"Lives & Legacies Trolley Tour" at Historical Museum and Terrace Hill
Tickets on sale for tours of governors and first ladies exhibits

For immediate release October 6, 2006


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

(DES MOINES) – Tickets for trolley tours of State Historical Museum and Terrace Hill exhibits featuring Iowa’s governors and first ladies are on sale today.

The “Lives & Legacies Trolley Tour” will be October 22 at 1 and 3 p.m. Guests will arrive at the State Historical Museum for coffee, biscotti and guided tours of “Portrait of a Governor: A Life, A Legacy” and a trolley ride to Terrace Hill for tea, scones and a tour of “The First Ladies of Iowa.” Tickets are $30 and can be reserved by contacting Maureen Korte at 515-281-4132 or maureen.korte@iowa.gov by October 20.

“Portrait of a Governor” features the 39 men elected to 40 governorships and the three men appointed governor of the Iowa Territory – from current Governor Tom Vilsack to the first governor of the Iowa Territory, Robert Lucas, who held the office 1838-1841. Governor Samuel J. Kirkwood was elected to non-consecutive terms, 1860-1864 and 1876-1877.

The exhibit includes information, portraits and artifacts from the governors’ public and personal lives, and features Iowa’s four living governors – Vilsack, Terry Branstad, Robert Ray and Robert Fulton – in separate videos discussing their experiences. In addition, the exhibit features Vilsack, Branstad and Ray with their spouses – Christie Vilsack, Chris Branstad and Billie Ray – in a video discussing their motivation and decision-making process in seeking the office, and their accomplishments and challenges as chief executives and first ladies. Hosted by WHO-TV’s John Bachman, the video also reveals the impact their public roles had on their personal lives.

“The First Ladies of Iowa,” a permanent display located in the lower-level reception area of Terrace Hill, includes photos and brief biographies of Iowa’s 43 first ladies, background photos depicting the evolution of women’s roles in Iowa history, and a context timeline of Iowa women’s achievements and events significant to the lives of Iowans in general. The exhibit opened September 28.

First Lady Christie Vilsack initiated the project to tell the untold stories of the women who were not only spouses, but political partners to the men who governed Iowa. In addition, Vilsack wanted to correct the record put forth by inaccurate biographies and present a true image of Iowa’s first ladies. The exhibit is the culmination of a three-year research project funded by grants from U.S. Cellular and Prairie Meadows and made possible by contributions from The Integer Group, the State Historical Society of Iowa and the Terrace Hill Foundation.

The State Historical Society of Iowa 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. Please visit www.iowahistory.org or call 515-281-5111 for more information.


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