Remembering United 232: The Nation’s Response


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Yesterday you saw how Siouxland responded to the United 232 crash, today we’re looking at how the nation responded to Siouxland. Following the crash letters started to flood city hall.

  • The city of Midland, Texas, picked Sioux City as the recipient of its Community Spirit Award for 1989. The award was presented by President George Bush, a former Midland resident, in the Oval Office.
  • United 232 survivor David Landsberger “The openness, hospitality, warmth and simple caring that each and every person I met showed me, was more restoring than anything else that I could have had. Each of us survivors needed our faith in life given back to us, and the citizens of Sioux City were the ones who gave it to us.”
  • President George Bush “I am sure I speak for many when I commend the extraordinary efforts of the airport personnel, rescue teams, National Guardsmen, and local citizens who rushed to the crash scene to offer aid. The compassion and generosity demonstrated by the entire Sioux City community in the wake of this catastrophe has been overwhelming.”
  • Former Secretary of Transportation, Samuel K. Skinner “From helping victims at the scene, to donating blood and food, to just being there to hold someone’s hand and provide support your response to this tragic situation typified what America is all about. You did all of this not for the money or for headlines; you did it because it typified the spirit of the heartland of America. You did it because it was the right thing to do.”

Countless letters from mayors across the country, and average citizens were sent to the people of Sioux City. Several newspapers, including the Washington Post and Los Angeles Times, praised Siouxland. No matter how many years pass since this tragedy, Siouxland’s response will not be forgotten.

Chamber Trivia


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Here is this week’s question: Can you name the 2009 Sioux City River-Cade Port Admiral and Commodore?

Trivia Logo Siouxland

Think you know…comment on this post with your answer for your chance at a great prize. Trivia questions will be posted each Friday with anwers and winners announced the following Thursday.

Remembering United 232: Siouxland’s Response


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This past fall I took History of American Journalism, and in this class we had to write a paper on our home town paper’s coverage of an event. I chose the United Flight 232 crash because I thought I had such a personal connection to the accident. Both my grandpa, now retired, and dad were firefighters that responded to the scene, and my mom was a nurse at the burn unit. After doing my research and finishing the paper, I realized that just about everyone in Sioux City can claim a personal connection to the accident. Whether you were part of a rescue crew at the scene, someone that rolled up your sleeve to donate blood, opened your dorm room to survivors, or offered your thoughts and prayers, it’s clear that there was an overwhelming response from Siouxland. Today we’re looking at how Siouxlanders gave of themselves to make a difference during this tragedy.

  • Briar Cliff didn’t hesitate to take in survivors with injuries that didn’t require hospitalization. Local businesses began bringing food and beverages to Briar Cliff, bedding and towels were offered, transportation for family members of survivors was arranged, counselors from other Siouxland schools came to be with survivors, and college students and faculty were directing people around campus.
  • Siouxland was prepared. Just 2 years prior to the crash, emergency respondents from Siouxland staged an exercise in handling a plane crash emergency. When Sioux City got the call that the aircraft was headed their way, emergency crews sprang into action. Plans were followed, and volunteers filled in where needed. Emergency personnel from surrounding communities started coming to Sioux City even before the plane went down, and nurses went to hospitals without being called.
  • Siouxlanders wanted to help. One way this was shown was through the long lines surround the blood bank. People waited for hours to donate blood.

Throughout this week the Chamber blog will remember the crew, passengers, and community response to this tragedy that occurred 20 years ago. You’re invited to share your own memories. Directly comment on any post, or send your story to

Remembering United 232: The Passengers


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United Flight 232 was carrying 285 passengers plus 11 crew members when it crashed at Sioux Gateway Airport. 175 passengers and 10 crew members survived the crash. Today as we remember the tragedy that occurred 20 years ago, we’ll remember the passengers of United 232.

  • Spencer Bailey – Subject of a famous photograph showing Lt. Colonel Dennis Nielsen carrying the three-year-old survivor to safety. Spencer’s brother also survived the crash, but their mother did not. A statue in part of Sioux City’s riverfront development is based on the picture.
  • Jerry Schemmel – Radio announcer for the Denver Nuggets. Schemmel later wrote a book about United Airlines Flight 232 titled Chosen to Live, and was credited with saving the life of a child in the crash.
  • Michael R. Matz – Trainer of the 2006 Kentucky Derby favorite and winner, Barbaro. Also credited with saving the lives of four children in the crash, three of whom were in the same family.
  • Dennis E. Fitch – A safety consultant to NASA as a member of the Aerospace Safety Advisory Panel. Also a DC-10 pilot and instructor, he helped Captain Al Haynes fly United Airlines Flight 232.
  • Jan Brown Lohr – United 232’s Senior Flight Attendant. Lohr has t lobbied in Washington D.C. to promote the safety of children on all civilian aircraft and airlines, asking that federal regulations require all children to have a seatbelt on every flight.

Throughout this week the Chamber blog will remember the crew, passengers, and community response to this tragedy that occurred 20 years ago. You’re invited to share your own memories. Directly comment on any post, or send your story to

Weekly Update


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This week’s Chamber update is from Chris McGowan. Listen to what Chris had to say about local colleges and the 20th anniversary of the United flight 232 crash.

Siouxland Colleges

United Flight 232

Remembering United 232: The Crew


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The Pilots – Al Haynes was the pilot flying United 232 the day it crashed at Sioux Gateway Airport. Times magazine called Haynes heroic, and several passengers credit him with their lives. Haynes fought to keep the aircraft under control, he was flying without hydraulics and could only make right turns. After the crash Haynes continued as a pilot until he retired in 1991.

The Flight Attendants – In a story written by the Associated Press following the crash, survivors praised the flight attendants for their performance. Flight attendants were described as calm and helpful both before and after the plane went down. One passenger said that flight attendants gave instructions on what passengers should do right up to the time the aircraft hit the ground. They also assisted in helping passengers escape from the wreckage. Eight flight attendants were present on the flight, one did not survive the crash.

The Tower Crew – Sioux City Journal staff writer, John Quinlan, wrote a piece about a month after the crash in which he described the teamwork that took place among the air traffic controllers at Sioux Gateway Airport. The seven-man tower crew was in communication with pilot Haynes, emergency crews, and ground control. They were also responsible for directing other air traffic that was coming into Sioux Gateway. The air traffic control crew received much praise for the professionalism they displayed in the handling of Flight 232.

Throughout this week the Chamber blog will remember the crew, passengers, and community response to this tragedy that occurred 20 years ago. You’re invited to share your own memories. Directly comment on any post, or send your story to

Remembering Flight 232


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Twenty years ago on July 19th, United Flight 232 crashed at the Sioux Gateway Airport in Sioux City, Iowa. The flight was in route from Denver to Chicago when all three of the aircraft’s hydraulic systems were destroyed due to uncontained engine failure.

Picture 006Throughout this week the Chamber blog will remember the crew, passengers, and community response to this tragedy that occurred 20 years ago. You’re invited to share your own memories. Directly comment on any post, or send your story to

A brief memorial will be held at the riverfront this Sunday, July 19th, at 4 p.m. The Chaplain Greg Clapper will preside. For more information contact the Siouxland Chamber 712-255-7903

Following Lewis and Clark’s Trail


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The Iowa Department of Transportation is developing a master plan for a 1103474_antique_compassmulti-use trail that generally follows the route of Lewis and Clark as they explored the Missouri River in Western Iowa. The purpose of the trail would be to provide a great resource for a new generation of people wishing to explore this scenic and historic part of our state.

Take a few minutes to fill out this survey to have your say in development in Western Iowa.

For information about the Lewis and Clark expedition, visit the Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center here in Sioux City.

Marketing Monday


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Today’s marketing tip is from Susan Gunelius, and the full article can be found at

Here are five tips that remind you to know your audience:

  1. Customers want to know what’s in it for them, so tell them what you have to offer.
  2. You can’t use the same copy everywhere. Remember that people reading a billboard have just seconds to get your message, while those that pick up your brochure are going to expect much more information.
  3. You can’t use the same copy for every audience. Adjust your message for your audience. Are you addressing new or existing customers? Younger or older customers? Your message may be different depending on the demographic.
  4. Your tone and language should match your audience. Save jargon for business to business communication.
  5. Be creative and willing to go outside what you learned in English class when writing copy for your marketing pieces.

Siouxland River-Cade


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This weekend kicks off a week of River-Cade fun, it’s also my last week as River-Cade Royalty. I’ll be “twittering” from the weeks events, giving you a first had, royal perspective.

  • Saturday, July 11: Southern Hills Mall HyVee Car Show 11 am – 3 pm, Show ‘n Shine Cruise the Loop Car Show 4pm – 11pm Vantus Lot 3rd and Pierce, Speedy Lube Music Fest (3rd & Pierce) 4pm – 11pm Featuring Mike Langley & Friends, Ghostship, Garie Lewis Comedy, and CH3Mystry, Cruise the Loop 7 pm.
  • Sunday, July 12: Smile Contest Preliminary – Hamilton Blvd Dairy Queen – Smiles start at 2pm
  • Wednesday, July 15: The Big Parade “We Salute our Veterans” 6:30 pm, Celebration after parade at Anderson Dance Pavilion,Smile Contest Finals, Ice Cream Social Live music by Girlfriend, Fireworks, Start of Carnival at Long Lines Lot on Gordon Drive.
  • Friday, July 17:  WinnaVegas Concert Creedence Clearwater Revisited and Foghat
  • Saturday, July 18: 2010 Queen of the River Coronation, WinnaVegas Concert Mark Chestnut and Clay Walker, Volleyball Tournament and Lewis Bowl South
  • Sunday, July 19: WinnaVegas Concert Terri Clark and Randy Travis,River-Cade Couples Golf Tournament at Two Rivers Golf Course 9am Shotgun Blast Off, Telecast of Wednesday’s parade on KPTH Fox 44 Cable Channel 2 at 1:30 pm.

For a complete list of events and more information about River-Cade visit