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 and Missouri
  • 1834-01-05 Kiowa Indians record this as the night the stars fell
  • 1838-06-12 Iowa Territory forms with Burlington as its capital
  • 1838-07-04 Iowa Territory is organised from Wisconsin Territory, lasting until 1846
  • 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
  • 1855-04-21 1st train crosses Mississippi River's 1st bridge, from Rock Island, Illinois to Davenport, Iowa
  • 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
Outlaw
Jesse James
  • 1871-07-03 Jesse James robs bank in Corydon, Iowa ($45,000)
  • 1871-07-05 Trial against Kiowa chief Satanta (White Bear) and Big Tree, begins

  • 1871-07-25 Carousel patented by Wilhelm Schneider, Davenport, Iowa
  • 1872-09-29 Kiowa-chief Lone Wolf captures Satanta & Big Tree
  • 1873-07-21 Jesse James and 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 William Grant of Iowa, performs 1st appendectomy in America on Mary Gartside, aged 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 imposes 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, Nebraska and South Dakota 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)

InventionHistoric Invention

1945-03-06 George Nissen of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, receives a patent for the first modern trampoline

Inventor and Gymnast George Nissen
Inventor and Gymnast
George Nissen
  • 1946-06-09 19 guests at Canfield Hotel die in fire (Dubuque, Iowa)
  • 1950-01-07 Mental health wing of Mercy Hospital burns, kills 41 in Davenport, Iowa
  • 1955-07-31 KRNT (now KCCI) TV channel 8 in Des Moines, Iowa (CBS) 1st broadcast
  • 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
Singer-songwriter
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
  • 2018-05-02 Iowa passes US's strictest abortion ban, based on a fetal heartbeat

Famous Birthdays

Birthdays 1 - 100 of 225

  • 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)
  • 1828-01-27 Samuel Allen Rice, American Attorney General of Iowa and Brigadier General (Union Army), born in Cattaraugus, New York (d. 1864)
  • 1846-02-26 William "Buffalo Bill" Cody, Wild West hunter and showman (Buffalo Bill's Wild West), born in Davenport Iowa (d. 1917)
  • 1852-04-17 Cap Anson, American baseball player, born in Marshalltown, Iowa (d. 1922)
  • 1852-05-18 Gertrude Käsebier, pioneering American photgrapher, born in Des Moines, Iowa
  • 1855-11-23 Frank Friday Fletcher, American Naval Admiral (Medal of Order for Battle of Veracruz), born in Oskaloosa, Iowa (d. 1928)
  • 1857-09-08 Ida Henrietta Hyde, American physiologist who invented the micro-electrode and the first woman allowed to do research at Harvard Medical School and to be elected to the American Physiology Society, born in Davenport, Iowa (d. 1945)
  • 1861-12-04 Lillian Russell [Helen Leonard], American singer and actress (Great Mogul), born in Clinton, Iowa (d. 1922)
  • 1862-09-19 Adeline De Walt Reynolds, American actress (Son of Dracula), born in Benton County, Iowa (d. 1961)
  • 1867-07-25 Alexander Rummler, American painter, born in Dubuque, Iowa (d. 1959)
  • 1870-03-11 Herm McFarland, American MLB outfielder (first grand slam in AL history), born in Des Moines, Iowa (d. 1935)

Person of interestHerbert Hoover

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
  • 1875-03-29 Lou Henry Hoover, 1st lady (1929-33), wife of the 31st President, Herbert Hoover, born in Waterloo, Iowa (d. 1944)
  • 1875-05-06 William Daniel Leahy, Iowa, 5 star admiral/chief of staff (1949)
  • 1878-04-27 Frank Gotch, American professional wrestler, born in Humboldt, Iowa (d. 1917)
  • 1879-09-06 Neal Rev Dodd, American actor (You Belong to Me), born in Fort Madison, Iowa (d. 1966)

Person of interestOtto Frederick Rohwedder

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

  • 1883-05-25 Elsa Maxwell, American writer (Jack Paar Show), born in Keokuk, Iowa (d. 1963)
  • 1884-06-15 Harry Langdon, American comedian (The Strong Man, Tramp, Tramp, Tramp), born in Council Bluffs, Iowa (d. 1944)
  • 1886-01-11 Chester Conklin, American actor (Every Day's a Holiday, Greed), born in Oskaloosa, Iowa (d. 1971)
  • 1887-01-11 Aldo Leopold, American conservationist, professor and co-founder of the Wilderness Society, born in Burlington, Iowa (d. 1949)
  • 1887-07-01 Charles D Brown, American actor (Barefoot Boy, Disbarred, Night Editor), born in Council Bluffs, Iowa (d. 1948)
  • 1887-07-07 Raymond Hatton, American actor (Girls in Prison, Lady Killer), born in Red Oak, Iowa (d. 1971)
  • 1888-05-17 Selmer Jackson, American actor (The Grapes of Wrath, Life & Legend of Wyatt Earp), born in Lake Mills, Iowa (d. 1971)
  • 1891-02-13 Grant Wood, American painter (American Gothic), born near Anamosa, Iowa (d. 1942)
  • 1893-02-26 William Frawley, American actor (I Love Lucy, My 3 Sons), born in Burlington, Iowa (d. 1966)
  • 1895-03-03 Juanita Hansen, American actress (Fast Company, Broadway Love), born in Des Moines, Iowa (d. 1961)
  • 1895-08-09 Nathaniel "Nat" Pendleton, American wrestler (Olympics 1920, Silver) and actor (The Thin Man, Reckless), born in Davenport, Iowa (d. 1967)
  • 1896-03-20 Hal Walker, director (I Married Joan), born in Ottumwa, Iowa
  • 1896-04-27 Wallace Hume Carothers, American chemist and inventor (nylon), born in Burlington, Iowa (d. 1937)
  • 1896-06-07 Vivien Kellems, American industrialist, who battled the Federal tax system as discriminatory against single people, born in Des Moines, Iowa (d. 1975)
  • 1896-11-14 Mamie Eisenhower, First Lady of the United States (1953-61), born in Boone, Iowa (d. 1979)
  • 1897-03-16 Conrad Nagel, American actor (All That Heaven Allows, Celebrity Time), born in Keokuk, Iowa (d. 1970)
  • 1897-10-29 Hope Emerson, American actress (I Married Joan, Peter Gunn), born in Hawarden, Iowa (d. 1960)
  • 1899-03-28 Buck Shaw, American football player and coach, born in Mitchellville, Iowa (d. 1977)
  • 1899-07-05 Anna Arnold Hedgeman, African-American social activist (NYC cabinet), born in Marshalltown, Iowa (d. 1990)
  • 1901-07-23 Hank Worden, American actor (The Searcher, Red River), born in Rolfe, Iowa (d. 1992)

Person of interestGeorge Gallup

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, American actor (Colonel Flack, Zombies on Broadway), born in Des Moines, Iowa (d. 1962)
  • 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
  • 1903-04-17 Morgan Taylor, American athlete (Olympic 1924), born in Sioux City, Iowa (d. 1975)
  • 1903-07-05 Irwin Fischer, American composer (Chicago Symphony Orchestra), born in Iowa City, Iowa (d. 1977)
  • 1904-02-04 MacKinlay Kantor, Webster City Iowa, novelist (Andersonville)

Person of interestGlenn Miller

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
  • 1904-04-09 Lyle Latell, American actor (Not of the Earth, Dick Tracy's Dilemma, Sky Dragon), born in Alma, Iowa (d. 1967)
  • 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)
  • 1905-08-10 Era Bell Thompson, American magazine editor (Ebony), born in Des Moines, Iowa (d. 1986)
  • 1905-08-22 Wade Crosby, American actor (Sign of Wolf, Tales of Robin Hood), born in Cedar Rapids, Iowa (d. 1975)
  • 1906-05-05 Frances "Fran" Lee, American actress (Reckless Rosie), born in Eagle Grove, Iowa (d. 2000)
  • 1907-04-04 Nathan M. Pusey, American educator, 24th president of Harvard University (1953-71), born in Council Bluffs, Iowa (d. 2001)
  • 1907-05-11 Kent Taylor [Louis Weiss], American actor (Boston Blackie, Rough Riders), born in Nashua, Iowa (d. 1987)

Person of interestJohn Wayne

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

Actor John Wayne
Actor
John Wayne
  • 1907-09-15 Jack Bailey, Hampton Iowa, TV host (Queen for a Day)
  • 1907-11-20 Fran Allison, American actress (Kukla, Fran & Ollie), born in La Porte City, Iowa (d. 1989)
  • 1908-03-29 Dennis O'Keefe, actor and director (T-Men, Fighting Seabees), born in Fort Madison, Iowa (d. 1968)
  • 1908-06-18 Nedra Volz, American actress, born in Montrose, Iowa (d. 2003)
  • 1908-10-12 Paul Engle, American poet and writer (Worm Earth, American Song), born in Cedar Rapids, Iowa (d. 1991)
  • 1908-12-29 Claire Dodd, American actress (Lady, In the Navy), born in Des Moines, Iowa (d. 1973)
  • 1909-07-18 Harriet Nelson [Peggy Lou Snyder], American singer and actress (The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet, Follow the Fleet), born in Des Moines, Iowa (d. 1994)
  • 1909-12-12 Karen Morley, American actress (Scarface), born in Ottumwa, Iowa (d. 2003)
  • 1909-12-21 George Ball, Iowa, lawyer/undersecretary of state
  • 1910-09-19 Margaret Lindsay, American actress (Take a Guess), born in Dubuque, Iowa (d. 1981)
  • 1911-02-11 Ben Carter, American actor (Crash Dive, Dark Alibi, Maryland), born in Fairfield, Iowa (d. 1946)
  • 1911-04-05 Gordon Jones, American character actor (The Green Hornet, Flying Tigers, Abbott & Costello), born in Alden, Iowa (d. 1963)
  • 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)
  • 1913-04-04 Rosemary Lane, American actress (An Angel from Texas, 4 Mothers, Harvest Melody), born in Indianola, Iowa (d. 1974)
  • 1913-08-25 Don DeFore, American actor (George-Hazel, The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet), born in Cedar Rapids, Iowa (d. 1993)

Person of interestGeorge Reeves

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

Person of interestGeorge Nissen

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
  • 1914-05-10 Charles McGraw [Butters], American actor (Spartacus, The Birds, The Killers, Smith Family), born in Des Moines, Iowa (d. 1980)
  • 1914-09-07 James Van Allen, American physicist (discovered Van Allen radiation belts), born in Mount Pleasant, Iowa (d. 2006)
  • 1914-10-09 Roger Goeb, American composer, born in Cherokee, Iowa (d. 1997)
  • 1915-05-28 Scott McKay [Carl Chester Gose], American actor (Stage Door, Guest in House, 30 Seconds over Tokyo), born in Pleasantville, Iowa (d. 1987)
  • 1915-06-03 Iris Meredith [Shunn], American actress (Son of Davy Crockett, The Mystery of the Hooded Horsemen), born in Sioux City, Iowa (d. 1980)
  • 1916-07-19 James D. Ramage, American Naval Aviator in World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War and the Cold War, born in Waterloo, Iowa (d. 2012)
  • 1917-06-12 Priscilla Lane, American actress (Arsenic & Old Lace), born in Indianola, Iowa (d. 1995)
  • 1918-06-12 Samuel Z. Arkoff, American film producer and co-founder of American International Pictures, born in Fort Dodge, Iowa (d. 2001)
  • 1918-07-04 Abigail Van Buren [Pauline Phillips], American columnist and radio show host known for "Dear Abby" advice column, twin sister of fellow advice columnist Ann Landers (Eppie Lederer), born in Sioux City, Iowa (d. 2013)
  • 1918-07-04 Ann Landers [Eppie Lederer], American advice columnist "Ask Ann Landers," twin sister of fellow advice columnist "Dear Abby" (Abigail Van Buren), born in Sioux City, Iowa (d. 2002)
  • 1918-10-23 Mary Jeanette "Peggy" Moran, American actress (Double Date, Horror Island), born in Clinton, Iowa (d. 2002)
  • 1918-10-27 Paul Dixon, Ohio talk show host (Paul Dixon Show), born in Albia, Iowa (d. 1974)
  • 1918-10-30 Bob Feller, American Baseball Hall of Fame pitcher (AL Triple Crown 1940), born in Van Meter, Iowa (d.2010)
  • 1918-11-03 Bob Feller, Van Meter, Iowa, American baseball pitcher (Cleveland Indian, 3 no-hitters)
  • 1920-01-18 Constance Moore, American singer and actress (Buck Rogers, Show Business, Atlantic City), born in Sioux City, Iowa (d. 2005)
  • 1920-03-05 Virginia Christine [Ricketts], American actress (Mrs Olson, Tales of Wells Fargo), born in Stanton, Iowa (d. 1996)
  • 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, American soldier and actor (DOA, Love Me Tender), born in Griswold, Iowa (d. 1992)
  • 1921-01-27 Donna Reed, Denison Iowa, (From Here to Eternity, Wonderful Life)
  • 1921-08-03 Marilyn Maxwell, American actress and entertainer (Champion, The Lemon Drop Kid, East of Sumatra), born in Clarinda, Iowa (d. 1972)
  • 1921-10-27 Warren Allen Smith, American gay rights activist and writer, born in Minburn, Iowa (d. 2017)
  • 1921-11-20 Jim Garrison, American district attorney, politician and judge, born in Denison, Iowa (d. 1992)
  • 1922-02-10 Harold Hughes, Ida County Iowa, Governor of Iowa (D) and US Senator
  • 1922-02-10 Neva Patterson, American actress (The Seven Year Itch, Taxi, Nichols), born near Nevada, Iowa (d. 2010)
  • 1922-05-07 Lewis "Lew" Anderson, American actor and musician (The Howdy Doody Show), born in Kirkman, Iowa (d. 2006)

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 [Archibald Alexander Leach], British-born American actor (Arsenic & Old Lace, North by Northwest), dies from a cerebral haemorrhage at 82
  • 2009-06-24 Ed Thomas, well-known high school football coach from Iowa (b. 1951)