Iowa History Journal

Iowa History Journal Volume 5, Issue 1, Now Available

Tuesday, January 1st, 2013 | Iowa History Journal | No Comments

In 1937, Universal Studios selected Stanley Leland Weed of Forest City, Iowa, to be its new singing cowboy star of the movies . They picked him over a group of other candidates, including a young fellow who would go on to movie fame as Roy Rogers. Stanley Leland Weed became Bob Baker and rode into Hollywood history, leaving a series of question marks about the direction of his career. Mike Chapman’s article explores the background of this one-time cowboy movie star from Iowa.

Shortly after the bombing of Pearl Harbor by the empire of Japan, the United States enacted a daring bombing raid on Tokyo and other Japanese cities. Led by Colonel Jimmy Doolittle, the daring raid has become a part of American military folklore – and three Iowans were among the pilots who risked their lives. Michael Vogt, a civilian pilot and curator at the Gold Star Military Museum at Camp Dodge takes Iowa History Journal readers on this trip back into history.

Also included in this issue:

  • The amazing journey of Casey’s General Store
  • The Iowan who made history with Lincoln
  • Iowa’s Field House boasts 85 years of fine memories
  • Story of trampoline founder George Nissen: book review
  • Sioux City actress Constance Towers
  • Columns by our regulars – Arvid Huisman, John McNeer and Mike Chapman
  • Iowa History quiz
  • Letters to the editor

…and much more!

Click to see the full contents of the issue…

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Iowa History Journal Volume 4, Issue 6 Now Available

Sunday, November 4th, 2012 | Iowa History Journal | No Comments

In early November of 1942, the focus of the entire nation was on Waterloo, Iowa, as word came out that five brothers from one family were killed in action in the sea battle of Guadalcanal. The five Sullivan boys became a rallying point for the war effort and President Roosevelt called their loss one of the biggest tragedies any American family has been forced to endure. In a stirring account, professor Jeff Stein paints a vivid picture of the tragedy and how Waterloo has kept alive the memory of the Sullivan brothers.

Readers will also be treated to feature stories on many other fascinating persons and moments in Iowa history – ranging from the fabulous work of sculpture Christian Petersen to the overcoming of tragedy by James Hearst, Iowa’s farmer poet…..to the twelve Iowans who sought to be President of the United States, and much more.

Also included in this issue:

  • Strange airships haunted Iowa skies in 1897
  • Two new books “celebrate” Iowa history
  • The city of Cresco calls itself “one in a million”
  • Fayette dentist was also heck of a coach at Upper Iowa University
  • Columns by our regulars – Arvid Huisman, John McNeer and Mike Chapman
  • Iowa History Quiz
  • Letters to the Editor

…and much more!

Click to see the full contents of the issue…

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Upcoming Schedule for Mike

Thursday, September 13th, 2012 | Iowa History Journal, Speaking, Wrestling | No Comments

October 4 – Mike will be part of the program at the prestigious RaySociety, a community of lifelong learners from a variety of backgrounds who share a common interest in continuing to seek learning experiences and intellectual stimulation. The organization is supported by Drake University and named for two distinguish graduates, Robert D. and Billie Ray, the former governor and first lady of Iowa. Mike will be speaking at the “Extraordinary Iowans” discussion on Thursday at 1:30 pm in the Hall of Pride.

October 18 — Mike will be making a double appearance on this day in Charles City. In the afternoon, he will talk to a group of high school students about the great athletic tradition in the state of Iowa, concentrating on the legends of Nile Kinnick and Frank Gotch. That evening, he will be the guest speaker at the Floyd County Community Foundation (FCCF) banquet.

October 20 – For the second year in a row, Mike will be the guest speaker at the Alan and Gloria Rice Greco-Roman Hall of Champions event in Minneapolis. Each year, the hall of fame inducts outstanding Greco-Roman wrestlers into the hall of champions. Mike will give a talk on the importance of understanding the sport’s rich and vital heritage, dating all the way back to Jacob wrestling the Angel in the Bible. For details, people can call the Dan Gable Museum in Waterloo.

November 18 – Steve Knight has invited Mike to be the guest speaker at the Excel Wrestling “Hall of Heroes” banquet at the Glen Oaks Country Club in West Des Moines. Several annual awards will be given out and Bill Smith, 1952 Olympic champion, will be the main honoree. Bill was also an undefeated, two-time NCAA champion during his career at Iowa State Teachers College (now UNI). Originally from Council Bluffs, Bill now lives in Bode, Iowa. The cost for dinner is $50 per plate. Tickets can be purchased by calling the Excel Wrestling office at 515-331-4419

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Iowa History Journal Volume 4, Issue 5 Now Available

Wednesday, September 12th, 2012 | Iowa History Journal | No Comments

Jean Seberg has emerged in recent years as one of the most enigmatic figures in Iowa history. In the latest issue of Iowa History Journal, Michael Swanger explores the many aspects of the life and career of this film legend. Swanger traces her life from humble origins in Marshalltown to her stunning selection by legendary producer, Otto Preminger, to star in the movie “St. Joan” and through her storied career in Hollywood and overseas. He discusses the role the FBI played in the later stages of her life and her tragic death at the age of 40, which is still a subject of controversy today.

Readers will also be treated to feature stories on many other fascinating persons and moments in Iowa history – ranging from a bank robbery in Adel that could have influenced history in many ways to the famous candy company begun by the Stovers.

Also included in this issue:

  • The history of covered bridges in Madison County
  • The reemergence of a beautiful theatre in Toledo
  • An Iowa restaurant which has been in existence for 172 years
  • A tough baseball manager with strong Iowa connections
  • More Iowans involved with the Titanic tragedy
  • The city of Humboldt honors Frank Gotch with a statue
  • Columns by our regulars – Arvid Huisman, John McNeer and Mike Chapman

…and much more!

Contents
3 – Publisher’s Perspective: Story of a miracle that began in Iowa by Mike Chapman
4 – Jean Seberg’s legacy soaring again at home by Michael Swanger
9 – Bank robbery in Adel could have had huge impact on Iowa history by Mark Hanson
12 – Famous candy company has roots in Iowa by John Skipper
13 – Country Roads: Names of Iowa of towns can be confusing by Arvid Huisman
14 – Humboldt statue honors Frank Gotch
18 – Tough baseball manager was a hero to many Iowans by Jim Young
21 – Covered Bridges were hot long before the famous movie by Mary Halstrum
23 – The Way We Were: Remember when TV arrived on the scene by John McNeer
25 – After 100 years, Toledo still has a beautiful theatre by Jeff Stein
27 – Kalmes family has been serving Luxembourg fair for 172 years by Jessica Dunker
29 – More Iowas involved in Titanic tragedy
31 – Iowa History Quiz
36 – Letters to the Editor

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Iowa History Journal Volume 4, Issue 4 Now Available

Tuesday, July 17th, 2012 | Iowa History Journal | No Comments

The state of Iowa has a long and proud history of involvement in the Olympic Games, dating all the way back to 1904. In a fascinating article written by Don Doxsie, long time sports editor of the Quad City Times and a winner of many writing awards, that Olympic history is discussed in detail. Doxsie has done considerable research and also compiled two graphs – one of which shows which sports Iowans have won medals in, and the other which has a year-by-year breakdown of Iowa medal winners since 1904.

Readers will also be treated to feature stories on many other fascinating persons and moments in Iowa history – ranging from the piano talents of the legendary Roger Williams to the pilot who dropped the atomic bomb on Japan in 1945……to the meteorite that struck what is present day Manson almost 74 million years ago.

Also included in this issue:

  • The Honey War between Iowa and Missouri that almost resulted in a real-life battle between the bordering states.
  • The story of the Iowa-born attorney and judge who brought down Al Capone, one of the most notorious gangsters in American history.
  • How the Wolfe Eye Clinic started from humble origins and developed into one of the top eye health care facilities in the nation.
  • A book review on Little Heathens which is a delightful journey back into rural Iowa in the 1930s.
  • Columns by our regulars – Arvid Huisman, John McNeer and Mike Chapman

…and much more!

Contents
3 – Publisher’s Perspective: Olympic legend Mathias recalled by Mike Chapman
4 – Olympic dreams blossom in Iowa over the decades by Don Doxsie
7 – Corydon still honors hero from 1932: by Mike Chapman
19 – Bill Smith is UNI’s only Olympic champion
11 – Pilot who dropped atomic bomb had roots in Iowa by Jeff Stein
13 – Country Roads: By whatever name, cricks are beautiful by Arvid Huisman
14 – Meteorite was a big hit ….74 million years ago by John Skipper
17 – Piano talents were Rogers Williams’ path to the top by Robert Weast
20 – The Iowans who brought down infamous Capone by Al Nelson
24 – The Way We Were: Ice cream was a very special treat by John McNeer
25 – Wolfe Eye Clinics started in 1919 in Marshalltown by Pete Hussmann
27 – Iowa almost fought Missouri in ‘Honey War’ by Kyle Martin
29 – Book Review: Little Heathens tells of Iowa life many years ago by Mike Chapman
31 – Iowa History Quiz
36 – Letters to the Editor

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More Speeches and Events for 2012

Sunday, June 24th, 2012 | Book Signing, Iowa History Journal, Speaking, Wrestling | No Comments

Mike has added a few new events to his schedule for the next few months.

June 17 – Walnut will named a street Earl Caddock Memorial Drive during its big Antique City weekend. Members of the Caddock family came from Maryland and Texas to help celebrate the event. Earl Caddock was world heavyweight wrestling champion from 1917 to 1920 and lived in Walnut. Mike is the author of the book CADDOCK: Walnut’s Wrestling Wonder, and gave a speech at the 9 a.m. ceremony, and then held a book signing.

July 4 – The Frank Gotch Statue unveiling will take place in Bicknell Park in Humboldt, at 1 p.m. The eight-foot bronze statue is the project of a special committee in Humboldt, the hometown of the legendary professional world heavyweight champion (1908-1916). Mike is on the statue committee and will make a speech about Frank’s legacy. Among the special guests are Bill Smith, 1952 Olympic champion (UNI), and Brad Rheingans, a two-time Olympian who also wrestled professionally for 14 years.

July 6 – The Iowa Cubs have declared this date as Iowa History Journal Day and Mike and Bev will set up a booth in the entryway, with Iowa History Journal items for display and for sale. The first 100 fans to stop by the booth will receive a free copy of Iowa History Journal, some with Bob Feller on the cover. The gates open at 5:45 p.m. and the game starts at 7:30 p.m.

July 15 – Mike will be one of the Iowa authors featured at the Linn Creek Arts Festival in Marshalltown. Over 60 artists, 12 authors and a wide variety of children’s entertainment will highlight the 4th annual festival, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The event is sponsored by the Marshall County Arts & Culture Alliance, at the Fisher Community Center, 709 S. Center Street in Marshalltown. Over 2,000 attended last year and admission is free. Other attractions are the world champion Yo-Yo stars, kite flyers, kite memorabilia, as well as numerous food, wine and beer vendors. For more detail, see: www.linncreekartsfestival.com.

August 9-19– For the third straight year, Iowa History Journal will have a booth at the Iowa State Fair in Des Moines. The booth will be on the second floor of the Ag Building, above the Butter Cow exhibit. Back issues of Iowa History Journal and over a dozen of the books Mike has written will be for sale.

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Iowa History Journal Volume 4, Issue 3 Now Available

Saturday, May 26th, 2012 | Iowa History Journal | No Comments

When the USS Titanic sank in the frigid waters of the Atlantic Ocean on April 15, 1912, it was front page news all over the world. Over 1500 people perished on the ship and among the casualties – and survivors – were several Iowans. A century later, the Titanic legacy lives on. At the Brucemore Estate in Cedar Rapids visitors can see an extensive exhibit which tells the story of the Titanic and its many Iowa connections.

Readers will also be treated to feature stories on many other fascinating persons and moments in Iowa history – ranging from the impact of philanthropist Andrew Carnegie on over 100 Iowa libraries to memorable moments by Iowans who played in the major leagues.

Also included in this issue:

  • Henry A. Wallace is not only one of the most important figures in all of agricultural history, he was also one heartbeat away from being president of the United States.
  • USS Iowa battleship has finally found a permanent home and will open as a museum later this summer.
  • EMC has been a huge player in the world of insurance for over 100 years and is an Iowa landmark and institution.
  • Music of all kinds has been featured at the legendary Val Air Ballroom in Des Moines for many decades, attracting some of the biggest names in the music industry.
  • Columns by our regulars – Arvid Huisman, John McNeer and Mike Chapman

…and much more!

Read more to see what’s inside this issue…

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Teaching Iowa History, Results in Special Song Teaching Iowa history, results in special song

Friday, March 2nd, 2012 | Columns, Iowa History Journal | No Comments

Publisher’s Perspective – Volume 4, Issue 2 of Iowa History Journal

Not long ago, I received a letter from Mrs. Carol Alvis, who teaches social studies at Van Buren Middle School in Keosauqua. For those not familiar with Keosauqua, it is a city of 1,100 located in very southeastern Iowa, on the Missouri border. It is home to the oldest courthouse in continuous use in the state, dating back to 1840.

Mrs. Alvis began her letter thusly: “I am writing in response to the article you wrote in the May/June issue of the Iowa History Journal magazine entitled ‘Iowa schools are flunking in history’. In that article you stated that a few years ago the Des Moines Register reported that Iowa history was being ignored in Iowa schools.

“I just want to let you know that in the Van Buren Middle School 7th grade classes, Iowa history is alive and well.”

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