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Des Moines Civil War Roundtable 50th Anniversary Gala


Contact: Professor John Liepa, (Des Moines Civil War Roundtable Program Chair) 515-961-8539

Gen. Gordon McKenzie, (Des Moines Civil War Roundtable Commander) 515-274-0226


DES MOINES - The year 2015 commemorates the 150th anniversary of the end of the Civil War as well as the 50th anniversary of the Des Moines Civil War Roundtable. The Des Moines Roundtable is part of the national Civil War Roundtable which has chapters in over 40 states and is devoted to discussion and study of all aspects of the Civil War. The Des Moines chapter is Iowa's largest with approximately 85 members, meets once a month, nine months of the year, and has invited in experts on the Civil War from all over the United States.

Festivities will take place Saturday, April 4, 2015 at the State Historical Building in Des Moines and include numerous nationally-known speakers, live Civil War music, book signings, and an evening gala dinner. The highlight will feature keynote speaker Michael W. Kauffman, one of America's acknowledged experts on the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln. The April 4 date almost exactly coincides with the 150th anniversary of John Wilkes Booth assassination of the President.

The afternoon speakers will focus on the significance of the war in the West and the role that Iowans played in some of those key battles, i.e., Shiloh, Vicksburg, Fort Donnellson. Speakers include Dr./Lt. Col. Richard Kiper of Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, author of numerous books and articles on the Civil War, including the award-winning book Major General John Alexander McClernand: Politician in Uniform; Timothy Smith, University of Tennessee at Martin, former Park Ranger/Curator at Shiloh National Military Park and author of The Battle of Champion Hill; Brian K. McCutchen, historian/architectural historian for the U.S. Park Service and currently Curator at the Fort Donnellson National Battlefield site.

Our hope is to provide a quality event that is a fitting tribute to Iowa's role in the Civil War and to better understand the tragedy of Lincoln's assassination. The presentations and the keynote address are free and open to the public. The gala dinner requires reservations and tickets which may be purchased by contacting Ron Nurmi at 515-262-3958 or Click here for a more detailed schedule of events in pdf format.

Banquet Reservations Due By March 28, 2015

Free parking -- ramp at East 7th/Pennsylvania and Locust Street


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