Chief Sponsor: Eric K. Hutchings

Senate Sponsor: Jani Iwamoto


9     General Description:
10          This concurrent resolution honors the life and service of Helen Foster Snow.
11     Highlighted Provisions:
12          This resolution:
13          ▸     recognizes the life of Helen Foster Snow in the United States and China;
14          ▸     honors the work Helen Foster Snow created when she served as a war
15     correspondent in China;
16          ▸     recognizes the significant role Helen Foster Snow played in bearing witness to
17     Chinese revolutionary leaders;
18          ▸     recognizes Helen Foster Snow as a talented journalist and a principal leader in the
19     creation of Chinese cooperatives;
20          ▸     commemorates the awards and honors she received; and
21          ▸     honors her legacy and recognizes August, 2021, as the 90th anniversary of when
22     Helen Foster Snow moved to China.
23     Special Clauses:
24          None

26     Be it resolved by the Legislature of the state of Utah, the Governor concurring therein:
27          WHEREAS, Helen Foster Snow was born in 1907 in Cedar City to John Moody Foster

28     and Hannah Davis;
29          WHEREAS, Helen Foster Snow was a descendant of Mormon pioneers and was raised
30     as a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints;
31          WHEREAS, Helen Foster Snow, moved to Salt Lake City to live with her grandmother
32     and aunt to attend West High School where she became the editor of the school's yearbook and
33     was elected the vice president of the student government, the highest position for a female
34     student at that time;
35          WHEREAS, upon graduation, Helen Foster Snow attended the University of Utah;
36          WHEREAS, in 1931, Helen Foster Snow moved to China to pursue writing and
37     immediately met Edgar Snow, the first American journalist to give a full account of the history
38     of the Chinese Communist Party and author of the book Red Star Over China, and who would
39     later become her husband;
40          WHEREAS, less than one week after Helen Foster Snow traveled to China, she
41     reported on the Yangtze River flood, which killed over 600,000 people and destroyed 12
42     million homes;
43          WHEREAS, Edgar Snow helped Helen Foster Snow get a press card to report on the
44     Japanese invasion of Shanghai;
45          WHEREAS, Helen Foster Snow became a journalist who reported from China in the
46     1930s under the name "Nym Wales" on the Chinese Civil War, the Korean Independence
47     movement, and the Second Sino-Japanese War;
48          WHEREAS, Chiang Kai-shek, the leader of the National Government of China,
49     maintained a policy that focused on fighting the communists within China, rather than the
50     external threat of the Japanese;
51          WHEREAS, in 1935, Helen Foster Snow played a significant role in orchestrating the
52     December 9th Movement, whereby 800 students marched in Beijing to demand that the
53     Chinese government actively resist Japanese aggression;
54          WHEREAS, the December 9th protest inspired 65 other demonstrations in 32 cities
55     across China with about 10,000 student participants, which helped turn the tide of Chinese
56     opinion and support against Japanese aggression;
57          WHEREAS, in October 1936, Helen Foster Snow interviewed Zhang Xueliang, deputy
58     commander-in-chief of the National Government, and reported his desire to work with the

59     communists to fight the invading Japanese forces;
60          WHEREAS, two months later, General Zhang Xueliang detained Chiang Kai-shek in
61     what is today known as the Xi'an Incident, and forced him to align with the communists against
62     the Japanese;
63          WHEREAS, in 1937, in order to understand the revolutionary movement of the
64     communists, Helen Foster Snow was the second foreign woman and eighth foreign journalist to
65     travel to the city of Yan'an, the location of the Chinese Communist Party's headquarters, to
66     interview prominent communist leaders, including Mao Zedong, Zhu De, and Zhou Enlai;
67          WHEREAS, Helen Foster Snow made it a priority to interview and report on the lives
68     of the female leaders of the Communist Party in Yan'an, who provided her with detailed
69     information of the issues the Communist Party faced and resulted in her famous book Inside
70     Red China, a companion of her husband's Red Star Over China;
71          WHEREAS, these two books, immediately after their publication, inspired the
72     pilgrimage of thousands of young Chinese to go to Yan'an to seek a pathway for a united front
73     to save China from Japanese aggression;
74          WHEREAS, in 1938, Helen Foster Snow was a principal organizer and creator of the
75     Chinese industrial cooperatives and the "Gung ho" movement, which created jobs for millions
76     of destitute individuals driven from farms and workshops into the interior, quickly rehabilitated
77     the industrial bases that were lost to Japan, and laid the social and economic foundation for
78     rebuilding post-war China;
79          WHEREAS, "gung ho" is Chinese for "work together", which represents all peoples
80     working together in cooperation;
81          WHEREAS, Helen Foster Snow created support and financial backing in the United
82     States for the Chinese cooperatives and eventually recruited then First Lady of the United
83     States, Eleanor Roosevelt, as a member on the American Board of Sponsors for the
84     cooperatives;
85          WHEREAS, after the cooperative's first year in existence, 1,284 cooperatives were
86     functioning with 15,625 members, with support from both the nationalist and communist
87     governments;
88          WHEREAS, Helen Foster Snow received strong support for the cooperatives from
89     Soong Ching Ling, Soong Ai Ling, and Soong Mei Ling, who were among China's most

90     significant political figures of the early 20th century;
91          WHEREAS, in 1941, Helen Foster Snow published China Builds for Democracy,
92     which created publicity and support for cooperatives in the United States and worldwide,
93     including India, Burma, and Japan;
94          WHEREAS, Helen Foster Snow was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in 1981 and
95     1982 for her world view on peace and progress in the world, and for her creation of the "gung
96     ho" movement;
97          WHEREAS, in 1993, Helen Foster Snow was the first recipient of the China Writers
98     Association's literary award;
99          WHEREAS, in 1996, Helen Foster Snow was the first American and fifth person ever
100     to be honored by the Chinese government as a Friendship Ambassador, one of China's highest
101     honors offered to a foreigner;
102          WHEREAS, Helen Foster Snow was an exceptional Utahn who brought her pioneer
103     heritage to make a positive impact on the world stage;
104          WHEREAS, Helen Foster Snow, daughter of a suffragist, was a fearless pioneer who
105     helped push the bounds for political roles for women in the early 20th century;
106          WHEREAS, Helen Foster Snow wrote 60 books and 27 manuscripts, of which only
107     seven books were published in the United States, including her 1984 autobiography, My China
108     Years: A Memoir;
109          WHEREAS, after her death in 1997, Helen's family donated unpublished manuscripts
110     and thousands of documents, letters, and photographs to the Brigham Young University library
111     and the Hoover Institution Library and Archives at Stanford University;
112          WHEREAS, Helen Foster Snow was commemorated in an official Chinese memorial
113     service in the Great Hall of the People, a state building at the western edge of Tiananmen
114     Square in Beijing, an honor rarely bestowed upon foreigners;
115          WHEREAS, there is a wing in the Communist Eighth Route Army Museum in Xi'an
116     dedicated to the memory of Helen Foster Snow;
117          WHEREAS, in 2009, the United States-China Cultural Exchange Committee placed a
118     seven foot bronze statue of Helen Foster Snow in the Main Street Park in her home town of
119     Cedar City;
120          WHEREAS, in 2011, students and faculty from Southern Utah University began a

121     collaborative project with Chinese musicians, dancers, and artists to create a dance drama
122     based on Helen Foster Snow's life, which was performed in multiple locations across China;
123          WHEREAS, although Helen Foster Snow was sympathetic to the early revolutionary
124     movement in China, she was never a sympathizer or member of the Chinese or American
125     Communist Party;
126          WHEREAS, Senator Orrin Hatch summarized the ultimate aspiration of Helen Foster
127     Snow at the time of her death as, "Mrs. Snow built a bridge of goodwill between the hearts of
128     the Americans to the hearts of the Chinese people. Let her life stand as a reminder that what
129     lies behind the very different political systems of the world are real people whose hearts and
130     minds are not so far apart."; and
131          WHEREAS, August, 2021, will be the 90th anniversary of when Helen Foster Snow
132     went to China:
133          NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, the Legislature, the Governor concurring
134     therein, honors the memory and contributions of Helen Foster Snow and her legacy as a
135     journalist, author, and visionary, who dedicated her life as a bridge-builder between the people
136     of the United States and China; and
137          BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Legislature and the Governor commemorate
138     August, 2021, as the 90th anniversary of Helen Foster Snow's first arrival in China.