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D Day Journalists, Vietnam Vets Return and Tariffs, The Exchange, 05.15.19

Coming up this week on The Exchange, how soybean farmers are being affected by yet more tariff increases 

Also as we approach the 75thanniversary of D Day, the story of the Nebraska journalists who sent their stories out from behind the lines, and a remembrance of the return of some Vietnam Vets from the 185thin Siouxland 50 years ago.


You’re listening to The Exchange, on SPM, I’m MH.  This week we remember the upcoming 75thanniversary of D Day with a story about a Nebraska journalist who risked his life to go behind enemy lines and we honor the 1969 members of 185thin Sioux City who returned from Vietnam this week.  But first, we take a look at the looming hike in tariffs on US commodities like soybeans that may come to pass if China and the US can’t come to terms on a trade agreement. 

Iowa’s senior senator says he’s disappointed with the escalating trade tensions between the U.S. and China. Republican Chuck Grassley stands by the president’s efforts pressuring China to align its trade practices with global expectations on intellectual property and other issues. But he says increasing tariffs on soybeans and other agricultural products hits farmers hard.

Iowa Republican Senator Chuck Grassley (R)

0514grassleytrade1 Farmers are hurting the last few years and the main reason is oversupply and overproduction but trade is also adding to this problem, the tariffs in trade that is. (:15)

The senator says he supports a proposed second-round of relief payments for farmers, but would rather see a quick and successful end to the trade negotiations with China.

This week 4thDistrict Congressman Steve King stopped by the Siouxland Public Media studios and we discussed the tariff situation.  King says he feels for the farmers hurt by tariffs and also wants a quick resolution, but adds that the stealing of intellectual property by the Chinese needs to be addressed. 

Iowa 4th District Congressman Steve King (R)

That was Republican 4thDistrict Congressman Steve King talking about the tariffs on American commodities like soybeans and corn.  

For John Heisdorffer, the tariff situation hits close to home.  The soybean producer from Keota in Southeast Iowa is the chairman of the American Soybean Association.  Heisdorfer says its been more than a year since the original retaliatory tariffs took effect and soybean farmers have had a hard time unloading their stores. 

John Heisdorfer, Chairman, American Soybean Association, Keota, IA

That was John Heisdorffer a soybean producer from Keota in Southeast Iowa.  He is the chairman of the American Soybean Association.  

You’re listening to The Exchange on Siouxland Public Media, I’m Mary Hartnett.  There are still thousands of would-be immigrants remaining at the border of the US and Mexico, after more than a year of mass migrations from Central America and Mexico

The lines began to swell in the last year when the Trump administration limited the number of asylum cases it accepts each day at the main border crossings.

Immigrants experienced similar issues from the 1920s to the 1960s, when strict quotas on immigrants from Southern Europe, and especially those with Jewish roots, kept large numbers of asylum seekers out of the country.  These quotas reflected the belief of the pseudo-science of eugenics that rated some people as better, smarter and innately more moral than others.  In his book, “The Guarded Gate” author Daniel Okrent says delves into eugenics and immigration. He says eugenics sprang from new ideas about genetics propounded in part by Charles Darwin in his book, “The Origin of the Species.”

The Guarded Gate, by Daniel Okrent

The Guarded Gate

That was Daniel Okrent, the author of “The Guarded Gate: Bigotry, Eugenics, and the Law That Kept Two Generations of Jews, Italians, and Other European Immigrants Out of America.” 


On May 14th, 1969 members of the 185th in Sioux City returned from a mission in Vietnam.  Siouxland Public Media’s Sheila Brummer with more on the activation of 373 airmen. Captain John Haley gave a speech during the re-dedication service of the Lieutenant Warren Brown memorial on July 14, 2008.  The ceremony took place at the main terminal of the Sioux Gateway Airport.  In about 5 minutes he summed up the unit’s service and support found here in Siouxland for the 185th.

When Captain Haley returned from Vietnam 50 years ago he said, “ “It’s the Fourth of July, Christmas, Thanksgiving, New Year’s and my birthday all in about 15 minutes.”

Journalist and paratrooper Barney Oldfield

Twenty-five years before the Vietnam vets came back to Sioux City, the Allies were preparing for the D Day invasion that effectively signaled the end of Nazi control of Europe and World War II.  Many Iowans and Nebraskans served in the war, some of them were journalists. One of them that may have been forgotten in recent years was Barney Oldfield.  The University of Nebraska Lincoln journalism graduate coordinated a  group of journalist paratroops who dropped into Normandy behind the lines six days before the D Day Invasion.  

UNL Professor of Journalism, Barney McCoy

That was UNL Professor of Journalism and documentarian Barney McCoy, who recently produced a segment on Oldfield on Nebraska Educational Television and is working a new documentary about him and the other journalists who served in the war with him.  McCoy says Oldfield is not the famous racecar driver who set early speed records, but he did strike up a lifelong friendship with him.

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