October 21, 2015

Update on History Camp Iowa: 27 sessions and counting

In April I announced that the next History Camp would be in the Midwest: History Camp Iowa at the Iowa History Museum in Des Moines.  
Organized by a local group of volunteers led by Danny Akright, there has been a very strong response, including many people interested in presenting.  This is a recent list of presentations.  (The most up-to-date list, along with additional information on History Camp Iowa, is on the History Camp site.)


  • "Democratizing Digitization: How thousands of strangers across the world are helping preserve Iowa history.” – Mark F. Anderson, Digital Collections Librarian, University of Iowa Libraries
  • "History in Fast Forward: 12 million years in just 30 minutes" – Pam Schwartz, Executive Director, Boone County Historical Society
  • "Confederates from Iowa: Not to Defend, but to Understand" – David Connon, interpreter, Living History Farms; independent researcher and writer
  • "A War of Ideas—U.S. Propaganda Posters of the Second World War" – John Fender, Associate Professor of Design, Drake University
  • "Outside In: African-American History in Iowa, 1838-2015" – Hal S. Chase, co-author of Outside In: African-American History in Iowa, 1838-2015
  • "How We Made the Gyrafoam: The Story of Two Midwestern Farm Boys Who Changed Washday Mondays Forever" – Tom Hoover
  • "The Museum Curator and the Meskwaki" — Jerome Thompson, state curator (ret.)
  • "Evaluating the Role of Women in Underground Railroad Activities in Iowa through Genealogical Research" – Douglas W. Jones, Iowa Freedom Trail Project Manager, State Historical Society of Iowa
  • “History of Military Communication” — Dan Rasmussen
  • "Abraham Lincoln at Council Bluffs” — Marvin Foss
  • "Happy Danes on the Plains" — Tova Brandt, Albert Ravenholt Curator of Danish-American Culture, Museum of Danish America
  • "Iowa’s Amazing Public Exposition Palaces" — Bill Sherman
  • "Billy Sunday, T. Nelson Downs and the Green Mountain Train Wreck" – Robert Kerr, Author of Completely Restored
  • "Midwestern Farm Childhood" — Pamela Riney-Kehrberg, author and professor of history, Iowa State University
  • "An Incomplete Guide to Teacher Preparation in Iowa" — Steve Rose, professor of education and coordinator of secondary education, Simpson College
  • "George Washington Didn’t Sleep Here: Backyard History" — Justin Alliss, state government professional, Independent Historian
  • “Whoa. Why Haven’t I Been Here Before?”: The Coolest Historic Site You’ve Never Visited…Yet. — Megan Stout Sibbel, curator and historian, Salisbury House
  • “Clang, Clang Went the Trolley!" — Phil Borleske
  • "The Almost President" — Robert Bibens
  • “From Military Reporter to ‘Mary Manners’: The Unbounded Journalism of Dorothy Ashby Pownall” — Tracy Lucht
  • "Dakota Prisoners in Davenport and their Uses of Literacy" — Linda Clemmons
  • “From Prairie to Farm: How the General Land Office survey shaped Iowa” — Paul F. Anderson, Emeritus Professor, Iowa State University
  • “Family Genealogy Newsletters: Monthly History Lessons” —  Paul F. Anderson, Emeritus Professor, Iowa State University
  • “World War I Camp Dodge” — Michael W. Vogt, Curator, Iowa Gold Star Military Museum
  • “Border Skunks and Heartland History of Lancaster” — George W. House
  • “McGregor, tell me thy Weird Story”: The American School of Wildlife, 1919-1941 — Mary Wise
  • “Tools historical societies and other local history organizations can use to attract more visitors and members” — Lee Wright, founder of History Camp and The History List, and a Member of the Board of Trustees of the Marlborough Historical Society

History Camp Iowa takes place at the Iowa History Museum in downtown Des Moines, near Iowa's beautiful state Capitol (bottom photo).




Posted By on

September 22, 2015

Compiling a list of 2016's best reenactments

What are the "can't miss" reenactments‬ in the U.S in 2016?

We're compiling a list covering all eras and types, from military to farming and everything in between.  Both the great large annual reenactments and the ones that are going to be exceptional in 2016 because of a major anniversary.

Once we're confident that the list is fairly comprehensive, we'll publish the list here and on Facebook and Twitter.  (We're also working on a new section for The History List with, you guessed it, Lists.)

Please add your recommendations below, including the size, location, and what's notable about 2016.  And please ask others, especially those who are members of reeanctor groups, to nominate reenactments for inclusion.

The annual Redcoats & Rebels reenactment at Old Sturbridge Village

Redcoats & Rebels (2008) at Old Sturbridge Village, the largest Revolutionary War reenactment in New England.  It occurs annually.

Posted By on

September 19, 2015

The history organizations that were among the recipients of the Bloomberg Philanthropies $30 million Arts Innovation and Management grant

These are the 14 organizations closely related to the presentation of history that were among the 262 grantees announced in the six cities selected by the foundation.  

From the September 15 release:

"Bloomberg Philanthropies today announced the grantees selected to participate in the foundation’s $30 million Arts Innovation and Management (AIM) program for small and midsize nonprofit cultural institutions in six U.S. cities, including Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Detroit, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. The invitation-only program, announced in April 2015, supports a diverse set of institutions including local cultural centers and performing, literary and visual art organizations that present music, film, dance, poetry and other art forms.  (Click here for a full list of the 262 grantees.)"

"Through this two-year initiative, Bloomberg Philanthropies provides unrestricted grants to 262 organizations around the country to help strengthen their operational and programming efforts and offers arts management training in fundraising, audience development and board member engagement. All selected nonprofit cultural organizations are locally or internationally recognized groups that have been in existence for at least two years."

There were no categories listed, so these are my selections.  If you think that one of these is in error, or if one or more are missing, please let me know and I'll revise the list.

Bostonian Society
Freedom Trail Foundation
Museum of African American History
Old South Meeting House
USS Constitution Museum

American Indian Center
DuSabIe Museum of African American History

Dallas Holocaust Museum
Frontiers of Flight Museum
Sixth Floor Museum

Arab American National Museum
Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History
Motown Historical Museum

Los Angeles
Museum of the African Diaspora


Posted By on