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State Historical Society of Iowa
Iowa History 101 museum gallery

Iowa History 101

With an array of artifacts from the State Historical Museum of Iowa’s collection, a trio of new exhibitions called Iowa History 101 digs into the bedrock stories that every Iowan should know. One exhibition is a traditional museum show, another is a “hands-on” learning gallery for children, and the third is a traveling display in a Winnebago, which will visit all 99 counties in the next three years.

Iowans share a fascination with being Iowan. But what does it really mean to be Iowan? Iowa History 101 explores the history of Iowans at home, work and play – and how that shapes who we are today. Like a visit to your grandparents’ attic, this exhibition unpacks the stories of Iowa’s past with dozens of artifacts from the State Historical Museum of Iowa’s collection.


  • Examine one farm family’s first radio and imagine how electricity changed life for rural Iowans.
  • Admire sprinter Natasha Kaiser-Brown’s Olympic warm-up jacket.
  • Study the boots Charlie Wittmack laced up to hike Mount Everest.
  • Marvel at the NASA flight suit Peggy Whitson wore into space.