5 Awesome Facts You Didn't Know About Iowa

On December 28, 1846, President James K. Polk signed the bill which admitted Iowa as the twenty-ninth state in the Union.  Here are five awesome facts that you probably didn't know about Iowa.


Iowa Almost Went to War With Missouri A surveying error ignited a dispute that nearly caused a war between the State of Missouri and the Iowa Territory. The governors of Missouri and Iowa Territory went so far as to gather their militias and angry volunteers at the disputed border. Before any shots were fired, the federal government stepped in and literally drew the line. The conflict is often referred to as “The Honey War” because a copse of trees containing a large number of honeybees was destroyed during the dispute.

The State Birds Was Killed During a Golf Tournament Those who live near a golf course know that a ball has gone astray when they hear the sound of breaking glass at their home, but one golfer playing in West Des Moines managed to kill a small bird in flight. The golfer was actor Rob Lowe, who was participating in a PGA Pro-Am celebrity tournament there. His shot hit and killed a goldfinch, Iowa's state bird, mid-flight. Actuaries calculated the the odds of an out-of-state golfer hitting a golf ball and killing the Iowa state bird to be one in 747 million. Now that’s amazing.


Sliced Bread Was Invented In Iowa We have an Iowan to thank for the phrase "the greatest thing since sliced bread".  Otto Frederick Rohwedder, from  Davenport, Iowa was tired of slicing his bread by hand, so he invented a device to do it for him in 1912. Unfortunately, his invention was lost in a fire before he could dazzle the world with it. Undaunted, he rebuilt and refined his invention, and sliced bread finally became available to the public in 1928, thrilling toast lovers around the country.

“The Day the Music Died” Happened in Iowa It was in Clear Lake, Iowa, where music greats Buddy Holly, J. P. “The Big Bopper” Richardson, and Ritchie Valens died in a small plane crash in 1959. Waylon Jennings might have been on that plane except he gave his seat to Richardson and rode on a bus instead. Holly teased him that the bus would be freezing cold and miserable. Jennings was deeply haunted by the plane crash because he'd bantered back to Holly, “I hope your ol’ plane crashes." It took Jennings years before he could let go of the thought that he had caused the accident.

Ripley's Believe It or Not Named A Street In Iowa The Most Crooked Street In The World Snake Alley is a street located in Burlington, Iowa, which was built in 1894. In 2017, Ripley's Believe It or Not! recognized the street as "Unbelievably Crooked" and the #1 Odd Spot in their Odd Spots Across America Campaign. In the 1940s, writer Robert L. Ripley saw the street in person, and decided to add it to his Ripley's Believe It, Or Not! column, calling it "The Crookedest Street in the World". The turns on Snake Alley are sharper than San Francisco’s famous Lombard Street, giving it a total of 1100° of turning from end to end, where Lombard Street's straighter curves total only 1000°.