1. In 1844, Iowa delegate to Congress, Augustus C. Dodge, successfully lobbied for the construction of the first railroad west of the Mississippi River. This railroad, which would span from Davenport to Iowa City, was a major step forward in Iowa's transportation infrastructure.
2. On September 28, 1863, the Battle of Blue Springs was fought in northeastern Tennessee during the American Civil War. Iowa soldiers played a significant role in the Union victory, with the 36th Iowa Volunteer Infantry Regiment leading the charge that pushed Confederate forces back.
3. In 1876, the Iowa State Fair, one of the largest and most popular state fairs in the country, opened its gates to the public for the first time. The fair has since become an annual tradition, drawing hundreds of thousands of visitors every year.
4. On September 28, 1958, the University of Iowa's Kinnick Stadium hosted its first home football game of the season. The Hawkeyes defeated the Oregon State Beavers 14-0, beginning what would be a successful season for the team.
5. In 1987, Iowa Governor Terry Branstad signed a law that established the Iowa Lottery, making it the first state in the Midwest to have a legal lottery. The Iowa Lottery has since generated billions of dollars for the state's general fund and supported a variety of important programs and initiatives.
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