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5 Fun Facts About May 3 In Iowa History

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1. On May 3, 1843, Iowa was officially recognized as a state in the United States of America. The Iowa Territory had been established in 1838, and after a five-year period of growth and development, Iowa was granted statehood. Iowa became the 29th state in the country.

2. May 3, 1907, is the birthdate of Iowa's most famous journalist, Grant Wood. Wood was a painter, illustrator, and educator, but is best known for his work as a regionalist painter. He is famous for his iconic painting "American Gothic," which depicts a stern-looking farmer and his spinster daughter standing in front of their gothic-style home in Eldon, Iowa.

3. May 3, 1961, marks the date of the Freedom Ride in Des Moines, Iowa. A group of civil rights activists, known as Freedom Riders, traveled to the South to protest segregation and Jim Crow laws. When the Riders arrived in Des Moines, they were met with hostility and violence from local residents, who threw rocks and bottles at them. The incident demonstrated the deep-seated racism that still existed in parts of the country during the Civil Rights Movement.

4. On May 3, 1999, a powerful tornado struck the town of Oakville in southeastern Iowa. The EF-3 tornado, which had winds of up to 165 mph, damaged or destroyed dozens of homes and businesses. Fortunately, no one was killed in the storm, but several people were injured.

5. May 3, 2016, was a historic day for the state of Iowa, as it marked the first time that a woman was elected to the position of governor. Kim Reynolds, a Republican, had been serving as lieutenant governor and assumed the governorship after her predecessor, Terry Branstad, was appointed as ambassador to China. In November of that same year, she won the gubernatorial election and became the first woman to be elected governor in Iowa history.
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