More than 70 years ago, while the world was fighting World War II, the holidays were still coming to Utah. Lights were strung, festivities planned, and Christmas cards sent. In the Correspondence records of Governor Herbert Brown Maw (Records Series 221), I found the following letter from the Utah State Department of Public Welfare:
In this year of world-wide struggle against forces which would destroy much of what twenty centuries of Christianity have attempted to establish, the Christmas season will give new and greater meaning to our membership in a nation which believes that there is dignity and purpose in each individual life.
We and the other members of the State staff hope that the holiday season will find you rich in spiritual values, which are life’s real treasure; and we pray that the new year will bring peace and good will quickly to us all.
David R Trevithick
J. Parley White
Peace did not come quickly. Almost two full years would go by before the American men and women would begin returning home from this great conflict. The war-time struggle touched every community in our country.
This holiday season we continue to believe that “there is dignity and purpose in each individual life.” So whether you have just finished celebrating Hanukkah or Solstice or are preparing for Christmas or Kwanzaa (or any of the 14 holidays during the month of December), the Utah State Archives and Records Service wishes you the happiest of holidays. May we all stay warm and find peace and goodwill.
Photo Source: Governor Herbert Maw, Governor’s Correspondence, Utah State Department of Public Welfare to Governor Maw, December 1943, Utah State Archives and Records Service, Series 221, Box 15, folder 9.