The town of Diagonal, Iowa may seem small and unremarkable, but it has been witness to several significant historical events. From natural disasters to political visits, here are seven historical events that have taken place near Diagonal, IA.
1. The Great Flood of 1851 - One of the most devastating floods in Iowa's history occurred in June of 1851. Heavy rainfall caused the Middle River to overflow, resulting in significant damage to the town of Diagonal and other communities in the region.
2. The Underground Railroad - Diagonal played a role in the Underground Railroad, a network of safe houses and secret routes used by slaves to escape to freedom. It is said that there were several safe houses in and around Diagonal that were used by escaped slaves.
3. The Visit of John F. Kennedy - Former President John F. Kennedy visited Creston, Iowa, which is just 15 miles from Diagonal, on September 13, 1960, during his presidential campaign. Kennedy spoke to a crowd of supporters at the Creston High School football field.
4. Diagonal Tornado - On May 11, 1973, a tornado touched down in Diagonal, causing damage to buildings and homes throughout the town. Fortunately, there were no fatalities.
5. The Mormon Pioneer Trail - Between 1846 and 1856, tens of thousands of Mormons traveled through Iowa on their way to Utah. The Mormon Pioneer Trail passed through nearby communities, including Diagonal.
6. The Coal Mining Industry - The coal mining industry played a significant role in the development of southern Iowa in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Coal mines operated near Diagonal, providing employment for many local residents.
7. The Iowa State Fair - The Iowa State Fair, one of the largest and most popular fairs in the United States, is held each year in Des Moines, just an hour's drive from Diagonal. The fair features a variety of attractions, including concerts, livestock shows, and carnival rides.
In conclusion, Diagonal, Iowa may be a small town, but it has a rich history that includes natural disaster, political visits, and the coal mining industry. These historical events serve as a reminder of the town's significance and the impact it has had on the surrounding communities.
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