Iowa City 1839-1939 Centennial.

(P-0135) Greetings from Iowa City.

As the 1930’s came to a close, few people across America knew that their entire world would soon be radically changed. Europe was at war, but most Americans assumed that President Roosevelt would keep the U.S. out of the conflict. My father, George Boller, for example, was a student at SUI in 1938 and 1939, and like most Hawkeyes, he was more concerned about Iowa’s football game against Notre Dame than what Hitler was doing over in Poland.

During the summer of 1939, the good citizens of Iowa City took time out of their summer schedules to celebrate 100 years of existence. And quite the party it was.

(M-0015) The City of Iowa City celebrated its 100th anniversary on July 2-3-4, 1939. This pin was issued to commemorate the occasion. (M-0049) My dad’s Iowa Cowbell was a pretty popular item at Iowa Stadium during the Ironmen/Kinnick era.

(P-0104) Airview of Iowa City – Circa 1930’s.
1939 Iowa City Centennial Celebration on the steps of Old Capitol via the camera of Fred Kent.
(P-0286) Circa 1930’s Washington & Clinton Streets – looking east.
Iowa City decked up for the Big Celebration…
(M-0114) Here’s a very rare mini pennant from the late 1930’s – a souvenir, possibly, from around the time of the 1939 Iowa City Centennial Celebration. It features a Native American Chief – which was quite common in the day to signify that Iowa was once a part of the wild, wild west.

During this special centennial year – this Greetings From Iowa City penny postcard was apparently a hard find!

Read more about The Iowa City Press-Citizen’s special 75-page edition celebrating the city’s Centennial in 1939.

(P-0084) This set of 16 postcards featured Old Capitol on the cover and the Burlington Street bridge on the backside.

(P-0132) (M-0016) (P-0133) (P-0134)

(M-0108) Here’s a look at the University of Iowa campus in the 1930’s. This is an “official” Campus Guide Map published in 1934. Compare this to these Iowa City maps from 1839, 1868 & 1900 (below).

(L-0058) The Old Stone Capitol Remembers – Iowa City Centennial 1839-1939 Souvenir Program.

In 1939, Iowa football, led by Coach Eddie Anderson – featured on the 1939 Homecoming pin – celebrated by winning the Big Ten and securing the Hawkeyes’ only Heisman Trophy winner. The Ironmen, led by All-American Nile Kinnick, ended this decade well. Click here for more on Iowa’s Nile Kinnick.
Clinton Street – Downtown Iowa City – 1939 Homecoming Parade. Click here to read more about the history of Clinton Street.

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