Jeff Morgan, Jeff.Morgan@iowa.gov,
MOINES) –Arthur “Superman” Pennington will discuss his experiences in the Negro baseball leagues and as a Civil Rights pioneer at 2 p.m. June 14 at the Western Historical Trails Center in Council Bluffs.
A Negro league baseball all-star, Pennington was born in 1923 and raised in Hot Springs, Ark., to a poor mixed-race family. With promising talent, he signed with the Chicago American Giants of the Negro American League at the age of 17. In 1942 and 1950, Pennington was selected for the East-West All-Star Games and had a lifetime batting average of .336.
Traveling around the segregated United States with the Negro leagues in the 1940s gave Pennington a unique perspective on the Civil Rights Movement and found himself using his celebrity to play an important role in the racial integration of America. One of the finest baseball players on the planet, he thrilled fans for nearly 20 years.
After leaving baseball, he worked at Rockwell Collins for 20 years and with the railroad in Cedar Rapids two years before retiring in 1985. He currently resides in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
Pennington’s presentation is sponsored by the State Historical Society of Iowa and supported by Humanities Iowa.
In addition, WHTC will screen “The Jackie Robinson Story” movie at 2 p.m. June 22, 2008. The 1950 film, starring Jackie Robinson, speaks to African Americans’ contributions to baseball history. A question and answer session will follow the movie.
The film is shown in partnership with the African American Historical Museum and Cultural Center of Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
WHTC is at 3434 Richard Downing Avenue in Council Bluffs. More information is available by contacting WHTC at 712-366-4900.
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.
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