Iowa History Journal
Monday, August 18th, 2014 | Book Signing, Books, Iowa History Journal | No Comments
Mike was a special guest at the Iowa History Journal booth at the Iowa State Fair last week. He signed dozens of books for fairgoers and hung out with Michael and Rebecca Swanger, the new owners of Iowa History Journal. Bev also worked at the Fair two days.
Saturday, March 1st, 2014 | Iowa History Journal | No Comments
Bonnie and Clyde stormed out of Texas in the 1930s to blaze a trail of terror until their gang ran into big problems in a park area outside of Dexter, Iowa. Read about how this small Iowa town will forever go down in history as the place that marked the beginning of the end for these notorious bank robbers and killers.
- Publisher’s Perspective: Five years behind us… ready for the grand future by Mike Chapman
- JFK Assassination: Tragic moment in history has Iowa connections by Bill Sherman
- Adventures of Harriet: Des Moines girl becomes TV legend by John Busbee
- Country Roads: This great rumble fizzled at the end by Arvid Huisman
- No Hawkeye star ever stood taller than Chuck Darling by Buck Turnbull
- Shooting down Bonnie & Clyde legend in Dexter by Mark Yontz
- The Way We Were: Dress hats were once common attire in Iowa by John McNeer
- What’s In A Name: Little Brown Church put Nashua on map by John Skipper
- Dairy business in Des Moines now an Iowa tradition by Jeff Stein
- Book Review: New book on Lincoln has strong Iowa angle by Mike Chapman
- Farmer Burns: The Founding Father of Iowa Wrestling
- Iowa History Quiz
- Letters to the Editor
Monday, November 4th, 2013 | Iowa History Journal | No Comments
On 300 plus acres of land outside the town of Missouri Valley are the remnants of a forgotten piece of Cold War history. Fifty years ago, on Iowa soil, stood an incredible weapon that could reach speeds of 15,500 miles per hour and travel 9,000 miles. On impact, it generated an explosion almost 175 times the power and destruction force of the nuclear bomb dropped on Japan to end World War II. It was the Atlas-D Intercontinental Ballistic Missile, the first ICBM of the United States and the last resort for preservation of the county. Historian Michael Reece has written a spellbinding story of Iowa’s “Guardian of Peace.”
In addition, Brian Cooper writes about Dubuque’s Jay Berwanger, who in 1935 became the first winner of the legendary Heisman Trophy: Jeff Stein describes the stunning veterans museum in Waterloo named after the Sullivan brothers: Don Doxsie describes the successful business Happy Joe’s……and two writers, Jessica Lowe and Bob Denny, recall the role of Iowans in the stories of John F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King.
Friday, September 6th, 2013 | Iowa History Journal | No Comments
Few Iowans have had a bigger impact on the overall prosperity of the state than “Tama Jim” Wilson, who spent most of his adult life in Traer. Wilson served as Secretary of Agriculture for sixteen years under three presidents – William McKinley, Theodore Roosevelt and William Howard Taft. In this issue of Iowa History Journal, Jerry Harrington provides an in-depth look at this very influential Iowan and also has thumbnail sketches of the other five Iowans who have held that prestigious position.
In addition, Don Doxsie writes about the devastating tornado of 1860 that left the city of Camanche in total ruin; Pat Kinney gives readers a tantalizing trip back in time to WWII with his interview of the widow of one of the five Sullivan brothers; Jeff Stein informs of the period in 1953 when television exploded onto the eastern Iowa scene, and John Skipper writes about the amazing success of the Sukup family in the grain bin business.
All that and much more in the latest issue of Iowa History Journal – including Winterset’s latest efforts in expanding the legacy of John Wayne.
Monday, July 1st, 2013 | Iowa History Journal | No Comments
In the aftermath of World War II, George Stout of Winterset, Iowa, played a crucial role in America’s effort to save war treasurers from Nazi Germany. Stout’s story is told in a book called Monuments Men, and now that same story is being made into a major motion picture starring George Clooney in the role of Stout. In this issue, writer Michael Swanger tells the story that has captured the imagination of movie producers and military men alike.
In the summer of 1881, a farm girl by the name of Kate Shelley displayed amazing courage as she darted out into a fierce storm to try and save a train from possible disaster on a high bridge near Boone. Carrying a partially damaged lantern, the 15-year old crawled out onto the bridge and was successful in her heroic attempts to avert tragedy. Jeff Stein, one of the state’s foremost historians, tells the story of Kate Shelley and her irrepressible courage.
It’s hard to imagine a person working for the same company for almost seven decades – but that is the true story of Jim Zabel, perhaps the best known radio figure in Iowa history. Zabel died on May 23, 2013, at the age of 91 and left behind a legacy that will perhaps never be matched. IHJ publisher Mike Chapman offers a memorable tribute to the man who loved Iowa until the very end.
Wednesday, May 1st, 2013 | Iowa History Journal | No Comments
Adrian Anson was born and raised in Marshalltown…..and learned how to play baseball there, as well. In fact, he became so good at the sport that he played 27 years in the major leagues and was voted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York. Known as Cap Anson, the native Iowan was also a controversial figure due to his stance on race relations in baseball. Don Doxsie, one of Iowa’s top sportswriters of the past thirty years, offers a penetrating look at the life and career of Cap Anson.
Today, the town of Sheldon, in the northwest corner of the state, is best known for being the hometown of Olympic wrestlers Tom and Terry Brands. Back in 1961, however, Sheldon made national headlines when one of its citizens was arrested for embezzling over $2,000,000! The story of Burnice Geiger and her shocking theft – in her own father’s bank – was front page all over the state and much of the country.
The gunfight at the O.K. Corral took place in 1881 in Tombstone, Arizona, and has since become a part of Old West folklore. Little known is the fact that the majority of the principals involved in that legendary event had Iowa backgrounds. Writers Kyle Martin and Mike Chapman offer an intriguing look back into the past.
Friday, March 1st, 2013 | Iowa History Journal | No Comments
To an entire generation of Americans in the 1950s and ‘60s, she was known simply as “Mamie”. She served as the nation’s First Lady from 1952 to 1959, when her husband Dwight D. Eisenhower was President of the United States of America. Eisenhower, known affectionately as Ike, was the hero of WWII and met his Mamie when they were just youngsters starting out on life’s journey. Mamie was born in Boone, Iowa, and she lived with her family in Cedar Rapids for a spell. Today, her legacy lives on in Boone – particularly at her birthplace home at 709 Carroll Street. It is a story that Iowans should take great pride in knowing.
A wild elephant on the loose in Iowa? Yep, way back in 1923 an elephant escaped from a circus car and went on a rampage through southern Iowa. The story is both humorous yet sad. Read the details in the current issue of Iowa’s elephant walk. In addition, Don Doxsie writes about the Fabulous Five basketball team of the 1950s and its back to back trips to the Final Four.
Also included in this issue:
- Saying goodbye to Abigail Van Buren and a Hawkeye Hero
- Fort Dodge lad survives the horrors of the notorious Civil War prison at Andersonville
- Earl May created one of Iowa’s most enduring businesses
- Mount Ayr combines the past with the future in amazing style
- The oldest Czech Catholic Church is the pride of Spillville
- Columns by our regulars – Arvid Huisman, John McNeer and Mike Chapman
- Iowa History quiz
- Letters to the editor
…and much more!
Sunday, February 10th, 2013 | Book Signing, Iowa History Journal, Speaking, WIN Magazine, Wrestling | No Comments
February 20 – Mike will be talking to the Knoxville Rotary Club on Wednesday, February 20, at noon at the Swamp Fox Pub and Grille in Knoxville. His speech is about famous Iowans and Iowa History Journal.
March 21-23 - Mike and Bev will be appearing at the WIN Memorabilia Show between sessions of the NCAA Wrestling Tournament in Des Moines on March 21-23. Mike and Bev created the WIN show 23 years ago and they will be greeting wrestling fans and showing memorabilia, as well as selling books, posters and videos. Numerous Olympic champions will be the special guests and an estimated 10,000 wrestling fans are expected to attend the WIN show. It will be located inside of the NCAA Fan Festival in the HY-Vee Hall. There is no charge to attend the WIN show.
July 9 – Mike will be giving a speech on the life and legacy of Frank Gotch, former world heavyweight wrestling champion, on Tuesday, July 9, at 7:30 p.m., at Joe Sheldon County Park in Humboldt. The talk is being sponsored by Project AWARE, which is a volunteer weeklong river cleanup. Each year, hundreds of Iowans join together for a week in canoes to remove trash from 80-90 miles of a different river. To date, more than 2,500 AWARE volunteers from across the state have cleaned up over 780 river miles, removing more than 250 tons of trash (70% of which has been recycled) from rivers all across Iowa. This year’s event will be held July 6-13 on the Des Moines River from Algona down through Humboldt and Fort Dodge.The event is open to the public.
Upcoming Speeches and Appearances
- June 7, 2014 – Catch Wrestling Alliance International Invitational: The Rebirth
- August 26, 2014 – Speaking in Forest City
Calendar of Appearances
Speaking in Forest City
August 26, 2014N/A
The Winnebago Historical Society will celebrate Forest City's own Bob Baker on Tuesday, August 26, with Iowa History Journal's Mike Chapman, who will speak at several venues in town.
Chapman will speak at the Forest City Rotary Club at noon in Salveson Hall's ballroom (106 S. Sixth St.) at Waldorf College. He will be at the Mansion Museum (336 N. Clark St.) from 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. He will speak at Forest Plaza Assisted Living (635 Highway 9, E.) at 3 p.m. He will introduce and play one of Bob Baker's films in the community room at Titonka Savings Bank (101 Highway 69, N.), starting at 7 p.m. Free admission with popcorn and refreshments.
Bob Baker, a singing cowboy in movies in the late 1930s, was born Stanley Leland Weed on Nov. 8, 1910, in Forest City. He was selected to star as a singing cowboy for Universal Studios in 1937, beating out several young men for the position – including Leonard Slye, who went on to become famous as Roy Rogers. Stanley’s parents were Guy and Ethel (Leland) Weed. He served in the U.S. Army, was a police officer in Arizona and ran a dude ranch. He died Aug. 29, 1975.