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5 Fun Facts About October 11 In Iowa History

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1. In 1927, the iconic Iowa State Fairgrounds Grandstand was destroyed by fire on October 11th. The original grandstand was made entirely of wood and had been in use since 1909. The fire caused $1.5 million in damages (equivalent to over $21 million today) and prompted the construction of a new, fireproof structure.

2. On October 11, 1843, the first documented tornado in Iowa history swept through Dubuque County. The tornado reportedly tore up trees and caused significant damage to buildings in the area.

3. In 1913, the Iowa State College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts (now Iowa State University) held its first homecoming celebration on October 11th. The event included a parade, football game, and other festivities, and has since become an annual tradition at the university and many others across the country.

4. On October 11, 1991, Iowa City hosted the first-ever National Coming Out Day rally at the University of Iowa. The event was organized by the university's Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Resource Center and has since become an important annual event for LGBTQ+ communities around the world.

5. In 2009, the world's largest popcorn ball was created in Sac City, Iowa on October 11th. The giant ball was made from 2,077 pounds of popcorn and stood over 8 feet tall. The record-breaking snack was auctioned off for charity, with the winning bid reaching $4,900.
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