Community Conversation: Remembering the 1919 Explosion

Featured image from the Brucemore collections.

Brucemore, in collaboration with the African American Museum of Iowa, National Czech & Slovak Museum & Library, and University of Iowa Labor Center, is hosting a conversation on the Douglas Starch Works explosion.

The Douglas Starch Works explosion was one of the worst industrial accidents in Iowa history. On May 22, 1919, a small fire at the Douglas Starch Works Company created an explosion. Homes, schools, and stores were damaged. Windows were shattered, and businesses slowed. Forty-four people lost their lives. In the days and months that followed, the Cedar Rapids community showed resiliency by focusing on rebuilding, including at the Douglas Starch Works plant.

Join us as we discuss the history of this tragic event, looking at themes of race, labor, and immigration.

This program is FREE to attend and will take place in Whipple Auditorium in the Cedar Rapids Public Library located at 450 5th Ave SE, Cedar Rapids, IA 52401.

The Douglas Starch Works programming series is sponsored in part by Wells Fargo and Travel Iowa.