1. Statehood: On December 15, 1846, Iowa became the 29th state to join the Union. After being part of the Louisiana Purchase, Iowa was officially recognized as its own state just a year before the start of the California Gold Rush.
2. Tragic Fire: In 1903, the largest fire in Iowa history took place at the Riegel Clothing Company in downtown Des Moines. Four firefighters lost their lives battling the blaze and over $1 million in damages were incurred.
3. Sporting History: On December 15, 1923, a historic college football game took place in Des Moines between the Drake Bulldogs and the Oklahoma Sooners. Dubbed the "Game of the Century," the two teams battled to a 13-13 tie in front of over 30,000 fans.
4. Global Connection: In 1959, the first scheduled international flight arrived in Des Moines from Mexico City. The flight was operated by Mexicana Airlines and marked a new level of global connection for the people of Iowa.
5. Farming Advancements: On December 15, 1971, Iowa State University created the first-ever genetically engineered organism. The organism was a bacterium that had a specific function in aiding in the production of ethanol. This created a new frontier for agriculture and led to further advancements in biotechnology.
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