McCann to talk prohibition at local libraries


FORT MADISON – Linda McCann will be speaking at three libraries in Lee County at the end of November about Prohibition in Eastern Iowa and Iowa’s WWII POW Camps. Linda has done extensive research on many different aspects of Iowa history. Linda McCann has visited a number of libraries in Lee County over the past few years speaking about the Civilian Conservation Corp and POW Camps in Iowa.

The 18th Amendment prohibiting the manufacture, transport, or sale of liquor in the U.S was ratified on January 16, 1919 and went into effect one year later. It was the law of the land until was repealed by the 21st Amendment 13 years later. The 18th Amendment is the only amendment to the constitution to be repealed. Iowa was included in this alcohol ban. Why, then, did Iowa farmers turn to using their corn to produce liquor? Linda has spoken with the children of bootleggers and moonshiners. During this presentation, she will share their memories, including specific instances in, and around, the Fort Madison and Donnellson areas. Learn about Prohibition either Friday, November 22 at 2:00 pm at the Fort Madison Public Library or Saturday, November 23 at 1:00 pm at the Donnellson Public Library.

During WWII, there were about 25,000 German, Italian, and Japanese prisoners of war in Iowa. The main camps were in Algona and Clarinda with approximately 17 branch camps throughout the rest of the state. At the branch camps, the prisoners helped farmers, worked in canning factories, and took on work that might otherwise have been done by the young Iowans fighting in the war. Without the POWs, it is possible that many people and soldiers would have starved. While writing her book, Linda went straight to the original source, speaking with people who worked with the prisoners, had them work on their farms, or just got to know them. After the war, many POWs brought their families back to Iowa both to see where they had been imprisoned and to meet the people they had worked with. Learn more about Iowa’s POW Camps on Thursday, November 21 at 2:00 PM at the West Point Public Library.

Linda has published about a dozen books with the Tandem Publishing Group of Des Moines covering a wide array of Iowa history topics. She enjoys researching and writing about little-known subjects in Iowa’s history. She is now researching the Rosie the Riveters from Iowa, and plans to write about that. She is still looking for women who did this work in order to share their stories. Everyone is invited to attend and Linda will have copies of all her books available for purchase.

For additional information about these programs, contact Sarah Clendineng, (319) 372-5721, at the Fort Madison Public Library. Dara Sanders, (319) 837-6315, at the West Point Public Library. Brenda Knox, (319) 835-5545, at the Donnellson Public Library.

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