In a feature article in Iowa Heritage Illustrated from 2001, Ginalie Swaim writes how Master Sergeant Richard Thomas, a Des Moines native who was stationed with the U.S. Air Force in Japan, heard about two terrible typhoons in Yamanashi and mobilized a group of Iowans to replenish hog population, which had been wiped out by the storms. This began a "Sister State" relationship between Yamanashi, Japan, and Iowa. Now, Iowa Sister States has developed connections in nine countries and works to connect agricultural and diplomatic connections between the countries.
- What happened in Yamanashi, Japan, that caused Iowans to send hogs there, and who made the connections to make that possible?
- How did the country and people of Japan show they were grateful for the gift from Iowa?