SCOTT MILNE MATHESONScott Milne Matheson was born in Chicago, Illinois in 1929. During the early 1930s, his family moved to Parowan, Utah and then later moved to Salt Lake City. He attended East High School and then University of Utah before graduating from Stanford University Law School in 1952. Matheson practiced law in Cedar City for several years and then moved to Salt Lake City to work as the deputy attorney for Salt Lake County. He then worked for the legal department of the Union Pacific Railroad.
An active member of the Democratic party since college, Matheson ran for governor in 1976 and won, making him one of the few Democrats to win that year. At his inauguration, Matheson declined the traditional military cannon salute to emphasize his inaugural address, which stressed the need to use Utah’s resources wisely and to protect the environment.
Matheson faced many challenges during his two terms as governor: devastating drought, increasing population, growing inflation, spiraling Medicaid costs, and fast-growing enrollment in schools. Matheson successfully protested the location of an MX missile system in Utah and the transfer of nerve gas bombs to the state. Because environmental issues were important to Matheson, he opposed nuclear waster dumps in Utah. Three-thousand acres of the Deep Creek Mountains is named Scott’s Basin in honor of Matheson’s conservation efforts. Matheson had the foresight to see that computer technology would play an important role in the future and requested funds for the state to own and manage its own data processing system.
Alvin L. Gittins (1922–1981), one of Utah’s finest painters, came from England to study art at Brigham Young University. He later taught for many years at the University of Utah. Gittins was Utah’s most dominant portrait painter and was noted for his ability to capture his subject’s personality, as well as likeness, and for his masterly traditional styles. He also painted Governor Rampton’s portrait.