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‘It’s just the most Iowan thing’: A day at the Iowa State Fair with fair mega-fans, the Stumps

Since his freshman year of high school in 1969, Gary Stump has not missed an Iowa State Fair. “I had a girlfriend whose father worked at the fair and he got free tickets for everything,” Stump recalls. “And then when […]

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Contact Buzz: The history of the Iowa State Fair’s old, inclusive art show

Shawn Palek doesn’t enter competitions any longer. Lately, he prefers to sponsor shows and competitions for emerging artists, mentoring many. He continues to paint new works, with many murals to his credit. But in the early 2000s, the contemporary visual […]

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Deep in a Des Moines golf course sits a haunted observatory with a far-out history

The Drake Municipal Observatory is probably the only scientific facility of its kind more familiar to local golfers than local school kids. Since 1921, it’s sat between the green on the 17th hole of Waveland Golf Course and the tee […]

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New opera ‘Orphan Train to Iowa’ brings a dark but hopeful history to the Coralville stage

A little-known piece of Iowa history is coming to the stage in a one-night-only opera from the Crescendo Children’s Choir. Child and adult singers, including professional opera stars, will perform Orphan Train to Iowa: For the Love of Pete on […]

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University of Iowa Labor Center, slated for closure in 2019, celebrates 70 years

The University of Iowa Labor Center will celebrate 70 years of empowering workers in the Hawkeye State this Saturday, May 7. Surviving the threat of closure and a pandemic, the Labor Center continues to play a vital role in tackling […]

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Before I-235, Des Moines’ Center Street district was a bastion of Black commerce and culture

By the time its final section opened to traffic in late 1968, I-235 was already part of the fabric of Des Moines. Cutting across the city and running just north of downtown, it’s the most traveled roadway in Iowa. But […]

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Photos: Monuments to women’s history in Des Moines

This Women’s History Month, Little Village explored some of the DSM spots dedicated to celebrating the achievements of women in the city. Photos by Britt Fowler Evelyn K. Davis Center For Working Families Evelyn Davis (1921-2001) supported working families in […]

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‘Iowa can’t wait’: Historic preservationist Matthew Gilbert on the power of place and the urgency to save Black buildings

Matthew Gilbert’s great grandfather, Dr. Lee Burton Furgerson, is an Iowa legend. He was one of the first Black doctors in Waterloo. He contributed to the Iowa Bystander, the state’s leading Black publication. He joined prominent civil rights attorney Milton […]

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Art “Superman” Pennington, a Negro Leagues legend and longtime Cedar Rapidian, may soon be recognized as a Major League All-Star

There’s a few key facts about Superman that are pretty universally known. He’s more powerful than a locomotive. He’s able to leap tall buildings in a single bound. And Superman is renowned for being faster than a speeding bullet. Cedar […]

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