Weber Historical Society

Spring 2017

“The Election of 2016: What Happened and What Does it Mean?”

Dr. Leah Murray

Monday, Jan. 9, 7 p.m.
Hurst Learning Center, Dumke Hall

Immigration—its reform and/or restriction—is not a new issue in American politics. In fact, during the most divisive age in our history, even while he focused much of his attention on slavery, secession, and rebellion, Abraham Lincoln confronted the hot-button issue of immigration with surprising consistency and high-minded generosity (along with a surprising dose of bare-knuckles political manipulation). In this talk, Harold Holzer explores Lincoln’s ongoing leadership role in the heated, ongoing battle over foreign immigration to America—an uncivil war unto itself even as a real Civil War broke out between North and South. Lincoln had much to say on the issue as a rising local politician, as a Congressman, as a politician, as president—and even during a temporary and largely unknown stint as editor of his own foreign-language newspaper! As always, Lincoln offers revealing insights into his complex day and age—and guidance for our own. 

“Education in Early Utah”

Prof. Audrey Godfrey

Monday, Feb. 13, 7 p.m.
Hurst Learning Center, Dumke Hall

Mormon settlers in Utah came from a culture that included the importance of learning. Instructions had included counsel to seek “out of the best books,” and encouragement to study. Schools of various kinds taught children and adults in these early years, but in preparing to evacuate Nauvoo and outlying settlements, little space in wagons allowed for few school supplies. At their winter camp at Council Bluffs, a few lessons were part of daily life. The Pioneers’ arrival in the Great Basin allowed schools to be established again, but challenges abounded and education in early Utah suffered accordingly. In the 1870s, Protestant schools arrived in the territory, especially in outlying communities, where well-meaning teachers first met opposition but then acceptance of the Mormon populace. We will review this early history of education in Utah and survey the scholarship on the subject.

“Everything You Wanted to Know but Didn’t Know to Ask About the Salt Lake Temple”

Dr. Jacob O. Olmstead

Monday, March 20, 7 p.m.
Hurst Learning Center, Dumke Hall

The Salt Lake Temple, as a building, is a paradox in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. On one hand, it has become an icon both inside and outside the Church—a symbol of Mormonism to believers and non-believers. On the other, it is probably the least understood structure in the contemporary Church. As a result, the Salt Lake Temple has become the subject of numerous tales and myths. Many originate from misunderstandings about the building’s construction. Dr. Jacob W. Olmstead, a curator of historic sites in the Church History Department in Salt Lake City, will present some new findings on the building’s construction that tell a far different and more interesting history than the one spun from myths and tales.

“A Dangerous Game: Brazil, the World Cup, and Soccer at Any Cost”

Dr. Jeffrey Richey

Monday, April 17, 7 p.m.
Hurst Learning Center, Dumke Hall

Soccer has rightly been celebrated, in Brazil and elsewhere, as "the beautiful game." Not only is it Brazil's most popular spectacle and activity, but it has also been hailed as a means of social and racial unification, a source of pride in a country that plays soccer better than any other. There is, however, a dark side to the sport in Brazil. As Brazil prepared to host the 2014 World Cup (as well as the 2016 Summer Olympic Games), extreme tension in the country became evident as many Brazilians questioned the cost—economic, political and social—of Brazil's passion for soccer. This presentation will discuss these tensions, highlighting the corruption, loss of national sovereignty and the public debates that have surrounded this unique moment in Brazilian history.