About the State Historical Society > News > 2011

State Historical Society of Iowa Press Release

For immediate release January 28, 2011

Contact: Jeff Morgan, Jeff.Morgan@iowa.gov, (515) 281-3858

Citizenship Ceremony welcomes 100 children from around world to Iowa

Governor and Mrs. Branstad, Governor Ray expected to attend event

(DES MOINES) – With Governor Terry Branstad, First Lady Chris Branstad and former Governor Robert Ray expected to be in attendance, 100 children from around the world will become citizens of Iowa and the United States during a special ceremony Sunday in Des Moines.

A Children’s Citizenship Ceremony will be at 1 p.m. Sunday at the State Historical Building, 600 E. Locust Street in Des Moines. The ceremony is free and open to the public. The event will be presented by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. U.S. Magistrate Judge Celeste Bremer of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Iowa will preside.

“Iowa’s past is filled with the stories of immigrants who moved to our state to begin new lives and pursue the American dream,” Department of Cultural Affairs Director Mary Cownie said. “In hosting the Children’s Citizenship Ceremony, we are looking forward to seeing the next chapter of Iowa’s history unfold.”

In conjunction with the Citizenship Ceremony, Bankers Trust and the State Historical Society of Iowa will sponsor a series of related activities 1-4 p.m., including:

  • The launch of a new book, “Zakery’s Bridge: Children’s Journeys from Around the World to Iowa,” by Kay Fenton Smith and Drake Professor Carol Spaulding. The book is a collection of true-life stories told by nine children who share their family journeys to Iowa. Governor Ray and Bankers Trust CEO Suku Radia will participate in the launch. Copies of “Zakery’s Bridge” can be ordered at www.zakerysbridge.com. Proceeds from sales of the book support the Iowa Council for International Understanding and CULTUREALL (formerly World of Difference).
  • CULTUREALL, African dancers from Des Moines Meredith Middle School, and Iowa Youth Choruses will perform. The performances are made possible by a grant from the Iowa Arts Council.
  • Refreshments will be available and children will be invited to make flags from all over the world in the craft room.

For more information, contact Maureen Korte at 515-281-4132 or Maureen.Korte@iowa.gov.


The State Historical Society of Iowa is a division of the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs, and is a trustee of Iowa’s historical legacy and an advocate for understanding Iowa’s past. It identifies, records, collects, preserves, manages and provides access to Iowa’s historical resources. Its dual mission of preservation and education serves Iowans of all ages, conducts and stimulates research, disseminates information, and encourages and supports historical preservation and education efforts of others throughout the state. Visit www.iowahistory.org or call 515-281-5111 for more information.


©2013 The State of Iowa, All Rights Reserved | Policies | Accessibility | Non-discrimination and Accommodation | Website Feedback