Speaking

February and March 2017 Appearances

Thursday, February 9th, 2017 | Book Signing, Books, Speaking, WIN Magazine, Wrestling | No Comments

February 10, 2017 – The inaugural class for the Cedar Rapids Jefferson High School Athletic Hall of Fame will be inducted prior to the Jefferson basketball game and Mike has been asked to represent Larry and Ted Lawrence, who are both deceased. There will be a social in the Jefferson Cafeteria at 4:30 p.m., with a hall of fame ceremony to follow at 5:15 p.m.

There will also be a brief presentation between the girls and boys varsity basketball games in the gymnasium and then a social and greeting time back in the cafeteria.

Larry Lawrence was an all-state football and basketball player at Jefferson and went on to become a star quarterback at Iowa for two seasons. He also played two seasons each in the Canadian Football League and the NFL. Larry died of heart problems in 2012 at the age of 63. Mike and Larry became good friends when Mike was sports editor of the Cedar Rapids Gazette in the years 1978 to 1984 and they even co-hosted the Mr. Iowa contest in 1983, when Larry owned Ra Power Fitness Center. They remained in close contact until Larry’s death. His father, Ted, was a legendary high school coach at Jefferson for many years.
 
March 1, 2017 – Mike is producing a documentary on Bill Smith, one of the most important figures in American wrestling history. Bill was 1952 Olympic wrestling champion, an undefeated, 2-time NCAA champion in college and coach of the San Francisco Olympic Club team, leading it to 7 national team tiles in the 1960s. In this documentary, you will see many rare photos of Bill’s illustrious career, and be with Bill as the University of Northern Iowa dedicates its official mat in his honor in 2013. Then Bill reminisces about his 70 years in the Sport of Wrestling. Coming in March of 2017.

March 16-18, 2017 – As a guest of the WIN Memorabilia Show between sessions of the NCAA Wrestling Championships in St. Louis, Mike will be signing many of his 28 published books and will have the new Bill Smith DVD documentary available. Dale Anderson, two-time NCAA champion for Michigan State in the 1960s, will be with Mike and selling copies of his new book, “A Spartan Journey: Michigan State’s 1967 Miracle on the Mat”. Mike wrote the introduction to the book and Dan Gable wrote the foreword. The WIN Memorabilia Show is free and open to the public.

March 29, 2017 – Mike will be the featured speaker at Flag Day held at the Knoxville Library. He will give a talk on “Iowans of Impact”, based on his book of the same name, and on his book “Triumph and Tragedy” which tells the stories of football heroes Fred Becker and Nile Kinnick, who lost heir lives while serving in World War I and World War II, respectively. The talk begins at I p.m. and is open to the public. Contact the Knoxville Library for further details.

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November 2016 through March 2017 Appearances

Sunday, October 30th, 2016 | Book Signing, Speaking, Wrestling | No Comments

November 12 – Mike will be one of the featured speakers at the Jack Van Bebber Lifetime Achievement Celebration held in conjunction with the Perry Memorial Wrestling Memorial event in Perry, Oklahoma. The event begins at 11:30 in downtown Perry and is open to the public. Van Bebber was Olympic champion in 1932 and was an undefeated, three-time NCAA champion for Oklahoma A&M. Other speakers will be John Smith, head coach at Oklahoma State and a 6-time World/Olympic champion, and Lee Roy Smith executive director of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame and Museum, located in Stillwater. Van Bebber is one of 34 wrestlers profiled in Mike’s popular book “Legends of the Mat,” along with another Perry legend, Dan Hodge.

November 19 – Mike will be appearing at Governor Branstad’s Birthday Bash at the Place Theater at Adventureland Park, beginning at 5 p.m. . He will be signing copes of his book, “Iowa’s Record-Setting Governor: The Terry Branstad Story”. He will also have copies of his historical novel LOWELL PARK for sale. It is the story of an Iowa girl who travels back in time to meet both a young Abe Lincoln in 1832 and a young Ronald Reagan in 1932, in the same location now known as Lowell Park. The movie rights have been purchased by a movie company and it is currently in pre-production status with a noted Hollywood director, Charles Robert Carner, assigned. Matt Bevin, Kentucky Governor, and Tom Cotton, Arkansas Senator, will be special guests at the Birthday Bash. For more information on prices and seating, contact Jake Ketzner at Jake@BranstadReynolds.com

March 1, 2017 – Mike is producing a documentary on Bill Smith, one of the most important figures in American wrestling history. Bill was 1952 Olympic wrestling champion, an undefeated, 2-time NCAA champion in college and coach of the San Francisco Olympic Club team, leading it to 7 national team tiles in the 1960s. In this documentary, you will see many rare photos of Bill’s illustrious career, and be with Bill as the University of Northern Iowa dedicates its official mat in his honor in 2013. Then Bill reminisces about his 70 years in the Sport of Wrestling. Coming in March of 2017.

March 16-18 – As a guest of the WIN Memorabilia Show between sessions of the NCAA Wrestling Championships in St. Louis, Mike will be signing many of his 28 published books and will have the new Bill Smith DVD documentary available. Dale Anderson, two-time NCAA champion for Michigan State in the 1960s, will be with Mike and selling copies of his new book, “A Spartan Journey: Michigan State’s 1967 Miracle on the Mat”. Mike wrote the introduction to the book and Dan Gable wrote the foreword. The WIN Memorabilia Show is free and open to the public.

Upcoming Events for 2015 and 2016

Sunday, December 6th, 2015 | Book Signing, Speaking | No Comments

December 10, 2015 – Mike will be part of the Pints and Politics program hosted by The Gazette newspaper of Cedar Rapids to discuss the legacy of Governor Terry Branstad. Mike has written the governor’s biography and will be one of several panelists discussing the governor’s record-setting career. The event will be held Dec. 10 from 5 to 7 p.m. at Lion Bridge Brewing Company, 16th Avenue SW in Cedar Rapids. The public is invited but seating is limited.

January 12, 2016 – Mike has been invited to discuss his popular book “Triumph and Tragedy” at the noon luncheon of the Altoona United Methodist Church at 602 5th Avenue in Altoona. The book was written in 2010 and tells the story of four legendary football players from the state who met tragic ends. They are Fred Becker, Iowa’s first All-American football player who was killed in combat along the Western Front in World War I; Jack Trice, who died as the result of injuries suffered in a 1923 football game for Iowa State University; Nile Kinnick, Iowa’s only Heisman Trophy winner who was killed on a pilot training mission off the coast of Venezuela on June 2, 1943, and Drake’s Johnny Bright, who was the top offensive player in the nation before being injured in a foul play during a game in 1951, knocking him out of the running for the Heisman Trophy. Mike has given the speech numerous times around the state, emphasizing the great qualities in these men and explaining why their stories are so relevant yet today.

January 29, 2016 – Columbia University in downtown New York City is celebrating “Nat Pendleton Night” at the wrestling dual meet against Harvard, and Mike will be the guest at a book signing and will give a speech on Nat’s role in the history of wrestling in America. Mike is the author of a new book called “Pendleton: The Amazing Story of Columbia’s Wrestling Olympian and Star of Hollywood”. Nat Pendleton was born in Iowa in 1895 and became one of America’s first amateur wrestling stars, winning two national titles and a silver medal in the 1920 Olympics. He then moved to Hollywood and appeared in nearly 100 movies, from the 1920s through the 1940s.

April 30, 2016 — Mike will be the guest speaker at the Charles City Excellence in Education Foundation’s fundraising and awards banquet at the Charles City Elks Lodge on April 30. The event is not open to the public.

July 3, 2016 – The first ever Frank Gotch Catch World Championships will be held in Humboldt, Iowa – the hometown of the legendary Frank Gotch — and Mike is one of the event organizers. He will have a booth of wrestling memorabilia on display at the event at Humboldt High School, and also many of his books and posters for sale. Catch wrestling is the type of wrestling that Gotch participated in during the start of the 20th Century and involves joint-lock submission holds not allowed in amateur wrestling.

SPECIAL NOTE: As the author of the forthcoming book, “Iowa’s Record-Setting Governor: The Terry Branstad Story”, Mike will be appearing with Governor Branstad at select book signings around the state. Dates have not yet been set but will be included here when the schedule is announced.

Upcoming Events for Mike for 2015

Thursday, May 14th, 2015 | Book Signing, Books, Movie Scripts, Speaking, Wrestling | No Comments

May 18 – As the author of 27 books, Mike will be speaking to a creative writing class at West Waterloo High School, talking to young students about the joy of writing and how to get started as a writer. He will also discuss his latest adventures in Hollywood, with two movie projects under way. Mike has talked to these West Waterloo writing classes five times in recent years for Donna Huff, teacher extraordinaire (and wife of wrestling coaching legend Don Huff) and enjoys it very much.

June 27-30 – One of the biggest wrestling events of the summer is set for June 27-July 2 in Orlando, Florida, where the Scholastic Duals Wrestling Tournament will be held at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. Over 1,600 wresters are expected to compete. The AAU Wrestling Hall of Fame banquet will be held on June 29, and Mike will be the featured speaker at the banquet. Mike was inducted into the AAU hall of fame in 2005 but this is the first year he has been able to attend the event. Mike and Bev will have several tables of wrestling items for display and for sale during the wrestling tournament.

July 11 – Mike and Bev will be the guests at the 2015 Midwest National Wrestling Tournament in Bloomington, Illinois. The event will be held at the Shirk Center on Illinois Wesleyan University campus, with over 1,000 wrestlers expected to compete. Mike and Bev will have several tables of memorable items for display and books, posters and card for sale. Plan to stop by and visit them.

Sept. 15 – On this date, Mike will be the featured speaker at the “Golden Opportunities” program for senior adults at the First Baptist Church in Marshalltown, beginning at 11 a.m. He will talk about his books “Triumph and Tragedy” and “Lowell Park”, as well as his overall writing career.

Speaking in Forest City

Monday, August 18th, 2014 | Speaking | No Comments

800px-Bob_Baker_singing_cowboyAUGUST 26 — 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.

Mike Chapman is founder of Iowa History Journal, a magazine devoted to the preservation of history in Iowa. He retired from a 35-year newspaper career in 2002. He served as publisher of the Newton Daily News, as well as sports editor of the Cedar Rapids Gazette and executive editor of the Sauk Valley Newspapers in Dixon, Illinois. He has written 26 books, and his articles have appeared in dozens of national and regional magazines. One of his novels, Lowell Park (about Ronald Reagan as a lifeguard in Lowell Park in the summer of 1932), has been purchased by a major movie company and is in preproduction.

The Winnebago Historical Society is housed in the 1899 Mansion Museum at 336 N. Clark St., in Forest City, and it oversees Heritage Park, a 91-acre park on the south edge of Forest City. Its mission is to educate children and adults through the Mansion Museum, reintroduce families to their past through the Leibrand-Whiteis Historical Center, and recreate the lives and livelihoods of our ancestors at Heritage Park of North Iowa.

For more information, contact Becky Gjendem at info@winnebgohistoricalsocietyiowa.org or 641-590-5194.

Upcoming events

Wednesday, November 6th, 2013 | Speaking | No Comments

Nov. 3 — Mike will be the featured speaker at the 13th annual Excel Tribute Dinner and the Night of Champions ceremony in Des Moines. Excel Wrestling, owned by Steve Knight, offers elite style training at all levels of wrestling, in several states. Also honored at the event will be Doug Schwab, head wrestling coach at the University of Northern Iowa, a former NCAA champion and Olympian, and Arno Niemand, of Colorado Springs, a long-time supporter of wrestling at all levels and author the book The Dream Team (about the 1947 Cornell College wrestling team that won the NCAA team title). For more information, call Excel Wrestling at 303-931-3973.

Nov. 11 — Mike will give the keynote address for the American Legion Post Ladies Auxiliary Unit 1976 in North Liberty, to be held at the South Slope Communications Conference Center in North Liberty. He will talk about the lives and military service of Fred Becker and Nile Kinnick. Becker, from Waterloo, was Iowa’s first All-American football player (1916) and signed up to fight in World War I. He was killed in action along the Western Front on July 18, 1918, and was awarded the American Distinguished Service Cross, the Belgian War Cross for bravery and France’s top military honor. Kinnick is Iowa’s greatest football legend,winning the Heisman Trophy in 1939 and losing his life on a pilot training mission on June 2, 1943., during World War II. Mike’s book Triumph and Tragedy tells the story of Becker, Kinnick, Jack Trice and Johnny Bright. The event is open to the public.

Nov. 12 — Mike wil be the guest speaker at the Rotary Club Leadership Banquet in Webster City, honoring some of the top students in several local school districts. The event is not open to the public.

Upcoming Schedule of Events – Summer/Fall 2013

Sunday, May 19th, 2013 | Speaking | No Comments

May 30, 11 a.m. – Mike will be the featured speaker at the Iowa Hall of Pride annual volunteers celebration, in Des Moines. He will talk about the impact of such famous Iowans as Nile Kinnick and Fred Becker, both All-American football players at the University of Iowa who lost their lives during war time. The event is not open to the public.

June 13, 5:30 p.m. – Kirk Ferentz, Iowa head football coach, and Mike will be the guests at Fred Becker Day at the Becker-Chapman American Legion Post 138 in Waterloo, to help raise funds for a new sign in front. The post is named for Fred Becker, Iowa’s first All-American football player who was killed in action during World War I, and Carl Chapman, a pilot who was also killed in World War I. Both men are natives of Waterloo. Mike will give a talk about Fred Becker’s heroism on and off the field. Mike’s book Triumph and Tragedy: The Inspiring Stories of Football Legends Fred Becker, Jack Trice, Nile Kinnick and Johnny Bright. will be available for purchase and Kirk and Mike will sign items. There will also be a chill supper and silent auction. Admission is $5 per person and the public is invited. Doors open at 5 p.m. and the supper begins at 5:30 p.m. Call the American Legion Post at 319-234-8511 for more information.

June 28-30 – Bev and Mike will have a booth at Sturgis Falls in Cedar Falls, with Iowa History Journal magazines and many of Mike’s 26 books on display and for sale. Sturgis Falls began in 1976 to honor William Sturgis, who in 1845 settled the area that became known as Cedar Falls. There are a wide variety of events, attractions and exhibitors, and the entire event is free and open to the public.

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.

July 19 – Mike will be the featured speaker at the Des Moines Metro Scandinavian group meeting at 7 p.m. at the Aldersgate Methodist Church located at 3600 75th Street in Urbandale. He will talk about famous Iowans and plans for the upcoming movie “Lowell Park,” based on his novel of the same name. The event is open to the public.

August 8-18 – For the fourth straight year, Iowa History Journal will have a booth during the Iowa State Fair. The booth is on the second floor of the Ag Building and will feature a wide variety of Iowa History Journal items, most of the 26 books that Mike has authored, and other Iowa related items. Stop by and say “hi” and purchase some of the back issues of Iowa History Journal or Mike’s books and have them personally autographed.

Fall of 2013 – Mike will be a guest at the grand opening of the refurbished movie theater in Forest City and will give a talk about the life and career of Bob Baker, the Forest City native who went on to become a Hollywood star during the golden age of “B” cowboy movies in the 1930s and ‘40s. Bob Baker was on the cover of the January-February issue of Iowa History Journal, and Mike wrote the article. That issue was very popular and helped create new interest in the career of Bob Baker. The exact date of the event is yet to be determined.

Upcoming Speeches and Appearances

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.

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Upcoming Speeches and Appearances

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