Past Programs


ARISE  will host O.J. Fargo on Sunday, September 20, 2 pm at the American Legion Memorial Building (the Armory) for a program entitled  “Just Before the Battle Mother- A Visit from a Civil War Soldier. “  After an overview of Iowa’s involvement in the Civil War, you will be introduced to a returning Civil War soldier played by Mr. Fargo.

Mr. Fargo dresses in full Union Army regalia for the presentation and focuses the presentation on an individual ordinary soldier’s experience. He will bring along a full roster of all men who served in and from Iowa in the Civil war to enable the participants to check for ancestors who served.  He will also provide a display of civil War artifacts.

  1. J. has done more than 100 history presentations throughout the state including historical societies, libraries, schools, professional organizations and many other groups. He is the author of three books and editor of two CD-ROMs containing 320,000 pages of searchable text and 10,000 Civil War pictures.

Attendees are expected to wear masks which will be available if needed. Seats will be placed at appropriate distances and attendance limited to 30 persons. No refreshments will be served.

The presentation is free and open to the public. The Building is handicapped accessible. The program is sponsored by Atlantic Rock Island Society Enterprise (ARISE). Supporting funds are provided by Humanities Iowa and the Atlantic Community Promotion Commission.

November 17, 2019, Freedom Rocks – Ray (Bubba) Sorensen

On Sunday, November 17th, Ray (Bubba) Sorensen– the creator and artist for Freedom Rocks in Iowa and other states visited the American Legion Memorial Building and interacted with local community members. He talked about how he honors veterans and how he had recently been elected to the Iowa House of Representatives for District 20.

October 20, 2019 Trains Across Iowa – Rudy Daniels

On Sunday, October 20th,  Rudy Daniels appeared in an antique conductor’s uniform to present “TRAINS ACROSS IOWA”. Iowa was important in the construction of the first transcontinental railroad and contributed to railroad safety. Daniels also described the famous streamliners that crossed Iowa. This event was held at the American Legion Memorial Building.

November 11, 2019, WWI Armistice Centennial  – Dr. John Mark Nielsen

An armistice to end that war was signed on November 11, 1918.  On November 11, 2019, a presentation to mark the centennial was given at the American Legion Memorial Building. Dr. John Mark Nielsen reflected on how the war to end all wars impacts our world today and his grandfather’s participation as a member of the American Expeditionary Force.

October 21, 2019, Abigail of the Civil War – Steve Livengood

September 15, 2019, Working with the Enemy – POW in WW II – Chad Timm

May 18, 2019 “BA-DA BA-DA BING BANG Rally”

April 28, 2019 Saints, Spies, and Sinners – Pippa White

March 17, 2019, Military Working Dogs

January 20, 2019 History of American Legion Memorial Building – Steve Livengood

November 18, 2018, WWI Armistice Centennial -John Mark Nielsen

October 21, 2018, Abigail the Canon -Steve Livengood

On Sunday, October 21, Steve Livengood described how he created Abigail, a one-half scale field artillery piece of the Civil War era. Abigail is a muzzle-loading weapon. Steve loads it with blanks or golf balls to shoot it whenever the opportunity arises. It weighs 280 pounds so is not easy to move it from place to place. It required 405 individual parts including 86 red oak and cherry wood pieces. This is an accurate copy of the real thing.

September 16, 2018, Company K: Up Close and Personal – LaVon Eblen

June 17, 2018 “Welcome Back!” Company K

May 20, 2018 “BA-DA BA-DA BING BANG Rally”

April 15, 2018, Who’s Who in Atlantic – LaVon Eblen & Steve Livengood

March 18, 2018 “Things that make you go – BOOM!” – Steve Livengood

On March 18, 2018, Steve Livengood gave an introductory presentation on US Military High Explosives. Topics included terminology, identification, and technical aspects of howitzers, hand grenades, bombs, bazookas, mines, tanks, and more

February 18, 2018 “Iowa’s Own Monuments Man:  George Stout”- Nancy Trask

On February 18, 2018, Nancy Trask presented historical slides about the WWII Monuments Men, especially George Stout, who was born and raised in Winterset, Iowa.  George Clooney’s character in “The Monuments Men” movie was based on George Stout. Nancy’s slides were collected from extensive research, including conversations with George Stout’s family; magazine and newspaper articles from a publicist working for the George Clooney movie; historical Winterset resources; internet resources; and historical books.