Previous Speakers

  • The premiere of "America's Darling: The Story of Jay. N. "Ding" Darling" was held at the Temple For Performing Arts in Des Moines
  • David Peterson spoke about his traveling exhibit "Shattered Dreams: The Rural Crisis" at Wesley Grand in Des Moines

  • Wayne Wiegand, author of Main Street Public Library spoke about the role of libraries in the Midwest from the late 19th to early 20th century.
  • Simpson historian Nick Proctor spoke on Iowa and the Civil War at a reception for the State Historical Society of Iowa’s traveling exhibit, “The Fiery Trial: Iowa and the Civil War,” which is housed in a 32-foot trailer.
  • Renowned editorial cartoonist Brian Duffy exhibited a collection of his watercolors, which offer various depictions of the Iowa landscape.  
  • Karen Keninger talked about important historical events relation to blindness in Iowa, the role of Iowans as leaders in a national civil rights movement for the blind, and recounted her personal experiences of growing up in Iowa as a blind person.

 


  • Author Patrick Carr discussed his book Hollowing Out the Middle: The Rural Brain and What it Means for America.
  • Peace Through Corn was a one-act play on the friendship between Roswell Garst and Nikita Krushchev.
  •  Evelyn Birkby explained her experiences at Simspon and line as an author, radio homemaker, and newspaper columnist.
  • Mark Grey and Michele Devlin, authors of Postville, U.S.A described the unique town of Postville, IA and the raid on its Kosher meat packing plant by ICE.

  • Doug Bauer, author of Prairie City, Iowa: Three Seasons at Home discussed his book and experiences.  
  • Editorial cartoonist Brian Duffy presented about his craft and state and national issues.
  • Nick Reding discussed his book Methland: The Death and Life of an American Small Town.

  • Actor Tom Milligan performed American Dreamer on the life of Henry Wallace.

 

  • Author Steven Biel and filmmaker Sasha Waters Freyer gave a presentation on American Gothic.
  • Des Moines Register’s Dave Elbert explained the Des Moines downtown renaissance.

 

 

 


  • Authors Patricia Bryan and Thomas Wolf discussed their book, Midnight Assassin: A Murder in the Heartland.

  • Mildred Kalish spoke about her book, Little Heathens: Hard Times and High Spirits on an Iowa Farm during the Great Depression.
  • Governor Robert Ray and Kenneth Quinn, former U.S. Ambassador to the Kingdom of Cambodia, spoke about refugees from the Vietnam War.
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