Below are 5 interesting facts about April 24 in Iowa history:
1. On April 24, 1877, a tornado struck the town of New Albin in northeast Iowa, causing massive devastation and killing 15 people. It remains one of the deadliest tornadoes in Iowa's history.
2. April 24 is also significant as the birthday of Iowa Governor Samuel Merrill, who served two terms from 1868 to 1872. Merrill was instrumental in introducing reforms in Iowa's government and infrastructure.
3. In 1950, the University of Northern Iowa (formerly Iowa State Teachers College) was founded on April 24. The university has since grown into a leading institution of higher learning in the state, with a focus on education and the arts.
4. On April 24, 1999, the Iowa State Cyclones women's basketball team won their first-ever WNIT championship. They defeated the Xavier Musketeers in the final game, which was held in front of a sold-out crowd of 12,000 people at Hilton Coliseum.
5. Iowa-born artist Grant Wood was born on February 13, 1891, but he passed away on April 24, 1942, at the age of 50. Wood is widely considered one of America's greatest regionalist painters, known for his depictions of the rural Midwest and his iconic painting "American Gothic."
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