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
Tuesday, July 17th, 2012 | Speaking, Wrestling | No CommentsAccording to Mac Davis, author of the 1954 book 100 Greatest Sports Heroes, when Frank Gotch died in 1917, “thousands of weeping mourners, gathered from many parts of the land, trudged the icy path to the little rural cemetery on a cold December day to bid a final farewell to the farm boy who had been the greatest wrestling champion in history.”
Some 95 years later, on July 4, some 400 fans endured brutally hot temperatures to see a magnificent statue of Gotch unveiled in his hometown of Humboldt, Iowa. The eight-foot tall bronze statue shows Gotch in black tights and top, with hands on hips, gazing out over the land. It stands on a three-foot pedestal in Bicknell Park, the very spot where Gotch trained for his epic match with George Hackenschmidt, The Russian Lion, in 1911.
The statue is surrounded by a brick walkway, with four thick benches at each of the corners. Behind the area, the Des Moines River flows peacefully, just thirty yards away and down a steep bluff – offering a very picturesque setting.
“It was a day that anyone who was there will never forget,” said Scott Casber, owner/founder of Takedown Wrestling Radio. “July 4, 2012, was a great moment in the history of wrestling.”
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.
Tuesday, January 17th, 2012 | Book Signing, Speaking | No Comments
Mike has a busy schedule of appearances in the coming months.
January 24 – Mike will be the featured speaker at the dedication of the new Fred H. Becker Elementary School in Waterloo. The school is named after the World War I hero who graduated from East Waterloo High School in 1915 and in 1916 became the very first All-American football player in the history of the University of Iowa. Mike “discovered” the Becker story and used a photo of him on the cover of Iowa History Journal, then wrote a book that featured Becker. The book, entitled Triumph and Tragedy: The Inspiring Stories of Iowa Football Legends Fred Becker, Jack Trice, Nile Kinnick and Johnny Bright, will be available for purchase at the event in Waterloo, with Mike signing copies of the book for anyone who wishes to buy one. The event starts at 6 p.m. and is open to the public.
February 3– Mike will make a return visit to the Burlington Library to speak about famous Iowans. The event starts at 10:30 a.m. and is open to the public. Mike spoke there last year and was invited back by the program chairman. Cancelled
February 26 – Mike will be the guest speaker for the father and son banquet at the Windsor Heights Lutheran Church in Des Moines. The event starts at 6 p.m.
March 2 – Mike will be the guest speaker at Adel High School for a “Character Counts” event, talking about Nile Kinnick and Fred Becker. A native of Adel, Nile Kinnick won the Heisman Trophy while playing football at Iowa and perished during a training flight during World War II. Mike will have copies of his book Triumph and Tragedy at the event.
March 15-17 – Mike and Bev will be at the WIN Memorabilia Show for the 22nd straight year, They created the show over two decades ago and it has become a tradition for fans between sessions of the NCAA Wrestling Championships. Nearly 8,000 fans visited the show during its three day run in Philadelphia last year and this year’s event will be in St. Louis. The guests this year include nearly a dozen World and Olympic wrestling champions. The event is free and open to the public.
April 12 – Mike will be the guest speaker at the Toledo Library, talking about famous Iowans and signing copies of his books. The event starts at 7 p.m. and is open to the public.
May 18 – The Winnie Hawks is a large group of Winnebago owners who hold annual meetings around the country. This year’s meeting will be in Oskaloosa, starting at 6 p.m., and Mike will be the guest speaker, talking about famous Iowans.
Any group interested in having Mike be a speaker can contact him at 641-791-3072, or check the contact page.
Monday, August 29th, 2011 | Speaking | No Comments
Mike has been busy this year giving speeches all across the state. If you’re looking for a speaker for your event, consider bringing Mike in to talk about a number of topics covered in the Speaking section of the site. Here are some testimonials that have come in over the past year:
“Mike Chapman presented our club with a lively, laugh-filled, eye-opening review of famous Iowans, from Nile Kinnick to Dan Gable and everyone in between. Plus, he offered an unforgettable travelogue about his long-sought visit to the Plain of Troy. He is perfect for all kinds of organizations because his style and material are fresh, funny and a delight to hear!”
Kathie Swift, President,
The Friendship Force of Greater Des Moines
“Mike Chapman…is undoubtedly one of the best speakers I have heard for a long, long time. The whole group felt that way and lined up to visit with him after the meeting. His great wife Bev also came with him.”
Program chair, Northwest Rotary, Urbandale, Iowa
Friday, August 19th, 2011 | Speaking | No Comments
Mike will be one of the featured speakers at an event this weekend to raise money for a Nile Kinnick Museum in Adel. The event starts at 7 pm in Adel and will also feature comments from Jim Zabel, via teleconference, and host Jim Miller.
A kick-off event is scheduled for Saturday, August 20th, at 7:00 p.m. at the ADM High School Auditorium for the Nile Kinnick Institute & Museum project. “A Conversation on Nile Kinnick, with Jim Zabel, Mike Chapman & Jon Miller” will be an informative and entertaining evening featuring three of Iowa’s most noted sports broadcasters and journalists. It will also be an opportunity for people to learn more about this exciting project for Adel.
Wednesday, August 3rd, 2011 | Book Signing, Iowa History Journal, Speaking | No Comments
Mike has a busy summer lined up, with a variety of speeches and appearances. He and Bev will be at the Iowa State Fair for 11 straight days (August 11-21) in the Iowa History Journal booth at the Varied Industries Building, along with several columnists and writers for IHJ. The booth will have most of the back issues of IHJ for sale, as well as many of Mike’s 22 books – including his latest book, Triumph and Tragedy: The Inspiring Stories of Iowa Football Legends Fred Becker, Jack trice, Nile Kinnick and Johnny Bright, The book makes a perfect gift for anyone as Iowa colleges head into football season this fall.
Working at the booth at some point during the 11 days will be Arvid Huisman, longtime newspaper veteran and author of the book Country Roads; John McNeer, who writes the IHJ column “The Way We Were”, and feature writers Bill Sherman and Jessica Lowe. None of the dates are pinned down yet but we will post them as soon as they are.
Monday, May 9th, 2011 | Book Signing, Radio, Speaking, Wrestling | No Comments
Mike Chapman has a heavy schedule of appearances in May.
May 9 – 4:30 pm, taping of The Culture Buzz show at KFMG studio, in Des Moines. Will be played May 18th from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm. Listen live here or listen to the archived show here, when it goes online.
May 16 – Speaking at the Noon Rotary in Waterloo, at the Five Sullivan Center. Mike will be talking about his book Triumph and Tragedy: The Inspiring Stories of Football Legends Fred Becker, Jack Trice, Nile Kinnick and Johnny Bright. Fred Becker is a 1914 graduate of East High who became Iowa’s very first All-American football player in 1916, then died fighting in World War I. The newest Waterloo school will be named Fred H. Becker Elementary School.
May 17 – For the third straight year, Mike will be presenting a workshop for young writers at a Waterloo school. The event is coordinated by Donna Huff, wife of Don Huff, with whom Mike co-wrote the book SIDDENS! The purpose of the workshop is to inspire young students to get excited about history and writing.
May 19 — Mike will be one of the special guests at the Frank Gotch Statue Celebration (5-9 p.m.) and the Rustix Restaurant in Humboldt. A committee was formed six months ago with the goal of raising money for an 8-foot bronze statue of Frank to be placed at Bicknell Park in Humboldt. Gotch was world heavyweight wrestling champion from 1908 to 1915 and arguably the most popular athlete in America. Also in attendance will be Tom Brands, 1996 Olympic champion, three-time NCAA champion and head coach at Iowa; Bill Smith, 1952 Olympic champion and two-time NCAA champion at UNI; Jim Raschke, who was a big star in professional wrestling in the 1970s as Baron Von Raschke and was a national champion as an amateur AAU wrestler; Brad Rheingans, who won 8 national championships and made two Olympic teams as an amateur before becoming a professional star; Bob Steenlage, Iowa’s first four-time state champion (from Britt) and an All-American at West Point, also the subject of the popular book Fighting Back; and Bruce Reimers, a native of Humboldt who played 10 years in the National Football League and was in a Super Bowl with the Cincinnati Bengals; there will also be a silent auction.
May 24 — Mike will journey to Dixon, Illinois, the hometown of Ronald Reagan, to present a program about his historical novel, Lowell Park, and to discuss his writing career. Ronald Reagan was a lifeguard at beautiful Lowell Park for seven straight summers, and Abe Lincoln served in the Illinois militia in the same spot 100 years earlier. The book combines those two facts. It has been sold to a Hollywood movie company and is in pre-production. The talk will take place at the Dixon Library from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. and is open to the public. He will hold a book signing afterwards, with many of his 22 books available.
More information here: Dixon Public Library
May 27-28 – In Minneapolis, Mike will be one of several guests at the annual Edgar Rice Burroughs gathering called ECOF. Burroughs created Tarzan and many other great fictional characters. The gathering is open to the public and will feature tons of Tarzan and Burroughs related material, science fiction books, artwork, etc. There will be other authors and a famous comic artist, Mike Grell. It will be held at the Bloomington Airport Holiday Inn, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m both days. Mike has hosted three national Tarzan conventions in the past and has written books about Tarzan actors Herman Brix (aka Bruce Bennett) and Glenn Morris. He will have most of his 22 books for sale. The event is open to the public with no charge.
More information here: ECOF 2011 Flyer
Upcoming Speeches and Appearances
- March 29, 2017 – Flag Day, Knoxville Library