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5 Fun Facts About July 18 In Iowa History

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

1. On July 18, 1840, the steamboat Pennsylvania exploded on the Mississippi River near Dubuque, Iowa, killing over 40 people. The explosion was caused by a buildup of pressure in the boiler.

2. On July 18, 1864, Confederate General Joseph Shelby and his troops made a raid into Iowa, reaching as far north as Athens. However, they were forced to retreat back into Missouri due to heavy resistance from Union troops.

3. July 18, 1936 marked the opening of the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and Museum in West Branch, Iowa. The library houses the papers and memorabilia of the 31st President of the United States.

4. On July 18, 1940, Iowa native Meredith Willson's musical The Music Man premiered on Broadway. The musical is set in the fictional town of River City, Iowa and has become a beloved classic.

5. July 18, 1996 saw severe thunderstorms and tornadoes sweep through parts of Iowa, causing extensive damage and leaving one person dead. The storms were part of a larger outbreak across the Midwest that caused millions of dollars in damage.
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