Des Moines in History

Historical Events

  • 1851-09-22 City of Des Moines, Iowa incorporated as Fort Des Moines
  • 1924-04-15 WHO-AM in Des Moines Iowa begins radio transmissions
  • 1930-05-02 Des Moines (Western League) defeats Wichita 13-6 to open 1st ballpark with permanently installed lights
  • 1935-03-17 KSO-AM in Des Moines Iowa call sign is given to KWCR
  • 1950-02-21 WOI TV channel 5 in Ames-Des Moines, IA (ABC/PBS) begins broadcasting
  • 1954-04-15 WHO TV channel 13 in Des Moines, IA (NBC) begins broadcasting
  • 1955-07-31 KRNT (now KCCI) TV channel 8 in Des Moines, Iowa (CBS) 1st broadcast
  • 1959-04-14 KDIN TV channel 11 in Des Moines, IA (PBS) begins broadcasting

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
  • 1989-09-11 KSO-AM in Des Moines Iowa changes call letters to KGGO
  • 1997-11-19 McCaughey septuplets born to Bobbi McCaughey in Des Moines, Iowa. First set of septuplets to survive infancy.
  • 1999-07-11 US Senior Open Men's Golf, Des Moines G & CC: Dave Eichelberger wins by 3 strokes ahead of Ed Dougherty for his lone major title
  • 2015-11-14 Second Democratic presidential candidates debate, broadcast by CBS, held in Des Moines, Iowa
  • 2016-01-28 Seventh Republican presidential candidates debate hosted by Fox, held in Des Moines, Iowa
  • 2017-08-20 Solheim Cup Women's Golf, Des Moines G & CC: US retains Cup 16½- 11½; down by 5, Europe can only halve the singles 6-6
  • 2019-08-14 Iowa congressman Steve King says without rape and incest "“Would there be any population of the world left if we did that?" in video for "The Des Moines Register"

Famous Birthdays

  • 1852-05-18 Gertrude Käsebier, American pioneering photographer, born in Des Moines, Iowa
  • 1870-03-11 Herm McFarland, American MLB outfielder (first grand slam in AL history), born in Des Moines, Iowa (d. 1935)
  • 1895-03-03 Juanita Hansen, American actress (Fast Company, Broadway Love), born in Des Moines, Iowa (d. 1961)
  • 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)
  • 1902-11-04 Frank Jenks, American actor (Colonel Flack, Zombies on Broadway), born in Des Moines, Iowa (d. 1962)
  • 1905-08-10 Era Bell Thompson, American magazine editor (Ebony), born in Des Moines, Iowa (d. 1986)
  • 1908-12-29 Claire Dodd, American actress (Lady, In the Navy), born in Des Moines, Iowa (d. 1973)
  • 1909-07-18 Harriet (Hilliard) Nelson [Peggy Lou Snyder], American singer and actress (The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet; Follow the Fleet), born in Des Moines, Iowa (d. 1994)
  • 1909-10-29 Frank Wykoff, athlete (Olympic gold 4x100m relay 1928, 32, 36), born in Des Moines, Iowa (d. 1980)
  • 1909-12-21 George Ball, American politician and diplomat (US Ambassador to the UN, Under Secretary of State), born in Des Moines, Iowa (d. 1994)
  • 1914-05-10 Charles McGraw [Butters], American actor (Spartacus, The Birds, The Killers, Smith Family), born in Des Moines, Iowa (d. 1980)
  • 1924-04-24 Ruth Kobart [Kahn], American actor and singer (King's Quest VII, Forum), born in Des Moines, Iowa (d. 2002)
  • 1926-04-30 Cloris Leachman, American Oscar and Emmy award-winning actress (The Last Picture Show; Mary Tyler Moore Show - "Phyllis"), born in Des Moines, Iowa (d. 2021) [1] [2]
  • 1927-08-30 Bill Daily, American actor and comedian (I Dream of Jeannie, The Bob Newhart Show), born in Des Moines, Iowa (d. 2018)
  • 1927-09-27 Sada Thompson, American actress (Family, Pursuit of Happiness), born in Des Moines, Iowa (d. 2011)
  • 1932-04-23 Halston, American fashion designer (1972 Hall of Fame), born in Des Moines, Iowa (d. 1990)
  • 1933-01-06 Fred L. Turner, American businessman (CEO of McDonalds, 1977-2004), born in Des Moines, Iowa (d. 2013)
  • 1934-03-30 Lanny Morgan, American West coast jazz and studio alto saxophonist (Maynard Ferguson), born in Des Moines, Iowa
  • 1934-06-11 Thornton James "Pookie" Hudson, American vocalist (The Spaniels- "Goodnite Sweetheart Goodnite"), born in Des Moines, Iowa (d. 2007)
  • 1935-11-15 Jerry Douglas, American director and writer (Grabby Awards Hall of Fame), born in Des Moines, Iowa
  • 1939-01-20 Paul Coverdell, American politician, born in Des Moines, Iowa (d. 2000)
  • 1946-02-06 Richie Hayward, American drummer (Little Feat), born in Des Moines, Iowa (d. 2010)
  • 1947-10-01 Stephen Collins, actor (Star Trek I, Tattingers), born in Des Moines, Iowa
  • 1951-12-05 Tom Purtzer, American golfer (5 PGA Tour titles), born in Des Moines, Iowa
  • 1951-12-08 Bill Bryson, American British author (Notes From a Small Island), born in Des Moines, Iowa
  • 1960-06-27 Jim Nussle, American politician, U.S. House of Representatives from Iowa (2003-07), born in Des Moines, Iowa
  • 1961-12-09 David Anthony Higgins, American actor (Malcolm in the Middle), born in Des Moines, Iowa
  • 1964-02-18 Kevin Tapani, American baseball pitcher (Chicago White Sox, Minnesota Twins), born in Des Moines, Iowa
  • 1967-05-14 Natasha Elaine Kaiser-Brown, 400m runner, born in Des Moines, Iowa
  • 1969-10-29 Matthew Whitaker, American lawyer and politician (Acting Attorney General, Nov. 2018-Feb. 2019), born in Des Moines, Iowa
  • 1969-11-12 Johnny Gosch, American kidnap victim, born in Des Moines, Iowa
  • 1970-04-26 T-Boz [Tionne Watkins], American singer (TLC), born in Des Moines, Iowa
  • 1970-06-13 Lance Ringnald, American gymnast (Olympic-92), born in Des Moines, Iowa
  • 1972-12-05 Mike Mahoney, American baseball player, born in Des Moines, Iowa
  • 1973-08-23 Casey Blake, American baseball player, born in Des Moines, Iowa
  • 1973-10-31 Ross Verba, American NFL tackle (Green Bay Packers-Super Bowl 31), born in Des Moines, Iowa
  • 1973-12-08 Corey Taylor, American singer (Slipknot, Stone Sour), born in Des Moines, Iowa
  • 1975-04-26 Joey Jordison, American musician (Slipknot), born in Des Moines, Iowa
  • 1976-05-29 Jerry Hairston Jr., American baseball infielder/outfielder, broadcaster (Baltimore Orioles), born in Des Moines, Iowa
  • 1982-04-26 Brock Gillespie, American basketball player (CB Ciudad de Valladolid), born in Des Moines, Iowa
  • 1992-01-19 Shawn Johnson, American artistic gymnast, born in Des Moines, Iowa

Famous Weddings

  • 1984-08-18 Duran Duran keyboardist Nick Rhodes (22) weds Des Moines department store heiress Julie Anne Friedman (25) at London registrar's office