Monday 8 August 2011

The America project - Iowa

Iowa (IA) size 56,272 sq.m population 3 million

Bordering states Missouri, Nebraska, South Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois (6)
State capital & Most populous city Des Moines
Other notable places Cedar Rapids, Sioux City, Davenport
Notable landmarks and natural features George M. Verity Towboat, Keokuk; Herbert Hoover National Historic Site, West Branch; Effigy Mounds; Terrace Hill, Des Moines

Statehood 28th December 1846 (29th)

Ten famous Iowans
Cap Anson (baseball player; born Marshalltown, 1852-1922)
Johnny Carson (comedian and television presenter; born Corning, 1925-2005)
"Buffalo" Bill Cody (soldier and hunter; born LeClaire, 1846-1917)
Hill Harper (actor; born Iowa City, 1966 -)
Herbert Hoover (politician, 31st President of the USA; born West Branch, 1874-1964)
Ashton Kutcher (actor; born Cedar Rapids, 1978 -)
Glen Miller (musician and band leader; born Clarinda, 1905-1944)
Kate Mulgrew (actress; born Dubuque, 1955 -)
Conrad Nagel (actor; born Keokuk, 1897-1970)
John Wayne (actor; born Winterset, 1907-1979)

Three important events

1. The New Deal (1933)
The Iowan economy has been largely based on agriculture throughout the State's existence. However, following the Great War, Federal subisides for farmers were withdrawn, causing serious economic problems in a State which was seeing a rapidly increasing immigrant population. As part of President Roosevelt's New Deal, an Iowan called Henry Wallace served as the Secretary for Agriculture and was instrumental in setting up the Agricultural Adjustment Act, which controlled the amount and type of agriculural production in order to increase prosperity. By the 1940s, Norman Borlaug had won a Nobel Prize for his work on plant genomics, developing new strains of rice at the Iowa State University.

2. Mother Mosque (1934)
Iowa is the home to the longest-standing Mosque in the United States. Built in 1934, the Moslem Temple, Cedar Rapids, was the United States' second Mosque, although the first - in Ross, North Dakota - was torn down in the 1970s. In 1996 it was listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

3. The Day the Music Died (3rd February 1959)
The Winter Dance Party series of pioneering rock 'n' roll shows wound a punishingly relentless route all through the midwestern United States in early 1959. The tour bus' heater broke in freezing conditions, even causing the band's drummer to be hospitalised with frostbitten feet in Duluth, Minnesota. The star of the touring party, Buddy Holly, decided after more logistical headaches at the Clear Lake, Iowa show to travel to the next gig - in Moorhead, Minnesota - by chartered light aircraft. Taking off at 12.55 a.m., the plane was last seen descending from view 5 minutes later and was never heard from again. The crash, just outside Clear Lake, took the lives of the 21-year old pilot Roger Peterson, as well as Holly (22), The Big Bopper (28) and 17-year old Richie Valens.

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