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5 Fun Facts About November 17 In Iowa History

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1. In 1861, the Iowa Legislature approved a measure to allow women to attend the state university, making it one of the first schools in the nation to open its doors to women. The first female student, Mary Louisa Sinclair, enrolled the following year.

2. On November 17, 1923, Iowa State College (now Iowa State University) defeated the University of Notre Dame in a football game that became known as the "Battle of the Champions." The game was notable for featuring two of the best coaches of the era, Knute Rockne and Jack Trice, and for showcasing the talents of future Hall of Fame quarterback Earl "Dutch" Clark.

3. Iowa-born inventor and entrepreneur Frank Donovan unveiled his patented "pneumatic hammer" on November 17, 1891. The tool revolutionized the construction industry by making it possible to break up concrete and other materials quickly and efficiently.

4. On November 17, 1978, one of the deadliest blizzards in Iowa history struck the state, killing 17 people and causing widespread damage and power outages. The storm dumped up to 20 inches of snow in some areas and was accompanied by high winds and near-zero temperatures.

5. The first public demonstration of the telephone in Iowa took place on November 17, 1877, when Alexander Graham Bell made a call from Des Moines to a nearby town. The event was attended by local dignitaries and members of the press, and marked a significant milestone in the development of modern communications technology.
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