Community Conversation: Remembering the Douglas Starch Works Explosion


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This spring Brucemore is inviting the community to help commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Douglas Starch Works explosion with a series of programming.

The Douglas Starch Works explosion was one of the worst industrial accidents in Iowa history. The explosion on May 22, 1919, caused damage across the city of Cedar Rapids, leveled portions of the Douglas Starch Works plant, and resulted in the death of 44 people. Learn more about the history and other activities. 

The programming will generate awareness of this momentous event in Eastern Iowa history and create connections between our modern city, the tragic event that occurred 100 years ago, and the community’s resiliency since. 

About the Community Conversation

Brucemore staff will host a discussion centered on themes of race, labor and immigration. Joining Brucemore will be guests from the African American Museum of Iowa, National Czech and Slovak Museum and Library, and the University of Iowa Labor Center. 

Date: April 15, 6:00 p.m. 

Admission: Free

Location: Cedar Rapids Public Library (450 5th Ave SE, Cedar Rapids, IA 52401)

Sponsored in part by: Wells Fargo and Silos and Smokestacks National Heritage Area