Iowa History 101

A lot of stuff has happened here in Iowa while most of you were busy flying over us. And it doesn’t all involve corn. Here’s a quick summary of key dates and events to help you better understand the rich history of the Branstad State:

20,000 BC: First human settlers in Iowa. Their children all move to Chicago soon after.

1672: French missionary Branchot LeTerre is the first European to arrive in Iowa. The natives immediately elect him governor.

1803: France sells Louisiana to the United States for $11.3 million, throwing in Iowa and under-carriage protection at no extra cost.

1832: The Black Hawk War, in which Iowa loses to Illinois in the fight for the Northwest Territory’s first hockey franchise, and gets an arena football team instead.

1838: U.S. Territory of Iowa established. Stoat farmer Torrance Burnstodt is elected first governor.

1846: Iowa becomes the 29th state of the Union, as reported on page D-17 (column 6, near the bottom) of The New York Times.

1863: Governor Torbent Bronistodd signs a proclamation formally re-designating “indentured servants” as “young professionals.”

1869: The Transcontinental Railroad is completed; 1.3 million insurance executives relocate to Iowa by 1870.

1920: Chuck Grassley is elected to his first term in the U.S. Senate. Women immediately demand the right to vote.

1935: In the heart of the Great Depression, Iowa’s economy is resuscitated by Maytag’s pioneering blue cheese work.

1984: The Farm Crisis leads to rise of a vibrant new economy, built around federal subsidies and fundraising galas.

2011: Terry Branstad is located by rescuers after six years in the wilderness. Iowans joyfully re-elect him governor.

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