John & Melissa Clark: Opening Zion | Entertainment Picks | Salt Lake City | Salt Lake City Weekly
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Culture » Entertainment Picks

John & Melissa Clark: Opening Zion

Friday, May 21



On May 15, 1920, Zion National Park opened its gates to the public for the first time. But the park’s first “official tourists” had already spent a week there: six young women, including five University of Utah coeds, handpicked for a trip to help promote tourism in the region. And when a scrapbook of that trip ended up on eBay, artist and Zion enthusiast Melissa Clark knew she had found a fascinating little slice of Utah history.

Using photos from the scrapbook and excerpts from the tourists’ diaries, Melissa and her husband John reveal a time when Utah’s majesty was still almost mythical to most of the country. They also paint an intriguing portrait of young women—including a World War I U.S. Navy yeoman—who turned a pretty-face publicity opportunity into a genuine adventure, exploring nature with a freedom uncommon for their contemporaries. Join the authors for a presentation of the stories and pictures from that historic week.

John & Melissa Clark: Opening Zion @ Ken Sanders Rare Books, 268 S. 200 East, 801-521-3819, May 21, 6 p.m.