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5 Fun Facts About July 31 In Iowa History

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

1. In 1848, Iowa became the 29th state to join the Union, making July 31 the state's anniversary of statehood. Iowa was originally part of the Louisiana Purchase and was a territory for several years before becoming a state.

2. On July 31, 1875, Iowa native Herbert Quick was born. Quick was an author, journalist, and politician who served as Lieutenant Governor of Iowa from 1913 to 1917. He was also known for his works of fiction, such as his novel "Vandemark's Folly."

3. In 1923, the Iowa State Fair held its first annual "Bill Riley Talent Search" competition on July 31. The competition was named after Bill Riley, a radio announcer who became known for his coverage of Iowa high school sports and his support of young performers.

4. On July 31, 1957, the first major flood control project in Iowa was approved by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The project was designed to prevent flooding in the Cedar River basin and included a system of dams and reservoirs.

5. On July 31, 2009, the Iowa Supreme Court unanimously ruled that a ban on same-sex marriage violated the state's constitution. Iowa became the first state in the Midwest and the third in the country to allow same-sex marriage, following Massachusetts and Connecticut. The ruling was seen as a major victory for the LGBTQ+ rights movement.
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