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.
Tuesday, August 6th, 2013 | Books | No Comments
The book Oklahoma Shooter: The Dan Hodge Story was published in 2009 and all 2,000 copies quickly sold out. We have had so many requests for books that we have reprinted a select number. This will be the last reprint so order it now.
Dan Hodge is one of the most fascinating athletes in American history. He was a three-time undefeated NCAA champion for the University of Oklahoma in the 1950s, and was known as the greatest pinner of all time. His junior year, Hodge won the 177-pound NCAA title with all pins, then the national freestyle AND Greco-Roman national titles a month later, again all with pins. That’s three national championships with 14 straight pins. Dan won a silver medal in the 1956 Olympics in Melbourne. He was robbed of the gold medal and the story is revealed in the book.
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.
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.
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, April 19th, 2013 | Books, Wrestling | No Comments
“How much do you know about Mankind’s Oldest Sport?”
That is the question posed on the cover of the new wrestling book written by the sport’s most prolific writer. Mike Chapman’s Super Book of Wrestling Trivia brings to the reader some of the most memorable events in the history of Mankind’s Oldest Sport.
“The three main goals of the book are to educate young people about the grand heritage of the sport and to entertain older readers with a nostalgic trip into the past,” said Chapman. “And to have a little fun along the way.”
Wrestling has been around for at least 5,000 years. The book has separate chapters on wrestling in antiquity, in early America, in the NCAAs, and international wrestling, including the Olympics. There are also sections on professional wrestling, wrestling as a part of mixed martial arts, wrestling in the military, and wrestling in pop culture.
The 176-page book features nearly 50 photos. Included are a classic sketch of the Hebrew patriarch Jacob wrestling the angel of the Lord, as described in the Bible in Genesis; photos of Kirk Douglas wrestling in the 1955 movie “Ulysses,” about the Greek hero during the time of the Trojan War, and Tom Cruise wrestling in the 1989 film “Born on the 4th of July.”
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!
Upcoming Speeches and Appearances
- August 26, 2014 – Speaking in Forest City
Calendar of Appearances
Fred Becker Elementary School Dedication
January 24, 2012
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.