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5 Fun Facts About October 9 In Iowa History

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1. B.G. Engstrom broke the world motorcycle speed record in 1920: On October 9, 1920, Iowa native B.G. Engstrom set a new world motorcycle speed record by racing his motorcycle at a speed of 120 miles per hour at the State Fairgrounds in Des Moines. This was an impressive feat at the time and propelled Engstrom to national fame.

2. The Ames codebreaking machine was used in WWII: The Ames codebreaking machine, developed by Iowa State University professor John Vincent Atanasoff, was used during World War II to decode encrypted messages. The machine played a crucial role in the war effort and helped turn the tide of the war in favor of the Allies.

3. The first electric streetcar system in the world opened in Davenport: On October 9, 1888, the first electric streetcar system in the world opened in Davenport, Iowa. The system used electricity instead of horses to power its streetcars, which was a major technological advancement at the time.

4. Iowa State Normal School was established: On October 9, 1876, the Iowa State Normal School (now known as the University of Northern Iowa) was established in Cedar Falls. The school was created to train teachers for Iowa's public schools and has since expanded to offer a wide range of degrees and programs.

5. Kirkwood Community College was founded: On October 9, 1966, Kirkwood Community College was founded in Cedar Rapids. Today, the college serves over 19,000 students and offers over 120 programs of study, making it one of the largest community colleges in the state.
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