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5 Fun Facts About August 17 In Iowa History

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1. In 1878, the first Iowa State Fair was held in Des Moines on August 17th. It featured exhibits and competitions in agriculture, horticulture, and livestock industries, and has since become an annual tradition for many Iowa residents and visitors.

2. On August 17, 1920, Carrie Chapman Catt, a prominent suffragist who was born in Iowa, addressed the Tennessee state legislature in Nashville on the importance of ratifying the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which granted women the right to vote.

3. In 1961, the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and Museum was dedicated in West Branch, Iowa on August 17th. The library houses the personal papers, artifacts, and memorabilia of the 31st president of the United States, who was born in Iowa and grew up in nearby Quaker communities.

4. August 17, 1985, marked the opening of the Boone & Scenic Valley Railroad, a tourist attraction that offers scenic train rides through Iowa's rolling countryside. The railroad, which operates historic steam locomotives and passenger cars, has become a popular destination for families, train enthusiasts, and nature lovers.

5. In 2018, August 17th marked the first day of the Iowa State Fair's "Butter Cow Challenge," a new competition in which sculptors competed to create the best butter cow artwork. The contest drew national attention and helped to promote the fair's longstanding tradition of showcasing Iowa's agricultural heritage.
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