These and other of “Iowa’s Hidden or Forbidden Histories” will be revealed by Iowa-born historian, Michael Luick-Thrams, during a multiple-venue, Midwest-wide speaking tour. He will share stories of Iowa’s hidden histories at the Ida Grove Library from 6:30-8pm on Thursday, May 30, 2019.
Besides popularizing stories facing extinction, these case studies offer a rich resource to those across the region who seek to build and sustain civic-minded, critically-thinking and caring communities.
From March to July 2019, TRACES Center for History and Culture will tour the Hawkeye State with a four-part program series—The Kaiser, the Killer, the Klan and the Cow War: The Lasting Legacies of Reaction-Based Social Movements in America’s Heartland, 1914-34. Its dovetailing topics explore milestones in Iowa social history. The Ida Grove Library will host “The Klan: The White Cancer” which presents back stories behind the three waves of America’s terroristic hydra; with an emphasis on the second wave. In the 1920s this second wave stormed the American Heartland but was less anti-African American than rabidly anti-Catholic and –immigrant. The then mostly-white Iowa had a surprisingly high rate of Klan membership, yet later it was all but erased from public memory. An experienced docent, Iowa-born historian Michael Luick-Thrams will narrate these inter-related presentations.
TRACES Center for History and Culture sees history as encounters among various ways of living, which transcend borders or eras. Sweeping, long-term core changes over the last century in Iowa’s agriculture, economy, politics and its demographics have indelibly altered the ways we live. At the same time, sadly, reactionary impulses continue to find audience among some people. To truly learn from past lessons, however, such significant stories must have space in popular memory. Separately but even more so as a complementary set, these programs combat collective forgetfulness and are a vivid warning of what can happen when civil culture fails to protect individual rights, maintain social cohesion and solve shared ills. While the failure to transfer social awareness stunts job skills and hobbles economic performance, the failure to transfer cultural information erodes social skills as well as discourages civic involvement. This program encourages cultural competency, which in turn informs how we behave as individuals, how we live together and how we govern ourselves. To grow and change, we have to know who we’ve been. We invite people to converse about their history and origins, and the history of their regions or nations as well as their families’ roles in that history. As we tell stories, we experience history. And, in so far as we live our own stories authentically, we shape history. Out of this awareness arises a responsibility to shape our world justly and peaceably. This program is sponsored in part by Vander Haag’s Inc. (Spencer) and Steve & Diane Wilkens on behalf of the Ida County Historical Society. Lodging and accommodations provided by Lynne Bjorholm, proprietor of the Inn at Battle Creek.