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March is Iowa History Month

Thursday, February 28, 2019

It’s Iowa History Month, a time in which we honor the state’s rich history. We have some resources for you.

And to get the creative juices flowing, here’s a quick quiz (answers are at the bottom, but no peeking.)

  • The competition for what city or town would be the final state capitol was fierce. Des Moines finally got the deal because of which eastern Iowa community? And why?
  • Iowa has a great record on civil rights. Give some examples.
  • There were small train lines in Iowa starting in the 1840s. But when the first line crossed the Mississippi River in 1856, Iowa was immediately linked to the eastern half of the country. What were some of the ramifications of train service entering Iowa?










Answer: The city of Keokuk was eager to build a railroad to Des Moines and offered its support in making Des Moines the capital city if townspeople helped finance the line. The townspeople kicked in $100,000, Keokuk held up to its promise and, well, the rest is history.


  • In 1839, the Supreme Court ruled that a slave was a person, not property.
  • In 1868, the high court effectively banned racial segregation in public schools.
  • In 1869, the Iowa Supreme Court admitted the first woman in the U.S. to practice of law.
  • In 2009, the State Supreme Court affirms Varnum, making same-sex marriage legal in the state.


  • New markets opened for farmers, who previously had to rely on Iowa’s frequently not-navigable rivers to get their products to Mississippi River steamboats.
  • For the first time, Iowans could take trains to far away places without enduring months of travel.
  • As the rail lines progressed across the state, stagecoach service was nearly extinct overnight. Passenger steamboats followed shortly after that.
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Printed from the Iowa Department of Education website on June 17, 2021 at 2:27am.