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5 Fun Facts About March 9 In Iowa History

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

1. In 1934, Iowa marked a significant moment in its history by implementing the first state sales tax law in the United States. The tax law applied a levy of 2% of the cost of many goods and services, including admissions, amusement charges, and sales of tangible personal property.

2. On March 9, 1950, the Iowa State Legislature declared that the state's official bird is the American Goldfinch (Spinus tristis). The decision was based on the bird's bright yellow color, its lively, cheerful song, and its prevalence throughout the state during the summer months.

3. In 1964, the city of Cedar Rapids suffered a major flood that inundated much of the downtown area with several feet of water. The flood began on March 9 and lasted for several days, causing extensive damage to homes and businesses in the area. The disaster prompted the construction of a system of levees and floodwalls that helped protect the city from future flooding.

4. On March 9, 1995, Des Moines native Tom Arnold made a donation of $100,000 to the city's Blank Children's Hospital. The generous gift was made in memory of Arnold's sister, Kathy, who had passed away from cancer a few years earlier. The donation helped fund the hospital's cancer center, which provides care and treatment to children suffering from cancer and other serious illnesses.

5. March 9, 2015 marked the end of an era in Iowa's political history, as longtime U.S. Senator Tom Harkin announced his retirement after serving in Congress for 40 years. Harkin was known for his progressive values and advocacy for social justice issues such as education, healthcare, and workers' rights. His retirement left a void in the Iowa Democratic Party and marked the end of an era of liberal activism in the state's politics.
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