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5 Fun Facts About October 19 In Iowa History

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1. On October 19, 1854, the University of Iowa was established in Iowa City. It began with just 10 faculty members and 124 students, but has since grown to become a major research institution with over 30,000 students.

2. The Iowa State Fairgrounds, located in Des Moines, were dedicated on October 19, 1886. The fairgrounds, which cover over 445 acres, host the Iowa State Fair every August and many other events throughout the year.

3. In 1983, on October 19, the Iowa Lottery was introduced. It was the first state lottery to offer instant-win games and has since raised over $2 billion dollars for the state's general fund.

4. On October 19, 1936, the first televised presidential campaign speech was given by Alf Landon in Cedar Rapids. Landon was the Republican nominee for president in the 1936 election, but lost to incumbent Franklin D. Roosevelt.

5. In 1963, on October 19, racial tensions boiled over in Des Moines as a group of African-American teenagers were refused service at a local drugstore. The resulting protests and violence lasted for several weeks and marked a turning point in Iowa's civil rights movement.
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