs to talk to someone regarding the traumatic effects related to this history, contact the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline for Native Americans and Alaska Natives at 1-800-985-5990.This Speak Your Piece episode is part two of a five-part series on Native American boarding schools in the Western United States and in Utah. In this episode, Franci Lynn Taylor (Choctaw), former Executive Director of the University of Utah’s American Indian Resource Center, tells a story of Indian educational policies, with series hosts James Toledo and Brad Westwood. Taylor covers the post-Civil War-era boarding school policies inspired by the Carlisle Industrial School of 1879, the Dawes Act (1887), the Indian Relocation Act (1956), the Indian Self Determination Act (1975), and the American Indian Religious Freedom Act (1978). Taylor traces policies to the present day, including the Bureau of Indian Affairs’ schools, tribally-run schools, state-run schools, and state-access schools.Throughout these federal policy attempts at Native American assimilation, Taylor describes a history of resiliency, generation after generation. The love for the community is the thread that weaves through this narrative. She concludes by tracing some of the healing initiatives for Native American communities which Taylor hopes will make sure many will never forget what happened, so history won’t repeat itself. Part 1: Native American Boarding Schools in the Am. West & in Utah (ca. 1870s-1980s) with Dr. Farina King (Diné)  – an IntroductionPart 2: American Boarding School Policies with Native American College Adviser Franci Lynne Taylor (Choctaw) (Season 5: Episode 4) Part 3: Matthew Garrett on “Making Lamanites: Mormons, Native Americans, and the Indian Student Placement Program, 1947-2000” (Season 5: Episode 5)Part 4: Diné Elders Rose Jakub (Diné) and Gayle Dawes (Diné) on Their Boarding School Experiences (Season 5, Episode 6)Part 5: James Toledo on Multi-Generational Impacts from Boarding Schools and on the Need for Healing (Season 5, Episode 11) - Series ConclusionFor the speakers' bios, please click here for the full show notes plus additional resources and readings. Do you have a question? Write askahistorian@utah.gov.
“Making Lamanites: Mormons, Native Americans and the… Placement Program”: A Conversation with Historian Matthew Garrett – Part 3 (S5, E5)
Jul 31 2023
“Making Lamanites: Mormons, Native Americans and the… Placement Program”: A Conversation with Historian Matthew Garrett – Part 3 (S5, E5)
Date: October 3, 2022 (Season 5, Episode 5: 53 minutes 56 seconds). Click here for the Utah Dept. of Culture and Community Engagement version of this Speak Your Piece episode. Are you interested in other episodes of Speak Your Piece? Click Here. This episode was co-produced by Brad Westwood, Chelsey Zamir, and James Toledo, with sound engineering and post-production editing, from Jason T. Powers of the Utah State Library Recording Studio.The opinions shared in this podcast episode represents the historic research of our guests and does not reflect the official views of the state of Utah.Content Advisory: This SYP series is about Utah’s Native American boarding school era, which spanned from the mid-1800s to approximately 1980s, when Native American children (ages 5 to 18+) were forcibly removed, then later encouraged, to leave their families and communities, in order to receive a 1-7 and later K-12 education. This history can be emotionally challenging for any listeners but even more so for those who experienced it, either first-hand or through multi-generational effects. If you or someone you know needs to talk to someone regarding the traumatic effects related to this history, contact the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline for Native Americans and Alaska Natives at 1-800-985-5990.This episode is part three of a five-part series about Native American boarding schools in the Intermountain West and in Utah. In this episode, Western Historian Matthew Garrett discusses his 2016 book Making Lamanites: Mormons, Native Americans, and the Indian Student Placement Program, 1947-2000 (University of Utah Press) with SYP co-hosts Brad Westwood and James Toledo. Garrett’s book focuses on the education of Native American, mostly Navajo (Diné) children, as offered by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (hereafter LDS Church) from 1947 to 2000. This episode includes a narrative arc from the program’s beginnings in Richfield, Utah, in 1947, to its closure amid changing Native American policies and rights. The podcast addresses why it was supported by some Native American leaders and parents; how it was seen as belated fulfillment of a prophetic obligation by the LDS Church to assist Native Americans in reclaiming an ancient Hebrew/Christian identity. And finally, how a court case propelled the LDS Church leadership into phasing out the program.   Part 1: Native American Boarding Schools in the Am. West & in Utah (ca. 1870s-1980s) with Dr. Farina King (Diné) – an IntroductionPart 2: American Boarding School Policies with Native American College Adviser Franci Lynne Taylor (Choctaw) (Season 5: Episode 4) Part 3: Matthew Garrett on “Making Lamanites: Mormons, Native Americans, and the Indian Student Placement Program, 1947-2000” (Season 5: Episode 5)Part 4: Diné Elders Rose Jakub (Diné) and Gayle Dawes (Diné) on Their Boarding School Experiences (Season 5, Episode 6)Part 5: James Toledo on Multi-Generational Impacts from Boarding Schools and on the Need for Healing (Season 5, Episode 11) - Series Conclusion  For the speakers' bios, please click here for the full show notes plus additional resources and readings. Do you have a question? Write askahistorian@utah.gov.
Diné Elders, Rose Jakub and Gayle Dawes, Describe their Multi-generational Boarding School Experiences – Part 4 (S5, E6)
Jul 31 2023
Diné Elders, Rose Jakub and Gayle Dawes, Describe their Multi-generational Boarding School Experiences – Part 4 (S5, E6)
Date: October 24, 2022 (Season 5, Episode 6: 81 minutes long). Click here for the Utah Dept. of Culture and Community Engagement version of this Speak Your Piece episode. Are you interested in other episodes of Speak Your Piece? Click Here. The episode was co-produced by James Toledo, Chelsey Zamir, and Brad Westwood, with sound engineering and post-production editing by Jason T. Powers, from the Utah State Library Recording Studio.The opinions shared in this podcast episode represents the historic research of our guests and does not reflect the official views of the state of Utah.Content Advisory: This SYP series is about Utah’s Native American boarding school era, which spanned from the mid-1800s to approximately 2000, when Native American children (ages 5 to 18+) were removed, then later encouraged, to leave their families and communities, in order to receive a 1-7 and later K-12 educations. This history can be emotionally challenging for any listeners but even more so for those who experienced it, either first-hand or through multi-generational effects. If you or someone you know needs to talk to someone regarding the traumatic effects related to this history, contact the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline for Native Americans and Alaska Natives at 1-800-985-5990.This episode is part four of a five-part series about Native American boarding schools in the Intermountain West and in Utah. In this episode, Gayle Dawes and Rose Jakub, two Navajo elders, tell their own and their families’ experiences, attending reservation day schools, away-from-home federal boarding schools, and participating in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ (hereafter LDS Church) Indian Placement Program with SYP co-hosts James Toledo and Brad Westwood.  In the recounting of these memories (circa 1950s-1980s) and in the retelling of stories from parents and extended family members (circa 1900 to 1960s), Dawes and Jakub, speak as “primary sources.” Their memories reveal aspects of Native thinking and knowing, culture and language, family life and community, trauma and resilience, all woven in conversation between two longtime friends.Both Dawes and Jakub are exemplary elders and leaders inside and outside their communities. This episode aims to give a voice to those experiences and help listeners better understand the history, major themes, and underlying ideas behind the Native American boarding schools and LDS Church’s Indian Student Placement Program that thousands of Native American children attended. Part 1: Native American Boarding Schools in the Am. West & in Utah (ca. 1870s-1980s) with Dr. Farina King (Diné) – an IntroductionPart 2: American Boarding School Policies with Native American College Adviser Franci Lynne Taylor (Choctaw) (Season 5: Episode 4) Part 3: Matthew Garrett on “Making Lamanites: Mormons, Native Americans, and the Indian Student Placement Program, 1947-2000” (Season 5: Episode 5)Part 4: Diné Elders Rose Jakub (Diné) and Gayle Dawes (Diné) on Their Boarding School Experiences (Season 5, Episode 6)Part 5: James Toledo on Multi-Generational Impacts from Boarding Schools and on the Need for Healing (Season 5, Episode 11) - Series ConclusionFor the speakers' bios, please click here for the full show notes plus additional resources and readings. Do you have a question? Write askahistorian@utah.gov.
James Toledo on Multi-Generational Impacts from Boarding Schools and on the Need for Healing: Part 5 – Series Conclusion (S5, E11)
Jul 31 2023
James Toledo on Multi-Generational Impacts from Boarding Schools and on the Need for Healing: Part 5 – Series Conclusion (S5, E11)
Date: August 29, 2022 (Season 5, Episode 11: 49 minutes and 18 seconds long). Click here for the Utah Dept. of Culture and Community Engagement version of this Speak Your Piece episode. Are you interested in other episodes of Speak Your Piece? Click Here. The episode was co-produced by Brad Westwood, Chelsey Zamir, and James Toledo, with help (sound engineering and post-production editing) from Jason Powers (Utah State Library Recording Studio).The opinions shared in this podcast episode reflect the historical research of the guests and not the official views of the state of Utah.Content Advisory: This SYP series is about Utah’s Native American boarding school era, which spanned from the mid-1800s to approximately 2000, when Native American children (ages 5 to 18+) were removed, then later encouraged, to leave their families and communities, in order to receive a 1-7 and later K-12 educations. This history can be emotionally challenging for any listeners but even more so for those who experienced it, either first-hand or through multi-generational effects. If you or someone you know needs to talk to someone regarding the traumatic effects related to this history, contact the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline for Native Americans and Alaska Natives at 1-800-985-5990.This Speak Your Piece episode is the conclusion of a five-part series about Native American boarding schools in Utah. In this episode, Brad Westwood, host of Speak Your Piece, speaks with James Toledo, program manager at the Utah Division of Indian Affairs and co-host of the five-episode series, about his thoughts, ideas, and his family’s experiences on Native American boarding schools and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ (hereafter LDS Church) Indian Student Placement Program (hereafter ISPP). In this episode, Toledo touches on how his family’s multi-generational experiences attending boarding schools and the LDS Church’s ISPP directly shaped his childhood growing up in Salt Lake City and impacted his learning and understanding of his Navajo culture. In all, this series has led Toledo to understand his family’s experiences better and has brought to light the very complex history and stories of boarding schools and the LDS Church’s ISPP; stories that are a crucial part of Utah and American history.Part 1: Native American Boarding Schools in the Am. West & in Utah (ca. 1870s-1980s) with Dr. Farina King (Diné) – an IntroductionPart 2: American Boarding School Policies with Native American College Adviser Franci Lynne Taylor (Choctaw) (Season 5: Episode 4) Part 3: Matthew Garrett on “Making Lamanites: Mormons, Native Americans, and the Indian Student Placement Program, 1947-2000” (Season 5: Episode 5)Part 4: Diné Elders Rose Jakub (Diné) and Gayle Dawes (Diné) on Their Boarding School Experiences (Season 5, Episode 6)Part 5: James Toledo on Multi-Generational Impacts from Boarding Schools and on the Need for Healing (Season 5, Episode 11) - Series Conclusion For the speakers' bios, please click here for the full show notes plus additional resources and readings. Do you have a question? Write askahistorian@utah.gov.
SLC's Pioneer Museum and the Daughters of Utah Pioneers: A Conversation with Megan Weiss (S5, E13)
Jul 21 2023
SLC's Pioneer Museum and the Daughters of Utah Pioneers: A Conversation with Megan Weiss (S5, E13)
Date: May 30, 2023 (Season 5, Episode 13: 54 minutes and 21 seconds long). Click here for the Utah Dept. of Culture and Community Engagement version of this Speak Your Piece episode. Are you interested in other episodes of Speak Your Piece? Click Here.  The episode was co-produced by Brad Westwood and Chelsey Zamir with help (sound engineering and post-production editing) from Jason Powers, from the Utah State Library Recording Studio.Speak Your Piece Host Brad Westwood hosts Megan Weiss, a Ph.D. student specializing in the history of the American West, at the University of Utah, about the fascinating history of the DUP (the Daughters of the Utah Pioneers); officially known as the International Society Daughters of Utah Pioneers.  As one of the last states in the country to establish a state history museum — the Museum of Utah is projected to open in 2026 — Utah has made numerous attempts to tell, officially, Utah’s fascinating yet complex history. The state’s first attempts to conceptualize its history started with the 1897 Pioneer Jubilee, as the state clung to its pioneer narratives and sought to preserve them.  As Weiss tells it, the Jubilee was seen as a “reset” moment for Utah, after pioneers of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Saints of Latter-day Saints arrived in the territory in 1847, and finally achieved statehood in 1896. Many of Utah’s history-related organizations and celebrations, still held dear today, were derived from that original 1897 Jubilee festival — the Book of Pioneers, Days of ‘47’ celebrations, the Utah State Historical Society (1897) and the DUP (1901), were all established in its wake. With this intent to preserve the Pioneer narrative, Utahns also started keeping and preserving objects, which also became a means to re-examine the past. The Deseret Museum, established in 1869, was a private enterprise and a menagerie curio hall to begin with, but later the collection became more professionalized. Weiss adds that during this professionalization stage, Utah women started the Daughters of Utah Pioneers in 1901. This coincides with the establishment of female-led historical agencies across the country. Together, these descendants of Utah’s pioneers commemorated their families, focusing primarily on Utah’s “pioneer period” from 1847-1869. Among many social and intellectual endeavors, in the mid-twentieth century, the DUP envisioned and built a Mormon pioneer museum (something of a de facto state museum), with funds gathered widely from private sources, along with funds and a building site, furnished by the Utah State Legislature. Opened in 1950, this prominently placed building serves as the visual terminus looking northward on Main Street.This episode offers a heretofore untold story regarding the public history of Utah; also women’s history, twentieth century politics, and perhaps equally as important, how Utah has constructed and presented history in the past. As Utah prepares to open in 2026, a new, more inclusive, state-funded history museum, this backstory is essential listening. For the speaker's bios, please click here for the full show notes plus additional resources and readings. Do you have a question? Write askahistorian@utah.gov.
Reissued: Rick Turley, 35 Years of LDS Church History (S1, E4 - Part 2)
May 1 2023
Reissued: Rick Turley, 35 Years of LDS Church History (S1, E4 - Part 2)
Date: December 2, 2019 (Season 1, Episode 4 - Part 2: 20 minutes long). Click here for the Utah Dept. of Culture and Community Engagement version of this Speak Your Piece episode. Are you interested in other episodes of Speak Your Piece? Click Here. This episode was co-produced by Brad Westwood and Chelsey Zamir, with help (sound engineering and post-production editing) from Conner Sorenson (Studio Underground) and Jason Powers (Utah State Library Recording Studio).This two-part episode series is an interview with Richard E. Turley Jr., former Assistant Church Historian of The Church of Latter-Day Saints, with SYP host Brad Westwood in 2019. Turley discusses his thirty-five-year long career in Mormon history including the creation of the Joseph Smith Papers Project. In this near decade quest, Turley and the Church History Department (hereafter CHD) tracked down every known and newly discovered historical source (books, manuscripts, letters, government documents, etc.) about the church founder, in every conceivable location, and then digitized them, ensuring instant digital availability to anyone around the world. During Turley’s tenure the church also created regional history centers across the globe, and digitized millions of other manuscripts, photographs and historical records. To see the church's vast holdings on-line, without a paywall, click on digital holdings. All this and more is discussed in this two-part episode series.  For the speakers' bios, please click here for the full show notes plus additional resources and readings. Do you have a question? Write askahistorian@utah.gov.
Reissued: Rick Turley, 35 Years of LDS Church History (S1, E4 - Part 1)
May 1 2023
Reissued: Rick Turley, 35 Years of LDS Church History (S1, E4 - Part 1)
Date: December 2, 2019 (Season 1, Episode 4 - Part 1: 31 min. & 18 sec. long). Click here for the Utah Dept. of Culture and Community Engagement version of this Speak Your Piece episode. Are you interested in other episodes of Speak Your Piece? Click Here. This episode was co-produced by Brad Westwood and Chelsey Zamir, with help (sound engineering and post-production editing) from Conner Sorenson (Studio Underground) and Jason Powers (Utah State Library Recording Studio).This two-part episode series is an interview with Richard E. Turley Jr., former Assistant Church Historian of The Church of Latter-Day Saints, with SYP host Brad Westwood in 2019. Turley discusses his thirty-five-year long career in Mormon history including the creation of the Joseph Smith Papers Project. In this near decade quest, Turley and the Church History Department (hereafter CHD) tracked down every known and newly discovered historical source (books, manuscripts, letters, government documents, etc.) about the church founder, in every conceivable location, and then digitized them, ensuring instant digital availability to anyone around the world. During Turley’s tenure the church also created regional history centers across the globe, and digitized millions of other manuscripts, photographs and historical records. To see the church's vast holdings on-line, without a paywall, click on digital holdings. All this and more is discussed in this two-part episode series.  For the speakers' bios, please click here for the full show notes plus additional resources and readings. Do you have a question? Write askahistorian@utah.gov.
Gary Bergera on his Life’s Work as an Author and Publisher of History (S5, E10)
Apr 20 2023
Gary Bergera on his Life’s Work as an Author and Publisher of History (S5, E10)
Date: March 10, 2023 (Season 5, Episode 10: 53 minutes long). For the entire show notes and additional resources for this episode, click here. Are you interested in other episodes of Speak Your Piece? Click here. The episode was co-produced by Brad Westwood and Chelsey Zamir, with sound engineering and post-production editing by Jason T. Powers, from the Utah State Library Recording Studio.This episode is a conversation with Speak Your Piece host Brad Westwood and Gary Bergera, Mormon and Western historian, book publisher and editor, and recently retired managing director of Smith-Pettit Foundation, and former managing director of Signature Books (established in 1981). In this episode, Bergera discusses personal stories as an historian and book publisher. Bergera covers the value of reading and writing history, what sparked his interest in the field of history, and the beginning story of the newspaper the Seventh East Press (1981-1983). Bergera also notes some of the works he’s most proud of, in both writing history and in shepherding history, through the publication process.Bergera’s contributions and nearly fifty years’ work in the field of history, reflect the curiosity and passions of one who has always been intellectually curious. Bergera discusses his years as a Mormon and western historian; the beginning story of his work, publishing and editing and serving as managing director of Signature Books and the Smith-Pettit Foundation, including founders George D. Smith and Scott Kenney; his and Ron Priddis’s book Brigham Young University: A House of Faith (1985); the edited volume regarding Everett Ruess, a young artist and solo-adventurer who disappeared in Utah’s wilderness in 1934, called On Desert Trails with Everett Ruess (Gibbs Smith, 2000); and what Bergera sees as one of his most important contributions, a three-volume edited work Confessions of a Mormon Historian: The Diaries of Leonard J. Arrington, 1971-1997 (Signature Books, 2018). Bergera describes Arrington’s history creating processes; how he was a conscientious diarist, knowing his diaries would be appreciated as a primary source; and finally, Arrington's devotion to his faith, alongside his pursuit of evidence-based scholarship and sound historical methods. This candid conversation is a refreshing reflection on the work of another contributor to the history of Utah. For the guest's bio, please click here for the full show notes plus additional resources and readings. Do you have a question? Write askahistorian@utah.gov.
Reissued: “Utah Politics: The Elephant in the Room”: Utah Politics from 1890s-1970s with Rod Decker (S1, E6 - Part 2)
Apr 17 2023
Reissued: “Utah Politics: The Elephant in the Room”: Utah Politics from 1890s-1970s with Rod Decker (S1, E6 - Part 2)
Date: December 16, 2019 (Season 1, Episode 6 – Part 2: 17 min. & 26 sec. long). Click here for the Utah Dept. of Culture and Community Engagement version of this Speak Your Piece episode. Are you interested in other episodes of Speak Your Piece? Click Here. This episode was co-produced by Brad Westwood and Chelsey Zamir, with help (sound engineering and post-production editing) from Conner Sorenson of Studio Underground.This SYP episode is an interview with Rodney Decker, former reporter on KUTV Channel 2, with SYP host Brad Westwood on his 2019 book Utah Politics: The Elephant in the Room. Decker’s experiences as an intelligence officer during the Vietnam War, developed in him a healthy measure of skepticism. Add a knack for deep journalistic research, and an equal measure of careful and thoughtful thinking, Decker developed a “tell it like it is” approach in his writing and later in his televised reporting. The same may be said of Decker’s book which discusses Utah’s political climate from the 1890s to 1970s.Decker’s task in writing this book was to describe, plainly, Utah’s complicated late 19th and early 20th century political climate, which led, in the mid-20th century, to Utah becoming a bastion of social conservative thinking, along with a near religious alignment with the Republican Party. Although the state and the Republican Party haven’t always been inextricably linked, Decker argues that starting after World War II, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (hereafter LDS Church) started to align with the socially conservative and business-friendly Republican Party, mostly in reaction to the changes in civil rights, political and social mores, and sexual attitudes that rippled through mid- to late-20th century America.Why listen to this SYP episode? Because there are rapid changes in social and religious attitudes today in Utah, and a near imperceptible change demographically in Utah’s population. Utah appears to once again be poised for social-political change. Understanding the political story that frames up the last 50 to 75 years, may help Utahns understand future changing conditions.For the guest's bio, please click here for the full show notes plus additional resources and readings. Do you have a question? Write askahistorian@utah.gov.
Reissued: “Utah Politics: The Elephant in the Room”: Utah Politics from 1890s-1970s with Rod Decker (S1, E6 - Part 1)
Apr 17 2023
Reissued: “Utah Politics: The Elephant in the Room”: Utah Politics from 1890s-1970s with Rod Decker (S1, E6 - Part 1)
Date: December 16, 2019 (Season 1, Episode 6 – Part 1: 30 min. long). Click here for the Utah Dept. of Culture and Community Engagement version of this Speak Your Piece episode. Are you interested in other episodes of Speak Your Piece? Click Here. This episode was co-produced by Brad Westwood and Chelsey Zamir, with help (sound engineering and post-production editing) from Conner Sorenson of Studio Underground.This SYP episode is an interview with Rodney Decker, former reporter on KUTV Channel 2, with SYP host Brad Westwood on his 2019 book Utah Politics: The Elephant in the Room. Decker’s experiences as an intelligence officer during the Vietnam War, developed in him a healthy measure of skepticism. Add a knack for deep journalistic research, and an equal measure of careful and thoughtful thinking, Decker developed a “tell it like it is” approach in his writing and later in his televised reporting. The same may be said of Decker’s book which discusses Utah’s political climate from the 1890s to 1970s.Decker’s task in writing this book was to describe, plainly, Utah’s complicated late 19th and early 20th century political climate, which led, in the mid-20th century, to Utah becoming a bastion of social conservative thinking, along with a near religious alignment with the Republican Party. Although the state and the Republican Party haven’t always been inextricably linked, Decker argues that starting after World War II, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (hereafter LDS Church) started to align with the socially conservative and business-friendly Republican Party, mostly in reaction to the changes in civil rights, political and social mores, and sexual attitudes that rippled through mid- to late-20th century America.Why listen to this SYP episode? Because there are rapid changes in social and religious attitudes today in Utah, and a near imperceptible change demographically in Utah’s population. Utah appears to once again be poised for social-political change. Understanding the political story that frames up the last 50 to 75 years, may help Utahns understand future changing conditions.For the guest's bio, please click here for the full show notes plus additional resources and readings. Do you have a question? Write askahistorian@utah.gov.
Reissued: Amy Barry, Stories from Utah’s Cemeteries Database (S1, E7 - Part 2)
Apr 3 2023
Reissued: Amy Barry, Stories from Utah’s Cemeteries Database (S1, E7 - Part 2)
Date: December 23, 2019 (Season 1, Episode 7 - Part 2: 26 min. & 1 sec. long). Click here for the Utah Dept. of Culture and Community Engagement version of this Speak Your Piece episode. Are you interested in other episodes of Speak Your Piece? Click Here. This episode was co-produced by Brad Westwood and Chelsey Zamir, with help (sound engineering and post-production editing) from Conner Sorenson of Studio Underground. This SYP episode is an interview with Amy Barry, the program manager for Utah Division of State History’s Utah Cemeteries and Burials Program, with SYP host Brad Westwood. At the time of this recording, Barry has managed the Utah Cemeteries and Burials Program for nearly 5 years. With a background in public administration, Barry enjoys using those skills to make government more accessible to everyone. The public can visit the Cemeteries and Burial Program online where they can search for a specific Utah burial plot by name, find a specific cemetery within the state, find out further information about Barry’s gravestone preservation program and efforts, and search for death certificates. The state of Utah is the only state mandated (since 1997) to collect burial information for cemeteries and import it into a searchable database, plus maintain a list of all cemeteries in Utah. As Barry puts it, her job will “never be done.” In this episode, Barry tells four stories of individuals who are buried in Utah, three of which are women with compelling political backgrounds: Sarah Elizabeth Nelson Anderson, Lucy Augusta Rice Clark, and Elise Furer Musser. The fourth and final story is of Leopold Antone Yost a beloved trumpet player who led a 40-year long military career. Barry concludes this episode by stating that although many of these stories told are of immigrants, not originally from Utah, these people had a major impact in their communities. Whether it was fighting for and elevating women’s rights or playing in a band that brought a lot of spirit during wartime, these stories detail the otherwise unknown lives of people who contributed to our communities and whose influences live on. Stories which Barry attempts to encapsulate and immortalize within her detailed database. For the guest's bio, please click here for the full show notes plus additional resources and readings.   Do you have a question? Write askahistorian@utah.gov.
Reissued: Amy Barry, Stories from Utah’s Cemeteries Database (S1, E7 - Part 1)
Apr 3 2023
Reissued: Amy Barry, Stories from Utah’s Cemeteries Database (S1, E7 - Part 1)
Date: December 23, 2019 (Season 1, Episode 7 - Part 1: 25 min. & 3 sec. long). Click here for the Utah Dept. of Culture and Community Engagement version of this Speak Your Piece episode. Are you interested in other episodes of Speak Your Piece? Click Here. This episode was co-produced by Brad Westwood and Chelsey Zamir, with help (sound engineering and post-production editing) from Conner Sorenson of Studio Underground.  This SYP episode is an interview with Amy Barry, the program manager for Utah Division of State History’s Utah Cemeteries and Burials Program, with SYP host Brad Westwood. At the time of this recording, Barry has managed the Utah Cemeteries and Burials Program for nearly 5 years. With a background in public administration, Barry enjoys using those skills to make government more accessible to everyone. The public can visit the Cemeteries and Burial Program online where they can search for a specific Utah burial plot by name, find a specific cemetery within the state, find out further information about Barry’s gravestone preservation program and efforts, and search for death certificates. The state of Utah is the only state mandated (since 1997) to collect burial information for cemeteries and import it into a searchable database, plus maintain a list of all cemeteries in Utah. As Barry puts it, her job will “never be done.” What makes this database a unique and different resource? Most cemetery or burial databases are often user-created while this database is based on independent research with government related resources plus Sexton Records (records kept by the sexton, or “caretaker” of a government, corporate, or church cemetery). Every Monday, Barry posts on Utah State History’s Facebook page where she posts a biography of a person buried in Utah who has a compelling story and has contributed to their community. She specifically focuses on people who, very often, are people you may not know about or have heard of. Barry concludes Part 1 of this episode by stating that although Utah’s interest in cemeteries is growing, with many undertaking well-meaning efforts of gravestone preservation themselves, this is often doing more harm than good. For this exact reason, Barry put together a gravestone preservation workshop as well as an instructional pamphlet and guide to clean and correctly preserve gravestones. She states her rules for preservation: 1. Do no harm, 2. Don’t do anything that can’t be undone! For the guest's bio, please click here for the full show notes plus additional resources and readings.   Do you have a question? Write askahistorian@utah.gov.
Todd Compton on “A Frontier Life: Jacob Hamblin, Explorer and Indian Missionary” (published 2013)
Mar 24 2023
Todd Compton on “A Frontier Life: Jacob Hamblin, Explorer and Indian Missionary” (published 2013)
Date: February 3, 2023 (Season 5, Episode 8: 62 minutes long). For the entire show notes and additional resources for this episode, click here. Are you interested in other episodes of Speak Your Piece? Click here. The episode was co-produced by Brad Westwood and Chelsey Zamir, with sound engineering and post-production editing by Jason T. Powers, from the Utah State Library Recording Studio.Host Brad Westwood interviews Dr. Todd M. Compton regarding his award-winning book: A Frontier Life: Jacob Hamblin, Explorer and Indian Missionary (University of Utah Press, 2013). In this episode, Compton offers a more fully rendered story of Jacob Hamblin, beyond the long-held popular stories. Hamblin’s life was  filled with constant exploration and resettling,  while he survived many harrowing events; however, he was also a religious seeker, something of a mystic, combining his faith with that of the spiritual life he encountered among Native Americans. Hamblin worked and hunted, rested, recreated, and sought to speak fluently among them, developing a mutual respect and trust. Hamblin’s story starts in Tooele, then he lived for many years in Southern Utah where he aided in the settlement of Santa Clara (Washington County), then Kanab (Kane County), before he moved on to Arizona and New Mexico. Hamblin worked among the Gosuite, Paiute, Hopi and Navajo, and hoped to convert them despite the cultural chasm between them; but equally so – and in conflict with his missionary work – Hamblin was an ardent colonizer, accepting multiple missions from Salt Lake City to identify viable lands for settlement. Compton wrestles with, then helps us understand, the many paradoxes in Hamblin’s life. Hamblin’s dogged work as an explorer and early settler would inescapably lead to the loss of traditional lifeways, and eventually to the dispossession of Native American homelands.For the guest's bio, please click here for the full show notes plus additional resources and readings. Do you have a question? Write askahistorian@utah.gov.
Growing Up Latinx in Utah: A Conversation with Lee Martinez and Maria Garciaz (S5, E9)
Mar 20 2023
Growing Up Latinx in Utah: A Conversation with Lee Martinez and Maria Garciaz (S5, E9)
Date: February 6, 2023 (Season 5, Episode 9: 40 minutes long). For the entire show notes and additional resources for this episode, click here. Are you interested in other episodes of Speak Your Piece? Click here. The episode was co-produced by Brad Westwood and Chelsey Zamir, with sound engineering and post-production editing by Jason T. Powers, from the Utah State Library Recording Studio.In this episode, we talk about growing up Hispanic in Utah. Maria Garciaz (chief executive officer of NeighborWorks Salt Lake, a nonprofit organization created to revitalize Salt Lake City neighborhoods), speaks about growing up in the late 1960s and 1970s Salt Lake City, mostly west of the Jordan River. Lee Martinez (longtime activist, school counselor, and political advisor) speaks of growing up near Clearfield and Layton; for a time in Anchorage, a temporary housing development (1942-1962) built outside of the U.S. Naval Supply Depot. Both Lee and Maria speak of their parents and families, their childhood memories, and how their horizons were expanded, and their life’s work were set in motion, through their pursuit of education, civic engagement, and their involvement in the University of Utah’s Chicano Student Association, and other Hispanic and Latino based organizations, which were established in 1960s to 1980s Utah.Their memories shared include early memories of family life as itinerant farm workers; their lives as temporary renters, moving constantly; their memories of moving in to predominantly white neighborhoods and being treated poorly as their new neighbors resisted their presence; their families working hard, caring for their homes, as a means of demonstrating their equal value; feeling hostilities as teenagers, observing the discrimination their parents and families endured; and growing up Roman Catholic in Utah. For the guests' bios, please click here for the full show notes plus additional resources and readings. Do you have a question? Write askahistorian@utah.gov.
Rick Turley and Barbara Jones Brown on “Vengeance is Mine: The Mountain Meadows Massacre and Its Aftermath” (2023) (S5 E7)
Feb 27 2023
Rick Turley and Barbara Jones Brown on “Vengeance is Mine: The Mountain Meadows Massacre and Its Aftermath” (2023) (S5 E7)
Date: July 7, 2022 (Season 5, Episode 7: 75 minutes long). For the entire show notes and additional resources for this episode, click here. Are you interested in other episodes of Speak Your Piece? Click here. The episode was co-produced by Brad Westwood and Chelsey Zamir, with sound engineering and post-production editing by Jason T. Powers, from the Utah State Library Recording Studio.This episode of Speak Your Piece is an interview with Barbara Jones Brown, director of Signature Books, and Richard E. Turley, Jr., former assistant Church Historian of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, on their book Vengeance is Mine: The Mountain Meadows Massacre and Its Aftermath (Oxford University Press), to be released May 30, 2023, with SYP host Brad Westwood. This book is a sequel to the 2008 Massacre at Mountain Meadows (Walker, Leonard and Turley). In Vengeance is Mine, the authors exhaustively cover the motives that led to the massacre at Mountain Meadows of the 120-plus victims, followed by the complex aftermath that includes cover-up attempts with the entirety of the blame placed on the neighboring Paiutes, as well as governmental and political intrigue. Also detailed are the delayed, if not coordinated, efforts to obstruct justice in indicting the nine key individuals involved. For the speakers' bios, please click here for the full show notes plus additional resources and readings. Do you have a question? Write askahistorian@utah.gov.
Murals of Four Remarkable Black Women in Utah’s History, Installed in SLC’s Richmond Park by Sema Hadithi & Better Days (S4 E15)
Feb 13 2023
Murals of Four Remarkable Black Women in Utah’s History, Installed in SLC’s Richmond Park by Sema Hadithi & Better Days (S4 E15)
Date: July 7, 2022 (Season 4, Episode 15: 63 min. & 52 sec. long). For the entire show notes and additional resources for this episode, click here. Are you interested in other episodes of Speak Your Piece? Click Here. This episode was co-produced by Cassandra Clark, Brad Westwood and Chelsey Zamir. Post-production editing was completed by Cassandra Clark and Kennedy Oringdulph.This SYP episode is part of an ongoing series about women’s history in Utah. It involves a discussion with SYP host Brad Westwood, Dr. Cassandra Clark (at the time of this recording, Utah Division of State History’s first named women’s historian), Alice Faulkner Burch (director of special events for Sema Hadithi Foundation), and Tiffany Greene (education director for Better Days and team leader of the research group for the Black Women Working Group at Sema Hadithi Foundation) about the mural unveiled in Richmond Park (444 East 600 South, Salt Lake City) in summer 2022 as part of Utah’s Juneteenth celebrations. This episode will better acquaint listeners to the historical significance, the personal stories, and the broader context surrounding the lives of these four remarkable Black women featured on this mural: Jane Elizabeth Manning James (1821-1908), Elizabeth “Lizzie” Taylor (1873-1932), Elnora Dudley (1883-1956) , and Mignon Barker Richmond (1897-1984). The partnering organizations for this mural were the Sema Hadithi Foundation, African American Heritage and Culture Foundation, and Better Days 2020 (rebranded to Better Days). Wasatch Community Gardens, the Utah Division of State History, and the Utah Division of Arts and Museums were also part of this important effort.Greene, Burch, and Clark conclude this conversation by summarizing the influence these women have made. Greene notes that these four women bring to the forefront of what it really means to establish Utah history – they each played an important role being here in the state. Burch hopes that this mural means something to Black American women in Utah, that they can look at this mural and see that Black women have been in this state since the 1800s and have had such an immense impact and can say “I, too, belong here.”This mural is open to the public in the community garden at Richmond Park. The women’s names and date ranges of their lives are on the mural. We encourage listeners, after finishing this episode, to please visit the mural and enjoy it with some context. For all of the speakers' bios, please click here for the full show notes. Do you have a question? Write askahistorian@utah.gov.