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5 Fun Facts About August 3 In Iowa History

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

1. In 1846, the Mormon Pioneer Company reached Council Bluffs, Iowa, after a grueling journey across the plains. The company, led by Brigham Young, had been forced to leave their settlement in Nauvoo, Illinois, due to persecution and had set out on a treacherous journey to find a new home in the West.

2. On August 3, 1903, the first Iowa State Fair to be held in Des Moines opened its gates. The fair, which is still held annually, is one of the largest in the country and attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors each year.

3. In 1943, the largest prisoner-of-war camp in Iowa was opened in Algona. The camp held over 5,000 German prisoners and was one of several such camps established throughout the country during World War II.

4. On August 3, 1978, a massive tornado struck the town of Belmond, Iowa, causing extensive damage and killing six people. The tornado, which was one of the deadliest in Iowa history, touched down just after 7 pm and carved a path of destruction through the heart of the town.

5. In 2013, Iowa native Zach Johnson won the PGA Championship, becoming just the second golfer from the state to win a major championship. Johnson, who grew up in Cedar Rapids, has since gone on to win several more tournaments and remains a fan favorite in his home state.
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