Speakers 2015-2016

The Midwest and Its Meaning

The Iowa History Center was excited to host Raygun owner Mike Draper and the "Iowa Nice Guy" Scott Siepker on Tuesday evening, March 22, 7 p.m., Kent Campus Center, Simpson College. With the help of moderator Jay Byers, a Simpson alumunus and CEO of the Greater Des Moines Partnership, the panel will discuss whether or not the Midwest is a distinct region, and if so, consider its characteristics. This event was fun and had interesting dialogue about what makes Iowa and the Midwest significant, from the unique perspectives of two prominent figures in Iowa pop culture.

Equal Before the Law

How Iowa Led Americans to Marriage Equality

The Iowa History Center was happy to host former Des Moines Register journalists and authors Tom Witosky and Marc Hansen. Witosky and Hansen discussed their book, Equal Before the Law: How Iowa Led Americans to Marriage Equality, which covers the passage of Iowa’s Defense of Marriage Act, explores the Iowa Supreme Court Varnum v. Brien decision, and explains how the court’s decision impacted Iowa and the nation. The book is in our Iowa and the Midwest Experience Book Series. The event was moderated by Michael Gartner, who is a former editor and president of the Des Moines Register, Pulitzer Prize winner, and current co-owner and chairman of the Iowa Cubs, and offered an interesting perspective on our recent past. Tuesday, November 3 at 7:00 PM in Kent Campus Center.

The Forgotten Depression

1921: The Crash that Cured Itself



The well-known financial analyst and author James Grant came to Simpson to discuss his new book, The Forgotten Depression 1921: The Crash that Cured Itself. Grant argued that the depression in 1921 was short-lived because the federal government did not get involved. He then suggested that government involvement in the 2008 recession may have worsened the situation. Thursday, September 17 at 7:30 PM in Kent Campus Center.