Is Anybody There?

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit,' says Yahweh Sabaoth" Zach 4:6 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Dio di Signore, nella Sua volontà è nostra pace!" . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." Ben Franklin 1759

Friday, December 28, 2012

166 Years Old Today - & Still the Best State in the Union


Today marks the 166th Anniversary of Iowa becoming a state. I know, not 1 of those glamorous anniversaries, but still worth celebrating.
Iowa was a part of the Louisiana Purchase in 1803. It was originally part of the Louisiana Territory, later renamed the Missouri Territory. From 1821 when Missouri became a state until 1834 it was not a part of any organized territory & was closed to white settlers. In 1834 it was attached to the Michigan Territory. In 1836 all of the territory that was not to become a part of the new state of Michigan became the Wisconsin Territory. In 1838 the area known as the Iowa District became a seperate territory.
 
As you can see, it included parts of Minnesota & the Dakotas. Then in 1846, Iowa became the 29th state in the Union. Proudly, it was always a free state.
But before it became a state, there was a huge debate between Iowa & the US Congress about its boundaries. The original proposal to Congress in 1845 included parts of Minnesota. Congress replied with a plan that cut off what is now the Western 1/3 of the state. Because of those imposed boundaries, the original constitution was rejected. Finally boundaries that are basicly the current ones were proposed & passed at the Constitutional Convention in May 1846.  (More on this here @ IPTV) It was on this day in 1846 that President Polk signed the bill making Iowa a state.
You will notice that I said basicly about the boundries. because even before statehood there was a huge disagreement about the Northern border of Missouri & thus what would be the Southern border of Iowa. This disgareement was known as the Honey War. The debate was over a 9.5 mile wide strip that ran from the Des Moines River to the Missouri  River. In 1839 the dispute was sent to the US Supreme Court. They finally issued a decision in 1849 (State of Missouri v State of Iowa ) saying the Sullivan Line with small adjustments for some quirks was the boundary, creating the current Southern boundary of Iowa. Iowa is the only state whose east and west borders are formed entirely by rivers.
The state got its names from the Iowa also known as the Báxoje people. They are part of the Sioux Nation. They speak Chiwere (also called Iowa-Otoe-Missouria or Báxoje-Jíwere-Ñút’achi), a Siouian language. Sadly the last fluent speaker died in 1996 & there only about 40 semi-fluent speakers.
 
 
Iowa's flag wasn't adopted until 1921.
 
 
The state seal was adopted in 1847 has an interesting part of its description in the state code: "the citizen soldier, with a plow in his rear". Obviously they meant right behind him as you see, not literally in his rear.
Both the seal & flag have an eagle carrying a banner with the state motto, "Our Liberties We Prize and Our Rights We Will Maintain."
The state flower is the Wild Rose; the state tree is the Oak; the state bird is the Eastern Goldfinch,aka the American Goldfinch; & the state rock is the Geode. The state song is The Song of Iowa, sung to the tune of Der Tannenbaum.
 
According to the US Census Bureau, the state grass is Bluebunch Wheatgrass. But I can't find anything about that in the Iowa Official Register, aka the Iowa Red Book.
 Technically, Iowa has 2 state Capitals, in Des Moines & Iowa City. "The seat of government is hereby permanently established, as now fixed by law, at the city of Des Moines, in the county of Polk; and the state university, at Iowa City, in the county of Johnson." (Iowa Constitution, Article XI, Section 8)
I could go on & on about all Iowa has done for the country. President Herbert Hoover was born in Iowa. Presidents Richard M. Nixon & Ronald Reagan lived in Iowa for a time. Henry Wallace was Vice President onder FDR. Two 1st ladies hailed from Iowa, Lou Henry Hoover & Mamie Dowd Eisenhower.
There are way to many other famous Iowans to mention them all. Some of them include Carry Chapman Catt, Buffalo Bill Cody, Grant Wood, Johnny Carson, John Wayne, Bill Baird, Le De Forrest (Vacuum tube), William Frawley, Donna Reed, Glen Miller, Andy Williams, The Everly Brothers,  Elijah Wood, Simon Estes, Norman Bourlag, Bix Beiderbeck, Cloris Leachmen, John L. Lewis, Roger Williams, Dr. James Van Allen, Wyatt Earp Simon Estes & Meredith Willson. Others lived for a while in Iowa, working or attending school. They include Don Ameche (buried in Asbury), George Washington Carver, Gary Cooper, Harry Reasoner, the Wright Brothers & Herbie Hancock. (See here for a more incvlusive list) In addition the 1st digital computer was invented in Iowa in 1942.
I could go on, but you get the point. I am using this date to do a little bragging about what is the, unarguably, best state in the Union. & why the USA would be much the poorer without us.

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