Weird and Wonderful


November 1857

Porter Rockwell is involved in the attack on a half dozen Californians known as the Aiken Party who were attempting to reach U.S. troops wintering at Ft. Bridger. 20 years later Rockwell would be indicted for the killing of John and William Aiken. Rockwell died of natural causes while awaiting trial.



November 1970


Saltair burns to the ground after an arson related fire. It had been closed since 1958. The derelict amusement park on the Great Salt Lake was used as the setting for the spooky 1960 cult classic "Carnival of Souls." It had been the victim of two other fires; one 1925 and another in 1931. Saltair originally opened in 1893 and reopened exactly 100 years later in 1993.


Nov. 2, 1987


Elizabeth Smart’s birthday


Nov. 5, 1885


The Utah constitution was adopted by a vote of 31,305 to 7,607


Nov. 6, 1913


Calvin Rampton is born. He acted as Utah governor from 1965-1977.


Nov. 6, 1945


Birthday of Wanda Ilene Barzee


Nov 7, 1776


Fathers Francisco Atanasio Dominguez and Silvestre Veléz de Escalante crossed the Colorado River.


Nov. 7, 1933


Despite opposition from the Mormon church, Utahns vote to repeal prohibition on the state and national level. The Utah vote would be one of the deciding factors in ending national prohibition of alcohol.


Nov. 11, 1934


Painter and writer Everett Ruess writes the last letter to his parents from South Eastern Utah.


Nov. 13, 1938


Alta's first ski lift was officially dedicated; but the lift did not become operational until 15 January 1939. Its second season saw the purchase of 86,000 ski lift rides; and its first international downhill and slalom competition was held in March 1940.


Nov. 14, 1953


Much of the Lagoon Amusement Park in Farmington is destroyed by a fire. November proves to be a hard month when it comes to Utah amusement parks and fires. Saltair would burn to the ground 17 years later. Lagoon was opened in 1896.


Nov. 19, 1915


Joe Hill is executed at the Utah State Prison in Sugarhouse. His last words; “Don’t mourn, organize.”


Nov. 19, 1934


A sheepherder spots Everett Ruess where the Escalante meets the Colorado River near Davis Gulch. He was never seen again. What happened to the 21 year-old naturalist is a mystery.


Nov. 29, 1940


Alta Ski Lodge is dedicated.