History

F.A. Rinehart

There is a short list of World’s Fairs that have inspired many stories, New York 1939, Chicago 1893, St. Louis 1904.  The 1898 Omaha World’s Fair is not one of them… until now. Today on Talk of Iowa, host Charity Nebbe talks with author Timothy Shaffert about his latest novel The Swan Gondola which takes place on the eve of the Omaha World’s Fair.

Bill Read

The internet has changed how we find information, get news, connect with friends, and for many people it also has changed the experience with faith and religion.  Guests include Elizabeth Drescher from Santa Clara University, L. Edward Philips from Emory University, and author, editor, and lecturer Phyllis Tickle.

Durrie Bouscaren / Iowa Public Radio

Construction on the University of Iowa campus has uncovered the foundations of homes dating back to Iowa City’s earliest settlers.

Archeologists are now racing against the clock to dig out what they can at the Hubbard Park site, as Iowa Public Radio’s Durrie Bouscaren reports. 

Infrogmation of New Orleans / flickr

When you think of jazz you might think of New Orleans or New York City.  But in the 20s, 30s, and 40s musicians in Iowa and the surrounding states kept Iowans dancing in ballrooms, hotel dining rooms, high school gymnasiums, and by playing on local radio. Join host Charity Nebbe for this hour of jazz in Iowa from the hot jazz of the 20s to the big band sound of the 30s and 40s. Hear from Jim Oatts, leader of the Des Moines Big Band, Josh Duffee, music director of the Bix Beiderbecke Memorial Jazz Festival in Davenport, and John Benoit professor of music at Simpson College.

Lea VanderVelde

In 1857 the Supreme Court ruled in Dred Scott v. Sandford that a slave could not sue for his freedom. Many call this ruling the worst Supreme Court decision of all time. 

photolibrarian / flickr

Once a prominent stop on the Underground Railroad and later the seat of the Ku Klux Klan in Iowa, Centerville is a small town with a rich history. Today on Talk of Iowa, host Charity Nebbe talks with historian Enfys McMurry, author of Centerville: A Mid American Saga. They explore the ups and downs of this remarkable town.

Rachel Gardner

We get flown over, driven through, dismissed and mocked, but the history of this region is rich and important. Today on Talk of Iowa, Charity Nebbe talks with John Lauck, author of The Lost Region: Toward a Revival of Midwestern History, and historian Leo Landis. They talk about the history of the Midwest and why it matters.

Photo courtesy of Rod Stanley

This holiday season, you may be celebrating with champagne, wine, or beer. It’s hard to believe, but it was just 80 years ago when Prohibition was repealed, and drinking alcohol became legal again. Today on River to River, Ben Kieffer sits down with historian Tim Walch to find out what it was like to live in Iowa during the Prohibition era.

In the second half of the program - A Bonnie and Clyde miniseries appeared on television this week. Did you know that in 1933, there was a famous shootout involving the famous duo? Historian Rod Stanley shares the details.

Charity Nebbe / The view from "Talk of Iowa" host Charity Nebbe's front door at sunset.

What makes Iowa stand apart from the rest of the Midwest. Tom Morain of Graceland University in Lamoni and Mike Draper of Raygun, the Des Moines-based satirical t-shirt company, sit down with host Charity Nebbe to discuss Iowa unique.

Iowa State University

Iowa State University's President Steven Leath joins the program to talk about how the possible federal government shutdown could affect public universities, and Leath answers your questions.  In the second half of the show: the Republican Party is conflicted over who should be their next presidential nominee.  Presidential historian Doris Kearns Goodwin takes us back to another fight over the nomination that happened 100 years ago. 

Iowans In War

Sep 27, 2013
Christopher Ebdon / flickr

From the notable case of the Sullivan brothers in World War II, to the lesser known but significant involvement in the Civil War, Iowans have a long history of fighting for their country. Today on River To River, we close “Iowa Week” with an account of Iowa’s military history, from the Civil War, to current-day conflicts.

Iowa State University

Iowa’s rich soil has made it an ideal place to grow plants, it has also made our state an ideal place to grow and train horticulturists.  Host Charity Nebbe, wraps up Iowa week with profiles of some of the most gifted and influential horticulturists in Iowa history.  Their lasting contributions include apples, roses, peanuts and the formation of Iowa State Agricultural College.

One day in 1968, the day after the Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. was murdered, Jane Elliott, a teacher in the small town of Riceville, divided her third-grade class into blue-eyed and brown-eyed groups…and gave them a lesson in discrimination. 

Iowa Medicine

Sep 25, 2013
Colin Burnett

Nearly 200-thousand babies each year are born with congenital clubfoot. On this River to River, Iowa Week continues with a look at pioneering work in medicine.  Hear about the Iowa-based Ponseti International Association which treats clubfoot.  Dr. Herman Hein will tell us about Iowa's Statewide Perinatal Program, which has helped mothers and newborn babies receive needed medical care, and the remarkable story of how the University of Iowa's College of Medicine was funded almost one hundred years ago.

Klaus Wagensonner / sipazigaltumu / Flickr

The crisis in Syria has been in the headlines for weeks, but the roots of the two-year-long conflict can be traced back decades. Today host Ben Kieffer gets an in-depth understanding of how history of the region brought Syria to the point of civil war, how terrorism figures in and the conflict's potential outcomes.

Stan Oleson

Ever since the first person set eyes on the Mississippi River, the power of the river has helped to build and destroy settlements and cities.  It has served as a source of life and food and a highway from north to south.  It has also gripped imaginations, launched amazing journeys, and inspired music, art and literature.  Paul Schneider is one of the most recent writers to fall under the thrall of the Mississippi.  His latest book is “Old Man River: The Mississippi River in North American History.”

www.antiqueairfield.com

Stephen Black, President of Friends of NAS Ottumwa, talks about the old Stearman aircraft, which will be landing in Ottumwa at 11 o'clock Friday (August 30)., followed by another group of antique planes. The Stearmans will be on display until 12:45, when they depart for Oskaloosa. All the aircraft are scheduled to return to Antique Airfield (Blakesburg) between 3 and 4 p.m.

U.S. Army Garrison Yongsan / flickr

As students prepare for classes, the social studies classroom in Iowa’s public schools might be a little different than it was when you were in school. Today on River to River, we talk about the modern social studies classroom with the Iowa teacher that won a 2013 American Civic Education Teacher Award.  And as high school football practices are starting, we talk with a coach that’s using new technology to assess concussions in athletes.

Iowa Gold and Wisconsin Heroes

Aug 7, 2013
justinsfpics / Flickr

In 1911 "The Song of Iowa" by S.H.M. Byers became Iowa's official state song.  The lyrics "You asked what land I love the best, Iowa, tis Iowa, The fairest State of all the west, Iowa, O!

kcrg.com

One of the oldest records that Iowa still holds will be lost soon. That is when the earliest operating prison west of the Mississippi will he replaced by an all-new Iowa State penitentiary. We explore the history of the Fort Madison prison, with rare audio from WOI-TV, Sky TV and MSNBC.

Lincoln Highway Centennial Tour Facebook page

A caravan celebrating America’s first cross-country highway will be passing through Iowa soon, with an overnight stop in Ames.

The Lincoln Highway is 100 years old, and several hundred motorists will be converging on the Midwest in two groups: one from New York City and one from San Francisco. For 460 miles, the Lincoln cuts through the center of Iowa. Today, it is a Heritage Byway; much of it is now Highway-30, but some of the earliest sections remain charming, two-lane roads.

John Mazzello is Byway Coordinator with Prairie Rivers of Iowa.

Emily Woodbury / Iowa Public Radio

Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald lived hard and died young. But while their wild lifestyle did not endure, the novels of F. Scott Fitzgerald continue to captivate modern readers.  Today on "Talk of Iowa" we'll talk with R. Clifton Spargo, author of "Beautiful Fools: The Last Affair of Zelda and Scott Fitzgerald."

Rick Fredericksen / Iowa Public Radio

History is being preserved at Arnold’s Park in northern Iowa, where the state’s oldest roller coaster is undergoing a much-needed overhaul. We get the story, and take a ride, with Iowa Public Radio’s Rick Fredericksen.

Gray Pearl Press

In 1935, seven-year-old Gerhard Loewenberg was on vacation with his family in Italy.  While they were there, they learned that their German citizenship had been revoked because they were Jewish.  Today Loewenberg is a University of Iowa professor emeritus of political science and the former dean of the College of Liberal Arts

"Talk of Iowa" sits down with Loewenberg to talk about the event that changed the course of his and discuss his new memoir "Moved by Politics."

IowayMovie.com / Fourth Wall Films

The people who gave our state its name are called the Ioway.   Few Iowans today know very much about the Ioway, but their stories, past and present, are being told in two new documentaries.

"Talk of Iowa" speaks with the filmmakers of "Lost Nation: The Ioway." An archeologist as well as an Ioway scholar and artist will also join the conversation.

In 1862 Private Silas W. Haven marched off to fight in the Civil War.  He left behind his wife and three small children for four long years.  During that time he wrote nearly 200 letters home. Those letters have now been published in the new book, “A Punishment on the Nation: An Iowa Soldier Endures the Civil War.”  I’ll talk with editor Brian Miller.

dbrooker1 / flickr

In ancient Rome the bath house was an important gathering place.   After the fall of Roman Empire interest in bathing waxed and waned, but somehow we’ve progressed from the chamber pot and basin to homes with a separate bathroom for every bedroom.  Host Charity Nebbe will explore the evolution of the bathroom, the most necessary room in the house. 

President Ronald Reagan is one of the nation’s more influential presidents. He served as president during the collapse of the Soviet Union and the beginning of the HIV/AIDS crisis. Ben Kieffer talks with film maker and Iowa native Chip Duncan. He has a new public television documentary series on the Reagan presidency premiering in February. We discuss the successes, failures and influential decisions made by President Reagan during his eight years in office.

An Iowa State University historian and expert on the 1930s dust bowl consulted on filmmaker Ken Burns’ newest documentary, which airs tonight and tomorrow night on PBS.

Professor and chair of history at ISU Pamela Riney-Kehrberg is featured in the film, she says she assisted to ensure the film’s historical accuracy…

Ken Burns' The Dust Bowl, airs tonight and tomorrow night on PBS

Arthur Rothstein

Urban areas in the Midwest are often referred to as “food deserts”, lacking in affordable, local fresh greens and produce. Many people living in these areas are suffering from poor diet and subsequent disease. Ben Kieffer speaks with Will Allen, an urban farmer who is working to eliminate the fresh food shortage is these neighborhoods. Then Iowa State historian Pamela Riney-Kehrberg  discusses a time when a large portion of the country was considered a desert, the 1930s Dust Bowl.

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