15 Fascinating Facts About Iowa

Did you know that sliced bread, one of humankind’s greatest inventions, was created in Iowa?

Iowa, also known as “The Hawkeye State,” became the 29th state to join the United States of America on December 28, 1846.

It has a population of 3,155,070 people (as of 2019), making it the 31st most populous state.

Iowa shares borders with South Dakota, Wisconsin, Illinois, Minnesota, Missouri, and Nebraska.

It is the 26th largest state with 58,272.81 square miles (145,746 square kilometers) of land and water.

The capital of Iowa is Des Moines, located in the center of the state.

Now, let’s move on to some interesting facts about Iowa!

The state was named after one of the original tribes that inhabited the area.

The name Iowa comes from Ioway, the name of one of the tribes that lived in the region before the arrival of Europeans.

There are different theories about the origin of the name. Some believe it is a variation of the French word Ayuhwa, which means “sleepy ones.” The nearby Dakota Sioux tribe used this name to refer to the Ioway Nation. Another theory is that the Ioway people exclaimed “Iowa, Iowa!” upon seeing the region, which roughly translates to “beautiful land.”

The region has been inhabited for over 13,000 years.

The area that is now Iowa was inhabited long before Europeans arrived. Prehistoric humans crossed the Bering Strait from Russia into Alaska and made their way south, settling in modern-day Iowa. By the time Europeans arrived, multiple tribes were already established in the area, living in complex societies and practicing agriculture. These tribes included the Ioway, Dakota, Ho-Chunk, Onoeta, and Otoe peoples.

The first Europeans to explore the region were French.

French missionaries and explorers were the first Europeans to explore Iowa. In 1673, Jacques Marquette and Louis Jolliet followed the Mississippi River and mapped parts of the region, noting any Native American villages they encountered. They claimed the entire region as French territory, which lasted for nearly 100 years until 1763.

Iowa became a state almost two centuries after the initial European exploration of the region.

After the French handed control of the Iowa Region (as part of La Louisiane) to the Spanish, it remained in Spanish hands until 1800. France regained control for three more years and then sold La Louisiane, including Iowa, to the United States in 1803 through the Louisiana Purchase. Iowa became part of the Indiana Territory.

The Iowa Territory gained official American settlers in 1833 and soon became a popular place to live. To meet the growing demand for governance, the State of Iowa was established in 1846, becoming the 29th state in the US. Iowa played a significant role in the Civil War effort, with almost 20% of citizens enlisted into military duties, making it the largest contributing state by proportion. The state’s population boomed after the war, with the introduction of railroads and increased agricultural abilities. Iowa’s landscape is diverse and includes rolling hills, prairies, flood plains, natural lakes, and wetlands. The town of Sabula, situated on a sandbar in the Mississippi River, is Iowa’s only island town. Iowa is the largest producer of corn in the United States due to its fertile topsoil, riddled with rivers, creeks, and streams.

Iowa has the potential to become the top producer of diverse crops if they focus on it. The majority of their corn production is used for making ethanol or as animal feed. One of Iowa’s claims to fame is the invention of sliced bread by Otto Frederick Rohwedder in 1928. Iowa also established the US high school system in the 1910s and has a highly educated population, with a graduation rate of 91.3%. However, the state suffers from brain drain as many well-educated graduates leave for better opportunities or to further their studies. Iowa is also home to RAGBRAI, the largest bike-touring event in the world. Lastly, Des Moines witnessed Ozzy Osbourne eat a bat live on stage.

The Time Ozzy Bit the Head Off a Bat

The incident that Ozzy Osbourne wishes never happened occurred during a Black Sabbath concert in Des Moines, Iowa on January 20, 1982. Mark Neal, a local resident, threw a bat onto the stage that landed near Ozzy.

Ozzy thought the bat was fake and in the heat of the moment, he bit its head off. Seconds later, he realized his mistake and went to the hospital to get a rabies shot.

More Than Just a Farming State

Although Iowa is often thought of as a typical Midwestern farming state, it offers much more. With a high quality of life, low unemployment rates, and excellent schooling, Iowa is a great place to live. The only danger is getting a little bit bored.


1. What is Iowa known for?

Iowa is known for its vast farmlands, rolling hills, and picturesque landscapes. It is also known for its friendly people, high-quality education system, and delicious food. Iowa is famous for its corn production and is often referred to as the “Corn State.” The state also has a rich history of community-based activities, including fairs and festivals, that celebrate its culture and traditions.

2. What is the state flower of Iowa?

The state flower of Iowa is the wild prairie rose. This beautiful flower grows wild in many parts of the state and is also cultivated in gardens. The wild prairie rose is a symbol of Iowa’s natural beauty and its connection to the land. It is often used in floral arrangements and decorations for weddings and other special occasions.

3. What is the capital of Iowa?

The capital of Iowa is Des Moines. It is the most populous city in the state and is located in the central part of Iowa. Des Moines is known for its vibrant arts scene, delicious food, and beautiful parks. It is a great place to visit or live, with plenty of opportunities for entertainment, education, and recreation.

4. What famous people come from Iowa?

Iowa has produced many famous people throughout its history. Some of the most notable include John Wayne, who was born in Winterset; Herbert Hoover, who was born in West Branch and served as the 31st President of the United States; and Ashton Kutcher, who was born in Cedar Rapids and is a well-known actor and producer. Other famous Iowans include Grant Wood, who was a famous artist, and Bill Bryson, who is a best-selling author.

5. What is the history of Iowa’s state flag?

The state flag of Iowa was first adopted in 1921. It features three vertical stripes: blue, white, and red. The blue stripe represents loyalty, the white stripe represents purity, and the red stripe represents courage. In the center of the flag is an eagle holding a banner that reads “Our liberties we prize and our rights we will maintain.” The eagle is surrounded by a ring of thirteen stars, which represent the original thirteen colonies of the United States. The flag is a symbol of Iowa’s patriotism, history, and values.

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