Cultures at a Crossroads: An Administrative History
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The year 1951 quickly ended the peace and quiet of the early post-war years at Pipe Spring National Monument. Atomic weapons testing at the nearby Nevada Test Site, as well as activity associated with uranium and oil exploration and mining, signaled that a new era had arrived on the Arizona Strip. This chapter deals primarily with events transpiring in and around the monument during the period from January 1951 through December 1955. The highlights for these five years include the observable impacts of weapons testing and mineral exploration and mining; administrative changes at the Washington, regional, and monument levels; the monument's acquisition of a two-way radio (1951); stabilization work to the fort's balconies (1951), exterior painting of the fort (1952) and restoration of the spring room (1953); destruction of the barn/garage by fire (1951) and construction of a new utility building (1952-1953); acquisition of a pressure fire pump and accessories (1953); installation of a new generator and construction of its housing (1954); installation of new highway and park signage (1954-1955); and filming of the first movie at Pipe Spring (1955). The early 1950s also was a time when evidence was being gathered for an important legal case, Arizona v. California, in which the United States asserted claims to water in the mainstream of the Colorado River on behalf of five Indian reservations in Arizona, California, and Nevada. Outside the monument, perhaps the most memorable event among local residents was the Arizona law enforcement officials' raid on the polygamous settlement of Short Creek in July 1953. Finally, during this period Custodian Heaton acquired seasonal part-time help for the first time.

In addition to the Arizona v. California case, one other important historical event took place during the early 1950s that particularly impacted American Indians. On August 1, 1953, Congress passed the Termination Resolution, adopting a policy of discontinuing federal controls, restrictions, and benefits for Indians under federal jurisdiction. [1492] Between 1954 and 1960, federal services or trust supervision was withdrawn from 61 tribes or other Indian groups, until opposition caused a deceleration of the program. Many tribes and Indian organizations, such as the National Congress of American Indians, condemned termination, advocating instead self-determination and a review of federal policies. Depending on where they lived, Indian tribes were impacted differently by the Termination Resolution. While the Paiute in the state of Utah were officially terminated, bands of the Southern Paiute Nation living in Arizona and Nevada were not, although the threat of termination of their reservations loomed over these years.

Several important administrative changes took place in the Washington office, the regional office, and at Zion National Park during the early 1950s. On April 1, 1951, Arthur B. Demaray succeeded Newton Drury as Park Service director. He held that position only until early December when Conrad L. Wirth succeeded him on December 9, 1951. Wirth remained director until early 1964, overseeing the Park Service in the years leading up to and during a most important period in the agency's history known as Mission 66. At Zion National Park, Paul R. Franke succeeded Charles J. Smith as superintendent on June 1, 1952, and served in that position until the end of 1959. This was Franke's third and last time serving as Zion's superintendent. During 1953 the National Park Service reorganized, both at the national and regional levels. In addition to the pre-existing Division of Design and Construction, two new divisions were created: the Division of Interpretation and Division of Cooperative Activities. The four regional offices were delegated some authority previously exercised by the director. On March 1, 1955, Regional Director Minor R. Tillotson died. He was succeeded by Custodian Leonard Heaton's old friend from Southwestern Monuments, Hugh M. Miller, who remained in the position until late 1959.

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Last Updated: 28-Aug-2006