Ad-Express and Daily Iowegian, Centerville, IA

Local News

September 20, 2011

Famous flippers and memorable marshals

CENTERVILLE — Pancake Day has always been a favorite celebration for politicians. Throughout the years, the Iowa governor has always been invited to attend Pancake Day, and many would then serve as the Parade Marshal during the Big Parade. In the early 1950s, Gov. William S. Beardsley attended and in the mid-1950s, Gov. Leo Heogh attended.

In 1956, Gov. Heogh arrived on the Square via helicopter, which provided political fodder for his opponent that year, Hershel Loveless, to criticize him. The Pancake Day Committee was quick to take responsibility for the helicopter ride, but Loveless used it to criticize Heogh, nonetheless. Loveless was the next governor, and he continued the tradition of visiting Pancake Day in the late 1950s.

In 1961, Gov. Norman Erbe attended the festivities, then in the mid-1960s, Gov. Harold Hughes came to town. Gov. Robert Ray was a favorite during the 1970s, and later, Gov. Terry Branstad found his way to Centerville a few times for Pancake Day. In 2001, Gov. Tom Vilsack from Mt. Pleasant was on hand.

Other politicians have also visited Pancake Day, sometimes making a few waves. In 1952, Estes Kefauver, the famous Democratic Tennessee senator who made a name for himself for attacking organized crime and campaigning often in a coonskin cap, was on hand to make a rousing political speech, as was Republican Dewey Short of Missouri. Kefauver had just lost his party’s nomination for president, so while at Pancake Day, he flipped a few pancakes and announced his endorsement of Adlai Stevenson. He would later go on to be Adlai Stevenson’s running mate in 1956, though they lost by a landslide to Eisenhower.

The New York Times reported on Sept. 25, 1964, “In this Republican town that looks as if it were designed by Norman Rockwell, W. Averell Harriman, sheepishly, and Mrs. Hubert Humphrey, expertly, flipped political pancakes.” Mrs. Humphrey was the wife of the democratic candidate for president, Hubert Humphrey, and W. Averell Harriman was the Under Secretary of State.

But not all of Pancake Day’s famous visitors were politicians. Several notable personalities have been parade marshals over the years, including J.C. Penny in 1961, boxer Rocky Marciano in 1965, Mike Lozano from WHO-TV in Des Moines in 1983, “Iowa Boy” Chuck Offenburger in 1986, and hometown success stories Simon Estes in 1997 and Morgan Cline in 2000.

Some lesser known, but notable visitors included Phillip Pillsbury of the Pillsbury Company, was here in 1962 to witness first-hand where all of the donated pancake flour was used. Taking a turn at flipping a few pancakes, he proved himself to be a better businessman than chef. He burnt the pancakes so badly they couldn’t be eaten.  In 1958, the first runner-up in the Miss America pageant, Joanne McDonald was on hand, and in 1959, Mrs. America Margaret Priebe, and National Baton Twirling Champion, Joyce Rice came for the day.

Another famous visitor that came in 2001 and 2002 was not a person, but a car. Rubbermaid Home Products brought in one of the actual race car driven by Kurt Busch in the Nascar Winston Cup Series. While in Centerville, it was on standby in case it needed to replace the car being used in the Nascar race that same weekend at the Kansas Speedway. The car was driven around the square prior to the parade, because the engines weren’t designed to go at the slower pace of the parade and would overheat.

Who knows who you might see at Pancake Day? Keep your eyes open – you might see someone famous!

Text Only
Local News
  • A.C. history by Enfys McMurry Aug. 1, 1940: As the Nazi bombs rained on London, "March of Time" newsreels, shown at the Majestic, revealed the devastation they caused with graphic pictures of its victims. On this day, Centerville people volunteered to adopt British refugee childr

    August 1, 2014

  • Chip and seal starting Aug. 18 Beginning Aug. 18, Harlan-based Sta-Bilt Construction is expected to be in Centerville to chip and seal portions of 19 streets.Sta-Bilt’s cost estimate of $155,885 was the low bid. The other bid submitted for the project was from Brooklyn-based Manat

    August 1, 2014

  • Centerville man violates sex offender registry A Centerville man with multiple felony convictions in Monroe County was recently sentenced in the Appanoose County Courthouse for OWI and sex offender violation.Joshua Allen Taft, 28, accused of first offense drunken driving, was sentenced July 18 by

    July 31, 2014

  • A.C. history by Enfys McMurry © 2014 Enfys McMurry All rights reserved. July 31, 1941: The headline this day in the Iowegian said: “U.S. Technicians Arrive in London For Special Work.” It was five months before Pearl Harbor. Chaos reigned over Europe but the hope was America would not be involved in any fighting. A March

    July 31, 2014

  • 073114 Young And Bold Photo Once Young and Bold Now 'Old and Bold' Whether they served in peace or war, many veterans can relate to this story about military reunions long after their youthful years. I wanted to publish this before Memorial Day, but other issues prevented that from happening.Marine Corps reunions ar

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • Ceremony to honor cancer survivors A special luminaria ceremony to be held during the American Cancer Society Relay For Life of Appanoose County will remember those lost to cancer and honor those who have survived. Luminaria will be lit at Appanoose County Courthouse lawn on Friday, A

    July 30, 2014

  • A.C. history by Enfys McMurry © 2014 Enfys McMurry All rights reserved.July 28, 1929: Feelings between coal owners and the county’s miners were about to explode. Complicating the situation, the miners were divided between two unions. The United Mineworkers of America was led by a

    July 30, 2014

  • Movie night at the Drake Public Library Fizz! Boom! Read! It’s movie night at the library Friday, Aug. 1 at 8 p.m. at the back library parking lot. Showing will be “Frozen” on the “big screen” and a second movie inside for those who wish to stay indoors. Bring your blankets, pillows and la

    July 30, 2014

  • Former Centerville teacher drowns in Creston

    A long-time Centerville Community School District teacher and coach has been identified as the man dive teams recovered from a southeast Iowa lake on Tuesday morning.

    July 29, 2014

  • Three year old case ends in prison term suspended A 36-year-old Moulton man was sentenced to state prison suspended to probation in the Appanoose County Courthouse July 18.Donnie D. Vanderlinden Jr. was sentenced to five years in prison, all but 30 days suspended, to five years probation to the Eigh

    July 29, 2014

  • Mercy receives Award Mercy Medical Center — Centerville received a 2014 Governor’s Volunteer Award from Gov. Terry E. Branstad during a special recognition ceremony held June 20 in Ottumwa.The hospital was honored with a length of service award by the Iowa Senior Health

    July 29, 2014

  • County attorney requests an assistant

    Monday morning the Appanoose County Board of Supervisors in the Courthouse boardroom moved to table a request from Appanoose County Attorney Susan C. Daniels to hire an assistant county attorney and amend her budget by $38,833.60 to cover the cost.

    July 28, 2014

  • 072514 CCC Meeting Photo Delay in street paving project Nancy Huisman, with Hall Engineering, Monday delivered to the Centerville City Council an update on the East and West State streets and North 10th Street paving project.Huisman recommended the city delay the project until the spring of 2015.The new t

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • A.C. history by Enfys McMurry © 2014 Enfys McMurry All rights reserved.July 25 1942: In the week of the County Fair in 1942, drives to buy Defense Bonds and Defense Stamps went into overdrive. Fifteen-year-old Dorothy Drake (now Dorothy Haines of Exline) was selected as Miss 4-H.

    July 24, 2014

  • Band program The Centerville Summer Marching Band program will have a free performance at 6 p.m. Friday at Paul Johnson Field behind Lakeview Elementary.

    July 24, 2014

Featured Ads

The Iowegian wants readers to think about the solicitation ordinance that will prevent groups or individuals from entering a roadway to solicit money. The Centerville City Council in June by a 5-0 vote passed the first reading of just such an ordinance. Public pressure and during a subsequent special meeting, the council voted 3-2 to table the ordinance. A second special meeting to discuss the solicitation ordinance is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 7 at City Hall. So, the question of the week is, "Do you or do you not support the ordinance to prevent solicitation of funds in city streets?"

A. I support the ordinance
B. I do not support the ordinance
C. Not sure
     View Results
Iowegian on Facebook