Relevance, Rights & Responsibilities

By Kevin Fayles, Acting Director

When you see the photo above, did you think it was a historic image? Could you tell it was actually taken just a few days ago when my son returned home from military training? While this photo is not considered historic now, one day it may be. How are your family memories being captured, preserved and saved? And how will your story be remembered by historians or your descendants? 

What is the value of history? Well, I’ll let the historians answer that question. I do like what the “History Relevance” campaign thinks:

·         History nurtures personal and collective identity in a diverse world. People discover their place in time through stories of their families, communities, and nation.

·         History teaches vital skills. Historical thinking requires critical approaches to evidence and argument and develops contextual understanding and historical perspective …

·         History is the foundation for strong, vibrant communities. A place becomes a community when wrapped in human memory as told through family stories, tribal traditions, and civic commemorations …

·         History is a catalyst for economic growth. Communities with cultural heritage institutions and a strong sense of historical character attract talent, increase tourism revenues, enhance business development, and fortify local economies.

·         History helps people envision a better future. Democracy thrives when individuals convene to express opinions, listen to others, and take action.

·         History inspires leaders. History provides today’s leaders with role models as they navigate through the complexities of modern life.

·         History, saved and preserved, is the foundation for future generations.

I would invite you to learn more at

Starting in September, we will celebrate “Utah History Month” and our 68th annual history conference, “Rights and Responsibilities.” You can find the schedule of pre-recorded and live events and registration details here:

I hope you will join us. I am confident your life will be enriched as you learn more of the great, beautiful state we live in and those who have gone before us. I hope these stories will inspire you to document your life – challenges, successes, life during a pandemic, and perhaps even homecomings.