On the territory of the modern state of Iowa, people have lived for more than thirteen thousand years. As in almost all states of the United States, before the arrival of Europeans, the original inhabitants of the lands of Iowa were American Indians.
About a dozen different Indian tribes lived here, including the Iowa Indians (after whom the state was named), the Sok, Meskwok (Fox), Sioux, Potawatomi, Oto, Missouri and others.
In the seventeenth century, when the first Europeans arrived in Iowa, most of the local Indians were settled farmers with an established culture, economic and political systems.
In 1673, the expedition of the Frenchmen Jacques Marquette and Louis Jollier, descending along the great American Mississippi River, first described Indian settlements on the territory of modern Iowa. These lands were declared belonging to France, they were part of the province of Louisiana, the colony of New France.
In 1838, the Territory of Iowa was created by the US Congress, and in 1846 Iowa became the twenty-ninth state of the United States.
Iowa state symbols
Wood - oak
The flower is a wild rose (Rosa arkansana or Rosa pratincola)
Bird - American siskin (Spinus tristis)
Stone (mineral) - geode
Song (anthem) - "The Song of Iowa"
National Historic Landmarks in Iowa
The Julien Dubouc Mines is a historic district in the city of Dubuque that has preserved Native American settlement sites, as well as a mining village and mines that produced lead in the 18th and 19th centuries.
The Sergeant Floyd Monument in Sioux City is a monument to Charles Floyd, the only member of the Lewis and Clark Expedition who died during the voyage. The first site to be declared a National Historic Landmark in the United States.
The Old Capitol is a building in Iowa City where state legislators met from 1842-1857. Now - the bottom of the campus buildings of the University of Iowa.
The Reverend George B. Hitchcock House Museum is a vicarage located near the city of Lewis, which served as an "underground railroad station" (shelter and refuge) for runaway slaves.
The Lone Star Steamship Museum in Le Claire is the oldest of the three surviving steam tugs in the United States and the only one with a wooden hull.
The George M. Verity Steamship Museum in Keokuk is one of only three steam tugs still in the United States.
The Sergeant Floyd Steamship Museum in Sioux City is one of only three steam tugboats left in the United States.
The Fort Des Moines Officer Training School is a military base and training center in the city of Des Moines. During the First World War, black Americans were trained here as army officers. During the Second World War, women were trained here for further service in the Women's Army Corps.
The Woodbury County Courthouse in Sioux City, built in 1918, is one of the most famous Prairie School buildings.
The Surf Ballroom in Clear Lake is where rock and roll stars Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, and Giles "Big Bopper" Richardson gave their last concert on February 2, 1959. They died the next day in a plane crash that went down in history as "The Day the Music Died".
There are no huge metropolitan areas in Iowa; it is not for nothing that the state is sometimes called the "American Outback". The largest city in Iowa is its capital, Des Moines, with a little over 200,000 people. Other major cities in the state are Cedar Rapids (about 130,000 inhabitants), Davenport (about 100,000 inhabitants), Sioux City (about 85,000 inhabitants), Iowa City (about 70,000 inhabitants).
The largest urban agglomerations in Iowa formed around the state capital, Des Moines (about 575,000 people) and Davenport (about 380,000 people).
The largest ethnic (national) groups among the population of the state of Iowa:
Germans - about 36%
Irish - about 14%
English - about 10%
Norwegians - about 6%
The most widely spoken language in Iowa is English, which is considered native by about 94% of the population. In second place is Spanish, which is spoken by about 150,000 people (about 5% of the population), and German is in third (about 17,000 people).
Almost all of Iowa's land is actively used for agriculture. About 60% of the state's territory is occupied by cultivated land, another 30% is meadows used mainly as pastures, and only 7% of Iowa's territory is occupied by forests.
Due to the extremely active use of land in the state, there are very few wild animals left; currently, a lot of attention is paid to their conservation and environmental issues in the state in general.
Iowa, like most of the Midwestern United States, has a humid continental climate. Winters tend to be snowy, with average January temperatures around the state capital, Des Moines, ranging from -11°C to -2°C. Summers are warm and humid, with average temperatures in July ranging from 19°C to 30°C.
The highest temperature in Iowa for the entire period of observations (48°C) was recorded in 1934, and the lowest - in 1996 (-44°C).
Iowa is one of the US states that form the so-called "Tornado Alley". On average, destructive whirlwinds sweep across the state thirty-seven times a year.
Iowa's rivers periodically overflow their banks, causing devastating floods.
Contrary to a very common misconception, Iowa is no longer exclusively "rural". Today, the economy of Iowa is very diverse, not only traditional agricultural production, but also industry, finance and insurance, and advanced technologies are well developed here. Many residents of the state are employed in the public service.
All this has helped Iowa relatively painlessly survive economic crises, keeping the level of employment at a high level compared to many other US states.