The Cedar County Cow War

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Incited by a fiery charlatan named Norman Baker, Depression-era farmers across several Iowa counties assemble to resist a statewide mandate enforcing tuberculosis testing in cattle. As tensions mount between the farmers, veterinarians, and law enforcement, confrontation — and the threat of violence — becomes all but inevitable.

Featuring Eric Juhnke, a history professor at Briar Cliff University and the author of Quacks & Crusaders: The Fabulous Careers of John Brinkley, Norman Baker, & Harry Hoxsey.

A letter from the editor in the June 1930 issue of Baker’s The Naked Truth magazine. Listen to the episode to hear excerpts from the letter read by Des Moines musician Jordan Mayland.

A nearly century-old warning from Baker about the fake news media — and an opportunity to pitch more products to his listeners.

Images courtesy of the Muscatine Art Center

Sound effects: boiling water by dersuperanton, meat sizzle by Ch0cchi, Mudchute cow by Secretlondon, old police siren by CGEffex, radio sounds by kwahmah_02: CC BY 3.0; other clips: public domain or licensed

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