1. Iowa became a state on July 1, 1846
On July 1, 1846, Iowa officially became the 29th state to join the United States. Prior to statehood, Iowa was part of the Iowa Territory, which was established in 1838.
2. The first woman to be elected governor in the United States was from Iowa
On July 1, 1985, Iowa Governor Terry Branstad resigned to become the U.S. Ambassador to China. Lieutenant Governor Robert T. Anderson assumed the governorship, making him the first African American governor in Iowa history. However, Anderson only served as governor for a few days, as he was soon replaced by Governor-elect Tom Vilsack on January 15, 1999. When Vilsack resigned in 2007 to become the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, Lieutenant Governor Chet Culver assumed the governorship, making him the first Iowan to succeed another governor of the same political party. Culver was also the first Iowan to have both of his parents serve as governor before him. However, the most notable governor in Iowa history is probably Kim Reynolds, who became Iowa's first female governor on May 24, 2017, after Terry Branstad resigned again, this time to become the U.S. Ambassador to China.
3. The oldest lighthouse west of the Mississippi is located in Iowa
The 65-foot tall Marquette Lighthouse, which still stands today and is open to the public, was constructed in 1867 and is the oldest lighthouse west of the Mississippi River. It is named after Father Jacques Marquette, a 17th-century French Jesuit missionary and explorer who is famous for exploring the Great Lakes and the Mississippi River.
4. The Iowa City Old Capitol Building is a National Historic Landmark
The Old Capitol Building, which was completed in 1842 and served as the Iowa Territory's State Capitol until 1857, is today a National Historic Landmark and the centerpiece of the University of Iowa campus in Iowa City. The building was restored in 1976 and includes a museum and exhibits on Iowa's political history.
5. The oldest continuous Fourth of July celebration in Iowa is held in Clear Lake
The Clear Lake Fourth of July celebration, which includes a parade, fireworks, and live music, is the oldest continuous Fourth of July celebration in Iowa. The first celebration was held in 1874, and the tradition has continued every year since, making it one of the longest-running Fourth of July celebrations in the country.
- Tags: IA