Presidents

That Hartford Guy / Flickr

Nixon resigned the office of president 40 years ago this month. But the question remains: What were the lessons of Watergate? And has our country learned them?

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.

Photo by John Pemble

A new play about one the country’s most influential Presidents will take place in a space only used by politicians.  “Lincoln’s Last Interview” only engagement is on the floor of the Iowa House in the State Capitol.  It’s being used as a stand in for the US House of Representatives.  The play is set on April 14th, 1865 where President Lincoln and his wife Mary give an interview to a reporter before leaving to see a play at Ford’s Theater.  

White House photo office / Wikimedia Commons

Nixon resigned the office of president 40 years ago this month. But the question remains: What were the lessons of Watergate? And has our country learned them? Former Iowa State University Political Science Professor Jim Hutter and David Yepsen, political reporter for the Des Moines Register for a quarter of a century, join host Ben Kieffer to discuss how Watergate and Nixon's resignation changed our political scene, our media landscape and our nation. 

Courtesy of the Eisenhower Presidential Library- Museum & Boyhood Home

During the American Revolution future first lady Abigail Adams melted down the family pewter to make bullets.  The bullet mold she used will be on display at the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and Museum from April 19-Oct. 26, 2014, as part of the museum's new exhibit, America’s First Ladies.

Host Charity Nebbe, gets a preview of the exhibit with curator Melanie Weir and historian Elizabeth Dinschel.

CSIS PONI

The head of the U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee says the CIA improperly accessed computers used by congressional staff.  What comes next?

Alexander Gardner / Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.

In this encore edition of River to River, listen back to host Ben Kieffer's conversation with Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and Museum director Tom Schwartz.  Schwartz explains the story behind the passage of the 13th Amendment which outlaws slavery and involuntary servitude.

Lauren Farmer

Join us tonight at 6 PM to hear a new work written for the Dallas Symphony to mark the 50th anniversary of the Kennedy assassination. The composer is Conrad Tao, the 19-year-old  American pianist/composer whose first CD is one of our picks-of-the-year. The work is titled The World Is Very Different Now and is performed by the Symphony and its music director, Jaap van Zweden.

U.S. Embassy New Delhi

Iowa Public Radio listeners share their memories of the death of President John F. Kennedy on the 50th anniversary of his assassination.  Also historian Tom Schwartz of the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and Museum joins the conversation to share his own reflections of the event and to discuss the 150th anniversary of the Gettysburg Address.

YouTube

A Des Moines attorney was a key figure in the official inquiry into President Kennedy's assassination. David Belin investigated the rifle that made history 50 years ago.

mjkghk/flickr

As Americans commemorate the assassination of President Kennedy, we also remember the respected Iowa reporter who was covering the president on that fateful day in Dallas.

Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and Museum

Every presidency ebbs and flows.  President Obama seems to be going through an ebb, as his job approval rating drops to the lowest of his presidency.  Host Ben Kieffer talks with presidential historian Tim Walch, former Director of the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and Museum and Donna Hoffman, Associate Professor and Chair of Political Science at University of Northern Iowa, about the ebb and flow of presidencies through history, and what they can tell us about presidential popularity today.

Trevor Manternach / Flickr

Host Ben Kieffer discusses this year's Farm Progress Show with Harvest Public Media reporter Bill Wheelhouse, Iowa State University Professor horticulturalist Kathleen Delate and organic farmer Grant Schultz.   Also, this month the last group of secret recordings Richard Nixon made while president were rele

Ben Stanton / Iowa Public Radio

In this encore edition of River to River, listen back to host Ben Kieffer's tour of the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and Museum with its Director Tom Schwartz.  Schwartz talks about the role of presidential museums and libraries in light of the recent opening of the George W. Bush Library in Dallas.  Schwartz also discusses President Hoover himself and the museum’s exhibit that commemorates the 150th anniversary of the Civil War.  It’s called Iowans and the Civil War: The Western Theater.

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. 

Ben Stanton / Iowa Public Radio

Host Ben Kieffer takes a tour of the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and Museum with its Director Tom Schwartz.  He talks about the role of presidential museums and libraries in light of the recent opening of the George W. Bush Library in Dallas.  Schwartz also discusses President Hoover himself and the museum’s exhibit that commemorates the 150th anniversary of the Civil War.  It’s called Iowans and the Civil War: The Western Theater.  The exhibit includes a Civil War field hospital, and signed copies of the Emancipation Proclamation and the Thirteenth Amendment. 

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.

Touchstone Pictures

The passage of the 13th Amendment which outlaws slavery and involuntary servitude almost didn’t pass. Host Ben Kieffer speaks with historian Thomas Schwartz, one of the foremost experts on the Abraham Lincoln.

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.

Clay Masters / IPR

Both President Obama and Mitt Romney descended on Dubuque Saturday in the final days of their campaigns. Both candidates were promoting their own brand of change.

GOP Presidential candidate Mitt Romney flew into the Dubuque airport and greeted a crowd of more than 2,000 people in a hangar behind a sign that read “REAL CHANGE ON DAY ONE”.

Appearing with Romney was his wife Ann and NASCAR legend Richard Petty… who offered a race car driver’s perspective on the economy.

Drake University / Facebook

Former President Jimmy Carter says he disagrees with President Obama’s assessment this week of Egypt’s relationship to the United States.

The Democrat addressed students and faculty at Drake University in Des Moines Thursday. During a forum focused primarily on social justice issues, Carter was asked if he agrees with President Obama’s statement that Egypt is neither an ally nor an enemy.

"No, I think Egypt is an ally of the United States," Carter says. "We know Egypt well."

Clay Masters / IPR

Both the Republican and Democratic national conventions are over. And both presidential candidates were in Iowa yesterday.  Both President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney were using new jobs numbers to sway voters.

More than 8,000 people crowded outside Jessup Hall at the University of Iowa. A late afternoon rain soaked the crowd… many dressed in Hawkeye yellow and black as well as ponchos.  But the sky cleared up for Vice President Joe Biden to introduce the president.

WNYC

If you were hoping the political ads would go away after the Iowa caucuses…well, no luck. As you’re probably well aware, Iowa is a swing state in this presidential election.  Both President Obama and his Republican rival Mitt Romney are fighting hard for our six electoral votes in what's looking like a very tight race.

Reporter Anna Sale of WNYC (http://www.wnyc.org/) in New York is also a writer for the political blog, “It’s a Free Country.”  She's been spending the week in Iowa as part of a tour of key swing states.

Sarah McCammon / Iowa Public Radio


President Obama is becoming a familiar face in Iowa again. Yesterday, he made his third visit to the state this year, which he won in 2008.
Mr. Obama discussed renewable energy at a manufacturing plant in Newton before rallying about 2500 supporters at the Iowa State Fairgrounds.

If Mr. Obama’s job four years ago was to woo voters, this time the message is more like “I Still Need You.”

"This election’s gonna be even closer than the last one. And by the way the last one was close. People don’t remember, it was close," he says.

Romney visits Iowa

May 16, 2012
Clay Masters/IPR

Iowa supporters of presumptive GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney showed up at a hotel in downtown Des Moines to get a firsthand look at the presidential candidate. Romney spent the majority of his speech talking economic issues.

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.

JFK Library

Sounds from the 1960s, recorded in Washington, Greenfield and Des Moines. Forty-five years after the slaying of President John F. Kennedy, we hear the voices of several Iowans whose professional lives were touched by the assassination. Recordings courtesy of WHO Radio and private collector Bill Sherman.

Presidents Past

Aug 14, 2007
Hoover Library

The Iowa caucuses aside, there is nothing new about presidents and presidential candidates visiting Iowa. It has become a long tradition. The 31st president spent much of his life here. Sounds from the 1940s-70s, recorded in Guthrie Center, Cedar Rapids, Dexter, West Branch, and Des Moines. Thanks to the Archives of Iowa Broadcasting and the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library.