Did You Know? 1921.

Karl L. King – Iowa’s March King from Ft. Dodge.

In 1920, fresh off his gig as director of The Barnum & Bailey Circus Band, Ohio bandsman Karl King, came to Ft. Dodge, Iowa, setting up camp there for fifty-one years. Over that time, King established himself as Iowa’s March King, rivaling even the renowned John Philip Sousa as America’s most prolific composer of marches. In 1921, he helped pass The Iowa Band Law, which opened up opportunities for community bands nationwide.

Karl King commemorated the passage of the law by writing one of his most famous marches, The Iowa Band Law. Thirty-nine years later, in 1960, Karl directed his march with the largest mass band ever assembled: 188 high school bands with nearly 13,000 musicians at a nationally-televised University of Michigan football game with over 80,000 in attendance.


Did you know? is an Our Iowa Heritage blog series that offers you a little bit of Iowa trivia from a large selection of stories on our website. Subscribe to this FREE blog and you’ll get a new email from us every Monday – Wednesday – Friday.

Join us for Our Iowa Heritage blog posts.

Learn some historical facts about Iowa City, Johnson County, or Eastern Iowa.

Amaze your friends.

Click to learn more.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s