World War I officer who attended University of Iowa was probably killed in hours between armistice signing and cease-fire on November 11, 1918 November 11, 2008Posted by John in History.
Tags: 1918, Armistice Day, Corrine Hanna, November 11, Robert Mark Hanna, Ruthven (Iowa), Spirit Lake (Iowa), State University of Iowa (Iowa City), U.S. History, University of Iowa (Iowa City), World History, World War I, WWI
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From Kansas City Star:
One killed that day was Maj. Robert Mark Hanna of Kansas City, who was among nearly 11,000 men killed, wounded or missing on all sides on Nov. 11, 1918 — a staggering figure that exceeds the number of Allied casualties on D-Day in World War II. …
There is reason to believe, however, that Hanna was killed in action hours after the exhausted Germans certified that they were ready to give up. …
Hanna was born in Ohio in December 1884, making him 33 when he died. He studied law at State University in Iowa City, and in Kansas City he worked in insurance and real estate. …
New book about Iowa City to Utah trek: ‘Devil’s Gate: Brigham Young and the Great Mormon Handcart Tragedy’ September 20, 2008Posted by John in History.
Tags: Books, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, Iowa City (Iowa), Mormon Trek, Mormons, Overland companies, Travel
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The journey of the handcart travelers from Iowa to Utah became a defining myth of Mormon history, the equivalent, as David Roberts observes, of the voyage of the Mayflower in American colonial history. …
In the judgment of Roberts, who has written extensively about the American West and its peoples, the mythmaking has a sinister aspect, crossing the line into historical cover-up. The handcart companies — as these traveling groups were called — suffered from hunger, disease, exposure and death; their mortality rate dramatically exceeded the average for overland companies, despite the fact that the Mormons traveled but half the distance covered by the much more numerous immigrants to California and Oregon. …
From Chapter One:
From Iowa City to Florence, Patience and her father normally stood inside the yoke and pushed the cart by its crossbar. Sisters Maria (nineteen years old) and Jane (fourteen) pulled the cart by means of ropes tied to the shafts of the yoke. Sister Sarah, only twelve years old, pushed from behind the cart. Patience’s mother, Amy, fifty-four years old; Patience’s twenty-two-year-old sister, Tamar, who had fallen ill with the flulike malady the Saints called “mountain fever”; and her little brother Robert, who was nine, walked alongside. Before the family reached Florence, however, James Loader grew too weak to help with the pushing. Maria took his place inside the yoke, and the cart trundled on under the power of only four young women and girls. …
HISTORICAL GAZETTE: Read about Galveston hurricane of 1900, which killed 6,000 to 12,000 people September 12, 2008Posted by John in History.
Tags: 1900, Books, cyclones, deadliest hurricanes, Erik Larson, Films, Galveston (Texas), Galveston Hurricane of 1900, Great Galveston Hurricane, historical newspapers, Houston TX, Hurricane Ike, Isaac Cline, Isaac's Storm, Joseph Sayers, Movies, natural disasters, Sean Astin, September 10, September 8, September 9, The 1900 Storm, The Evening Gazette (Cedar Rapids Iowa), The Galveston Flood, The Great Storm
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DEATH RIDES ON WIND AND WAVE.
Galveston, Texas, Swept by Furious Storm From the Gulf — Loss of Life Variously Estimated From One to Three Thousand — Waves Drive Inland For Miles Carrying Death and Destruction — Other Towns Isolated and Worst Feared — Relief Trains Pass Hundreds of Bodies Thrown up by the Sea.
Austin, Tex.. Sept. 10 — Information has just reached me that about 3,000 lives been lost at Galveston, with enormous destruction of property. No information from other points.
JOSEPH D. SAYERS, Governor.
HAVOC BEYOND WORDS.
First Reports Give Dim Idea of the Disaster
Houston, Tex., Sept. 10 — The West Indian storm, which reached the gulf coast Saturday morning, wrought awful havoc In Texas. Reports are conflicting, but it is known that an appalling disaster has befallen the city of Galveston. where, it is reported, a thousand or more lives have been blotted out and a tremendous property damage incurred. Meager reports from Sabine Pass and Port Arthur also indicate a heavy loss of life, but these reports cannot be confirmed at this hour. …
Submerged by the Sea … Asylums and Hospitals Wrecked … Scenes of Awful Panic … Bodies Counted by Hundreds … Sea Runs Mountain High … Many Texas Towns Probably Blotted Out by the Disaster … Sabine Pass Isolated … Galveston Without Water, In Darkness and Despair … Dawn Reveals Horrors …
Also, a New York Times story here: Great Disaster at Galveston
[Sean Astin] Announced at the Texas Film Festival on 22 February 2003 that he has optioned the book “Isaac’s Storm” [by Erik Larson] and is planning on shooting an epic film centered around the Galveston Hurricane of 1900. …
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Biographical info about Abigail Van Allen, wife of James Van Allen, from 1962 Gazette article and 1995 ‘Close-Up’ September 9, 2008Posted by John in Biography, Deaths, History.
Tags: Abigail Halsey, Abigail Van Allen, Iowa City (Iowa), James Van Allen, obituary
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9/11/2008 UPDATE: Gazette obituary posted for Van Allen, Abigail Halsey
The former Abigail Halsey grew up in Cincinnati and attended Mt. Holyoke college.
“It was during the war and I went through on an accelerated program. I was graduated in December, 1943.”
She joined her family in Chicago, where they had recently moved. A friend told her about “some supersecret work in Washington, D. C. This sounded terribly intriguing and we decided to go.”
Dr. Van Allen was stationed in the Pacific at the time. “We didn’t meet until a year later, when we were both working in the Johns Hopkins University applied physics laboratory.”
The Van Allens were married Oct. 13, 1945, in the “church founded in 1640 by my forbears” at Southampton, Long Island.
The Van Allens lived in Washington until 1951, when Dr. Van Allen accepted his present position as head of the SUI physics department.
I always thought we’d be leaving. But now we’ve passed the ten year mark, so I guess we’ll stay,” Mrs. Van Allen mused.
“So many interesting opportunities have come along,” she said. “My husband’s great motivation for staying is his being a native of this great state that has so much potential. He greatly regrets the fact that our young people are leaving after they’ve been educated.
Many, many opportunities can be created here.” …
From January 1, 1995 Gazette:
Abigail Van Allen sets positive course
By Sue Davis Smith
Editor’s note: Today’s subject is Abigail Van Allen, 72, of Iowa City, homemaker.
Education: Educated in private schools in Cincinnati. Bachelor of Arts in English literature from Mount Holyoke College, South Hadley, Mass.
Family: Husband, James Van Allen, 80, retired professor of physics and astronomy, University of Iowa.
Children: Cynthia Van Allen Schaffner, 47, of New York City, author of books and articles on American folk art; Dr. Margot Van Allen, 45, of West Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, physician and associate professor in the College of Medicine at the University of British Columbia; Sarah Trimble, 41, of Princeton, N.J., director of corporate communications for the Gallup Organization; Thomas, 39, of New York City, architect; Peter, 35, business editor for the Courier-Post in Cherry Hill, N.J. Four grandchildren.
What do you like most, least, about your occupation?
Basically when you get to my age you have different views on things. The best and least doesn’t come into one’s thinking anymore. You do your job for so many years you don’t think anymore about what you like or don’t like.
What’s good and bad about living in Iowa City?
I don’t bother with the bad parts. You can’t concentrate on those things. Iowa City is a wonderful place to live – with stimulating people, a government that works hard and a wonderful city council that is very conscientious. The growth is toppling the place, but that’s true of every place.
What is your goal in life?
To live as healthily as I can and long enough to see my grandchildren turn into what they turn into. With luck, I want to see the 21st century.
What is the best book you ever read?
I’m very fond of the 19th century and enjoyed “Pride and Prejudice” by Jane Austen. Right now the book I’m reading is “Descartes’ Error,” by Antonio Damasio, who is in the neurology department at the medical school at the University of Iowa. It’s really very interesting. All those things you know to be true about human emotions, there’s now a reason for it in the brain.
If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go?
For several years I’ve been wanting to go to St. Petersburg, Russia, and see the Hermitage Museum. I’d want to start in Stockholm (Sweden), Helsinki (Finland) and then St. Petersburg.
What is your favorite meal?
I do have two: Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners. I love the turkey and pumpkin pie at Thanksgiving, and the roast beef, Yorkshire pudding and plum pudding at Christmas. I also love the cranberry relish that goes with both of those meals.
What are your leisure interests?
I do like gardening, reading and swimming.
The most important thing you’ve learned in life is …
“The best laid schemes o’ mice and men gang aft a-gley,” from Robert Burns’ “To a Mouse.”
What’s your idea of a great time?
Dancing with my husband.
Do you have a pet peeve?
I have none. I concentrate on the positive.
What did you want to be when you were in high school?
I wanted to be an opera singer, an actress and the practical choice was a nurse. I told this to my father, who said if I was to go into medicine I should be a doctor. The more I thought about it, I realized I didn’t want to work that hard.
The first thing you notice about a person is …
Their appearance. It tells you so much.
Exclusive of the present, what would be your favorite time in history to live?
I’m grateful I live now. I couldn’t be one of those pioneers in the snow and cold and the animals.
What was your most embarrassing moment?
Several years ago my husband received the Crafoord CQ Prize, which is given by the Royal Swedish Academy of Science. Our whole family went – 15 of us. My granddaughter was 5 years old. She knew about queens and princesses, and the idea of meeting a queen was thrilling for her. We met the king and queen (of Sweden) at a ceremony, and the queen came along and was introduced to Elizabeth.
When she reached out to Elizabeth to shake her hand, Elizabeth wouldn’t shake hands with the queen. She looked at the queen and told her, “You don’t look like a queen!” We were embarrassed, and other people who had heard Elizabeth’s comment were horrified. The queen, though, calmly told her, “It’s probably because I don’t have my crown on.”
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ADVENTURE: Gazette reporter sent via airmail from New York to San Francisco; 1921 firsthand account with blizzards, desert crash September 8, 2008Posted by John in History, Travel, Weather.
Tags: air mail, aircraft, airmail, airplanes, history of flight, John Goldstrom, New York, newspapers, planes, reporters, San Francisco, transcontinental airmail delivery
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Gazette Man Flies With Air Mail From Coast to Coast
You’ve Wondered What Happens to That Letter You Send by Air Post—Reporter Goldstrom Tells You
Gales, Blizzards, Hurricanes and Sandstorm Battle Newspaper Man On Trip—Wrecked In Desert
BY JOHN GOLDSTROM
SAN FRANCISCO, Cal., Jan. 15.—I’ve just been delivered by air mail from New York to San Francisco.
I’m the first human missive to be carried from coast to coast by the mail planes.
The Gazette mailed me so I could study firsthand the practical workings, the perils and the prospects of the air mail service.
If you are one of the hundreds of thousands who have sent letters by air mail in the past year, you’ve probably wondered, as you dropped your mail in the box:
“How much quicker will it be delivered?”
“Will it be delivered at all?”
Speed and safety—these are the goals of the air mail service.
You’re justified in questioning, as you gaze upward at the mail planes, whether either goal has been attained.
Neither has yet—in the coast to coast service!
Just imagine you are one of the 16,000 other letters leaving New York with me, on my 14-day journey.
We are in for sky-sickness, below-zero cold, forced landings, blizzard, damaged planes, shipwreck; being lost in a desert sandstorm, 17 hours on the desert without a drop of water, being given up for dead! …
Transcontinental airmail re-enactment includes stop in Iowa City this week; US Post Office authorizes New York to San Francisco delivery September 7, 2008Posted by John in History.
Tags: 1918, 1921, air mail, aircraft, airmail, airplanes, antique airplanes, Boeing, Chicago, Frisco, historic airplanes, history of flight, Iowa City (Iowa), J. Dean Hill, Jack Knight, Jeppesen, New York, Omaha, President Woodrow Wilson, San Francisco, Slim Lewis
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From Aero-News Network:
Historic Aircraft To Cross The Country September 10-15…
Boeing and Jeppesen will sponsor the 2008 transcontinental airmail re-enactment, a five-day cross-country trip that commemorates the 90th anniversary of air mail service in the US …
Over the next four days, the planes will stop in Bryan, OH (OG6); Chicago Lansing (IGQ); Iowa City (IOW); Omaha, NE (OMA); North Platte (LBF); Cheyenne, WY (CYS); Rawlins (RWL); Rock Springs (RKS); Salt Lake City, UT (SLC); Elko, NV (EKO); and Reno (RNO). …
Here’s a recent Gazette article about commemorative Iowa flights between Blakesburg, Ottumwa and Iowa City: Antique airplanes deliver the mail to Iowa City
And related transcontinental airmail history from Mike Deupree in a 1976 Gazette column:
The post office department began experimenting with short airmail routes, mainly along the east coast, at the end of World War I, and gradually expanded until by 1921 the planes were flying the mail between San Francisco and New York.
They flew only in daylight, putting the mail on trains at night, and by 1921 had lopped 18 hours off the time it took for mail to cross the nation by trains, alone.
That was a critical year for aviation, because most members of congress had decided airmail was a failure. The Wilson administration, including aviation booster Otto Praeger, the assistant postmaster general, was going out of office and the end of the airmail seemed unavoidable.
In an effort to save the service, volunteer pilots decided to fly the mail, both day and night, from San Francisco to New York. They picked Washington’s birthday, despite the dangerous winter weather, for the demonstration.
There were no beacons, landing lights or navigational aids, except bonfires lighted along the route by farmers.
That dramatic flight, along with a great deal more early airline history, is described in Frank J. Taylor’s book, “High Horizons”.
Four pilots had combined to carry the mailbags from San Francisco to North Platte, Neb., by way of Reno, Salt Lake City and Cheyenne.
At North Platte, Jack Knight was held up for three hours by a snowstorm, then took off for Omaha, where another pilot was supposed to fly on to Chicago.
The other pilot, though, had been injured and rather than let the demonstration fail, Knight decided to continue through to Chicago.
He had never flown the route before, even in daylight, and it was still snowing heavily. He made it, after making an emergency stop in Iowa City for fuel, and the mail eventually got to New York only 33 hours and 20 minutes after it left the west coast.
The flight caused a sensation, and it spurred congress into appropriating $1.25 million to expand the airmail service and provide a system of beacons.
Flying the mail with the equipment and technique of the time was extremely dangerous — 30 of the 40 original pilots eventually lost their lives flying the air mail — but it wasn’t without humor.
— J. Dean Hill, without the benefit of modern navigational aids, devised his own system for flying between Bellefonte, Pa., and New Jersey in bad weather. He climbed above the clouds and lighted a long cigar. When the cigar was down to two inches, he Figured he was over New Jersey and started his descent.
— Slim Lewis had mechanical trouble over Pennsylvania one day, made a forced landing on a baseball diamond and rolled into a tea house.
“Where am I?” he asked when he was pulled from the wreckage.
“Tyrone, Pennsylvania,” was the reply.
What will you take for this place?” he asked, surveying the tea house.
— Lewis, during another emergency landing, struck a bull and broke its leg. He put it out of its misery with his revolver just as its owner appeared to angrily inform Lewis that he had just shot the prize Hereford bull in the area. So Lewis paid for it in a deal involving the equivalent of 6,500 airmail stamps. …
Tags: Coe College, Reserve Officers' Training Corps, Tipton (Iowa), Vietnam War
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From Naperville Sun:
Forty-two years have passed since Capt. Dennis Eilers’ plane was shot down in Laos during the Vietnam War. No one has ever been able to find a trace of the wreckage or any of the six crew members aboard the plane. …
Dennis grew up on a family farm in Tipton, Iowa, Curt said, and he always wanted to fly. He went on to attend Coe College in Cedar Rapids, where he joined the ROTC. …
Anamosa State Penitentiary in historical New York Times; Tales of lynch mobs, bigamist or twin, woman who hid gender, more… July 16, 2008Posted by John in Biography, Crime/Courts, History.
Tags: 1883, 1887, 1888, 1892, 1916, Anamosa (Iowa), Anamosa State Penitentiary, historical newspapers
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Link provided yesterday by Anamosa State Penitentiary Prison History Web site.
Czech doll escaped communists but couldn’t outrun flood June 25, 2008Posted by John in Children, History, Nature, Weather.
Tags: Cedar Rapids (Iowa), dolls, flooded areas, Flooding, floods, Floods of 2008, museums, National Czech and Slovak Museum and Library
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All told, the doll must be well over 100 years old, considering all the women who have watched over her.
Because generations have a tendency to lose track of heritage and history, I felt it was time to give the doll a new home, one where she could be safe and secure, and where the legacy of the Professorka could be maintained. …
And so, about six months ago, she made her final journey to the Czech and Slovak Museum in Cedar Rapids. …
Tags: Cedar Rapids (Iowa), Flooding, floods, historical newspapers
The Evening Gazette and Republican – March 18, 1929
(Click on images to see full size scans.)
The Evening Gazette and Republican – March 19, 1929
The Evening Gazette and Republican – March 20, 1929
The Evening Gazette and Republican – March 21, 1929
- Rising Waters in Plains Inundate Bridge, Farmland [via Zemanta]