1804 Aug 20, Charles Floyd
died, the only fatality of the Lewis & Clark Expedition. In 1901
a memorial was erected at his gravesite in Sioux City, Iowa.
1811 Feb 3, Horace Greeley was
born. He popularized the phrase "Go west, young man," which was
spoken to Josiah Grinell, who went west to Iowa, became a
Congregational minister and founded Grinell College. Robert Noyce,
developer of the microchip and founder of Intel, graduated from
(HNPD, 2/3/99)(WSJ, 10/26/00, p.W12)
1830 Jul 15, 3 Indian tribes,
Sioux, Sauk & Fox, signed a treaty giving the US most of
Minnesota, Iowa & Missouri.
1838 Jun 12, The Iowa Territory
1839 Iowa’s Supreme Court ruled
(Econ, 4/11/09, p.31)
1846 Feb 26, William Frederick
Cody, aka "Buffalo Bill," was born in LeClaire, Scott County, Iowa.
He was a "Wild West" frontiersman-turned-showman. Three weeks after
the disaster at the Little Bighorn, Buffalo Bill claimed he had
taken ‘the first scalp for Custer!’
(HN, 2/26/98)(AP, 2/26/98)(MesWP)
1846 Dec 28, Iowa became the
29th state to be admitted to the Union.
1849 Winterset, Iowa, was
(SFC, 7/11/03, p.A2)
1851 Apr 14, Morgan Earp was
born in Marian County, IA.
1861 Dec 4, Lillian Russell,
singer and actress, was born Helen Louise Leonard in Clinton, Iowa.
She performed in burlesque and light opera, debuting in Gilbert and
Sullivan's HMS Pinafore in 1879. Russell was praised for her
voluptuous beauty and was frequently photographed. Women everywhere
tried to emulate her plump physique by buying potions and corsets to
accentuate their curves. Although Russell was the ideal beauty of
her time, her 186-pound figure--which she kept by eating without
restraint--would be quite a departure from today's standard of
beauty. Russell later wrote a newspaper column on health, beauty and
love, and she died in 1922.
1869 Iowa’s Supreme Court
ordered the state’s schools to be desegregated..
(Econ, 4/11/09, p.31)
1871 Jun 3, Jesse James and his
gang robbed Obocock Bank in Corydon, Iowa, of $15,000.
1871 Jul 3, Jesse James robbed
a bank in Corydon, Iowa, of $45,000.
1871 Jul 25, A carrousel was
patented by Wilhelm Schneider in Davenport, Iowa.
1873 Jul 21, At Adair, Iowa,
more than seven years after the Liberty holdup, the James-Younger
gang made their first train robbery. See 1866 for the 1st US train
(OGA, 11/24/98)(HN, 7/18/00)
1873 Aug 26, Lee De Forest
(d.1961), inventor of the audion vacuum tube, was born in Council
bluffs, Iowa. He is considered the father of radio.
(WUD, 1994 p.379)( http://www.britannica.com)
1874 Aug 10, Herbert Clark
Hoover, the 31st president of the United States, was born in West
1877 William Voss and his
brothers Fred and John Voss established the Voss Bros. Manufacturing
Co. in Davenport, Iowa. Voss had invented one of the first washing
machines with early models operated by a hand crank or foot pedal.
Voss motor-driven machines were introduced in 1905. during the
Depression Voss washing machines sold for $39.95.
(SFC, 1/21/09, p.G4)
1883 Apr 25, Elsa Maxwell,
writer (Jack Paar Show), was born in Keokuk, Iowa.
c1883 In Iowa the Roseman
Bridge was constructed. It was later featured in the 1995 film "The
Bridges of Madison County."
(SFC, 7/11/03, p.A2)
1885 Jan 4, Dr. William W.
Grant of Davenport, Iowa, performed what is believed to have been
the first appendectomy; the patient was 22-year-old Mary Gartside.
Nov 14, Mamie G. Doud Eisenhower (d.1969), 1st lady (1953-61) of
Pres. Dwight D. Eisenhower (1890-1969), was born in Boone, Iowa.
1887 Mar 3, The anti-Catholic
American Protective Association formed in Clinton, IA.
1892 Feb 13, Grant Wood,
painter (American Gothic), was born in Eldon, Iowa. Wood studied at
the University of Iowa, taught there and made Iowa the focus of his
paintings. His is considered one of America's first
'regionalist' painters. His most famous work 'American Gothic',
often spoofed, is a painting of the puritanical farmer and his wife
(HN, 2/13/01)(SSFC, 7/3/05, p.E3)
1894 Dec 30, Amelia Jenks
Bloomer (76), suffragist, died in Council Bluffs, Iowa; she had
gained notoriety for wearing a short skirt and baggy trousers that
came to be known as "bloomers."
1894 Andrew Clemens (b.1857),
deaf sand artist, died. He created pictures in attractive bottles
using natural color sands from Iowa.
(SFC, 5/24/06, p.G3)
1895 Sep 18, D.D. Palmer of
Davenport, Iowa, founded the 1st "college" of chiropractic near a
duck farm in Iowa.
1900 Dec 2, John Hossack
(b.1841), an Iowa farmer and a prosperous citizen of Warren County,
was killed in his bed from two blows with an ax. His wife was
accused of the murder. In 1927 Susan Gaspell (1876-1948), American
novelist and playwright, authored “A Jury of Her Peers," a short
story based on his murder trial.
1900 A group of hobos from
Chicago began convening on an annual basis in Britt, Iowa. They
called themselves Tourists Union No. 63. In 1933 the Britt Chamber
of Commerce began sponsoring their annual National Hobo Convention.
(SFC, 1/26/04, p.B4)
1901 Nov 18, George Horatio
Gallup, American journalist and statistician, was born in Jefferson,
(HN, 11/18/98)(MC, 11/18/01)
1902 May 18, Meredith Willson
(Wilson), composer and lyricist (The Music Man), was born in Mason
(HN, 5/18/01)(SSFC, 2/14/04, p.D12)
1903 Mar 1, Leon Bismarck "Bix"
Beiderbecke, jazz cornetist (In a Mist), was born in Iowa.
1904 Mar 1, Glenn Miller
(d.1944), big band leader of the 1930s and 1940s, was born in
1904 Feb 4, MacKinlay Kantor,
novelist (Andersonville), was born in Webster City, Iowa.
1905 Harry Harlow (d.1981),
psychologist, was born in Fairfield, Iowa.
(CW, 6/03, p.51)
1906 Mildred Augustine Wirt
Benson (d.2002) was born in Ladora. She later became a
newspaperwoman and wrote the 1st 23 Nancy Drew children’s mysteries
under the pseudonym Carolyn Keene.
(WSJ, 5/30/02, p.A1)(WSJ, 5/31/02, p.A13)
1907 May 26, John Wayne,
American actor, was born as Marion Michael Morrison in Winterset,
Iowa. He became famous for his western and World War II movies.
(HN, 5/26/99)(AP, 5/26/07)
1909 Dec 12, Mildred Linton
(d.2003) was born in Ottumwa, Iowa. She became a film star in the
1930s under the name Karen Morley.
(SFC, 4/21/03, p.B5)
1914 Mar 25, Norman Borlaug
(d.2009), later agricultural scientist and Nobel Prize winner
(1970), was born on a farm near Cresco, Iowa.
p.D8)(SFC, 9/14/09, p.A7)
1914 Sep 7, James Alfred Van
Allen (d.2006), physicist, was born in Mt. Pleasant, Iowa. In 1958
he discovered the two radiation belts surrounding the Earth, which
were named after him.
(HN, 9/7/98)(SFC, 8/10/06, p.B7)
1918 Jul 4, Ann Landers and
Abigail Van Buren, twin sisters who became famous columnists, were
born in Sioux City, Iowa, as Esther P. (Landers) and Pauline E.
(Abbie) Friedman. Their "advice" columns are syndicated in more than
1,000 newspapers. Esther Friedman died in 2002 at age 83.
(IB, 12/7/98)(SSFC, 6/23/02, p.A10)
1922 Jan 24, Christian K.
Nelson of Onawa, Iowa, patented the Eskimo Pie. The product
reportedly saved the Iowans dairy business during the Great
(AP, 1/24/98)(SFEC, 4/11/99, Z1 p.8)
1923 Apr 17, Harry Reasoner,
American broadcast journalist, was born in Dakota City, Iowa.
(HN, 4/17/98)(MC, 4/17/02)
1923 Jun 27, Paul F. Conrad,
cartoonist (Pulitzer 1964, 71, 84), was born in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
1925 Aug 12, KMA-AM in
Shenandoah, IA, began radio transmissions.
1925 Oct 23, Johnny Carson
(d.2005), American television personality who hosted the "Tonight
Show," was born in Corning, Iowa.
(HN, 10/23/98)(SFC, 1/24/05, p.A7)
1926 Jun 7, Dick Williams,
choral director (Andy Williams Show), was born in Wall Lake, Iowa.
1928 Grant Wood, American
artist, encountered the German art movement Neue Sachlichkeit (New
Objectivity), while supervising the production of a stained-glass
window he had designed for the Cedar Rapids Veterans Memorial
(Sm, 3/06, p.39)
1930 Dec 3, Andy Williams,
singer (Moon River, Andy Williams Show), was born in Wall Lake,
1930 Grant Wood, American
painter, completed his "American Gothic." His sister and a Cedar
Rapids, Iowa dentist were his models. It is at the Art Institute of
Chicago. Wood’s biography, "Artist in Overalls: The Life of Grant
Wood" by John Duggleby, was published in 1996. He also painted
"Dinner for Threshers" now at the de Young Museum in SF. In 2005
Steven Biel authored “American Gothic, A Life of America’s Most
(T&L, 10/80, p. 58)(SFC, 6/9/96, DB
p.11)(WSJ, 11/5/96, p.A20)(SSFC, 7/3/05, p.E3)
1931 Jul 27, Grasshoppers in
Iowa, Nebraska and South Dakota destroyed thousands of acres of
1937 The 1st
special purpose digital computer with regenerative memory was
invented by John Vincent Atanasoff at Iowa State College. The
Atanasoff–Berry Computer (ABC), one of the first electronic digital
computing devices, was conceived. The machine was not programmable,
being designed only to solve systems of linear equations. It was
successfully tested in 1942.
1938 Nov 13, Jean Seberg,
actress (Breathless, Paint Your Wagon), was born in Marshaltown,
1938 Tennessee Williams (26)
completed his play "Spring Storm," while at the Univ. of Iowa. The
play dealt with the "unconscious cruelty of the sexual struggle in
(SFEC, 11/14/99, DB p.35)(WSJ, 2/16/00, p.A24)
1939 John Atanasoff created the
Atanasoff-Berry Computer (ABC) in the basement of the physics
building at Iowa State College, which did not file patents. Physics
Prof. John Mauchly took many of his ideas and filed a patent on over
100 ideas revolving around the computer in 1947. The patent, granted
in 1964, claimed the Mauchly had invented the computer. This was
disproved in 1973, following a 2-year court battle. In 2010 Jane
Smiley authored “"The Man Who Invented the Computer: The Biography
of John Atanasoff, Digital Pioneer."
(SSFC, 10/24/10, p.F3)
1941 Sep 11, Charles A.
Lindbergh sparked charges of anti-Semitism with a speech in Des
Moines, Iowa, in which he blamed "the British, the Jewish and the
Roosevelt administration" for trying to draw the United States into
World War II. Lindbergh had joined the America First Committee which
opposed US entry into the war.
(SFEC, 11/15/98, Par p.29)(USAW, 5/19/02,
1942 Feb 12, Painter Grant Wood
(b.1892), creator of "American Gothic" (1930), died in Iowa City,
Iowa, a day before his 51st birthday.
1942 Jul 20, The first
detachment of the Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps (WAAC), later known
as WACs, began basic training at Fort Des Moines, Iowa.
(HN, 7/20/02)(AP, 7/20/02)
1943 Oscar Hartzell (68),
former Illinois farmer, died in a prison hospital with assets of 10
cents. At the turn of the century he had sold to some 100,000
Midwesterners pieces of the purported $100 billion estate of Sir
Francis Drake. He was tried and convicted of mail fraud in Sioux
City, Iowa. In 2002 Richard Rayner authored "Drake’s Fortune."
(WSJ, 5/17/02, p.W11)(SSFC, 6/9/02, p.M1)
1944 Nov 9, The 455-foot Red
Oak Victory ship was launched from Richmond, Ca. It was named after
an Iowa town with the highest number of casualties per capita in WW
II. The Victory ships were successors of the Liberty ships.
(SFC, 9/16/98, p.A20)
1945 Mar 14, Sgt. 1st Class
Marvin Steinford, a native of Iowa, was part of a 10-man crew of a
B-17 bomber which was hit, while returning to its base in Italy from
a mission over Hungary. In 2004 his remains were found in a grave in
the town on Zirc in western Hungary, where he had been buried with
26 Soviet soldiers. In 2009 his remains were returned to the US.
1948 Jun 2, Jerry Mathers,
actor (Beaver-Leave It To Beaver), was born in Sioux City, Iowa.
1949-1951 In Middletown the Iowa Army Ammunition
Plant under the Atomic Energy Commission was the home of the only
nuclear assembly plant in the US. Worker health was not monitored.
Nuclear operations were moved to Texas in the 1970s.
(SFC, 7/31/00, p.A3)
1954 In Cedar Rapids, Iowa,
brothers Martin and Matthew Bucksbaum started what later became
General Growth Properties Inc. by building a shopping center to
house one of their family’s grocery stores in Cedar Rapids. General
Growth Properties went public in 1972. In 2008 the company stock
fell below $1 as it struggled under $27 billion in debt. In 2009 the
company filed for bankruptcy.
(WSJ, 12/9/08, p.A12)(SFC, 4/17/09, p.C2)
1957 Dec 19, The musical play
"The Music Man," starring Robert Preston, with book and songs by
Meredith Willson, opened on Broadway at the Majestic Theater for
1,375 performances. Mason City, Iowa, Willson's home town, unveiled
Music Man Square in 2002
(AP, 12/19/97)(MC, 12/19/01)(SSFC, 2/14/04,
1959 Feb 3, A plane crash
near Clear Lake, Iowa, claimed the lives of rock- and-roll stars
Buddy Holly (22), Ritchie Valens (17) and J.P. "The Big Bopper"
Richardson (28). They had just finished performing at the Surf
Ballroom in Clear Lake. Buddy Holley and the Crickets had 2 hit
songs "Oh Boy" and "Maybe Baby," Valens had the 2-sided hit "Donna"
and "La Bamba," Richardson was popular for his song "Chantilly
(AP, 2/3/97)(WSJ, 2/25/99, p.A16)
1970 Cheryl Brown, Miss Iowa,
became the first African-American finalist in the Miss America
1973-1977 Edward Mezvinsky served as a US
Representative. In 2001 he was indicted in Philadelphia for
defrauding clients in a $10.4 million scheme to meet personal and
(SFC, 3/23/01, p.A4)
1976 Jan 19, In the Iowa caucus
Jimmy Carter won with 28% of the vote. The rest went to Birch Bayh
(13%), Fred R. Harris (10%), Morris Udall (6%) and “Uncommitted"
1977 Jul 22, In Iowa John
Schweer, a retired white police officer, was murdered. In 1978 Terry
Harrington and Curtis McGhee, both black men, were wrongfully
convicted and served 25 years in prison before they were freed in
2003. Both men filed suits in 2005 against prosecutors and police
officers of Council Bluffs. In 2012 a jury failed to reach a verdict
and a judge declared a mistrial.
p.A6)(SFC, 12/15/12, p.A7)
1980 Jan 21, In the Iowa
Republican caucus George H. W. Bush beat Ronald Reagan 32% to 30%.
Reagan went onto win the nomination and the presidency.
1980 Iowa became the first
state to make redistricting largely apolitical.
(Econ, 6/18/11, p.33)
1981 Jan 12, In Iowa Richard
Huntbach (85) and wife Goldie (77) were found shot to death in their
home in Waterloo. On May 10, 2012, Jack Wendell Pursel (66) turned
himself in to police and confessed to the killing saying he had
become a Christian. Months after the Waterloo killings, Pursel began
serving a 21-year sentence for two sex offenses; however, he was
paroled in 1992. He was completely discharged from his sentence in
September of 1995. On June 7, 2012 Pursel pleaded guilty to the
Waterloo murders and was sentenced to life in prison.
(http://tinyurl.com/7pbnbaf)(SFC, 6/8/12, p.A8)
1982 Sep 5, Johnny Gosch (12)
disappeared while delivering newspapers in Des Moines, Iowa. His was
one of the first faces of missing children to appear on milk
cartons. In 1997 he briefly contacted his mother, but feared for his
life and declined to give details about his location.
(SFC, 9/2/06, p.A5)
1983 Jan 14, In Iowa Terry
Branstad (b.1946) began serving as governor and continued to 1999
after which he became president of Des Moines Univ. In 2011 he began
serving a 5th term as governor of Iowa.
(Econ, 10/19/13, p.34)
1984 The Maharishi Mahesh Yogi
(d.2008), a guru to the Beatles who introduced the West to
transcendental meditation, held his Taste of Utopia conference in
(AP, 2/6/08)(Econ, 2/16/08, p.95)
1984 Ted Waitt started Gateway
Computer at his grandmother’s Iowa farmhouse.
(SFC, 5/20/05, p.C2)
1985 Ted Waitt co-founded
Gateway Computer in an Iowa farmhouse.
(WSJ, 3/1/00, p.A1)
1986 Nov 29, Actor Cary Grant
died in Davenport, Iowa, at age 82.
1986 Rambling Rudy Phillips
(1911-2004) was crowned King of the Hobos at the National Hobo
Convention in Britt, Iowa.
(SFC, 1/26/04, p.B4)
1987 Aaron Rubashkin, a
Lubuvitcher Hasidic Jew from Brooklyn, reopened an abandoned
slaughterhouse in Postville, Iowa. In 2000 Stephen G. Bloom authored
"Postville: A Clash of cultures in Heartland American."
(SSFC, 12/24/00, BR p.4)
1989 Mar 1, Prairie Meadows
racetrack in Polk County near Des Moines, Iowa, opened for business.
It lost money until it was converted to a casino in April, 1995.
(WSJ, 6/24/96, B1,11)
1989 Jul 19, In Iowa 112 people
were killed when a United Air Lines DC-10 crashed while making an
emergency landing at Sioux City; 184 other people survived. In 2014
Laurence Gonzales authored “Flight 232: A Story of Disaster and
(AP, 7/19/08)(SSFC, 7/27/14, p.N2)
1990 The World Food Prize was
endowed by Iowa businessman John Ruan in honor of Norman Borlaug,
father of the "Green Revolution."
(SFC, 10/15/97, p.A15)
1991 Sep 15, Iowa Sen. Tom
Harkin entered the Democratic presidential race, promising to "take
back government from the privileged few."
1991 Nov 1, Univ. of Iowa
graduate student Gang Lu (27) of China killed 4 members of his
department, another university employee and himself. He was
reportedly angry that his doctoral dissertation was not nominated
for an academic award.
(SFC, 4/3/12, p.A12)
1992 Feb 10, In the Iowa caucus
favorite son Tom Harkin won with 76% of the vote. The rest went to
“Uncommitted" (12%), Paul Tsongas (4%), Bill Clinton (3%), Bob
Kerrey (2%), and Jerry Brown (2%). Clinton ended up winning the
Democratic nomination and the presidency.
1993 Apr 19, South Dakota Gov.
George S. Mickelson (52) died in an Iowa plane crash.
1993 Jul 11, In Des Moines,
Iowa, severe flooding shut down a water system serving 250,000
1993 Jul 14, President Clinton
visited flood-stricken Iowa for the second time in 10 days, telling
flood victims to "hang in there."
1993 Jul 21, More rain set back
cleanup and recovery efforts in parts of the Midwest; Transportation
Secretary Federico Pena examined flood damage along the Mississippi
in Keokuk, Iowa.
1993 Jul, The flood in
Davenport crested at a record 22.6 feet.
(SFC, 4/25/01, p.A5)
1993 Aug 2, In a dramatic scene
shown on national television, Jessica, a 2 1/2-year-old girl at the
center of a custody battle, was removed from the Michigan home of
Jan and Roberta DeBoer and turned over to her biological parents,
Dan and Cara Schmidt of Iowa.
1994 The Winnebago nation gave
Lance Morgan $9.7 million from its Iowa casino to start a new
venture. Morgan formed Nebraska-based Ho-Chunk Inc.
(Econ, 4/5/08, p.71)
1997 Nov 23, Iowa septuplet mom
Bobbi McCaughey left the hospital and returned home while her seven
babies stayed behind in intensive care.
1997 Dec 20, In Cambodia Theng
Bunma, business tycoon and accused drug trafficker, was awarded an
honorary doctorate from Iowa Wesleyan College via the manipulations
of Ted Sioeng, an Indonesia-born businessman. Sioeng was at the
heart of the "donorgate" scandal over China’s attempt to influence
the 1996 US elections.
(WSJ, 1/13/98, p.A22)
1997 Iowa passed a Defense of
Marriage Act that defined marriage as a union between a man and a
(SFC, 12/16/03, p.A9)
1999 Jan 15, Gov. Tom Vilsack
began his office. He called for a new motto to replace: "Iowa, you
make me smile."
(WSJ, 1/14/99, p.B1)
1999 Feb 10, Timothy Schultz
(21) and Sarah Elder (20) of Des Moines split a $10.6 million
Powerball lottery prize.
(SFC, 3/6/99, p.A3)
1999 May 16, Tornadoes swept
through western Iowa and 2 people were killed.
(SFC, 5/17/99, p.A3)
1999 Aug 14, Gov. George
Bush won the Iowa Straw Poll with Steve Forbes 2nd and Elizabeth
(SFEC, 8/15/99, p.A1)
1999 Sep 6, In Richland the
house of Jerry Usovsky exploded during a party and 7 people were
(SFC, 9/7/99, p.A5)
1999 Sep 9, The College of
Agriculture at Iowa State Univ. received a record $80 million
donation. At least part of it came from the estate of Raymond and
Mary Baker of Des Moines. Mr. Baker was a director of research at
Pioneer Hi-Bred Int'l.
(SFC, 9/10/99, p.A2)
1999 Oct 14, Democrat and
Republican leaders in Iowa announced plans to move the caucuses to
(SFC, 10/15/99, p.A3)
1999 Dec 23, In Keokuk, Iowa, a
house fire left 3 children and 3 firemen dead. Dave McNally (48),
Jason Bitting (29) and Nate Tuck (39) were caught in a flashover.
(SFC, 12/24/99, p.A5)
1999 In Iowa artist Ray (Bubba)
Sorensen II began painting a Memorial Day tribute to US servicemen
and servicewomen with a stirring tableau painted on a large granite
boulder which stands next to Highway 25. He created new murals
annually on the rock.
2000 Jan 24, In the Iowa
Caucuses Vice Pres. Al Gore won over Bill Bradley 63 to 35%; Texas
Gov. George W. Bush won over Steve Forbes 41 to 30%.
(SFC, 1/25/00, p.A1)
2000 Nov 7, In US presidential
elections Iowa chose Al Gore by a margin of 4,000 votes.
(Econ, 8/14/04, p.29)
2000 Austin Decoster, Iowa hog
farmer, acknowledged being a habitual violator of polluting Iowa’s
rivers and streams. He was the first Iowa farmer to be branded with
the official label. In 2010 his Iowa egg farming operations were
involved in the recall of some 380 million eggs.
(SFC, 8/28/10, p.A6)
2001 Mar 18, An Amtrak train
bound for the Bay Area derailed in Iowa and 1 person was killed with
(SFC, 3/19/01, p.A1)
2001 Apr 12, Tornadoes killed
at least 4 people in Iowa, Missouri and Oklahoma.
(WSJ, 4/13/01, p.A1)
2001 Apr 24, The Mississippi
crested at 22.5 feet in Davenport. The 1993 flood record was 22.6
(SFC, 4/25/01, p.A5)
2001 Aug 30, Leticia Aguilar
(31) was found dead with her 5 children at her home in Sioux City. A
7th victim, Ronal Fish (58) was also found. Adam Matthew Moss (24)
was arrested the next day and charged in the murders. Moss pleaded
guilty on Sep 25 and was sentenced to 7 consecutive life terms.
(SFC, 9/1/01, p.A4)(SFC, 9/26/01, p.C12)
2001 Sep 6, The state Supreme
Court struck down a law that gave grandparents the right to spend
time with their grandchildren.
(SFC, 9/7/01, p.D4)
2002 May 3, In rural Iowa and
Illinois and 6 people were injured when 6 of 8 pipe bombs were
detonated in what was called a case of domestic terrorism. Suspect
Luke Helder was later found incompetent to stand trial.
(SFC, 5/4/02, p.A3)(AP, 5/3/07)
2002 May 7, Lucas John Helder
(21) of Pine Island, Minn., was arrested following a car chase near
Lovelock, Nevada, and charged for the recent series of mailbox pipe
bombs. Helder said he was trying to make a "smiley face" pattern on
the map of his bombings. His series of rural mailbox bombings left
six people wounded in Illinois and Iowa. Helder has since been found
incompetent to stand trial.
(SFC, 5/8/02, p.A1)(SFC, 5/10/02, p.A3)(AP,
2002 Oct 13, In Iowa up to 11
bodies of suspected Mexican immigrants were found in a Union Pacific
rail car. The car had left Matamoros, Mexico, in June, and had been
parked in Oklahoma since mid-June.
(SFC, 10/16/02, p.A3)
2003 Mar 12, In Iowa David
England, president of Des Moines Area Community College, was
arrested along with his wife, son and daughter for conspiracy to
manufacture and deliver marijuana.
(SSFC, 3/23/03, p.C4)
2003 Apr 1, A cloned Javan
banteng was born by a beef cow in Iowa. Only 3-5,000 cattle-like
bantengs remained worldwide.
(SFC, 4/8/03, p.A3)
2003 Jun 28, The Mississippi
River Museum and Aquarium opened in Dubuque, Iowa.
(SSFC, 9/14/03, p.C12)
2003 Iowa introduced its Help
Us Stop Hunger (HUSH) program. It urged hunters to donate surplus
venison to local food banks.
(WSJ, 11/20/06, p.A1)
2003 Ted Townsend, an Iowa
meat-packing tycoon, gave $3,000 in campaign contributions to
Republican Senator Chuck Grassley. In 2004 Grassley secured a $50
million from the federal budget for an indoor rainforest promoted by
(Econ, 1/28/06, p.29)
2004 Jan 19, In the Iowa caucus
John Kerry led the Democrats with 38%, John Edwards was 2nd with
32%, Howard Dean was 3rd with 18% and Dick Gephardt 4th with 11%.
Entrance polls showed that economic issues held top priority.
(SFC, 1/20/04, p.A1)(WSJ, 1/21/04, p.A1)
2004 May 8, A storm in Charles
City, Iowa, caused an estimated $3 million in damages as hail the
size of marbles to baseballs rained down on homes and vehicles.
(USAT, 5/18/04, p.17A)
2005 Mar 22, Iowa enacted a law
requiring an ID check and signature before the sale of cold remedies
containing an ingredient for methamphetamine.
(WSJ, 3/23/05, p.A1)
2005 Mar 24, Jetseta Gage (10)
was abducted from her home in Cedar Rapids. On Mar 28 Roger Paul
Bentley (37), a registered sex offender, was charged with 1st degree
murder and kidnapping.
(SFC, 3/29/05, p.A3)
2005 Apr 6, Frank Conroy (69),
novelist and director of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, died in Iowa
(WSJ, 5/18/05, p.D14)
2005 Jul 4, Iowa’s Gov. Tom
Vilsack gave all Iowa’s ex-prisoners the right to vote.
(Econ, 7/25/05, p.23)
2005 Nov 12, Tornadoes hit
central Iowa and left one person dead.
(SSFC, 11/13/05, p.A13)
2006 Feb 11, It was reported
that the town of Hull was one of many in central Iowa whose
groundwater has been contaminated by farm chemicals. It pinned hopes
for its future water supply on the new Lewis and Clark Rural Water
System, due to open in 2018. The system planned to pump Missouri
River water across South Dakota, Minnesota and Iowa.
(Econ, 2/11/06, p.33)
2006 Apr 13, It was reported
that Iowa had counted at least 515 cases of mumps this year, where
it had previously averaged 5 cases per year. Another 100 cases were
reported in Nebraska, Kansas, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Indiana,
Michigan, Missouri and Illinois.
(SFC, 4/1/06, p.A3)(SFC, 4/12/06, p.A14)
2006 Apr 14, Tornadoes hit the
campus of the Univ. of Iowa in Iowa City. One person was killed
outside of town.
(WSJ, 4/15/06, p.A1)
2006 Aug 9, Dr. James Van Allen
(b.1914), American physicist, died in Iowa. He helped launch the US
space program and in 1958 discovered the radiation belts surrounding
Earth following readings from the Explorer I satellite.
(SFC, 8/10/06, p.B7)
2006 Oct 10, The Diocese of
Davenport, Iowa, became the 4th Catholic diocese in the US to file
for bankruptcy amid the clergy abuse scandal, following the
Archdiocese of Portland, Oregon, and the dioceses of Tucson, Arizona
and Spokane, Washington. Since 2004, the Diocese of Davenport has
paid more than $10.5 million to resolve dozens of claims filed
against priests, including a $9 million settlement reached with 37
victims. The lawsuits accused 11 priests of sexually assaulting
children since the 1950s and blamed church leaders for covering it
up. The cost of the Catholic sex abuse cases nationwide has risen to
about $1.5 billion since 1950, according to figures compiled from
studies by the US Conference of Catholic Bishops.
2006 Oct 14, In Bonaparte,
Iowa, Shawn Bentler (22) killed his parents and 3 sisters (14,15,17)
at their home.
(SFC, 10/16/06, p.A13)(AP, 10/14/07)
2006 Nov 30, Iowa Gov. Tom
Vilsack (55) launched his campaign for the US presidency. He ended
his bid Feb 23, 2007, due to what he called financial constraints.
(SFC, 12/1/06, p.A6)(WSJ, 2/24/07, p.A1)
2007 Jan 17, A US snow and ice
storm was blamed for at least 64 deaths in nine states. These
included 20 deaths in Oklahoma, 9 in Missouri, 8 in Iowa, 4 in New
York, 5 in Texas, 4 in Michigan, 3 in Arkansas, and 1 each in Maine
(AP, 1/17/07)(SFC, 1/18/07, p.A3)
2007 Apr 25, US federal
authorities arrested John P. Tomkins (42) of Dubuque, Iowa, a man
suspected of mailing dud pipe bombs to financial companies in
Chicago and Kansas City, Mo., and threatening letters that were
signed "The Bishop."
2007 Aug 11, Republican Mitt
Romney (b.1947) won the first test of the 2008 White House race,
using a big wallet and broad organization to muscle aside a field of
rivals in a low-turnout Iowa straw poll. Mike Huckabee (b.1955),
former governor of Arkansas, came in second.
(Reuters, 8/11/07)(WSJ, 8/13/07, p.A5)
2007 Aug 31, In Iowa Polk
County Judge Robert Hanson cleared the way gay marriage when he
ruled that a state law allowing marriage only between a man and
woman violated the constitutional rights of due process and equal
protection. County attorney John Sarcone said the county would
appeal to the state Supreme Court, and he immediately sought a stay
that would prevent gay couples from seeking a marriage license until
the appeal is resolved.
2007 Oct 28, Iowa Democrats
voted to move their leadoff precinct caucuses to Jan 3. Republicans
had picked the same date earlier this month.
(SFC, 10/30/07, p.A5)
2007 Dec 8, Talk show host
Oprah Winfrey publicly endorsed Barack Obama for president during
appearances in Des Moines and Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
2007 Dec 13, Democratic
presidential hopefuls meeting in Johnston, Iowa, called for higher
taxes on the highest-paid Americans and on big corporations in an
unusually cordial debate.
2008 Jan 3, Democrat Barack
Obama and Republican Mike Huckabee won the Iowa caucuses as the
candidates move on to New Hampshire. Obama won with 38% over Edwards
at 30% and Hillary Clinton at 29%. Overall, Clinton leads with 175
delegates, including superdelegates, followed by Obama with 75 and
Edwards with 46. Huckabee won 34% with Romney at 25%. Huckabee
scored 30 delegates and Romney got 7.
2008 Mar 24, In Iowa City,
Iowa, a woman and her 4 children were found dead. The burned body of
Steven Sueppel (42), the husband and father, was found soon after in
a wrecked van. Sueppel had been indicted last month on charges of
stealing some $560,000 from Hills Bank and Trust, where he was vice
president and controller.
(SFC, 3/25/08, p.A2)
2008 May 12, US immigration
agents arrested more than 300 people at Agriprocessors Inc, a kosher
meat plant in Postville, Iowa, amid an ongoing investigation into
identification theft, fraudulent use of Social Security numbers, and
for illegal immigrants.
2008 May 25, Powerful storms
packing large hail, heavy rain and tornadoes made for a deadly
Memorial Day weekend across the nation's midsection, killing at
least seven people in Iowa and a 2-year-old child in Minnesota. 222
homes were destroyed in Iowa.
(AP, 5/26/08)(SFC, 5/28/08, p.A2)
2008 Jun 8, Iowa schoolteachers
John (55) and Nancy (49) Vogel set off with their two twins (10),
Daryl and Davy, on a 3-year bicycle trip from Alaska to Argentina.
They expected to complete the trip in March, 2011.
(SSFC, 8/15/10, Par
2008 Jun 8, Wicked weekend
storms pounded the US from the Midwest to the East Coast, forcing
hundreds of people to flee flooded communities, spawning tornadoes
that tore up houses and killing at least eight people in Indiana
(1), Michigan (6), Connecticut (1). Wisconsin Gov. Jim Doyle
declared a state of emergency in 29 counties and President Bush
declared a major disaster in 29 Indiana counties, freeing up aid.
Iowa Gov. Chet Culver declared an emergency in nearly a third of the
state's 99 counties.
2008 Jun 11, In rural western
Iowa four boys were killed when a tornado hit. They were among the
elite of the Boy Scouts of America to attend a special week-long
leadership development seminar put on by the Mid-America Council.
2008 Jun 13, In Iowa the Cedar
River crested at nearly 32 feet, 12 feet higher than the old record
set in 1929. Water submerged more than 400 blocks of Cedar Rapids,
threatened the city's drinking supply and forced the evacuation of a
2008 Jun 18, Floodwaters
breached two levees in western Illinois and threatened more
Mississippi River towns in Missouri after inundating much of Iowa
for the past week. One official estimated up to 47 square miles
could be flooded.
2008 Jun 24, In Iowa a railroad
bridge collapsed into the flooded Iowa River near Columbus Junction,
dropping a locomotive and its engineer into the water.
2008 Oct 30, In Iowa US federal
agents arrested Sholom Rubashkin, a former senior executive of the
Agriprocessors, a kosher meatpacking plant in Postville, for
employing illegal immigrants for commercial gain and helping them
secure fake documents. A day earlier Iowa labor authorities levied
some $10 million in fines against Agriprocessors for labor
violations. On Nov 12, 2009, Rubashkin was convicted on 86 of 91
financial fraud charges.
(WSJ, 10/31/08, p.A3)(SFC, 11/13/09, p.A8)
2008 Nov 14, In Iowa police
again arrested Sholom Rubashkin, former chief executive of
Agriprocessors Inc., a Postville slaughterhouse, on new charges of
bank fraud. In 2010 Rubashkin (51) was sentenced to 27 years in
prison and ordered to pay $27 million in restitution for his
conviction on fraud charges.
(WSJ, 11/15/08, p.A2)(SFC, 6/22/10, p.A4)
2009 Apr 3, The Iowa Supreme
Court issued a unanimous ruling finding that the state's same-sex
marriage ban violates the constitutional rights of gay and lesbian
couples, making Iowa the third state where gay marriage is legal.
2009 Apr 27, Iowa counties
began processing same-sex marriage applications.
(WSJ, 4/27/09, p.A1)
2009 Jun 24, Ed Thomas, Iowa
high school football coach, was shot at Aplington-Parkersburg High
School while training in the school weight room. Thomas soon died of
his wounds and former student Mark Becker (24) was arrested for the
2009 Sep 16, Sen. Max Baucus
brought out the much-awaited Senate Finance Committee version of an
American health-system remake, a landmark $856 billion, 10-year
measure that starts a rough ride through Congress without visible
Republican backing. The 6 committee members received an average
$74,600 from health industry lobbyists through June. Chuck Grassley,
R-Iowa, led the group with $223,600. Baucus, D-Montana, was 2nd with
(AP, 9/16/09)(SSFC, 9/20/09, p.A1)
2009 Oct 12, Don Young of Des
Moines, Iowa, won the 39th Half Moon Bay Art & Pumpkin Festival
with his 1,658-pound pumpkin. It broke the year-old record of 1,528
pounds. His first prize of $9,948 came out to $6 per pound. The
world record had just been set on Oct 10 in Ohio by a 1,725-pound
Atlantic giant pumpkin.
(SFC, 10/13/09, p.C1)(SSFC, 10/11/09, p.A14)
2009 Dec 9, A blizzard dumped
over a foot of snow across much of the Midwest and New England.
Nearly 19 inches fell in Madison, Wis., 16 inches was reported in
Des Moines, Iowa. At least 16 deaths were blamed on the storm.
(SFC, 12/10/09, p.A17)
2010 Jul 4, In Bellevue, Iowa,
a pair of runaway horses, in harness to a wagon, crashed into a
Fourth of July parade float and collapsed, ending a rampage that
injured 24 people and killed wagon passenger Janet Steines.
(AP, 7/5/10)(SFC, 7/6/10, p.A4)
2010 Jul 24, In Iowa the Lake
Delhi dam in Delaware County gave way under the rising Maquoketa
River decimating the 9-mile long lake and adjacent property values.
(SFC, 7/27/10, p.A6)
2010 Aug 11, In Iowa 3 nights
of heavy rainfall caused creeks and rivers to swell, forcing
hundreds of residents from their homes and killing a 16-year-old
girl when three cars were swept away by a torrent of water on a
2010 Aug 18, The US FDA said
some 380 million eggs have been recalled nationwide due to
salmonella contamination. Officials soon confirmed that over 2,000
people had been sickened by salmonella from May to July and over
500m eggs were recalled. The affected eggs were all traced back to
two farms in Iowa.
(SFC, 8/19/10, p.C3)(Econ, 9/4/10, p.32)
2010 Oct 15, Mike Ehredt (49) a
US Army veteran of Hope, Iowa, completed a coast to coast jog in
Rockland, Maine. He had placed a flag in the ground every mile to
honor military personnel killed in Iraq. He averaged about 29 miles
a day with 4 days off.
(SFC, 10/16/10, p.A4)
2010 Nov 2, Iowa (Terry
Branstad), Kansas (Sam Brownback), Maine (Paul LePage), Michigan
(Rick Snyder), New Mexico (Susana Martinez), Ohio (John Kasich),
Oklahoma (Mary Fallin), Pennsylvania (Tom Corbett), Tennessee (Bill
Haslam), Wisconsin (Scott Walker), Wyoming (Matt Mead) all replaced
the Democratic governors with Republicans. Snyder (R) defeated
Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm (D) by bragging about his managerial
(Econ, 11/6/10, p.45)
2010 Iowa’s Supreme Court
struck down a ban on gay marriage. Anti-gay-marriage groups targeted
three judges and all 3 lost their seats.
(Econ, 11/24/12, p.32)
2011 Apr 10, In Iowa a large
tornado destroyed some 100 homes in the small town of Mapleton.
(SFC, 4/11/11, p.A4)
2011 Aug 13, In the Iowa
Republican straw poll Minnesota congresswoman Michelle Bachmann won
with 4,823 votes, Texas Rep. Ron Paul got 4,671. Former Minnesota
Gov. Rick Pawlenty received 2,293. His 3rd place finish led him to
drop out of the race.
2011 Nov 21, Robert Burke (43),
a former elementary school principal in Dubuque, Iowa, was sentenced
to 30 years in prison after pleading guilty to one count of
producing child pornography involving students at his school. Burke
was also fined $25,000.
2011 Dec 29, Crawford Shaw, of
Bedford, NY, claimed a multimillion dollar Iowa Lottery prize on
behalf of a trust, less than two hours before it expired. He later
identified the recipient only as a corporation in the country of
Belize. On Jan 26, Shaw withdrew his claim on the prize just as
mysteriously as he has made it. The payout for the prize would have
been $7.5 million cash, or $10.3 million spread over 25 years after
2012 Jan 3, Mitt Romney won 25%
of the Iowa caucus by eight votes over Rick Santorum. Ron Paul won
21%, Newt Gingrich won 13% and Rick Perry won 10%. Michele Bachmann
won just 5% and dropped out the race the next day. A recount of the
vote gave the victory to Rick Santorum.
(ABCNews, 1/4/12)(Econ, 1/28/12, p.25)
2012 Apr 15, In the area of
Woodward, Oklahoma, tornadoes killed at least 5 people and left at
least 29 injured. At least 8,000 were without power in the region.
About 75 tornadoes touched down in Kansas, Oklahoma, Iowa and
(AP, 4/14/12)(SFC, 4/17/12, p.A6)
2012 Jul 5, Steve Cannon (46)
of Des Moines, Iowa, completed a 40-day, 1,037-mile run around Lake
Michigan. He started and ended his trek at Caray’s Tavern in
(SFC, 7/7/12, p.A5)
2012 Jul 13, Russell Wasendorf
Sr. (64), founder of Peregrine Financial Group, was arrested. He
admitted stealing at least $100 million from his Iowa-based firm. He
was found on July 9 in front of his corporate headquarters in Cedar
Falls following an attempted suicide.
(SFC, 7/18/12, p.D3)(Econ, 7/14/12, p.64)
2012 Jul 13, In Iowa two
cousins, aged 9 and 13, disappeared near a popular recreational lake
in Evansdale, a city about 110 miles northeast of Des Moines. On Dec
5 it was reported that hunters had found the bodies of the girls in
a wooded area of Black Hawk County.
2012 Aug 6, Thousands of fish
were reported dying in the Midwest as the hot, dry summer dries up
rivers and causes water temperatures to climb in some spots to
nearly 100 degrees. About 40,000 shovelnose sturgeon were killed in
Iowa last week as water temperatures reached 97 degrees. Nebraska
fishery officials said they've seen thousands of dead sturgeon,
catfish, carp, and other species in the Lower Platte River. Illinois
biologists said the hot weather has killed tens of thousands of
large- and smallmouth bass and channel catfish. Kansas has seen
declining water levels that pulled younger, smaller game fish away
from the vegetation-rich shore lines and forced them to cluster,
making them easier targets for predators. In South Dakota there have
been reports of isolated fish kills in its manmade lakes on the
2012 Sep 1, In Iowa a pilot was
killed at an air show in Davenport after his Soviet Cold War era jet
crashed into a nearby field.
2013 Apr 8, In Iowa Peng Tang
(22), a former Univ. of Iowa student from China, was sentenced to up
to 17 years in prison for sexually abusing another Chinese student.
(SFC, 4/9/13, p.A5)
2013 May 1, A jury in
Davenport, Iowa, awarded $240 million to 32 mentally disabled turkey
processing plant workers for what was described as years of “virtual
enslavement" by Texas-based Henry’s Turkey Service.
(SFC, 5/2/13, p.A5)
2013 May 3, The Iowa Supreme
Court ruled that the state health deprartment mist list the names of
both spouses in a same-sex relationship on a child’s birth
(SFC, 5/4/13, p.A4)
2013 May 14, In Iowa a federal
judge slashed the May 1 $240 million verdict to $1.6 million
for 32 mentally disabled workers who suffered years of abuse by
(SFC, 5/15/13, p.A6)
2013 May 19, More than two
dozen tornadoes were spotted in parts of Iowa, Oklahoma, Kansas and
Illinois. A half-mile wide twister struck near Oklahoma City and at
least one person was killed.
2013 May 20, In Dayton, Iowa,
Kathlynn Shepard (15) was abducted along with another girl (12). The
younger girl escaped and called help. Michael Klunder (42), a
registered sex offender was found dead hours later after reportedly
hanging himself. Kathlynn’s body was found by a fisherman on June 7
in the Des Moines River.
(SSFC, 6/9/13, p.A12)
2013 Oct 15, The city of
Council Bluffs, Iowa, agreed to pay $6 million to settle a lawsuit
with Terry Harrington and Curtis McGhee of Omaha, who were
wrongfully convicted and imprisoned for 25 years for the 1977
shooting of retired police captain John Schweer.
(SFC, 10/16/13, p.A5)(http://tinyurl.com/9xeb75v)
2014 Jan 31, A US federal judge
gave Hosam Amara, a former Agriprocessors Inc. manager, a 41-month
prison term for exploiting immigrant workers at a kosher
slaughterhouse in Postville, Iowa. 389 workers were arrested in a
May, 2008, raid at the plant.
(SFC, 2/1/14, p.A6)
2014 Mar 29, In Iowa a massive
fire swept through the former Younkers department store in downtown
Des Moines. The building, dating to 1899, was under renovation and
would now have to be demolished.
(SSFC, 3/30/14, p.A11)
2014 Apr 27, A broad tornado
killed at least 15 when it sliced through Arkansas at the start of
the US tornado season. Two more people were killed died in Iowa and
(Reuters, 4/28/14)(Reuters, 4/29/14)