Lions City Park Then Pentacrest Museums Now

Iowa City Park Zoo

City Park Zoo

Regular readers will know that I loved the City Park Zoo. It had fallen on hard times. You can read my prior posts about it.

One story I had heard was that the bear which had been the University of Iowa’s mascot before Herky the Hawk. I asked the people behind the Natural History Museum on campus about it and they thought maybe that story was mixed up with the fact that they DID have the City Park lions.

Iowa City Park Zoo Lions in the News

So I’m always excited when anything from the City Park makes the news and the lions from the zoo are in the news. These lions were brought to Iowa City by Harry Bremer who purchased them in South Africa. They lived in his carriage house for awhile and then moved over to the City Park. The lions were taxidermied when they died (in 1931 and 1939). 68 donors including a large gift from the family of former sociology professor George McCall funded a new spot for lions.
They raised money for a new permanent mural in 30 years by Thomas Agran. It will open later this year with an image of South Africa where the lions were born. I’m looking forward to see the stand out of a new display.

Pentacrest Museums eNewsletter

The Pentacrest Museums incorporates the multiple museums in the Pentacrest area of the University of Iowa campus in Iowa City. They send out e-mail newsletters regularly here is their story about the lions.
Pentacrest Museum E-Newsletter from March 25, 2020:
Check out the latest IOWA Magazine for an article on the exhibit renovation and habitat installation for our lions, Harry and Josephine.
We’re proud to announce, there and here, our new partnership with Iowa City Downtown District’s public art director and adjunct assistant professor at the UI School of Art and Art History, Thomas Agran, “It’s exciting to take part in offering some context for the lions, helping to use their rather bizarre story as a broader opportunity to teach. Yay museums!”
Agran will install the exhibit mural in Mammal Hall soon, when it is deemed safe to work in the building again. Stay tuned for progress reports and grand opening dates. Click here to read the story in Iowa Magazine.
Sarah S. Uthoff is a nationally known Laura Ingalls Wilder authority and has presented at five of the Wilder homesites, many times at the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and Museum, many conferences and numerous libraries, museums, and events around the Midwest. She is the main force behind Trundlebed Tales fighting to bring the History, Mystery, Magic, and Imagination of Laura Ingalls Wilder and other greats of children’s literature and history to life for a new generation. How can you help? Attend one of her programs, schedule one yourself, watch her videos,   listen to her podcast,    look at her photos, and find her on Facebook ,   Twitter ,   LinkedIn ,   SlideShare,   and Academia.edu . Professionally she is a reference librarian at Kirkwood Community College and former director of the Oxford (Iowa) Public Library.

 

Free Speech and Tinker v Des Moines

I know that Ted Talks are the more popular brand, but I prefer Big Think videos. I think they’re more interesting and don’t use that fake tone of voice which Ted Talks favor. I use them to get books suggestions and to get other people’s takes on what’s going on in the world and the political, scientific, and philosophical thought.

Mary Beth Tinker
Linked Image of Mary Beth Tinker Today

Free Speech

I wanted to share out this particular video for two reasons. The first is that it is on Free Speech, especially in regard to Free Speech on campus which is a hot button issue these days. Free Speech has always been an important part of American history. It was one of the rights guaranteed in the Bill of Rights. The concept of Freedom of Speech became to be considered vital during the Age of Enlightenment. It is best expressed in this well known statement (although often misattributed quote click on it to find out more). I can’t say that I’ve shown this kind of devotion, but I do say it to myself and try to live by the spirit of it.

I Disapprove of What You Say, But I Will Defend to the Death Your Right to Say It

The second reason I want to share this video is historical. I must say that I don’t agree with some of Jonathan Zimmerman’s historical generalities at the beginning, but I think it’s worth watching the whole thing anyway. However, the main point I want to emphasize is his description of a guest speaker he had come to his class. He invited Mary Beth Tinker one of the plaintiffs in the Tinker v. Des Moines Independent Community School DistrictFor those of you who don’t know this was an Iowa case who went to the Supreme Court.

To sum up the Des Moines school district attempted to stop students from wearing arm bands to protest the Vietnam War. The ACLU backed them in a lawsuit and won in a ruling since very broadly applied. It is the source for the quote you may have heard about from Justice Fortas that “It can hardly be argued that either students or teachers shed their constitutional rights to freedom of speech or expression at the schoolhouse gate.”

Not Just the Chosen People

While this case is often cited I’m very impressed with the fact that Zimmerman had the inspiration to track down Tinker to get her story on what happened. Also that, according to Tinker, that she still continued to support free speech for all. She rightly points out that you have to be aware that ALL free speech will potentially negatively effect someone. There isn’t one side that is absolutely right and that is the only one who deserves to be heard. Even more so that it’s dangerous to censor speech because it is the only power many people have and once you start doing that, no matter who you think you are protecting, it will eventually hurt those without power. Frankly, I was kind of surprised that she seemed so reasoned about the whole experience, but it sounds like she has taken an almost accidental start into something with deeply held beliefs. I think she just might be someone who really would be willing to “defend to the death your right to say it.”

Iowa History

I also wanted to share this because so much general history stops with the important part, the big important change someone makes, and it never tells you what happened to the people afterward. I’m glad to know Tinker is still out there and still fighting the good fight. This important case is a landmark in Iowa History and Iowa’s role in national history. Here’s his “talk” about it.” My biggest complaint about the video is that it doesn’t actually have Tinker talking instead of just Zimmerman telling about her. But I’m really so glad the story is out there at all that I’ll overlook it.

Sarah S. Uthoff is a nationally known Laura Ingalls Wilder authority and has presented at five of the Wilder homesites, many times at the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and Museum, many conferences and numerous libraries, museums, and events around the Midwest. She is the main force behind Trundlebed Tales fighting to bring the History, Mystery, Magic, and Imagination of Laura Ingalls Wilder and other greats of children’s literature and history to life for a new generation. How can you help? Attend one of her programs, schedule one yourself, watch her videos, listen to her podcast, look at her photos, and find her on  Facebook , Twitter ,  LinkedIn , SlideShare, and  Academia.edu . Professionally she is a reference librarian at Kirkwood Community College and former director of the Oxford (Iowa) Public Library.

ISBSSS Marks Cemetery Dedication

marker2

As part of its ongoing efforts to preserve, honor, and share the history of the Iowa School for the Blind and Sight Saving School, the Mary Ingalls Society has identified a section of the local cemetery where students from the school were buried. They have determined the names of these students. As we previously reported, they raised funds for a marker. They successfully raised the amount and now the marker is in place. marker1

You’re Invited To Vinton

The Mary Ingalls Society cordially invites you to a memorial dedication of 11 former students of The Iowa College for the Blind in Vinton, Iowa.  A short committal service will take place on Sunday, October 16, 2016, at 2:00 p.m. at Evergreen Cemetery, 1002 E 10th Street, Lot 31, Vinton.  These graves had remained unmarked until recent research led to the identity of the students buried there.  Thanks to the generosity of many donors, a granite monument and headstones will now mark their place of rest.  Local historian Rich Farmer will lead a cemetery tour following the service.  We would like to include the families of these students from Eastern Iowa listed below, but we need your help locating them:

Sarah A. Cook (Delaware Co.) 1864 (died)

Louisa F. Lunberg (Clinton Co.) 1869

Jesse Palmer Hampton (Linn Co.) 1875

James L. Mitchell (Benton Co.) 1876

Elizabeth “Lizzie” Adair (Jackson Co.) 1879

Mary Retta Rath (Linn Co.) 1880

George Washington Hopkins (Mahaska Co.) 1892

Buena Vista Culp (Washington Co.) 1892

Leo Vogt (Mason City) 1905

Mabel Lilie Carter 1915

Meta Christine White 1918

marker3
If you have any information or questions, please contact Pat Barr at Iowa Braille 319-472-5221 x1110 or email pbarr@iowa-braille.k12.ia.us.

Underground Railroad Summit

Passing along word about an Iowa history event. Iowa has a proud tradition about the Underground Railroad. Learn more about it here at Trundlebed Tales:
https://trundlebedtales.wordpress.com/2011/03/02/iowa-and-the-ugrr
And then learn even more at the summit. -SSU

Attend Underground Railroad workshop at Preserve Iowa Summit 

Winterset – June 27 
Discover the history of the Underground Railroad in Iowa and explore the Hitchcock House in Lewis during the third annual Preserve Iowa Summit in Winterset June 25-27.The UGRR workshop will be 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday, June 27, and is part of the summit registration package. Individuals may also register for the workshop separately. The keynote speaker is Matthew Pinsker, the Pohanka Chair of  Civil War History at Dickinson College, who will also lead a presentation about online teaching and research resources. A second presentation will focus specifically on the history of the UGRR in Madison County.The “2015 Preserve Iowa Summit: The Power of Presentation” is the premier statewide annual conference for historic preservation in Iowa and is coordinated by DCA’s State Historic Preservation Office and the Madison County Historic Preservation Commission. Register on-line for the entire summit or the UGRR workshop through June 19.

Iowa Newspaper Preservation 2015

park pavillion It’s been an on-going issue that I’ve posted about multiple times. Due to funding cuts the microfilming and preservation of Iowa newspapers effectively stopped in 2009. These efforts were headed up by the State Library of Iowa. This has been of great concern of historians around the state. Once these newspapers are gone they are almost impossible to track down. It’s also a matter of beating the clock because most newspapers have gone to using cheaper paper and ink. While this choice saves them money and allows them to say they are going green (which is true, these inks and papers are better for the environment), but it also means they break down much quicker than newspapers from previous decades.

So it is with something of shock that Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs basically turned down money to restart the project that was in the process of being approved via a bill by the General Assembly. According to the story below they are in the process of doing a study on the current state of all collections and want to develop a plan going forward before they act. Personally, I’m all for plans and as papers create digital only content new methods will hopefully be developed to capture them. That said they have such a big backlog of paper copies of newspapers now, I would definitely have taken the earmarked money. You can never tell if something like that will be offered again and my guess is that it won’t be.

The study will examine all the collections held by the historical society and prioritize where money will be spent. It will specifically look at the newspaper plan and will consider whether to keep producing microfilm or to move to a digital format of preservation. Microfilm is still the gold standard for preservation. It has a proven track record to be stable over a long period of time with no additional work necessary (that’s not true for work copies, but preservation copies that are merely stored and sometimes copied). Microfilm is also a format that even if no microfilm reader is available you could jerry-rig something fairly easily to retrieve the data. Microfilm is also relatively easy to transform into a digital copy for access purposes. Digital preservation can allow for easier and wider decimation of the preserved copies. However, media formats haven’t shown long term storage capabilities. It requires a lot of work to keep digital records accessible in programs that people can still use.  For example, I’ve seen news stories about research being done on the moon landing that required people to re-enter data from paper print outs since the original digital files are no longer accessible. Even when digital information is kept up to date, each time you have to update to a new file standard to keep things accessible some small amount of the data is lost just by the nature of the process. The study also looking at what is already being done by other entities to save copies, especially newspapers themselves. While it may be better to spend funds on resources that haven’t been preserved at all, preservation done by private companies is always at risk and well worth duplicating by public institutions if funding is available.

So in short, I’m going to keep an eye on this developing story and you should too. I hope we hear more about this soon.

http://www.cbs2iowa.com/news/features/top-stories/stories/State-Not-Archiving-Newspapers-102035.shtml

Find previous posts linked to my last year’s report:
https://trundlebedtales.wordpress.com/2014/11/07/iowa-newspaper-preservation-2014

Sarah S. Uthoff is the main force behind Trundlebed Tales fighting to bring the History, Mystery, Magic and Imagination of Laura Ingalls Wilder and other greats of children’s literature and history to life for a new generation.Attend one of her programs, schedule one yourself, watch her videos, listen to her podcast, and find her on FacebookTwitterGoogle+,LinkedIn, and Academia.edu. She is currently President of the Laura Ingalls Wilder Legacy and Research Association. Professionally she is a reference librarian at Kirkwood Community College and director of the Oxford (Iowa) Public Library.

Top Posts of the Year 2014

Here at Trundlebed Tales we mainly focus on Laura Ingalls Wilder, literature, and social history, besides a few other things that I find interesting. My goal is to publish a blog post every other day with one updated classic post each week. I keep a tab on the post popular blog posts and I thought you might be interested to see what were the top 10 posts this past year here on Trundlebed Tales. Number one is the post with the most views of these 10 and then we descend down. Most of these posts are new this year, but a few past favorites are still in the top 10. Plates

1. 40th Anniversary Year of the Little House on the Prairie TV Show

2. Iowa City Park Zoo

3.Walnut Grove TV Show Reunion Report 1

4. In the Kitchen With Laura Project February 2014

5. Melissa Gilbert Book Tour

6. $100 in Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Lapdesk

7. Sloo and Slough aka Emily of Deep Valley

8. July 2014 Laura Ingalls Wilder Events

9. Laura Ingalls Wilder on Dakota Life

10. Did They REALLY Say THAT?

Sarah S. Uthoff is the main force behind Trundlebed Tales fighting to bring the History, Mystery, Magic and Imagination of Laura Ingalls Wilder and other greats of children’s literature and history to life for a new generation.Attend one of her programs, schedule one yourself, watch her videos, listen to her podcast, and find her on FacebookTwitterGoogle+,LinkedIn, and Academia.edu. She is currently acting President of the Laura Ingalls Wilder Legacy and Research Association. Professionally she is a reference librarian at Kirkwood Community College and director of the Oxford (Iowa) Public Library.

Pearl Harbor Anniversary

We are still celebrating the 50th anniversary of World War II.  50 years ago in 1944 was the year of D-Day.  Next year will bring the anniversaries of V-E Day and V-J Day from 1945. Today marks the 54th  anniversary of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.Herring Stone

I can’t even imagine the horror of that day. The attack, the oil burning on the water, the men caught in pockets of air under the water, whose knocking was slowly stopping and when they tried to rescue them the air often escaped when they cut in before they could get a big enough hole to get them out. Still we were lucky the Japanese sunk most of the ships in the harbor and we could raise them and use them again. Black tears, drops of oil, still slowly rise off the USS Arizona.

I had a personal connection with the Pearl Harbor attack. My grandmother always kept her high school yearbook. It meant a lot to her. She’d put silver stars on the boys in it who had been wounded in the war and gold stars on the ones who were killed. It included a photo of James Herring. He’d been in Iowa City High a few years ahead of her and he was killed in the attack. Every year I put flowers on his grave at Memorial Day. Remember to spare a thought today for Herring and all the members of the armed forces who fell that day.

Sarah S. Uthoff is the main force behind Trundlebed Tales fighting to bring the History, Mystery, Magic and Imagination of Laura Ingalls Wilder and other greats of children’s literature and history to life for a new generation.Attend one of her programs, schedule one yourself, watch her videos, listen to her podcast, and find her on FacebookTwitterGoogle+, LinkedIn, and Academia.edu. She is currently acting President of the Laura Ingalls Wilder Legacy and Research Association. Professionally she is a reference librarian at Kirkwood Community College and director of the Oxford (Iowa) Public Library.