Iowa in History

Historical Events

  • 1830-07-15 Indian tribes, Sioux, Sauk & Fox, sign fourth Treaty of Prairie du Chien giving the US most of Minnesota, Iowa & Missouri
  • 1834-01-05 Kiowa Indians record this as the night the stars fell
  • 1838-06-11 Iowa Territory is organized
  • 1838-06-12 Iowa Territory forms with Burlington as its capital
  • 1846-12-28 Iowa becomes 29th state of the Union
  • 1847-02-25 State University of Iowa is approved
  • 1851-09-22 City of Des Moines, Iowa incorporated as Fort Des Moines.
  • 1856-06-09 500 Mormons leave Iowa City, Iowa, and head west for Salt Lake City, Utah, carrying all their possessions in two-wheeled handcarts.
  • 1860-06-03 Comanche, Iowa, completely destroyed by one of a series of tornadoes
  • 1863-06-20 1st bank chartered in US (National Bank of Davenport Iowa)
  • 1863-06-29 Very 1st First National Bank opens in Davenport, Iowa
  • 1870-02-03 US state of Iowa ratifies the 15th Amendment of the United States Constitution allowing suffrage for all races & colour

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1871-06-03 Jesse James & his gang robs Obocock Bank (Corydon Iowa), of $15,000

Outlaw Jesse James
Jesse James
  • 1871-07-03 Jesse James robs bank in Corydon, Iowa ($45,000)
  • 1871-07-05 Trial against Kiowa chief Satanta (White Bear) & Big Tree, begins
  • 1871-07-25 Carousel patents by Wilhelm Schneider, Davenport, Iowa
  • 1872-09-29 Kiowa-chief Lone Wolf captures Satanta & Big Tree
  • 1873-07-21 Jesse James & James Younger gang's 1st train robbery (Adair Iowa)
  • 1875-02-25 Kiowa Indians under Lone Wolf (Guipago) surrender at Ft Sill
  • 1879-05-10 Meteor falls near Estherville, Iowa
  • 1882-05-23 6" of snow falls in eastern Iowa
  • 1882-06-16 17" hailstones weighing 1.75 lbs fall in Dubuque Iowa
  • 1882-06-17 Tornado kills 130 in Iowa
  • 1885-01-04 Dr W W Grant of Iowa, performs 1st appendectomy (on Mary Gartside, 22)
  • 1887-03-03 American Protective Association forms (anti-Catholic) in Clinton Iowa
  • 1893-07-06 The small town of Pomeroy, Iowa, is nearly destroyed by a tornado that kills 71 people and injures 200
  • 1895-09-18 Daniel David Palmer of Davenport, Iowa gives the first chiropractic adjustment
  • 1901-03-25 55 die as Rock Island train derailed near Marshalltown, Iowa
  • 1901-08-06 Kiowa land in Oklahoma is opened for white settlement, effectively dissolving the contiguous reservation.
  • 1912-01-12 -47°F (-44°C), Washta, Iowa (state record)
  • 1915-10-23 1st national horseshoe throwing championship (Kellerton, Iowa)
  • 1921-04-11 Iowa imposed 1st state cigarette tax
  • 1922-01-24 Eskimo Pie patented by Christian K Nelson of Iowa (not an Eskimo)
  • 1922-04-28 WOI (Ames, Iowa) country's 1st licensed educational radio station
  • 1924-04-15 WHO-AM in Des Moines Iowa begins radio transmissions
  • 1931-07-27 Grasshoppers in Iowa, Nebr & SD destroyed thousands of acres of crops
  • 1932-05-09 WOC-AM in Davenport Iowa merges with WHO to become WHO-WOC
  • 1934-05-21 Oskaloosa, Iowa, becomes first US city to fingerprint its citizens
  • 1934-07-20 118°F (48°C), Keokuk, Iowa (state record)
  • 1934-11-11 WOC-AM in Davenport Iowa splits from WHO-WOC & becomes KICK-AM
  • 1935-03-17 KSO-AM in Des Moines Iowa call sign is given to KWCR
  • 1936-08-18 106.5°F - Hottest afternoon ever in Iowa
  • 1939-12-06 5th Heisman Trophy Award: Nile Kinnick, Iowa (HB)
  • 1946-06-09 19 guests at Canfield Hotel die in fire (Dubuque, Iowa)
  • 1958-12-02 1959 NFL Draft: Randy Duncan from University of Iowa first pick by Green Bay Packers

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1959-02-03 "The Day the Music Died" plane crash kills musicians Buddy Holly, Richie Valens, J. P. Richardson and pilot near Clear Lake Iowa.

Singer-songwriter Buddy Holly
Buddy Holly
  • 1959-08-05 42.4 cm rainfall in Decatur Co, Iowa (state record)
  • 1960-08-18 1st photograph bounced off a satellite, Cedar Rapids, Iowa and Richardson, Texas
  • 1970-02-28 KIIN (now KUN) TV channel 12 in Iowa City, IA (PBS) 1st broadcast

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1982-01-20 Heavy metal musician Ozzy Osbourne bites the head off a bat on stage in Des Moines, Iowa

Rock Vocalist Ozzy Osbourne
Rock Vocalist
Ozzy Osbourne
  • 1989-04-19 Gun turret explodes on USS Iowa, killing 47 sailors
  • 1989-07-19 United Airlines DC-10 crashes at Sioux City Iowa, kills 112
  • 1989-09-11 KSO-AM in Des Moines Iowa changes call letters to KGGO
  • 1991-11-01 Three faculty, and one staff member of the department of physics and astronomy, were killed, along with one administrator, when physics graduate student Gang Lu went on a shooting rampage at the University of Iowa.
  • 1992-08-25 Jamie Solinger, of Iowa, crowned 10th Miss Teen USA
  • 1993-04-19 South Dakota governor George Mickelson and seven others are killed when a state-owned aircraft crashed lands in Iowa.
  • 1995-06-27 Mason City Iowa's TV news personality Jodi Huisentruit disappears
  • 1996-09-28 Troy Davis of Iowa State ran for 378 yards, 3rd highest in college football games (others: Michigan, Notre Dame, Texas & Alabama)
  • 1997-11-19 McCaughey septuplets born to Bobbi McCaughey in Des Moines, Iowa. First set of septuplets to survive infancy.
  • 2006-04-13 Powerful tornadoes rip through Iowa City, Iowa.
  • 2015-11-14 Second Democratic presidential candidates debate, broadcast by CBS, held in Des Moines, Iowa

Event of interestEvent of Interest

2016-01-19 Sarah Palin officially endorses Donald Trump's presidential bid at a Trump rally in Ames, Iowa

45th US President, Businessman and TV Personality Donald Trump
45th US President, Businessman and TV Personality
Donald Trump
  • 2016-01-28 Seventh Republican presidential candidates debate hosted by Fox, held in Des Moines, Iowa

Electoral defeatElection of Interest

2016-02-01 Iowa Caucuses: Republican Ted Cruz defeats Donald Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton beats Bernie Sanders by a coin toss

Politician and US First Lady Hillary Clinton
Politician and US First Lady
Hillary Clinton
US Senator Bernie Sanders
US Senator
Bernie Sanders
45th US President, Businessman and TV Personality Donald Trump
45th US President, Businessman and TV Personality
Donald Trump

Famous Birthdays

Birthdays 1 - 100 of 156

  • 1805-09-25 Henry P Scholte, Dutch/US vicar/founder (Pella colony in Iowa)
  • 1813-12-20 Samuel Jordan Kirkwood, (Gov-Iowa)/US Sect of Interior (1881-82)
  • 1820-08-26 James Harlan, (Rep-Iowa)/US Secretary of Interior (1865-66)
  • 1846-02-26 William "Buffalo Bill" Cody, Wild West hunter and showman (Buffalo Bill's Wild West), born in Davenport Iowa (d. 1917)
  • 1852-05-18 Gertrude Käsebier, pioneering American photgrapher, born in Des Moines, Iowa
  • 1857-09-08 Ida Henrietta Hyde, Davenport Iowa, American physiologist who invented the micro-electrode. She was the first woman allowed to do research at Harvard Medical School and to be elected to the American Physiology Society.

Person of interestPerson of Interest

1874-08-10 Herbert Hoover, 31st US President (R: 1929-1933), born in West Branch, Iowa (d. 1964)

31st US President Herbert Hoover
31st US President
Herbert Hoover
  • 1875-05-06 William Daniel Leahy, Iowa, 5 star admiral/chief of staff (1949)
  • 1879-09-06 Neal Rev Dodd, American actor (You Belong to Me), born in Fort Madison, Iowa (d. 1966)

Person of interestPerson of Interest

1880-07-07 Otto Frederick Rohwedder, American engineer (invented the bread-slicing machine), born in Davenport, Iowa (d. 1960)

  • 1883-04-25 Elsa Maxwell, writer (Jack Paar Show), born in Keokuk, Iowa
  • 1884-06-15 Harry Langdon, American comedian (The Strong Man, Tramp, Tramp, Tramp), born in Council Bluffs, Iowa (d. 1944)
  • 1887-07-01 Charles D Brown, American actor (Barefoot Boy, Disbarred, Night Editor),born in Council Bluffs, Iowa (d. 1948)
  • 1888-05-17 Selmer Jackson, Iowa, actor (Life & Legend of Wyatt Earp)
  • 1891-02-13 Grant Wood, American painter (American Gothic), born near Anamosa, Iowa (d. 1942)
  • 1893-02-26 William Frawley, Burlington, Iowa, American actor (I Love Lucy, Bub-My 3 Sons)
  • 1895-03-03 Juanita Hansen, Iowa, actress (Fast Company, Broadway Love)
  • 1896-03-16 Conrad Nagel, actor (Celebrity Time), born in Keokuk, Iowa
  • 1896-03-20 Hal Walker, director (I Married Joan), born in Ottumwa, Iowa
  • 1896-11-14 Mamie Eisenhower, First Lady of the United States (1953-61), born in Boone, Iowa (d. 1979)
  • 1897-10-29 Hope Emerson, Hawarden Iowa, actress (I Married Joan, Peter Gunn)

Person of interestPerson of Interest

1901-11-18 George Gallup, American survey sampling pioneer and inventor of the Gallup poll, born in Jefferson, Iowa (d. 1984)

Inventor of the Gallup Poll George Gallup
Inventor of the Gallup Poll
George Gallup
  • 1902-05-18 [Robert] Meredith Willson, Mason City Iowa, composer (Music Man)
  • 1902-11-04 Frank Jenks, actor (Zombies on Broadway), born in Des Moines, Iowa
  • 1903-01-31 Gardner Cowles, Iowa, publisher/founder (Look Magazine)
  • 1903-03-10 Leon Bismarck "Bix" Beiderbecke, Davenport, Iowa, American jazz cornetist, considered one of the most influential jazz soloists of the 1920s
  • 1904-02-04 MacKinlay Kantor, Webster City Iowa, novelist (Andersonville)

Person of interestPerson of Interest

1904-03-01 Glenn Miller, American bandleader and jazz composer (Glenn Miller Orchestra-In the Mood), born in Clarinda, Iowa (d. 1944)

Big Band Leader and Jazz Composer Glenn Miller
Big Band Leader and Jazz Composer
Glenn Miller
  • 1904-09-22 Ellen Church, American 1st female airline stewardess (United flight in 1930 from San Francisco to Cheyenne), born in Cresco, Iowa (d. 1965)
  • 1906-05-11 Kent Taylor, [Louis Weiss], Iowa, actor (Boston Blackie, Rough Riders)
  • 1907-04-04 Nathan M Pusey, Iowa, educator (National Ass for Social Sciences-1963)

Person of interestPerson of Interest

1907-05-26 John Wayne [Marion Mitchell Morrison], American actor (Green Berets, True Grit), born in Winterset, Iowa (d. 1979)

Actor John Wayne
John Wayne
  • 1907-09-15 Jack Bailey, Hampton Iowa, TV host (Queen for a Day)
  • 1907-11-20 Fran Allison, LaPorte City Iowa, actress (Kukla, Fran & Ollie)
  • 1908-03-29 Dennis O'Keefe, actor/director (T-Men, Fighting Seabees), born in Fort Madison, Iowa (d. 1968)
  • 1909-07-18 Harriet Nelson, American singer/actress (The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet, Follow the Fleet), born in Des Moines, Iowa
  • 1909-12-21 George Ball, Iowa, lawyer/undersecretary of state
  • 1910-09-19 Margaret Lindsay, Dubuque Iowa, actress (Take a Guess)
  • 1911-04-05 Gordon Jones, Alden Iowa, actor (Mike the Cop-Abbott & Costello)
  • 1912-03-19 Russ Case, Hamburg Iowa, orchestra leader (Julius La Rosa Show)
  • 1913-03-15 MacDonald Carey, American actor (Days of Our Lives, Lock Up), born in Sioux City, Iowa (d. 1994)
  • 1913-08-25 Don DeFore, American actor (George-Hazel, The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet), born in Cedar Rapids, Iowa (d. 1993)

Person of interestPerson of Interest

1914-01-05 George Reeves, American actor (Superman, Gone with the Wind), born in Woolstock, Iowa (d. 1959)

Person of interestPerson of Interest

1914-02-03 George Nissen, American inventor (created the trampoline), born in Blairstown, Iowa (d. 2010)

Inventor and Gymnast George Nissen
Inventor and Gymnast
George Nissen
  • 1914-10-09 Roger Goeb, American composer, born in Cherokee, Iowa (d. 1997)
  • 1915-05-28 Scott McKay, Pleasantville Iowa, actor (Stage Door)
  • 1915-06-03 Iris Meredith, actress (Son of Davy Crockett), born in Sioux City, Iowa
  • 1918-07-04 Abigail Van Buren, [Mrs Morton Phillips], Sioux City Iowa, columnist
  • 1918-07-04 Ann Landers, Sioux City Iowa, twin sister/advice columnist
  • 1918-07-04 Pauline Phillips, Sioux City, Iowa, advice columnist (Dear Abby), (d. 2013)
  • 1918-10-27 Paul Dixon, Earling Iowa, Ohio talk show host (Paul Dixon Show)
  • 1918-10-30 Robert Feller, Van Meter Iowa, MLB pitcher (Cleveland Indians, led AL in strikeouts 7 times)
  • 1918-11-03 Bob Feller, Van Meter, Iowa, American baseball pitcher (Cleveland Indian, 3 no-hitters)
  • 1920-03-05 Virginia Christine, Stanton, Iowa, American actress (Mrs Olson, Tales of Wells Fargo)
  • 1920-04-13 Ken Nordine, Cherokee Iowa, American voice-over and recording artist (World Jazz)
  • 1920-06-15 Amy Clampitt, American poet (The Kingfisher), born in Iowa (d. 1994)
  • 1920-08-13 Neville Brand, Griswold, Iowa, American actor (DOA, Eaten Alive)
  • 1921-01-27 Donna Reed, Denison Iowa, (From Here to Eternity, Wonderful Life)
  • 1922-01-18 Constance Moore, Sioux City Iowa, actress (Window on Main Street)
  • 1922-02-10 Harold Hughes, Ida County Iowa, Governor of Iowa (D) and US Senator
  • 1922-02-10 Neva Patterson, Iowa, actress (Governor & JJ, Doc Elliot, Nichols)
  • 1922-06-26 Frances Rafferty, Sioux City Iowa, actress (December Bride)

Person of interestPerson of Interest

1923-04-17 Harry Reasoner, American newscaster (60 Minutes, ABC, CBS), born in Dakota City, Iowa (d. 1991)

Journalist Harry Reasoner
Harry Reasoner
  • 1923-07-28 Mary Jane Odell, Iowa, secretary of state
  • 1924-03-15 Lockrem Johnson, American composer, born in Davenport, Iowa (d. 1977)
  • 1924-06-27 Paul F Conrad, US cartoonist (Pulitzer 1964, 71, 84), born in Cedar Rapids, Iowa
  • 1925-10-23 Johnny Carson, Corning Iowa, comedian (Tonight Show, Who Do You Trust)
  • 1926-03-11 Thomas Starzl, American surgeon, performed 1st successful liver transplant, born in Le Mars, Iowa (d. 2017)
  • 1926-04-04 Cloris Leachman, actress (Phyllis, High Anxiety), born in Des Moines, Iowa
  • 1926-04-30 Cloris Leachman, actress (Last Picture Show, Phyllis), born in Des Moines, Iowa
  • 1926-06-07 Dick Williams, Wall Lake Iowa, choral director (Andy Williams Show)
  • 1926-08-15 Georgiann Johnson, American actress (Marge-Mr Peepers), born in Decorah, Iowa
  • 1926-10-17 Julie Adams, Waterloo Iowa, actress (Yancy Derringer, Code Red)
  • 1927-08-30 Bill Daily, American actor and comedian (I Dream of Jeannie, The Bob Newhart Show), born in Des Moines, Iowa
  • 1927-12-03 Andy Williams, Wall Lake Iowa, singer (Moon River, Andy Williams Show) (d. 2012)
  • 1928-11-15 C. W. McCall [William Dale Fries, Jr.], American country singer, born in Audubon, Iowa
  • 1929-09-27 Sada Thompson, actress (Family, Pursuit of Happiness), born in Des Moines, Iowa
  • 1932-03-16 Ronnie Walter Cunningham, Creston Iowa, Col USMC/astronaut (Apollo 7)
  • 1933-09-17 Charles E Grassley, (Sen-R-Iowa, 1981- )
  • 1935-07-17 P D Q Bach, [Peter Schickele], Iowa, composer (5th of Beethoven)
  • 1936-03-27 Jerry Lacy, actor (Play it Again Sam), born in Sioux City, Iowa
  • 1937-08-06 Charlie [Charles Edward] Haden, American jazz double-bassist (Liberation Music Orchestra), born in Shenandoah, Iowa (d. 2014)
  • 1938-03-02 Simon Estes, Centerville Iowa, bass/baritone (Wonton, Don Carlos)
  • 1938-03-07 Janet Guthrie, American professional race car driver (1st woman to race in Indie 500 and Daytona 500), born in Iowa City, Iowa
  • 1938-05-11 Harvey Sollberger, flutist/composer (2 Oboes Troping), born in Cedar Rapids, Iowa
  • 1938-11-13 Jean Seberg, American actress (Breathless, Paint Your Wagon), born in Marshaltown Iowa (d. 1979)
  • 1939-08-01 Robert James Waller, American author (Bridges of Madison County), born in Charles City, Iowa (d. 2017)
  • 1939-09-27 Jim Ross Lightfoot, (Rep-R-Iowa, 1985- )
  • 1939-11-19 Thomas Harkin, (Sen-D-Iowa, 1985- )
  • 1940-01-31 Stuart Margolin, Davenport Iowa, actor (Love American Style)
  • 1940-03-10 David Rabe, Dubuque Iowa, playwright (Streamers)
  • 1940-12-24 Sharon Farrell, Sioux City, Iowa, American actress (Lori-Hawaii 5-0, Young & Restless)
  • 1942-10-15 James A Leach, (Rep-R-Iowa, 1977- )
  • 1942-11-01 Marcia Wallace, Creston Iowa, actress (Carol-Bob Newhart Show), (d. 2013)
  • 1942-12-14 Dick Wagner, rock guitarist (the Frost), born in Oelwein, Iowa (d. 2014)
  • 1944-09-23 Loren J Shriver, Iowa, Col USAF/astronaut (STS 51-C, STS 31, STS 46)
  • 1946-07-10 Sue Lyon, Davenport Iowa, actress (Lolita, Night of the Iguana)
  • 1946-09-26 Mary Beth Hurt, [Mary Supinger], Iowa, actress (Garp, Interiors)
  • 1946-09-27 T.C. Cannon, Kiowa/Caddo artist (d. 1978)
  • 1946-11-17 Terry E. Branstad, Governor of Iowa

Famous Weddings

  • 1998-08-29 "Baywatch" actress Traci Bingham (30) weds Robb Vallier at First United Methodist Church in Ames, Iowa

Famous Deaths

  • 1868-08-25 Henry P Scholte, Dutch/US vicar (Iowa), dies at 62
  • 1871-06-08 Satank, Kiowa indian chief, shot to death
  • 1986-11-29 Cary Grant, British-born American actor ('Charade,' 'North by Northwest'), dies in Davenport Iowa at 82
  • 2009-06-24 Ed Thomas, well-known high school football coach from Iowa (b. 1951)