Press Release

Back to Business: After the Birthday Bash, History Colorado Announces Award Winners, Finalists

Coloradans are invited to select 2019’s Most Significant Artifact via

DENVER, Colo. (AUGUST 2, 2019)—More than 2,500 guests visited Colorado’s flagship history museum in downtown Denver on Thursday, August 1, to celebrate Colorado Day. The official 143rd birthday party for the Centennial State featured more than 20 partner attractions at History Colorado Center. Presenting sponsor Denver7 also supported the celebration’s first-ever outdoor block party.

History Colorado—the state agency tasked with creating a better future for Colorado by inspiring wonder in our past—got some important work done on Colorado Day. It announced the finalists for the 2019 Most Significant Object competition; named the winners of its first annual Emerging Historians Award; and passed the role of official State Historian from Dr. Tom Noel to Dr. William Wei, professor of history at the University of Colorado Boulder. Wei will lead History Colorado’s State Historian’s Council for a one-year term.
The Colorado's Most Significant Artifacts program honors and recognizes organizations in Colorado that care for and preserve photographs, documents, rare books and manuscripts, audio recordings, film, digital materials, and art, as well as historic archaeological and natural science specimens. Historic and cultural heritage organizations around the state submitted items for consideration by a panel of experts. 
The public now votes to select 2019’s Most Significant Artifact. Voting is available at through August 23.
The ten objects selected as 2019 finalists represent the following organizations: American Alpine Club Library,  Historic Boulder, Lyons Historical Society / Lyons Redstone Museum, Molly Brown House Museum, Museum of Boulder, National Jewish Health, Pueblo City-County Library District (Special Collections and Museum Services), Western History and Genealogy Department at Denver Public Library, Tread of Pioneers Museum, and University of Northern Colorado.
The Emerging Historians Award honors outstanding writing by three students in Colorado colleges or universities. Jacob Swisher of Colorado State University won Best Overall Essay for "Were They Mexicans or Coloradans? Constructing Race and Identity at the Colorado–New Mexico Border." Don Unger from the University of Colorado in Colorado Springs won Best Graduate Essay for "Historical Perspectives of the World's Greatest Gold Camp." Saya “Ted” Richthofen of Metropolitan State University of Denver won Best Undergraduate Essay for "Openly and With Gusto: How Women Moonshiners Led to Denver's First Female Cop."
Swisher received a $1000 cash prize. Unger and Richthofen each received $500 prizes. History Colorado will publish all three essays later this year.

Did You Know?
• History Colorado Center was dubbed "the first great history museum of the 21st century" by the director of Smithsonian Affiliations, Harold Closter. 
• History Colorado Center was one of Denver's first cultural organizations to offer free admission to SNAP participants.  
• History Colorado is home to the nation’s largest state-funded preservation program.

About History Colorado
History Colorado’s mission is to create a better future for Colorado by inspiring wonder in our past. We serve as the state’s memory, preserving the places, stories and material culture of Colorado through the History Colorado Center and statewide Community Museums, educational programs, historic preservation grants, research library, collections and outreach to Colorado communities. Visit, or call 303-HISTORY, for more information.


Media Contact
John Eding
Manager of Communications and PR
303-866-3670 |