1. In 1940, the temperature in Iowa dropped to a record low of -47°F in Washta, tying it with a town in Nevada for the lowest temperature ever recorded in the contiguous United States.
2. On January 21, 1869, Joseph F. Glidden of DeKalb, Illinois, obtained a patent for his barbed wire design, which revolutionized the agricultural industry and helped settle the American West. Many of the early producers of barbed wire were located in Iowa.
3. The Iowa State Fairgrounds in Des Moines were officially dedicated on January 21, 1886. The fairgrounds have since become one of the largest and most-renowned fairgrounds in the country, hosting the annual Iowa State Fair and countless other events throughout the year.
4. In 1942, the German submarine U-87 sank the American tanker R.P. Resor off the coast of Newfoundland, killing 15 of the crew members. Among the dead was Iowan Robert J. Schwanebeck of Waterloo, who was serving as the ship's Third Assistant Engineer.
5. On January 21, 2017, millions of people around the world participated in the Women's March, a series of protests and demonstrations advocating for women's rights and equality. In Iowa, thousands of people gathered in Des Moines, Cedar Rapids, Iowa City, and other cities to show their support for gender equality and social justice.
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