In August 1977, a series of Deseret News stories first drew a connection between Cold War nuclear-weapons testing in Nevada and increased cancer rates among Utahns living downwind.
The series of articles - extensively researched and written by then-Deseret News Washington Correspondent Gordon Eliot White - was validated through research conducted by University of Utah epidemiologist Dr. Joseph Lyon and published in 1979 in the New England Journal of Medicine.Ultimately, the U.S. government acknowledged responsibility for the tests and compensated cancer victims - action directly resulting from White's work in the Deseret News.
Enter Lee Davidson, the current Deseret News Washington correspondent.
Since taking charge of the Deseret News Washington Bureau in 1988, Davidson has spent hundreds of hours fighting for access to classified government documents and poring over those documents to determine the extent of secret testing and its effects on Utahns.
Davidson has documented tests using human guinea pigs, intentional nuclear meltdowns and the spread of chemical, nerve and radiological agents far beyond anything previously made public.
In today's Deseret News `News Extra,' beginning on Page A23, that work is pulled together in its first comprehensive presentation. Just a mere listing of all the to-date known tests is overwhelming. Beyond that - and more importantly - are the stories of people whose lives were inescapably altered by these events.