1. On May 19, 1856, a devastating tornado struck the town of Camanche, Iowa, killing 12 people and causing extensive damage to homes and businesses.
2. In 1910, the first official high school graduation ceremony was held in Des Moines, Iowa, on May 19. Previously, graduation exercises had been informal and held in classrooms or churches.
3. May 19, 1943, marked the beginning of a record-breaking heat wave in Iowa, with temperatures soaring above 100 degrees Fahrenheit in many parts of the state for several days.
4. On May 19, 1968, a Martin Luther King Jr. Day observance was held at Coe College in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, featuring a speech by King's close associate and civil rights activist Ralph Abernathy.
5. In 2007, May 19 was proclaimed "Iowa Latino Day" by Governor Chet Culver, in recognition of the growing importance of Iowa's Latino community and their contributions to the state's economy, culture, and social fabric.
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