History

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.

Dust Bowl memories offer present warning

Nov 15, 2012
courtesy kansasmemory.org Kansas Historical Society

The Dust Bowl of the 1930s is the subject of a new documentary from Ken Burns airing this month on PBS television stations. The man-made disaster left an indelible mark on the Midwest and on history — and, as Harvest Public Media’s Grant Gerlock reports, today’s extensive corn production could make the region vulnerable once again.

Bill Schaefer / Gold Star Museum

A new photo exhibit honors living Iowa veterans at the Gold Star Museum at Camp Dodge. Most Iowans will recognize many of them. Exhibit opens to the public on Nov. 9th.

Christian Montone / Flickr

We all remember how George Bush defeated Al Gore by 269 votes in 2000, but how about when Grover Cleveland edged out James Blaine in the election of 1884, an ugly campaign that was the beginning of modern mudslinging. In this tight election year we’ll look back at other hard won presidential elections in our history with guests Tim Walch, former director of the Hoover Presidential Library and Museum, and Cary Covington, a University of Iowa professor of political science.

This week people across Iowa are recognizing the 225th anniversary of the U.S. Constitution during this year’s national observance of “Constitution Week”. Historian David Wendell talks with Ben Kieffer about constitutional issues 225 years ago and their prevalence today. Then, the mayor of Hampton, Iowa, discusses his efforts in organizing “Libertyfest”, a week long celebration of the constitution and the founding fathers who established it.

The task of daily chores, attending class picnics, and the uneasiness of the Cold War days are just some of the memories Carroll Englehardt, author and professor emeritus of history at Concordia College, shares in his book, “The Farm at Holstein Dip: An Iowa Boyhood.” Then  Jeff Morgan, public information officer at the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs Office, talks about the art of  historical preservation with Pete Sixbey, a conservator at the State Historical Society of Iowa.

My Farm Roots: Nan Gardiner

Jul 18, 2012
Peggy Lowe / Harvest Public Media

This is the second installment of My Farm Roots, Harvest Public Media’s new series chronicling Americans’ connection to the land. Click here (http://harvestpublicmedia.org/myfarmroots)to explore more My Farm Rootsstories and to share your own.

It’s not every day that a trip to the drug store can change your destiny.

Civil War Medicine

Jul 9, 2012

More than six hundred thousand men died during the Civil War and twice as many men died of disease than of gunshot wounds. Charity talks with Dr. Kendall Reed from Des Moines University medical practices during the war and how the period led to numerous medical advancements.  Later, Lester Menke,  author of  “When Apples Had No Worms”, shares his stories from growing up in the 1920s and 30s.

Memories of the USS Iowa

Jul 4, 2012

One of the largest battleships to serve during World War II was the USS Iowa. Now the Iowa has found a place to rest, rather than rust, as a museum in the port of Los Angeles.  On Tuesday she welcomed many of her seamen back home. Iowa Public Radio’s Sandhya Dirks visited the ship to hear their stories.

 

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