Utah Stories from the Beehive Archive

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Have you ever seen a wildfire exploding up a mountain or heard one roaring through a forest? For Northern Ute Indian Firefighters, that was just another day at work.As a kid, Gina Sixkiller remembered her father smelling like fire.  "I used to think…

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You’ve seen her. She wears the red bandanna and a blue collared shirt, flexing her bicep with a look that says, “get to work.” She’s Rosie the Riveter, and Utah had an army of them.When American men deployed to the front lines during World…

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Did you know that before Prohibition, Utah was home to fifteen breweries? Some were among the biggest and best in the West. Learn about Utah’s early beer brewers and their specialized craft.Ask any beer brewer – or any beer connoisseur – and…

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The reality of an eight-hour workday remains elusive for many Utah workers, but it is still considered the national standard, and one we take for granted. Learn how Utah became the first state to adopt the eight-hour workday.During the late…

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Utah’s romance with the movie industry began in the 1920s silent film era and hasn’t diminished since. Nearly a thousand motion pictures and television series have filmed in Utah, bringing millions each year to the state. Learn how Hollywood…

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Long work hours and blurry lines between personal and professional lives is hardly a modern dilemma. But imagine if your employer controlled not just your hours and your paycheck, but where you spent your off hours and how you spent your money.…

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Mary Nakaishi and her husband Uke devoted their life’s work to helping Ogden’s poor get back on their feet and earned the reputation of Ogden’s “Angels of 25th Street".  Mary Nakaishi and her husband Uke devoted their life’s work to…

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Learn how Ogden’s families and business-owners used the prohibition against alcohol to invent new styles of work… and how law enforcement worked to stop them.July 31, 1917 marked the last night before Prohibition in Utah, a new law that banned…

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Confections are a multibillion-dollar industry in the United States and Utahns currently buy candy at the highest rate in the nation – almost double the US average. It’s been that way for at least a century.Utahns have long had a sweet tooth. In…

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Starting in the 1840s, government explorers began to survey and map the Intermountain West more thoroughly. Meet Leonard Swett, a wealthy young man from Chicago who came West with the U.S. Geological Survey.Among the first government workers in Utah…

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It might be easy to think that the production of folk art isn’t really “work.” But whether or not folk artists make a living through their creativity, their labors require hard-earned mastery of skills. Learn about two Utah women whose art was…

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You call, you text, you surf the net. You spend countless hours on your phone. Learn how the telephone transformed Utah’s remote Uinta Basin.When the telephone reached Utah’s remote Uinta Basin at the turn of the twentieth century, it completely…

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The depth, the dark, and the dangers inherent in coal mining created a uniquely hazardous work environment for miners in Utah at the turn of the twentieth century.Imagine for a moment that you’re walking the mountain trails of Carbon County in the…

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Learn how one family went literally from “bags to riches” and how a son honored his mother’s legacy by naming after her one of Salt Lake’s most noted buildings.When Izzi Wagner lost his father, he was just sixteen. Life was hard for his…

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Much has been made of the early Mormons’ communal work ethic and the effective redistribution of resources within their communities. But how did they actually organize these efforts?Life on the eastern edge of the Great Basin was not easy.  When…

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Hill Air Force Base is Utah’s sixth largest employer and military spending creates over $9 billion in economic activity for the State. Learn about the historic roots of Utah’s “Military Industrial Complex.”When US President Dwight Eisenhower…

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Learn about Utah’s nineteenth century midwives, who were unusual in that they were actually paid for their work as medical providers. Much of the work that sustained Utah’s communities in the late nineteenth century was done by women, in the…

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Wings flashing in the sunlight, raucous calls filling the air, and tons of bird excrement coating the rocks. Learn about guano gathering out on the Great Salt Lake.Making a living collecting bird droppings does not exactly sound like the ideal job. …

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The Mexican Mural Renaissance is one of the most famous art movements in modern history. Learn how a blond-haired, blued-eyed, 20-year-old from Salt Lake City became a Mexican Muralist.  In 1924, Utah judge Edward Higgins put his twenty-year-old…

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The nationwide depression of the 1890s produced unprecedented levels of unemployment.  One unfortunate casualty of the resulting stress and anxiety was Mary Cook, a young mother from Utah County. In 1894, a young mother from Pleasant Grove named…
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