America’s Bicentennial – Restoring Old Capitol. By 1970, Old Capitol in Iowa City was starting to show its wear. As part of America’s celebration of our 200th Anniversary, the University of Iowa began a six-year restoration project that reworked this iconic building from the inside out – transitioning Old Capitol from a university administration building into a living history museum.
America’s Bicentennial – Waving The Flag. As part of America’s celebration of our 200th Anniversary, the U.S. Post Office issued a full-sheet of stamps featuring all 50 State Flags – a first in U.S. history. This Bicentennial celebration continued a rich tradition of U.S. commemorative stamps featuring the Iowa State Flag, and it wouldn’t be the last.
America’s Bicentennial – The U.S. Post Office. The first post office opened in Dubuque in 1833, and since then, Iowans have come to expect their mail to be delivered promptly and precisely. While that job has never been accomplished perfectly, we do offer this tip of the old hat to the men and women of the postal service who have stayed true to their oath: “Neither rain, nor snow, nor sleet, nor hail shall keep the postmen from their appointed rounds.”
Iowa’s Very Own – U.S. Postage Stamps. Lots of famous folks have Iowa connections. Some of them have even been pictured on US postage stamps. The only prerequisite, sadly, is that you have to be deceased. Take a look at these famous Iowans who made their mark in the world.
Making Elbow Room For A Pulitzer-Prize Winner. Over a thirty-year period, James Alan McPherson, the first African-American to win the Pulitzer Prize for fiction, found plenty of “elbow room” for both himself and others while teaching at the University of Iowa Writer’s Workshop. In 2021, Iowa City renamed one of its city parks in his honor.
Honoring James Alan McPherson. On August 5, 2021, the City of Iowa City held a ribbon-cutting ceremony in the newly-renamed park honoring McPherson. Both the mayor and McPherson’s daughter, Rachel, were there for the festivities…and so were we. Enjoy the pics!
Greetings From Iowa – Goldfinches & Wild Roses. In the 1980’s, the USPS issued one of its most popular commemorative series – a sheet of 50 stamps featuring the official state bird and flower of each state. The Iowa stamp featured a beautiful watercolor version of the Eastern Goldfinch and the Wild Rose and the stamp was wildly popular – stirring a variety of colorful “Greetings From Iowa” postcards.
May 1989 – Iowa City Celebrates 150 Years! On May 4-5-6, 1989, Iowa City celebrated its 150th birthday and the Iowa City Press Citizen publishes a special 27-page section that offers us a historical overview of our fine community. Come join the celebration.
Irving Weber – Mr. Iowa City. Named the “official historian” of Iowa City, Irving Weber was an ice cream salesman for most of his career. But when he retired in 1966, he began writing down his Iowa City memories which, over the next twenty-five years, produced more than 800 newspaper articles and eight historic books, all treasures for those who want to relive the rich heritage of Iowa City and Johnson County.
Weber’s Winners – Iowa City’s Finest. In 1979, The Iowa City Press Citizen ran a special section called Chronology – 1841/1979. It featured the famed Iowa City historian, Irving Weber, writing a short blurb on the top 25 people who “left their stamp on Iowa City.” Join us as we pick up where Weber left off, writing a post on each of those 25 Iowa City history-makers.
Weber’s Fun Facts – The Old Stone Capitol. In 1976, the Iowa City Lion’s Club published Irving Weber’s Iowa City: 102 short historical stories that had originally been published by the Iowa City Press Citizen. Here is the first article from Weber’s first book, written in a quiz format, focusing on the most prominent landmark in Iowa City.
W.P. Kinsella – Write It and They Will Come. In the spring of 1978, a graduate student from Canada, who came to Iowa City to attend the world-renowned Writers Workshop, started working on a 20-page short story that envisioned a discredited baseball player from 1919 being restored back to life through the sacrificial work of a young Iowa farmer who had “father issues.” W.P. Kinsella’s writings went on to become a 300-page novel and, in 1989, a blockbuster movie that many believe to be the best baseball movie ever. Welcome to IOWA – is this heaven? You decide.
The Field of Dreams Game. In 1978, W.P. Kinsella wrote it. In 1989, Hollywood produced it. On August 12, 2021 – the world came to see it. A perfect evening provided for a perfect game of catch – and on this magical night, it all ended with a walk-off homer. I’m sure W.P. Kinsella was looking down from above and smiling. Come look at some great pics from heaven – IOWA.
Iowa Celebrates Three Sesquicentennials. It’s time to celebrate the 150th anniversaries of Iowa Territory (1838-1988), Iowa City (1839-1989) and Iowa Statehood (1846-1996). Grant Wood’s Young Corn was chosen to grace the USPS commemorative celebrating this year-long Iowa Statehood party (1995-1996).
Hubbard Park – Diversity Down By The Riverside. In 1991, The University of Iowa renamed the green space south of the Iowa Memorial Union for Philip G. Hubbard – the first African-American professor at SUI. The park was opened in the 1920’s – replacing a unique Iowa City neighborhood located on Lots 96-99 – a diverse community of hard-working blue-collar European immigrants, Euro-Americans and African-Americans – all living together alongside the Iowa River.
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