Iowa Archives

Photo Courtesy of Rick Fredericksen

  The Iowa Public Radio series Iowa Archives turns 8 this year and the project's producer, IPR's Rick Fredericksen, has tapped a lot of what's readily available and he's asking listeners for any old sound they might have. Fredericksen recaps some of Iowa Archive's highlights with Morning Edition Host Clay Masters. 

Fredericksen will host an hour special featuring the best of Iowa Archives music on Memorial Day at 10AM.  

If you have some audio Rick might find interesting, e-mail him at rfredericksen@iowapublicradio.org.

All photos are courtesy Roy R. Beherns

Camouflage. It has invaded our everyday wardrobe; from dessert tan, to jungle green and an array of bewildering designs. 100 years ago next month, a maritime disaster helped bring urgency to improving military camouflage and several Iowans were among those joining the cause. This Iowa Archives special was prepared by IPR’s Rick Fredericksen.  

Seventy years ago, Walt Disney was producing propaganda films during World War Two. This cartoon advocates a defensive tactic that goes back to the beginning of life. 

National Park Service

He was an engineer, a Quaker, and president of the United States. Fifty years ago today the only native Iowan to occupy in the White House was buried at his birthplace in West Branch. We reflect back on Herbert Hoover with historical recordings

The state’s most famous public servant died at the age of 90, and thousands of Iowans watched his final return home on this date in 1964.

Iowa National Guard cameramen

Iowa's worst air disaster is being commemorated this coming weekend. It was 25 years ago when United Flight 232 wobbled into Sioux City for a crash landing that killed 112 passengers. Our historic sound project remembers that tragic day with audio recordings going back to July 19, 1989. Reporter Durrie Bouscaren contributed to this story.

Joe Noonan

We all make time saving short cuts every day, but none could compare to one of the most important short cuts in history. The Panama Canal turns 100 this summer and a massive expansion project has Iowans predicting good things on several fronts. 

In Uniform

Nov 11, 2013
USA.gov

In war or in peace, thousands of Iowans have served in the armed forces.  With both archival audio and original interviews, "In Uniform" honors and remembers Iowa veterans who sacrificed and served the country since the Civil War all the way up to the War on Terror.

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.

Rick Fredericksen / Iowa Public Radio

Grateful Americans are honoring former President Gerald Ford this weekend at a reunion in Dana Point, California.  They owe their citizenship, and perhaps their lives, to the man born in Omaha, 100 years ago this Sunday. Iowa Archives remembers “Operation Babylift,” and the epic rescue of several thousand Vietnamese orphans. 

Rick Fredericksen / Iowa Public Radio

As Iowans take to the road for family vacations, there is new appreciation for two of Iowa’s oldest highways. The Lincoln is 100 years old, and proud of it, but Iowa Public Radio has discovered a grassroots effort to revive the Jefferson Highway too. Rick Fredericksen produces Iowa Archives, our historic audio series.

Rick Fredericksen / Iowa Public Radio

One of Iowa's most strategic pieces of of real estate is up for sale; The Des Moines Register is preparing to vacate its long time headquarters next month. Now, nearly a hundred years of history is making news again. We take a tour and listen to old recordings.

Rick Fredericksen / IPR

It was code-named Operation Homecoming, when the U.S. and North Vietnam signed a peace agreement and our prisoners of war started coming home.We remember the defining events of that time, with historic sound from our Iowa Archives project.

Best Music of Iowa Archives

Dec 31, 2012
last.fm

If you've new to the Iowa Archives project, this special broadcast is the best link to click; featuring more than 100 years of music with connections to Iowa. We've reached into our collection of historic sound treasures for old radio clips, rare recordings and cherished interviews. You will be astonished at the depth of Iowa's contributions to music, from composers, to vocalists and even places that have become music landmarks. It is like a variety show for the ages, with performances by Glenn Miller, Andy Williams, Superman and much more. Highly recommended!

34th Army Band

When Iowans gather in Des Moines tomorrow to thank veterans for their service, one of the National Guard's most decorated units will be among those leading the parade. Historic 1965 audio from the 34th Army Band in Burlington and the Val Air Ballroom in 1967.

The Iowa Cornets

May 18, 2012
Rick Fredericksen

The WNBA opens play this weekend and former University of Iowa player Tangela Smith will be in uniform for the San Antonio Silver Stars. It was here in Iowa, 34 years ago, where women's professional basketball was born. We look back at charter team and its biggest star. Historic audio from the Iowa Women's Archives.

As Iowa tries to retain its last jet fighter base in Des Moines, a non-profit group is hoping to save one of the last remnants of an air station that closed at the end of World War Two. Historic audio from Stearman training film and You Tube.

www.broonzy.com

Mention the New Deal, and most Iowans would think of a bridge, state park or school gymnasium. But the arts also flourished during the Great Depression, thanks to federal programs that gave jobs to painters, sculptors, writers and performers. A museum director calls it, "the greatest art movement in Iowa in 100 years."

Seventy-five years ago, the federal government bankrolled countless infrastructure programs that put tens of thousands of Iowans to work; many of the projects are enjoying a revival, of sorts. Some are being renovated, others are endangered, and many are just as vital as they were in the 1930s.

The White House

One of the most tragic days in America's history comes flooding back this weekend, as we commemorate the tenth anniversary of 9-11. Citizens of Iowa were casualties, mourners, and heroes. Our historic sound project looks back at those terrifying days, using audio recordings gathered by IPR reporters.

Iowa State Fair

A birthday party, a secret, and something found in most refrigerators. That combination will surely entice visitors to an iconic exhibit at the State Fair next month. Sculpting has commenced for the centennial of the butter cow. But the celebration will be tempered by the passing of the tradition's most famous artist.

Stepperettes

Jun 26, 2011
Stepperettes on Facebook

Memories were flowing at a reunion of the Stepperettes, a legendary precision drill team that represented Iowa for two decades. Audio clip from 1967 sound track filmed at Veterans Auditorium in Des Moines.

Sullivan Brothers

May 27, 2011
Sullivan Brothers Iowa Veterans Museum

On Memorial Day weekend 70 years ago, a large Irish family was at home in eastern Iowa enjoying its last spring together. No one knew that the five Sullivan brothers were bound for history, in a tragedy that would shake the nation in a time of war. Historic audio from 1943-1944.

A new museum exhibit is coming together that will tell the story of how gender equality came to the U.S. Army. It all started at Fort Des Moines.

The Des Moines Symphony concludes its season next month with a classical Russian program. In 1965, the season ended with something entirely different and a recording of that performance has just surfaced. “Iowa Archives” looks back at the symphony’s early years.

A nationwide search is underway for graduates of the largest pipe and drum band in the world. It is all in preparation for a reunion in Iowa City. Historic sound extends back to 1948.

Cherokee Chronicle Times

It was 150 years ago this week when the “Iowa Lunatic Asylum” opened in Mount Pleasant and the state’s first mental health patient was admitted. Just about everything has changed since then, but a series of old television documentaries reveals a glimpse of the dark days of mental health care in Iowa, including frightening treatments now abandoned. Original WOI-TV documentary was filmed in 1952.

Iowa Events Center

This is the first time we've applied our historic sound project to a building. Iowa's largest memorial to war veterans is closed for renovation. Sometimes called the "barn," it will never be the same. Historic audio clips come from Iowa Public Television, the Archives of Iowa Broadcasting and IPR. Note: Vets reopened in 2012.

Andy Williams Birthplace Museum

It has been 45 years since the Williams Brothers broke up. That’s when the youngest member launched his own act. Iowa Public Radio's Rick Fredericksen was in the audience recently, and concludes his profile on Iowa native Andy Williams, who passed away in 2012. (Part One is posted below) Historic audio courtesy of Iowa Public TV, Andy Williams, his birthplace museum and You Tube.

Andy Williams Birthplace Museum

It was just over 75 years ago when a young Iowa boy joined his brothers in a church choir in western Iowa. Until 2012, when Andy Williams passed away, he was one of the most productive octogenarians in entertainment. Iowa Public Radio's Rick Fredericksen traveled to Wall Lake and Branson, Missouri, for this 2-part, Iowa Archives special. Historic audio comes from Andy Williams, his birthplace museum, and You Tube.

US Department of Interior

It was the biggest shovel-ready, public works project of its time. 75-years ago today, a mammoth dam, named after Herbert Hoover, was dedicated on the Colorado River. It remains, perhaps, the biggest accomplishment in the former Iowan's presidency. Historic audio dates back to 1928.

Rick Fredericksen

A beloved Iowa journalist is being remembered today. Jack Shelley passed away last night at the age of 98. Shelley was there in the early days of radio and television and sent home riveting stories from WWII. We look back at the career of this pioneer broadcaster. Sounds from 1945-1953 in Guam, Belgium, Tokyo Bay and the state of Nevada. Major events related to the atomic bomb are closely linked to Shelley's news coverage. Old audio is from WHO's original recordings, on file at the Archives of Iowa Broadcasting.

Pages