1965: Carbon College becomes CEU
Editor's Note: This is one of a series of articles about the history of the Sun Advocate and the county it covers as a newspaper. These articles are being prepared in commemoration of the 120th anniversary of the newspaper's birth in 1891.
The year began with a landmark in the community burning, and never being rebuilt. The Savoy Hotel, which had been built in 1914 by the Stein family, was largely destroyed by the blaze and the subsequent water damage on the morning of Jan. 18. It was suspected that the fire had started in the attic (the blaze was contained in the top floor by fire fighters from Price and Helper) due to faulty wiring, despite the fact the building had been remodeled and modernized in the late 1950s.
The Savoy had been the biggest hotel in the area up until that time since it was constructed with over 50 rooms an stood on the corner of Price's Main Street and 100 West. It was a well known stop over and many considered it to be the best lodging property between Provo and Glenwood Springs, Colo. The building was insured.
January also brought about action by the legislature with a bill passed that finally changed the name of Carbon College to the College of Eastern Utah. The bill sailed through both houses of the legislature without one no vote. In 1963, a similar bill had been passed in the house but defeated in the senate when State Sen. Frank Memmott from Carbon stood up and spoke against the bill. When the bill was signed the next week by Gov. Calvin Rampton he said "This is the best bill passed by the legislature this year and it won't cost the state any money."
It was in fact the first bill passed by the legislature during that session.
That same week the public also passed a bond election by a four to one margin to give the school district the right to secure $2.5 million to build new elementary schools in Helper and Price as well as replace the Price Junior High facility.
The College of Eastern Utah basketball team won the Intermountain Collegiate Athletic Conference title in February and hosted the regional junior college tourney in March. During that tournament they defeated all comers and went to Hutchinson, Kan. to compete in the national junior college championships. They played right into the semi-finals where they were beaten and then played and won third place in their final game. On March 22 they came back into Price to a large and boisterous crowd greeting them for their accomplishments. Their final record for the season ended at 22-4. It was a feat that would be repeated 45 years later in 2010 when the colleges team would once again come very close to a national championship, but just barely miss again.
Less than a month after that, CEU resigned from the ICAC over the fact that they were no longer playing football. A resolution passed in a conference meeting in April stated that all schools must participate in six sports - football, basketball, track, baseball, wrestling and tennis - starting in the fall of 1965. A second resolution, something that to CEU officials seemed to be punitive, was passed which stated that only two schools from the conference could play CEU in any sport during each season. It was then that the school resigned from the conference and decided to go independent.
In July the school district, in particular Carbon High, became the spotlight of stories as the marching band from the school was invited to march in the Rose Bowl Parade in Pasadena, Calif. The band began working on their marches and practice as they also started to raise money for travel and expense to play in the grand daddy of all bowl parades on Jan. 1, 1966. In August the local Elks Club purchased all new uniforms for the band. In mid-August a number of civic groups came together to raise money for the trip as well. In November a final band concert was given to raise more money for the trip. On Dec. 28 the band left for Pasadena, with much fanfare from area residents. They actually did a sendoff parade down Main Street just before they boarded the buses.
In July, after construction was completed, the Castle Valley Job Corps Conservation Center opened south of Price. Part of President Lyndon Johnson's War on Poverty, job corps sites were opened across the nation during the mid-1960s. On July 29, 36 young men from around the country arrived at the center and in August more came to the center. The centers were set up to provide training in trades and other work skills to underprivileged youth. The center was dedicated on Aug. 14.
As events in the world changed, the selective service also announced that 19-year-olds would be called up for the draft in October. It was stated by officials that because of the need for men, the age of the inductees was to be lowered, bringing the age of the normal draftees from 20 years old to 19. By the end of August deferments for married men who were 19-26 were also ended if they had not been married on or before Aug. 26, 1965.
Also in October and chase ensued after two criminals shackled two highway patrolmen to a telephone pole south of Green River and commandeered a car with two soldiers in it and fled. They later forced the driver of a large truck to drive north, but another highway patrolman spotted them and realized something was wrong, because reports had come in about the incidents to the south and east. He allowed them to continue north, but they noticed they were being followed by him so they turned towards Dragerton at Sunnyside Junction. But awaiting them was a road block where they were arrested; none of the hostages were hurt during the incident which took place over a 100 mile stretch of highway.