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5 Fun Facts About April 20 In Iowa History

---Learn Every Day: IA Today In History Facts Texted Each Day - Text: history ia To: 618-270-4005---

1. In 1889, Iowa Governor William Larrabee signed legislation establishing Iowa State College (now Iowa State University) in Ames.

2. On April 20, 1939, Musician and songwriter Jerry Mercer, best known as the drummer for the popular 60's and 70's Canadian rock band "April Wine," was born in Des Moines, Iowa.

3. In 1961, the "Freedom Riders," a group of civil rights activists who rode interstate buses to challenge segregation and discrimination, arrived in Des Moines. They were arrested and taken to jail, sparking national attention.

4. On April 20, 1999, tragedy struck the town of Littleton, Colorado, where two students from Columbine High School, Eric Harris, and Dylan Klebold, opened fire, killing 12 students and a teacher. Among the victims was Rachel Scott, a 17-year-old student from Sioux City, Iowa.

5. In 2010, Iowa Governor Chet Culver signed a bill legalizing same-sex marriage in the state, making Iowa the third state in the nation to do so. The law went into effect on April 20, 2010.
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