Iowa Celebrates: The 1930’s. In the 1930’s the Depression was in full gear, but that didn’t stop Iowa from celebrating its Territorial Centennial (1838-1938) with the USPS issuing its first postage stamp dedicated exclusively to the State of Iowa.
Ozzie Simmons + Racial Targeting = Floyd of Rosedale. In 1933, a young black man from Texas showed up in Iowa City, looking to follow in the footsteps of Duke Slater. Before he graduated in 1936, he had become an All-American football player, but more importantly, he blazed a trail for other people of color and is remembered each year with Floyd of Rosedale – going to the winner of the Iowa/Minnesota game.
Remembering Helen Lemme – Grinnell’s Golden Girl. In the 1930’s, a proud black woman from Grinnell, Iowa, who was denied an 8th grade gold-medal in scholarship because of skin color, came to Iowa City and helped transform it by opening doors for people of color. When prejudice closed SUI dorms to African Americans, Helen and Allyn Lemme freely opened their home, setting in place an example of servanthood that touches people’s hearts even to today.
Grant Wood – Iowa’s Iconic Artist. Born in 1891 on a farm near Anamosa, Grant Wood went on to become one of the world’s best-known artists. Working out of a small studio located above a Cedar Rapids mortuary garage, Wood created one of the most familiar images in 20th-century American art: the iconic American Gothic.
The Murals of Mildred W. Pelzer. In 1934, the Jefferson Hotel commissioned an Iowa City artist to create eight murals that represented our rich Iowa City heritage, focusing on the theme of Transportation. For fifteen years, these murals were proudly displayed in the hotel lobby until a ill-fated remodeling effort nearly sent these beauties to an early demise. Today, five have been rescued and remain as a beautiful tribute to both Mildred Pelzer and Our Iowa Heritage.
Iowa City 1839-1939 Centennial. As the 1930’s came to close, Iowa City celebrated its Centennial with a big bang, including the infamous 1939 Ironmen team featuring Iowa’s only Heisman Trophy winner, Nile Kinnick.
The Old Stone Capitol Remembers – Benjamin F. Shambaugh. Professor Shambaugh was born in 1871 near Clinton, growing up as an Iowa farm boy yet always with a deep hunger for education. Over time, he became a dynamic administrator and teacher, authoring three books – the best known of which is The Old Stone Capitol Remembers (1939), editing nine more, and writing scores of articles as the first Supervisor/Editor of the State Historical Society of Iowa. Here at Our Iowa Heritage, his writings have served as a cornerstone to all we have published.
Nile Kinnick – Iowa’s Heisman Winner. 1939 was a banner year for Iowa City. Under the leadership of Coach Eddie Anderson and the athleticism of one young man from Adel, Iowa, the Iron Men of Iowa shocked the college football world. As a result, that one young man won the Heisman trophy and went on to become a legendary figure in Iowa football – Nile Kinnick.