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5 Fun Facts About February 23 In Iowa History

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

1. In 1847, the Iowa territorial legislature passed a bill to establish the state's penal institution, which would eventually become known as the Iowa State Penitentiary. The prison opened in Fort Madison in 1839 and is still in operation today.

2. On February 23, 1867, the Iowa State University was founded as the Iowa Agricultural College and Model Farm. The university was the first land-grant institution in the country and focused on teaching agricultural and mechanical arts to students.

3. In 1917, Iowa governor William L. Harding signed a bill that allowed women in the state to serve on juries. Iowa was the first state in the country to extend this right to women.

4. February 23, 1942, was the second day of what is now known as the Battle of Los Angeles. During this incident, unidentified objects were spotted in the sky over Los Angeles, and the military responded by firing more than 1,400 anti-aircraft shells at them. While nobody was injured, it remains one of the most mysterious events in American history.

5. In 1984, the Iowa caucuses played a major role in the US presidential election. The Democratic caucuses were won by Walter Mondale, while the Republican caucuses were won by Ronald Reagan. These results set the stage for the rest of the election, which Reagan won in a landslide.
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