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5 Fun Facts About February 3 In Iowa History

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1. The first railroad station in Iowa, the Dubuque and Pacific Railroad, opened on February 3, 1857. The station was located in Dubuque and played a vital role in the transportation of goods and the development of the city.

2. On February 3, 1863, Iowa Governor Samuel J. Kirkwood signed a law allowing African American men to enlist in the Iowa Volunteer Infantry. This made Iowa the first state to recruit and organize a regiment of African American soldiers during the Civil War.

3. Iowa State University was established on February 3, 1864, by the Iowa General Assembly. Originally known as the Iowa Agricultural College and Model Farm, the institution was created to provide practical scientific education to the people of Iowa.

4. In 1959, a plane crash that killed musicians Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, and J.P. "The Big Bopper" Richardson occurred on February 3 in a field near Clear Lake, Iowa. This event became known as "The Day the Music Died," popularized in Don McLean's song "American Pie."

5. February 3, 2016, was a historic day in Iowa politics as the state held the first-in-the-nation presidential caucuses for both the Republican and Democratic parties. The caucuses drew national attention as candidates made their final pitches to voters ahead of the primary elections. Republican candidate Ted Cruz and Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton emerged as the winners.
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