Iowa History Month
The Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs invites Iowans of all ages to learn more about our state’s past throughout Iowa History Month in March. Every year, this statewide tradition offers new opportunities to learn more about Iowa’s past and the remarkable Iowans from all walks of life who have influenced their communities, their state, their country and, in many cases, the entire world.
The month features an array of in-person and online programs organized by the State Historical Society of Iowa, a division of the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs. Iowans and others can tune in to online presentations, take part in activities designed for families with children, discover materials in the new Iowa History Collection Catalog and take guided tours at the State Historical Museum of Iowa in Des Moines.
Iowans are encouraged to post their own #IowaHistory stories, discoveries and events throughout the month on social media. Here are ways you can learn more.
Visit the State Historical Museum of Iowa, 9 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. Tuesday through Friday. If you can’t visit in person, tour the museum’s newest exhibit Iowa’s People & Places from your home.
Explore the newly renovated State Historical Library & Archives Iowa History Research Center in Des Moines, now open 9 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. Wednesday - Friday. Visitors will find numerous upgrades and improvements and can dive into collections filled with state government records, books and periodicals, newspapers, county records, manuscripts, photographs and more.
Show your support of Iowa history with an History Happens Here T-shirt and other merchandise from Raygun.
Sign up to watch an Iowa History 101 webinar, presented on the second and fourth Thursdays of each month at noon, to learn more about Iowa’s history from pre-statehood to current day. Explore the archives of past program recordings.
- March 9 - “Uncommon Ground: Grant Wood and Russell Lee’s Divergent View of Iowa” with James Swensen
- March 23 - “Fort Madison in Pre-Statehood Iowa: The U.S. Army as a Predecessor to Anglo-American Settlement” with Patrick J. Jung
Join the Annals of Iowa editor, Andrew Klumpp, to explore Iowa’s past through the online Iowa History Book Club. Join us on March 30 at 7 p.m. to delve into a new book about Midwest history, “The Good Country” with author Jon Lauck.
Engage young historians with spring break activities and programs, March 10-17.
- Drop-in Activity Stations, March 10 and March 13 - 17, 9 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
- Family Exhibit Tour of "Iowa's People and Places", March 14, 10 a.m. - 10:45 a.m. and 2 p.m. - 2:45 p.m. (register in advance)
- Goldie Family Day Camp, March 15, 9:30 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. (register in advance)
- Family Museum Collection Tour, Thursday, March 16, 10 a.m. - 10:30 a.m. (register in advance)
- Adult Museum Collection Tour, Thursday, March 16, 2 p.m. - 2:45 p.m. (register in advance)
Participate in Goldie’s Kids Club to introduce children aged 12 and under to Iowa history – starting with Goldie the eastern goldfinch, the state bird.
- Are you ready to become a history super sleuth? Join the History Mystery live, virtual program on March 4 at 10 a.m. and learn about objects connected to Women's History Month.
- Innovative Iowans highlights an Iowan through interactive activities that connect history with STEAM education – science, technology, engineering, art and math. On March 4, learn more about the State Seal of Iowa.
- Storytime presents a book recommendation and hands-on activity with an Iowa connection. On March 15, read “Ten Beautiful Things” by Molly Beth Griffin.
Download the Iowa Culture app to discover historic sites in your neighborhood and around the state. Highlights from all 99 counties are included in a new tour designed by the State Curator, including: the Estherville Meteorite Site near Estherville, the French Icarian Village near Corning, the Meskwaki Tribal Museum in Tama and many more!