With a quick tug, dozens of newspapers from throughout the state shrouding a display case in the State Capitol were pulled aside to reveal the Utah Newspaper Hall of Fame exhibit.
The unveiling came during a dedication ceremony Thursday afternoon that included the presentation of plaques to state and industry leaders who helped make sure it remained in the Capitol.State plans had called for the exhibit to be removed permanently to make room for a display of the legislative process as part of an extensive renovation project.
But former Gov. Cal Rampton and others interceded, and a new 6-by-13-foot display case for the exhibit was constructed near the east entrance on the first floor.
The Newspaper Hall of Fame was started in 1962 by the board of directors of the Utah Press Association to preserve the lives and memories of the state's late newspaper publishers and editors.
To date, 45 journalists from throughout the state have been inducted in the Newspaper Hall of Fame. Their likenesses and biographies appear on metal plaques specially cast for the new exhibit.
Rampton praised the state's newspapers during the nearly hourlong dedication ceremony. "I've had considerable experience with the press," the former governor told the assembled guests.
"I can assure you the press in Utah . . . fulfills beautifully its responsibility in the democratic form of government," he said, adding it is "absolutely essential if you're going to have a democratic form of government to have a free and informed press."
Those honored for their efforts to keep the exhibit in the Capitol were state Senate President Arnold Christensen, R-Sandy; Lt. Gov. Val Oveson; Deputy Lt. Gov. Dave Hansen; Kevin Watts, the architect for the renovation project; David Mead, manager of public relations, Utah Power and Light; Wm. James Mortimer, Deseret News publisher; J.M. (Jim) Cornwell, Hall of Fame committee chairman; R. LaVaun Cox, a former newspaper editor in Manti and Ephraim and the retired vice president of public affairs for Questar Corp.; and former Gov. Rampton.
Also honored for their work on the exhibit itself, were the late Murray Mohler, who headed United Press International; Max Call, longtime publisher of the Manti Messenger; Lance Gudmundsen of the Salt Lake Tribune; Robert Mitchell of the Deseret News; Milt Hollstein, University of Utah professor and Deseret News columnist; Jerry O'Brien, Salt Lake Tribune publisher; and Richard Bunker, head of Allotech, the firm that cast the exhibit plaques.