Fred Becker

Iowa History Journal Volume 4, Issue 2 Now Available

Thursday, March 1st, 2012 | Iowa History Journal | No Comments

In 1917, Earl Caddock of Walnut, Iowa, defeated Joe Stecher of Dodge, Nebraska, to win the world heavyweight wrestling championship. The victory catapulted Caddock into the national spotlight and made him one of the most popular athletes in the entire nation. Shortly after, he signed up to fight in World War I and eventually suffered lung damage from a mustard gas attack in France. After the war, Earl came home to Iowa and became a successful businessman, family man, and devout Christian. His story, written by wrestling historian Mike Chapman, is both heroic and inspirational.

Readers will also be treated to feature stories on Fort Dodge’s legendary marching band composer Karl L. King, older Iowans known as “Graybeards” who served in the Civil War, WHO Radio’s Jack Shelley and the Bogenrief glass cutting studio in Spencer.

Also included in this issue:

  • Lillian Blanche Fearing blazed a trail for blind women over a century ago
  • How the city of Oelwein got its name and the importance of the railroad to that Fayette County community
  • A book review of the photographic career of Iowa newspaper professional Joan Liffring-Zug Bourret
  • Waterloo names its newest school for Fred Becker, Iowa’s first All-America football player
  • The Iowa History Quiz
  • 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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Mike’s Speaking Schedule For Early 2012

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.

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Author to Sign Book on Drake Legend Johnny Bright Before Home Football Game

Wednesday, September 29th, 2010 | Books, Iowa History Journal | No Comments

DES MOINES, IOWA — The legend of Johnny Bright, Drake’s greatest athletic hero, springs back to life this month as Johnny graces the cover of two new publications – a magazine and a book.

A beautiful artwork of Bright is on the cover of Iowa History Journal, a magazine that covers all aspects of Iowa history, from sports to entertainment, to business and politics, and various historical figures and events.

The Bulldog star led the entire nation in total offense in both 1949 and 1950, and was leading it again in 1951 when he was knocked out of action in one of the ugliest incidents in college football history. Bright was a first team All-American and finished fifth in the balloting of the 1951 Heisman Trophy despite missing two of the Drake games due to the incident.

Bright is also one of four Iowa football stars featured in a new book, Triumph and Tragedy: The Inspiring Stories of Football Legends Fred Becker, Jack Trice, Nile Kinnick and Johnny Bright.

There will be a book signing by Mike Chapman, author of Triumph and Tragedy: The Inspiring Stores of Football Legends Fred Becker, Jack Trice, Nile Kinnick and Johnny Bright, prior to Drake’s homecoming football game against Marist this Saturday.

Read more details…

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Triumph & Tragedy Online Purchase Available

Tuesday, September 28th, 2010 | Books | No Comments

Triumph and Tragedy: The Inspiring Stories of Football Legends Fred Becker, Jack Trice, Nile Kinnick and Johnny Bright is available for purchase online through Paypal. The cost is $26.95 + $5 for shipping and handling.






You can also purchase by calling Culture House Books at 641-791-3072.

For details on the book view the previous post regarding it.

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New book features Iowa football legends

Tuesday, September 14th, 2010 | Books | No Comments

Four iconic Iowa sports figures are featured in a new book entitled Triumph and Tragedy: The Inspiring Stories of Football Legends Fred Becker, Jack Trice, Nile Kinnick and Johnny Bright.

The book was written by Mike Chapman and is published by Culture House, an Iowa company that specializes in biographies. It features 57 photos, many of which have never been published before, and a foreword by Jim Zabel, legendary WHO radio sportscaster.

Triumph and Tragedy is a book that Chapman has been working on for several years. It tells the stories of four football heroes at the University of Iowa, Iowa State and Drake, each of who faced tragedy in life after excelling on the football field of competition.

Read on for more details on Becker, Trice, Kinnick, and Bright…

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Iowa History Journal Issue 5 Now Available

Tuesday, October 13th, 2009 | Iowa History Journal | No Comments

issue-number-5Issue number 5, October 2009, of the Iowa History Journal is now available.

Inside the issue:

  • Saga of the USS Iowa
  • Old Chapel Resurrected
  • Rocky Marciano’s Fatal Trip
  • Three Baseball Books
  • Recalling the Big Peach
  • Iowa History Quiz
  • Columns by Iowans

Visit IowaHistoryJournal.com to subscribe!

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Upcoming Speeches and Appearances

  • August 26, 2014 – Speaking in Forest City

Calendar of Appearances

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Super Book of Wrestling Trivia – Order today!

Order today by calling Culture House at 641-791-3072 or online through Paypal by clicking the button below





Oklahoma Shooter – Back by Popular Demand

Oklahoma Shooter: The Dan Hodge Story is $22 plus $5 for shipping and handling. You can order by sending a check or money order for $27.00 to Culture House, P.O.. Box 293, Newton, IA 50208, or by calling 641-791-3072.

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