Tuesday, January 13th, 2015 | Books | No Comments
The amazing career of Nat Pendleton is the subject of an exciting new book by Mike, generally recognized as one of the nation’s leading wrestling historians and authors. Pendleton is one of the most important figures in early American wrestling history. Born in Iowa in 1895, he was an undefeated college star at Columbia University in New York City, a two-time AAU national champion, and silver medal winner in the 1920 Olympics.
Nat turned to pro wrestling during its transitional period from athletic contest to show business and participated in one of the most talked-about matches in pro wrestling history. His opponent in that 1923 match was the feared submission expert, John Pesek, and the outcome has been the subject of considerable discussion for nearly nine decades.
Shortly after the match, Nat moved to Hollywood and appeared in nearly 100 movies – one of the most successful athletes to ever appear in films!
The book has 60 photos, some never published before. The foreword was written by Andy Barth, who was a Colombia University wrestling team captain many decades after Nat Pendleton held the same position. Andy is a member of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame and one of wrestling’s top supporters. Here is part of what Andy wrote: “I want to thank Mike Chapman for working so diligently to research and write this biography. This is a great read that touches at the core of what the sport of wrestling can do for young men and women to strengthen and develop their character in the areas of determination, perseverance and a will to succeed. I am proud to have walked the same halls and shared in the same heritage as Nat Pendleton.”
You can add this book to your wrestling library for just $14.95, and $5 for shipping and handling. Send a check or money order for $19.95 to — Culture House, P.O. Box 293, Newton, Iowa, 50208, or call 641-791-3072 for more information.
Monday, August 18th, 2014 | Speaking | No Comments
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or 641-590-5194.
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.
Wednesday, March 12th, 2014 | Wrestling | No Comments
June 7 – Mike will be a special guest and exhibitor at a “catch” wrestling tournament held on the UCLA campus in Los Angeles. The event is being run by “catch” expert Raul Ramirez and is called the “Catch Wrestling Alliance International Invitational: The Rebirth.” It will feature top competitors in the “catch” style from England and America, “Catch’ was the wrestling style popular in the early 1900s and a win can be claimed only by a submission or pin as there are no points awarded. Bouts 20 minutes. This event will be held Saturday, June 7, in Collins Court in the John Wooden Center on the campus of UCLA, at 221 Westwood Plaza, Los Angeles, California 90095-1612. More information is available at www.catchwrestlingalliance.com
Tuesday, March 4th, 2014 | WIN Magazine, Wrestling | No Comments
March 20-22 – For the 25th straight year Mike and Bev will be participating in the WIN Memorabilia Show during the NCAA Wrestling Championships, this time in Oklahoma City. The show features over 40 exhibitors and many Olympic and World wrestling champions. Mike’s special guests at his tables will be Dan Hodge, undefeated three-time NCAA champion and the man the Dan Hodge Trophy is named for, and Wayne Baughman, winner of 16 national titles and a member of three Olympic teams and eight World Games teams. Also with Mike and Bev will be Don Huff, co-author with Mike of the book SIDDENS, about legendary West Waterloo High School (Iowa) wrestling coach Bob Siddens. The WIN Show will be held Thursday, Friday and Saturday between sessions – at the NCAA Fan Festival, in the Cox Convention Center. Among the special guests at the show will be Olympic champions Dan Gable, Bruce Baumgartner, and John and Ben Peterson, and many other top guests.
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
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.
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.
Upcoming Speeches and Appearances
- July 3, 2016 – Frank Gotch Catch World Championships in Humboldt, Iowa.