This is an archived article that was published on in 2006, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

OGDEN - Good thing they kept the word “memorial” off the new sign at Ogden's federal building, which was renamed the James V. Hansen Federal Building on Tuesday.

Otherwise, the retired Utah congressman may have begun wondering who wanted him dead.

Signs along U.S. 89 in Davis County proclaimed it the James V. Hansen Memorial Highway when they first went up several years ago.

“It added so much pizazz,” Hansen said during the renaming ceremony for the former Lyndon B. Johnson Federal Building in downtown Ogden.

“I'd go to the store and people would say, 'I didn't know you'd passed on,' ” he quipped before an audience that included Utah's congressional delegation, former congressmen, the lieutenant governor, Weber County's commissioners and Ogden's mayor.

Hansen had his Utah office in the downtown Ogden building for the 22 years he spent in Congress, from 1981 to 2003. Before Congress, he served in the Utah House for eight years.

Glancing up at the sky, where fighter jets from Hill Air Force Base competed for the crowd's attention, Hansen said Tuesday he was honored that voters would send him to Washington so many times.

In retirement, he said, he often is tempted to call state and federal lawmakers and give them a piece of his mind.

“I fight that down,” he said, adding that he puts his thoughts into letters and files them away, never to be sent. “It's somebody else's turn.”

The letters might make a good book someday, Hansen said.

“It's really nasty in places.”

Sen. Orrin Hatch, who hosted the ceremony, called Hansen a “true cowboy” who worked tirelessly to save HAFB from military cuts.

“The name James V. Hansen represents trust, fairness and understanding,” he said.

Besides housing the Utah office for Hansen's successor, Rep. Rob Bishop, the Ogden building provides office space for the Forest Service, Internal Revenue Service and Social Security. It was built in 1963.