Over the past two days, my mother and I have visited three more cemeteries: Provo City (Provo, Utah), American Fork (American Fork, Utah), and Sacajawea (Fort Washakie, Wyoming–Located on the Wind River Reservation). I wanted to visit each cemetery for…
"The job should be done, whether the required course of action is popular or not. The biggest need in politics and government today is for people of integrity and courage, who will do what they believe is right and not worry about the political consequences to themselves.”
981: Reva Beck Bosone
The First Woman Elected to Congress from the State of Utah
Born: 2 April 1895, American Fork, Utah Territory, United States of America (Present-day American Fork, Utah, United States of America)
Died: 21 July 1983, Vienna, Virginia, United States of America
Reva served in the federal House of Representatives from 1949 to 1953.
Reva taught high school drama and speech classes for seven years after earning a Bachelor of Arts degree. In 1929, Reva earned her law degree just before the birth of her daughter Zilpha (whom she had with her second husband).
In 1932, Reva was elected to the Utah state House of Representatives. She was the first woman elected to the state legislature and was a member of the Democrat party. According to the Federal House of Representatives official biography on Reva (linked below) Reva, “secured passage of a women’s and children’s wage and hour law, a child labor amendment to the Utah constitution, and an unemployment insurance law.” After leaving the house in 1936, Reva became the first woman elected and able to hold a place on the bench as a judge in Salt Lake City (one source states she was the first female judge in Utah period).
Reva was the first Utah woman to serve as both a judge and in the state House of Representatives.
She was the first director of the Utah State Board of Education on Alcoholism (taking up the post in 1947) and had her own popular radio show. As a judge, Reva was able to greatly reduce the number of traffic collisions and was very tough on leveling fines and jailing repeat offenders. All of this made her loved by the majority of Salt Lake City’s citizens.
In 1948, Reva challenged the incumbent Republican member of Congress for her district. She raised $1,250; a miniscule number compared to today, but still managed to rake in fifty-seven percent of the vote. Reva was the first woman elected to federal congress from the state of Utah and helped the Democrats regain a majority in the House.
When Reva worked in the House of Representatives, she focused primarily on reforming the Indian Affairs Bureau and overseeing land reclamation and various water projects. She served for two terms (four years) before losing her reelection bid in 1952. That year, the entirety of the Utah legislature that was up for reelection swung to the Republican side, and the Democrats lost the majority hold on the house.
After leaving Washington DC, Reva returned to Salt Lake City, where she resumed her law practice and hosted a television show which aired four days a week. In 1954, Reva won the primary but lost during the general election after hoping to regain her seat in Congress. After that, Reva worked as legal counsel for one of the House subcommittees and as judicial officer to the US Postal Service. In 1963, Reva was a contender for but was not ultimately appointed to the Supreme Court.
She married twice, both ending in divorce, and had one daughter.
Find a Grave Marked
Located In My Personal Library:
Wild West Women by Erin Turner
A Fun Update...(June 2021):
In late June of 2021, my mother and I took a road trip around some of the closer states to where we live. Along that journey, we were able to stop at the American Fork Cemetery, where Reva is laid to rest for all eternity, and I was able to snap this photo while we were there.
"I have been working since I was 17. Homes and babies are all very nice, but you can't have them and a career as well."
946: Natacha Rambova
Film & Costume Set Designer in Early Hollywood
Born: 19 January 1897, Salt Lake City, Utah, United States of America
Died: 5 June 1966, Pasadena, California, United States of America
Original Name: Winifred Kimball Shaughnessy
Natacha was also a silent-era actress.
When not working on movies, she was also an Egyptologist and Antiquities Collector. Oh, and she had previously been a principal dancer in a ballet company.
Natacha was the great-granddaughter of one of the founders of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, Heber Kimball. She didn’t stick to her Mormon roots long, however, and had changed her name from Winifred to Natacha before her twentieth birthday.
When she first began working in Hollywood, much of Natacha’s work went uncredited to her. Another male coworker took all the credit, and even after Natacha proved the designs were really hers, it was too late, the damage had been done. Many believe this early theft of her work has helped explain why so few know of Natacha and her work today.
Natacha’s designs were groundbreaking for several reasons. For one thing, she did her best to ensure everything was historically accurate (she had several projects that included Ancient Egyptian and other ancient cultures). Natacha also included feathers, draped fabrics, bangles, baubles, and other fun items to add to her costumes.
Natacha was married to Rudolph Valentino. The couple lived together for five years and were married for three of them. Reportedly at the time of their first wedding, Rudolph was still legally married to someone else and so he was charged with bigamy and the couple had to remarry a year later after his divorce went through. In the five years they were together, they made seven movies together. Natacha also worked as Rudolph’s manager during this time and helped him to sue a film company for mistreatment. Rudolph and Natacha would win the suit and gain complete creative control over their future works.
Despite working on many movies as a set designer, costume designer, and even producer and writer at times, Natacha was labeled by some as the most disliked woman in Hollywood at the time. She was too artistic, too weird, and was considered by many to be ruining Rudolph’s career by dragging him into her avant garde productions as well.
In 1925, Rudolph signed a new studio contract that stated he could only work if he removed Natacha from his career. Obviously, this upset Natacha and the contract was a contributing factor in their divorce proceedings. However, less than a year later Rudolph was dead, leaving the whole thing a moot point.
By 1928, Natacha left Hollywood entirely. Natacha began working as a set designer and actress for stage productions and also pivoted to writing as a journalist. She even operated her own clothing store for a time in New York City. She got remarried in the 1930’s but was divorced by the end of the decade. Reportedly both of Natacha’s marriages ended, in part anyway, because she did not want children and her husbands did.
In the 1950’s she actually became a published scholar in the field of Egyptology. Natacha had first traveled to Egypt with her second husband and quickly became interested in the field. She published articles, gave lectures, and was given grants to continue her studies on Egyptian symbolism and mythology.
When she died in 1965, reports state Natacha’s mental health had declined from malnutrition. Despite everything she had accomplished in her life, her death certificate reportedly lists her occupation in life as “housewife,” according to one source.
Find a Grave Marked
This Page is a Directory Page For the States, Territories, and Other Places That Fall Under the Umbrella of the United States. If the entry is highlighted orange then that means entries who were born there have been uploaded. If they are grey, hopefully that means entries are coming soon!
States, Territories, and More:
- American Samoa
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey
- New Mexico
- New York
- North Carolina
- North Dakota
- Northern Mariana Islands
- Puerto Rico
- Rhode Island
- South Carolina
- South Dakota
- Virgin Islands
- Washington DC
- Washington State
- West Virginia
105) Philo Farnsworth
Inventor of the All-Electronic Television
Born: 19 August 1906, Beaver, Utah, United States of America
Died: 11 March 1971, Salt Lake City, Utah, United States of America
Its important to note that the Nipkow-disc Television had already been invented, but the TV that’s sitting in your living room right now? That is all thanks to Philo.
He came up with the Idea when he was fifteen or sixteen years old and, oddly enough, he reportedly first saw the idea in his mind while working a potato field.
Philo was enrolled at Brigham Young University when he was sixteen as a special student, working simultaneously on college and high school credits, but left during his sophomore year after his father’s death.
He proved once and for all that television was possible in 1927 and made his first public demonstration in 1928. Soon after, his financially backers tried to turn him over to the Radio Corporation of America, but Philo turned them down.
Philo formed his own manufacturing company, but RCA sued him because they tried to claim someone else within their company had invented the concept that makes television work first. Luckily, Philo won the case after his high school science teacher produced a drawing he had made when he was sixteen.
Despite winning, RCA stopped paying Philo royalties after two years, and the US government halted television manufacturing for the duration of World War II.
Philo suffered a nervous breakdown in 1939 and moved to Maine to try and recover his mental health. By 1947, he had moved back down to civilization, and his company created their first television set. However, they were in deep financial trouble, and after a restructuring of shorts Philo was named vice president of research. The company quit producing televisions in 1965, never acquiring the same prestige of RCA.
Throughout his career he patented over 300 different devices for a variety of fields including of course, television, but also nuclear fusion.
Find a Grave Marked
Located In My Personal Library:
Here is Where: Discovering America’s Great Forgotten History by Andrew Carroll
A Fun Update...(June 2021):
In late June of 2021, my mother and I took a road trip around some of the closer states to where we live. Along that journey, we were able to stop at the Provo City Cemetery, where Philo and his wife are laid to rest for all eternity, and I was able to snap this photo while we were there.
102) Colonel Gail Halvorsen
Also known as the Berlin Candy Bomber
Born: 10 October 1920, Salt Lake City, Utah, United States of America
He air dropped candy to the children in Berlin following World War II in what became known as the Berlin Airlift.
Gail would also drop food over Bosnia in 1994 and Albania in 1999.
He returned to Berlin in May of 2019 for a dedication ceremony. A baseball field at one of Berlin’s airports was named in his honor.