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5 Fun Facts About August 11 In Iowa History

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1. In 1877, the Iowa State Fair, one of the largest state fairs in the United States, opened to the public for the first time, attracting over 20,000 visitors on its first day alone. Today, the Iowa State Fair continues to draw massive crowds each year and is renowned for its agriculture exhibits, carnival rides, and entertainment.

2. On August 11, 1924, the famous American aviator Charles Lindbergh made his first ever parachute jump in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, while on a barnstorming tour of the Midwest. Although he had limited experience with parachuting, Lindbergh made the jump safely and went on to become one of the most famous pilots of his generation.

3. In 1935, Iowa established the first statewide unemployment insurance system in the United States, providing temporary financial assistance to workers who had lost their jobs through no fault of their own. The program has since become a model for other states and helped to support workers during times of economic hardship.

4. On August 11, 1961, the small town of McGregor, Iowa, was the site of a major UFO sighting that was witnessed by dozens of local residents. According to reports, a large silver object appeared in the sky and hovered overhead, emitting a bright light and a loud buzzing sound. While the sighting was never fully explained, it remains one of the most intriguing UFO sightings in Iowa history.

5. August 11, 1985, was the day that the Hawkeye Express, a train service to the Kinnick Stadium in Iowa City, first began operation. The train was introduced as a way to help alleviate traffic congestion on game days and has since become a beloved tradition for Hawkeye fans. Today, the Hawkeye Express remains a popular mode of transportation for fans traveling to and from games.
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