by Bruce Fehn
Bruce Fehn investigates the case against Terry Lee Sims in the rape of a young woman in Sioux City in 1949. He also describes the work of a coalition of local activists who called attention to the racial prejudices that informed Sims’s conviction. Fehn concludes that such grass-roots coalitions, and their efforts to construct an alternative to deeply entrenched narratives involving race, gender, and sexuality, contributed to the emergence of the great national civil rights movement of the 1950s.
by Shelley Lucas
Shelley Lucas analyzes the marketing strategies used by the Iowa Cornets, the Iowa franchise of the Women’s Professional Basketball League, in the late 1970s. Those strategies, she finds, were markedly influenced by the popular identification of Iowa with corn and, even more so, with the immense popularity of the 6-on-6 form of high school girls’ basketball played in the state.
>by Sarah Elvins
Sarah Elvins describes Iowa’s experiments with alternative currency during the Great Depression. She shows that Iowans took a leading role in promoting local scrip plans in 1932 and 1933, but that eventually scrip failed to live up to its supporters’ elevated claims. Many Iowans thought of the economy in local terms, failing to recognize that even the smallest communities were part of a much larger economic system.
by Heather J. Stecklein
Heather Stecklein analyzes the use of wildcat strikes by workers at the Des Moines Firestone Tire and Rubber Company in the 1950s in the wake of the Taft-Hartley Act. She argues that the workers saw wildcat strikes as a quick way to address immediate problems, a practice that supplemented the slower, less successful arbitration process outlined in the union’s contract with Firestone.
by Silvana R. Siddali
SSilvana R. Siddali describes the struggles related to locating and relocating Iowa’s state capitol in the 1840s and 1850s, setting those struggles in comparative context. She argues that those conflicts reveal a participatory democracy that consisted of an innovative mix of raw opportunism, confidence, experimentation, and a highly local sectionalism-alongside a rough-and-ready justice.
by Michael J. Pfeifer
Michael J. Pfeifer analyzes a large-scale vigilante movement that swept across the late midwestern frontier of eastern Iowa in 1857. He interprets the movement and the opposition it elicited in light of changing antebellum midwestern notions of law and authority, class, culture, and community.
by Jenny Barker Devine
Jenny Barker Devine surveys the activities of women within the Iowa Farm Bureau Federation from the 1920s through the 1940s to show how they built on their roles as wives, mothers, neighbors, and farm workers to gain authority within the Farm Bureau and to reshape and manage Farm Bureau programs to meet their own interests.
by Megan Birk
Megan Birk relates the experiences of home economics students at Iowa State College from 1925 to 1958 who lived in home management houses that included infants. She shows how the integration of babies into the houses enriched the educational experience for students but also inadvertently involved the school in the social service work of the state.