“Iowa Girl to Take Dictation from Polar Explorer, 3,200 Miles Away,” the Waterloo Courier newspaper headline must have caught the attention of readers, who were hungry for distractions from the typical dreary news stories of the day. Deep in the midst of the Great Depression the adventures of a working girl and a daring explorer helped Iowans forget their economic woes for a time. Iowa History, a weekly column, appears at IowaWatch on Saturdays. Cheryl Mullenbach is the author of non-fiction books for young people. Her work has been recognized by International Literacy Association, American Library Association, National Council for Social Studies, and FDR Presidential Library and Museum.