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5 Fun Facts About August 23 In Iowa History

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1. On August 23, 1875, William Boyd Allison, a prominent Iowa politician and U.S. Senator, was born in Perry, Iowa. Allison was a major figure in the late 19th and early 20th century political scene in Iowa, and played a significant role in national politics as well. He served in the Senate from 1873 until his death in 1908, and was a leading advocate for numerous important bills and policies, including the Sherman Antitrust Act and the Homestead Act.

2. On August 23, 1916, a major flood struck the city of Des Moines, causing widespread damage and forcing thousands of people to evacuate their homes. The flood was caused by heavy rain over several days, and many areas of the city were submerged under several feet of water. Despite the devastation, the city recovered relatively quickly, with residents working together to clean up and rebuild.

3. On August 23, 1945, a B-25 bomber crashed into the side of the Iowa State Capitol building in Des Moines. The pilot, who was flying from Kansas City to Minneapolis, had become disoriented by fog and hit the capitol building while attempting to land at a nearby airport. Although the crash caused significant damage to the building, no one was seriously injured.

4. On August 23, 1951, the first television station in Iowa, WOI-TV, went on the air in Ames. The station was owned by Iowa State University and broadcast on channel 4. Over the years, WOI-TV became a major player in the Iowa media landscape, and today operates as a CBS affiliate under the name KCCI.

5. On August 23, 1968, the USS Iowa, one of the most famous battleships in U.S. Navy history, was recommissioned in a ceremony in San Francisco. The Iowa had been decommissioned in 1958, but was brought back into service as the Vietnam War intensified. The ship would go on to serve in numerous conflicts and theaters of operation, including the Gulf War, before finally being decommissioned for good in 1990. Today, the Iowa is preserved as a museum ship in Los Angeles.
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