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State Historical Society of Iowa Press Release

For immediate release March 30, 2012, 2012

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


"Iowa and the Civil War: Nothing But Victory"

Opens April 14, 2012

DES MOINES –Discover the stories of Iowa and those who served during America’s bloodiest conflict when “Iowa and the Civil War: Nothing But Victory” opens April 14, 2012, at the State Historical Museum of Iowa.

With more than 300 authentic artifacts and documents, this 10,000 square-foot exhibition recounts the first-hand experiences of Iowans at war and the communities that supported them.

See the historic battle flags Iowa troops carried into battle and the actual weaponry – cannons, guns and swords – they used while fighting in some of the most important events and turning points of the Civil War.

The State Historical Museum of Iowa is open 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Monday-Saturday and Noon-4:30 p.m. Sunday. Admission is free and open to the public. Visit www.iowahistory.org or call 515-281-5111 for more information.


Opening day program information follows:

Civil War re-enactors from the Sons of Confederate Veterans will interact with guests and visitors.

State Senator Dennis Black will be available to sign copies of his book, “Profiles of Valor: Iowa’s Medal of Honor Recipients of the Civil War.”

The Medal of Honor, the nation’s highest military award, is given for distinguished gallantry during hostile action and is presented by the President of the United States in the name of Congress.

Dr. Tom Morain and Dr. William Juhnke of Graceland University will kick off the “Iowa and the Civil War” speaker series at 2:30 p.m. with “Point/Counterpoint: Was the Civil War Necessary?”

During the presentation, Morain and Juhnke take opposing positions to explore several of the contentious issues leading up to the first shots of the Civil War fired on Fort Sumter in 1861. As the United States commemorates the 150th anniversary of the conflict that tore the nation apart, they ask hard questions: Was it really an “irrepressible conflict” or could bolder political proposals have averted the bloodshed that cost 600,000 Americans their lives? What options did Lincoln have as President-elect when South Carolina voted to secede from the Union? Why did each side underestimate their opponents’ determination to fight? Why didn’t the North let the South go its way and avoid the incredible bloodshed? Morain and Juhnke invite the public into the debate as they explore the tense political climate of 1860-61 and demonstrate how historians can disagree without being disagreeable.


The Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs is responsible for developing the state’s interest in the areas of the arts, history and other cultural matters with the advice and assistance from its two divisions: the State Historical Society of Iowa and the Iowa Arts Council. DCA preserves, researches, interprets and promotes an awareness and understanding of local, state and regional history and stimulates and encourages the study and presentation of the performing and fine arts and public interest and participation in them. It implements tourism-related art and history projects as directed by the General Assembly and designs a comprehensive, statewide, long-range plan with the assistance of the Iowa Arts Council to develop the arts in Iowa. More information about DCA is available at www.culturalaffairs.org.


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