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5 Fun Facts About May 21 In Iowa History

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1. On May 21, 1861, Iowa Governor Samuel Kirkwood commissioned the formation of the 2nd Iowa Volunteer Infantry Regiment to serve in the Union Army during the Civil War. The regiment played a significant role in battles including Vicksburg and Atlanta and suffered heavy casualties throughout the war.

2. In 1919, on May 21, the Iowa legislature passed a bill ratifying the 19th Amendment to the US Constitution, granting women the right to vote. Iowa was the tenth state to ratify the amendment, which was fully ratified the following year.

3. May 21, 1955, marked the opening of the first public television station in Iowa, WOI-TV. The station, owned by Iowa State University, became the flagship station for Iowa Public Television and remains a major producer of educational programming to this day.

4. On May 21, 1917, an explosive fire destroyed the bustling town of Tama, Iowa, leaving only four structures standing. Despite the devastation, the town was rebuilt and thrived as a commerce center for the area.

5. In 2007, on May 21, Iowa Governor Chet Culver signed a bill enacting a statewide smoking ban in nearly all public places, including restaurants and bars. The law made Iowa the 22nd state to enact a comprehensive smoking ban and aimed to reduce exposure to secondhand smoke and improve public health.
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