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5 Fun Facts About March 20 In Iowa History

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

1. On March 20, 1854, the Iowa State Agricultural Society was established in Muscatine, Iowa. The society was formed to promote scientific and practical agriculture in the state and to hold annual fairs to showcase Iowa's agricultural products.

2. In 1895, on March 20, the Iowa State Legislature passed an act creating the Iowa State Normal School, which later became the University of Northern Iowa. The school was created to train teachers for the state's public schools and is now a comprehensive university.

3. In 1916, on March 20, the town of Estherville, Iowa was hit by a devastating tornado that destroyed much of the town and killed 16 people. The tornado remains one of the deadliest in Iowa history.

4. On March 20, 1981, the University of Iowa men's basketball team won their first-ever Big Ten Championship with a 77-71 victory over Ohio State. The team went on to compete in the NCAA Tournament that year, making it to the Sweet Sixteen before losing to Boston College.

5. In 2007, on March 20, Iowa Governor Chet Culver signed the Iowa Smokefree Air Act, which banned smoking in most public places, including restaurants, bars, and workplaces. The law went into effect on July 1, 2008, and helped to reduce exposure to secondhand smoke for Iowans.
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