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Vacation 2 USA   >   Iowa   >   History
Vacation 2 USA   >   History   >   Iowa History

   
 

Iowa History


Iowa was originally home to at least 17 Native American tries, although today only the Meskwaki remain.

The first Europeans to reach Iowa were the French explorers, Louis Joliet and Jacques Marquette in 1673. They recorded in their journals that the land was lush, green and fertile.

The United States gained control of the area from France in the 1803 Louisiana Purchase. The first official American settlement began in 1833, and statehood was achieved in 1846.

During the American Civil War (1861 to 1865), Iowa contributed greatly to the Union war effort, including more 60% of its eligible males serving (the highest proportion of any state).

Iowa was a popular destination for immigrants, and the state encouraged immigration with a booklet printed in 1869 in English, German, Dutch, Swedish and Danish. Additionally, immigrants also arrived, particularly in coal mining areas from Italy and Croatia, and beginning in the 1880s, a significant number of African-Americans moved to the state, also to work in the mining industry. The coming of the railroads, also helped to encourage immigration, and, eventually, the establishment of the beginnings of a manufacturing sector.

World War One brought a brief agricultural boom to the state, but the 1920s and 1930s were a time of hardship after the elimination of the wartime agricultural subsidies. The state did not in fact fully recover until the 1940s.

After World War Two, Iowa's business and manufacturing sectors have continued to grow, and the state now produces a wide variety of manufactured products, as well the agricultural goods for which it is most famous.


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It Happened in Iowa: Remarkable Events That Shaped History (It Happened In Series)

By Tammy Partsch

TwoDot
Paperback (144 pages)

It Happened in Iowa: Remarkable Events That Shaped History (It Happened In Series)
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For most Americans, Iowa brings to mind endless acres of corn fields, one of the country’s longest-running state fairs, and American Gothic, but few may know how it serendipitously became the birthplace of the most iconic apple, why thousands of cyclists brave the Midwestern heat and humidity to cross the entire state one week each year, or how a former Des Moines sports announcer became one of the White House’s most popular residents. It Happened in Iowa goes behind the scenes to tell these stories and many more, in short episodes that reveal the intriguing people and events that have shaped the Hawkeye State.

Hidden History of Dubuque

By Susan Miller Hellert

History Pr
Released: 2016-03-14
Paperback (144 pages)

Hidden History of Dubuque
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Poised on the banks of the mighty Mississippi River, Dubuque provided a vital entry point for westward expansion. Explorers, Native Americans, fur traders, lead miners and pilgrims all played a part in the little-known history of Iowa's Driftless Region. It was Dubuque that contributed the first military company in the country for service at the start of the Civil War. Jefferson Davis made a foray into the city in pursuit of lead miners. And gangster Al Capone reportedly used the Hotel Julien as a retreat and hideout. Uncover these lost stories and more with author and historian Susan Miller Hellert as she chronicles the fascinating and all-but-forgotten tales of Dubuque and the surrounding region.

A Culinary History of Iowa: Sweet Corn, Pork Tenderloins, Maid-Rites & More (American Palate)

By Darcy Dougherty Maulsby

History Pr
Released: 2016-08-01
Paperback (192 pages)

A Culinary History of Iowa: Sweet Corn, Pork Tenderloins, Maid-Rites & More (American Palate)
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Iowa's delectable cuisine is quintessentially midwestern, grounded in its rich farming heritage and spiced with diverse ethnic influences. Classics like fresh sweet corn and breaded pork tenderloins are found on menus and in home kitchens across the state. At the world-famous Iowa State Fair, a dizzying array of food on a stick commands a nationwide cult following. From Maid-Rites to the moveable feast known as RAGBRAI, discover the remarkable stories behind Iowa originals. Find recipes for favorites ranging from classic Iowa ham balls and Steak de Burgo to homemade cinnamon rolls'served with chili, of course! Author Darcy Dougherty Maulsby serves up a bountiful history of tasty tradition.

Iowa: The Middle Land

By Dorothy Schwieder

Brand: University Of Iowa Press
Paperback (398 pages)

Iowa: The Middle Land
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In this engrossing history of the Hawkeye State, Dorothy Schwieder brings her seasoned insight to the story of the Middle Land. Iowa emerges here as a place of fascinating grassroots politics, economic troubles and triumphs, surprising cultural diversity, and unsung natural beauty. Above all, this is the history of the people of Iowa and the lives they have led - the accomplishments of both ordinary and not-so-ordinary Iowans. The twenty-ninth state was admitted to the Union on December 29, 1846. After 150 years of statehood, The Middle Land gives a fresh perspective on what happened in Iowa and why. It also looks at where it happened. The underlying theme is Iowa's location in the center of the United States and the implications of that middle land status. From grasslands to factories, Black Hawk to Branstad, Schwieder takes the reader on a compelling journey. She presents the experience of seventeenth- and eighteenth-century Native Americans in the Iowa region; the beginning of white settlement; and the subsequent development of social, educational, and economic institutions. In often arresting detail, Schwieder recounts recent episodes of Iowa's history, such as the farm crisis of the 1980s and the initiation of the lottery and casino gambling. She explores previously neglected areas and issues of social history - women, minorities, community, and Prohibition. Dorothy Schwieder has given us a most valuable addition to our understanding of America's "purest of prairie states." Iowa: The Middle Land is well suited for college history courses and senior-high courses. It is a fine library reference for all Iowans (and non-Iowans) wishing to know more about the state's history. The bookuniquely emphasizes Iowa's economic and social history and draws on manuscript sources not previously cited in general histories of Iowa.

Iowa: The Definitive Collection

By Zachary Michael Jack

Ice Cube Press
Paperback (542 pages)

Iowa: The Definitive Collection
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Iowa, the Definitive Collection gathers for student, teacher, researcher, and leisure reader alike a rich harvest of Iowa lore as told by a bevy of its most famous and forgotten voices Iowa history as made and told by Iowans, for Iowans. Totaling over 500 browsable pages and nearly 100 highly readable, classic and contemporary selections, this mammoth compendium of Iowa history, literature, and lore captures the Hawkeye State more diversely and more comprehensively than ever before. Here is a book a big book of Iowa readings of every conceivable kind (campaign platforms, creeds, diaries, editorials, ethnographic studies, fictions, government documents, history, humor, journalism, legal opinions, letters, memoirs, pamphlets, speeches, travel narratives, and more) and of every historical vintage (from Black Hawk s lament on being ordered to move west to Iowa in 1831 to Iowa writer-anthropologist Robert Leonard s freshly-penned roll call of the many different Iowans he has known). Between these covers, world-famous sons and daughters of Iowa, including Carrie Chapman Catt, Bob Feller, Susan Glaspell, Herbert Hoover, Ted Kooser, Aldo Leopold, Glenn Miller, Wallace Stegner, Henry Wallace, Grant Wood, and many others join a chorus of forgotten or neglected native greats to tell the story of their home state as only Iowans can tell it. Perfect fodder for Iowa history and literature classes, book clubs, civic organizations, museums, libraries, and visitor centers across the Land Between Two Rivers, Iowa, the Definitive Collection offers a first-of-its-kind, popular documentary history suitable for singing loudly, proudly, and circumspectly across the State, and across generations.

Iowa History Reader

Brand: University Of Iowa Press
Released: 2008-03-15
Paperback (470 pages)

Iowa History Reader
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In 1978 historian Joseph Wall wrote that Iowa was “still seeking to assert its own identity. . . . It has no real center where the elite of either power, wealth, or culture may congregate. Iowa, in short, is middle America.” In this collection of well-written and accessible essays, originally published in 1996, seventeen of the Hawkeye State’s most accomplished historians reflect upon the dramatic and not-so-dramatic shifts in the middle land’s history in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

Marvin Bergman has drawn upon his years of editing the Annals of Iowa to gather contributors who cross disciplines, model the craft of writing a historical essay, cover more than one significant topic, and above all interpret history rather than recite it. In his preface to this new printing, he calls attention to publications that begin to fill the gaps noted in the 1996 edition.

Rather than survey the basic facts, the essayists engage readers in the actual making of Iowa’s history by trying to understand the meaning of its past. By providing comprehensive accounts of topics in Iowa history that embrace the broader historiographical issues in American history, such as the nature of Progressivism and Populism, the debate over whether women’s expanded roles in wartime carried over to postwar periods, and the place of quantification in history, the essayists contribute substantially to debates at the national level at the same time that they interpret Iowa’s distinctive culture.

The Lost Region: Toward a Revival of Midwestern History (Iowa and the Midwest Experience)

By Jon K. Lauck

University Of Iowa Press
Released: 2013-12-01
Paperback (180 pages)

The Lost Region: Toward a Revival of Midwestern History (Iowa and the Midwest Experience)
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The American Midwest is an orphan among regions. In comparison to the South, the far West, and New England, its history has been sadly neglected. To spark more attention to their region, midwestern historians will need to explain the Midwest’s crucial roles in the development of the entire country: it helped spark the American Revolution and stabilized the young American republic by strengthening its economy and endowing it with an agricultural heartland; it played a critical role in the Union victory in the Civil War; it extended the republican institutions created by the American founders, and then its settler populism made those institutions more democratic; it weakened and decentered the cultural dominance of the urban East; and its bustling land markets deepened Americans’ embrace of capitalist institutions and attitudes.


In addition to outlining the centrality of the Midwest to crucial moments in American history, Jon K. Lauck resurrects the long-forgotten stories of the institutions founded by an earlier generation of midwestern historians, from state historical societies to the Mississippi Valley Historical Association. Their strong commitment to local and regional communities rooted their work in place and gave it an audience outside the academy. He also explores the works of these scholars, showing that they researched a broad range of themes and topics, often pioneering fields that remain vital today.


The Lost Region
demonstrates the importance of the Midwest, the depth of historical work once written about the region, the continuing insights that can be gleaned from this body of knowledge, and the lessons that can be learned from some of its prominent historians, all with the intent of once again finding the forgotten center of the nation and developing a robust historiography of the Midwest.


The Indians of Iowa (Bur Oak Book)

By Lance M. Foster

Brand: University Of Iowa Press
Released: 2009-10-01
Paperback (164 pages)

The Indians of Iowa (Bur Oak Book)
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Many different Indian tribes have lived in Iowa, each existing as an independent nation with its own history, culture, language, and traditions. Some were residents before recorded time; some lived in Iowa for relatively short periods but played memorable roles in the state’s history; others visited Iowa mostly during hunting trips or times of war. Stimulating and informative, Lance Foster’s The Indians of Iowa is the only book for the general reader that covers the archaeology, history, and culture of all the different native nations that have called Iowa home from prehistory to the present.

Foster begins with a history of Lewis and Clark’s travels along the Missouri River adjacent to western Iowa. Next, he focuses on the tribes most connected to Iowa from prehistoric times to the present day: the Ioway, Meskwaki, Sauk, Omaha and Ponca, Otoe and Missouria, Pawnee and Arikara, Potawatomi, Illinois Confederacy, Santee and Yankton Sioux, and Winnebago. In between each tribal account, “closer look” essays provide details on Indian women in Iowa, traditional ways of life, Indian history and spirituality, languages and place-names, archaeology, arts and crafts, and houses and landscapes. Finally, Foster brings readers into the present with chapters called “Going to a Powwow,” “Do You Have Indian Blood?” and “Indians in Iowa Today.” The book ends with information about visiting Native American museums, historic sites, and communities in Iowa as well as tribal contacts and a selection of published and online resources.

The story of the Indians of Iowa is long and complicated. Illustrated with maps and stunning original art, Lance Foster’s absorbing, accessible overview of Iowa’s Indian tribes celebrates the rich native legacy of the Hawkeye State. It is essential reading for students, teachers, and everyone who calls Iowa home.

The Death Boat: The tragic accident on West Lake Okoboji that left nine dead and changed boating in Iowa forever

By Lloyd B. Cunningham

Independently published
Paperback (135 pages)

The Death Boat: The tragic accident on West Lake Okoboji that left nine dead and changed boating in Iowa forever
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In the twilight of a summer evening, on a bustling Iowa lake in 1929, two speedboats collided. Nine people were killed, and boating in the state was changed forever. "The Death Boat" is the story—told in detail as never before—of the crash on West Lake Okoboji in northwestern Iowa. One boat, Zipper, had been a prime attraction at Arnolds Park, an amusement park and entertainment mecca on the water that drew vacationers from across the country. The other, Miss Thriller, was a newcomer to the lake touted as the fastest boat in the world carrying passengers for hire. Friction, even sabotage, ensued as the boat operators competed to become king of the lake. The rivalry ended in disaster. Within hours, before the last passenger’s body had been brought to shore, questions swirled: Had Miss Thriller’s captain been careless? Did the inexperience of the other pilot cause the collision? Did the bitter rivalry figure in the deadly encounter? And finally, would the recovery of Miss Thriller, from its resting place 96 feet deep in West Lake Okoboji reveal the accident’s cause? The enduring mysteries of the crash long have remained in the dark, much like Miss Thriller after she sank into the depths of West Lake Okoboji. "The Death Boat" pieces together newspaper stories, survivor accounts, public letters and private correspondence, witness testimony, supreme court decisions, and government records that shed light on those mysteries.

100 Things Iowa State Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die (100 Things...Fans Should Know)

By Alex Halsted

Triumph Books
Released: 2015-09-01
Paperback (320 pages)

100 Things Iowa State Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die (100 Things...Fans Should Know)
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Most Iowa State fans have taken in a game at Jack Trice Stadium or Hilton Coliseum and have seen highlights of Troy Davis and Fred Hoiberg. But only real fans know how the team name came to be, the location and story behind the "Honor Before Victory" plaque, or were there when the basketball team made an Elite Eight run in 2000. 100 Things Iowa State Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die is the ultimate resource guide for true fans of Iowa State athletics. Whether they are die-hard boosters from the days of Earle Bruce on the gridiron or new supporters of Iowa State hoops, fans will value these essential pieces of Cyclones football and basketball knowledge and trivia-and all of the must-do activities in their lifetime.


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