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Iowa, US (Population: 2,982,085)
State Capitol: Des Moines

Major Cities: Cedar Rapids, Davenport, Sioux City, Waterloo, Iowa City, Council Bluffs, Dubuque, Ames, Cedar Falls

State Nickname/Motto: Hawkeye State – Our Liberties We Prize and Our Rights We Will Maintain

Statehood Granted: December 28, 1846

History: The first Europeans to explore Iowa were French citizens following the Sac and Fox, presently known as the Mesquakie (Meskwaki) Indians. At first, due to a lack of trees, Iowa was believed to not be able to support agriculture. Louis Joliet and Jacques Marquette are believed to be the first European explorers to visit Iowa. They described Iowa as lush, green, and fertile. Iowa has been home to approximately 17 different Native American tribes. Today, only the Meskwaki tribe remains. The first American settlers officially moved to Iowa in June 1833. Primarily, they were families from Illinois, Indiana, and Missouri. During the 1835 Dragoon expedition to map and survey central Iowa, many dragoons got lost in prairie grass which was over their heads even on horseback. The map maker was Albert Lea, who is the namesake for Albert Lea, Minnesota. One of the commanders was Nathan Boone, the youngest son of Daniel Boone. Iowa became the 29th state in the union on December 28, 1846. The Chicago and North Western Railway reached Council Bluffs in 1867. Council Bluffs was designated the eastern terminus for the Union Pacific Railroad. The completion of five major railroads across Iowa brought major economic changes as well as travel opportunities.

Geography: Highest point: High Point; 1,670 feet

Ethnic Diversity: One Race 98.9%), White (93.5%), Black or African American (2.2%), American Indian and Alaska Native (0.2%), Asian 1.5%), Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander (0.0%), Some other race (1.5%), Two or more races 1.1%), Hispanic or Latino (3.7%)*

Famous State People:
  • Adrian Constantine (Cap) Anson (1851 - 1922) Known as the greatest baseball player of the 19th century; born in Marshalltown.
  • Amelia Jenks Bloomer (1818 - 1894) She headed the Iowa woman Suffrage Association and made popular loose fitting pants called “bloomers”; lived in Council Bluffs.
  • Johnny Carson (1925 - ) Comedian that hosted The Tonight Show for 30 years; born in Corning.
  • Carrie Chapman Catt (1859 - 1947) She led the campaign that ended with the 19th Amendment to the Constitution allowing women to vote; lived in Charles City.
  • William "Buffalo Bill" Cody (1846 - 1917) Pony Express rider, cavalry scout, buffalo hunter, and showman in the late 1800s; born in LeClaire.
  • Bob Feller (1918- ) Baseball player. A member of the Baseball Hall of Fame. Many consider him to be the premier right-handed pitcher in baseball history; born in Van Meter.
  • Dan Gable (1948- ) Wrestler/Coach. Won a gold medal at the 1972 Summer Olympics without surrendering a point. Two-time Olympic head coach (1980 and 1984). As a coach at Iowa, he won 15 NCAA team titles in 22 years and 22 straight Big Ten Conference titles; born in Waterloo.
  • Fred Grandy (1948 - ) Actor made famous in the Love Boat and politician; born in Sioux City.
  • Herbert Hoover (1874 - 1964) The 31st President of the United States; born in West Branch.
  • Fred Maytag (1857 - 1937) Founder of the Maytag Company; lived in Newton.
  • Glenn Miller (1904 - 1944) Bandleader and Composer of many famous songs including “In the Mood,” and “Moonlight Serenade”; born in Clarinda.
  • Kay Orr - The first Republican woman governor (Nebraska) in U.S. history (1939 - ); born in Burlington.
  • Henry Wallace (1888 - 1965) Vice President of the United States and secretary of agriculture during the depression; born near Orient.
  • Meredith Willson (1902 - 1984) Writer of the famous Broadway musical The Music Man; born in Mason City.
  • John Wayne (1907 - 1979) Actor who became famous for his hero image in western and war movies; born in Winterset.
  • Grant Wood (1892 - 1942) Artist. Painted his most famous painting "American Gothic" in 1930; born in Anamoso.


  • Major Colleges/Universities: University of Iowa, University of Northern Iowa, Iowa State University, Ashford University, Briar Cliff University, Buena Vista University, Central College, Clarke College, Coe College, Cornell College, Divine Word College, Dordt College, Drake University, Emmaus Bible College, Faith Baptist Bible College and Theological Seminary, Graceland University, Grand View College, Grinnell College, Iowa Wesleyan College, Loras College, Luther College, Maharishi University of Management, Morningside College, Mount Mercy College, Northwestern College, Simpson College, Saint Ambrose University, University of Dubuque, Upper Iowa University, Vennard College, Waldorf College, Wartburg College, Wartburg Theological Seminary, William Penn University

    State Parks: Ambrose A. Call, Backbone, Badger Creek, Banner Lakes at Summerset, Beed's Lake, Bellevue, Big Creek, Black Hawk, Brushy Creek, Cedar Rock, Claire Wilson Park, Clear Lake, Dolliver Memorial, Elk Rock, Elinor Bedell, Emerson Bay, Fairport Station, Fort Atkinson, Fort Defiance, Geode, George Wyth Memorial, Green Valley, Gull Point, Honey Creek, Lake Ahquabi, Lake Anita, Lake Darling, Lake Keomah, Lake Macbride, Lake Manawa, Lake of Three Fires, Lake Wapello, Ledges, Lewis and Clark, Lower Gar Access, Maquoketa Caves, Marble Beach, McIntosh Woods, Mines of Spain & E.B. Lyons, Mini-Wakan, Nine Eagles, Okamanpedan, Palisades-Kepler, Pikes Peak, Pikes Point, Pilot Knob, Pine Lake, Pleasant Creek, Prairie Rose, Preparation Canyon, Red Haw, Rice Lake, Rock Creek, Shimek Forest-campground, Springbrook, Stephens Forest-campground, Stone, Templar Park, Trappers Bay, Twin Lakes, Union Grove, Viking Lake, Volga River, Walnut Woods, Wanata, Waubonsie, Wildcat Den, Wilson Island, Yellow River-campground

    Misc: The state gets considerable attention every four years because it holds the first presidential caucus, a gathering of voters to select delegates to the state convention. Along with the New Hampshire primary a week later, it has become the starting gun for choosing the two major-party candidates for president. The caucus, held in January of the election year, involves people gathering in homes or public places and choosing their candidate, rather than casting secret ballots, as is done in a primary election. The national and international media give Iowa (and New Hampshire) about half of all the attention accorded the national candidate selection process, which gives the voters enormous leverage. Some candidates decide to skip the Iowa caucus, especially those who oppose ethanol subsidies, and use their resources in other early states such as New Hampshire and South Carolina. Those who enter the caucus race often expend enormous effort to reach voters in each of Iowa's 99 counties.

    *U.S. Census - 2005