Also see Specific Destinations, Travel and Location Humor.
- I Owe a Lot to Iowa
- In an Inn in Iowa
- Iowa Lands
- Iowa Morning
- Iowa Summer
- When You're Down in Iowa
- As the 29th state to join the United States of America, it is our turn to show the nation what represents Iowa. Our commitment to quality education, hard work, and small-town values are all represented in the Iowa quarter. (Leonard Boswell)
- At Dubuque in Iowa, I ate the best apple that I ever encountered. (Anthony Trollope)
- I remember Muscatine for its summer sunsets. I have never seen any on either side of the ocean which equaled them. (Mark Twain)
- I'm from Iowa, we don't know what cool is! (Ashton Kutcher)
- Iowa is home to teachers, farmers, lawyers, factory workers, and many others who work hard every day to provide the best for their families and their future. (Leonard Boswell)
- We have a long tradition in this state of caring for our neighbors--it is truly an Iowa value. (Thomas Vilsack)
- When I was growing up I used to think that the best thing about coming from Des Moines was that it meant you didn't come from anywhere else in Iowa. (Bill Bryson)
- Nicknames: Hawkeye State; Land Where the Tall Corn Grows; Land of the Rolling Prairie
- Slogan: Come Be Our Guest
- Motto: Our liberties we prize and our rights we will maintain
- Colors: Red, White and Blue
- Musical Instrument: Trombone
- Song: Song of Iowa
- Unofficial Song: Iowa Corn Song
- Unofficial Song: Iowa Corn Song
- Bird: Eastern Goldfinch
- Tree: Oak
- Flower: Wild Prairie Rose
- Rock: Geode
- Beverage: Milk
Facts About Iowa
- Capital: Des Moines
- Residents: Iowans, Hawkeyes
- State Name Origin: from an Indian word meaning "beautiful land"
- Admitted to Statehood: 28 Dec 1846
- Order of Admission: 29th state
- Length: 310 miles
- Width: 200 miles
- Area: 56,272 square miles
- Size Rank: 26
- Number of Counties: 99
- Streams and Rivers: 71,665 miles
- Iowa is the only state whose east and west borders are 100 percent formed by water (the Missouri and Mississippi rivers)
- Geographic Center: 5 miles NE of Ames in Story Co.
- Mean Elevation: 1,100 feet
- Highest Point: High Point, 1,670 feet
- Lowest Point: junction of Mississippi and Des Moines Rivers in Lee Co., 489 feet
- Agricultural Products: corn, soybeans, livestock, food products
- Wright County has the highest percentage of grade-A topsoil in the nation
- Commercial Products: industrial machinery
- Average Annual Rainfall: 34.7 inches
- Average Winter Low Temperature: 6 degrees
- Record Low Temperature: -47 degrees (3 Feb 1996 Elkader)
- Average Summer High Temperature: 86 degrees
- Record High Temperature: 118 degrees (20 Jul 1934 Keokuk)
- More information about Iowa
from Iowa State Song
(words by S.H.M. Byers, to the tune of Tannenbaum)
You asked what land I love the best, Iowa, tis Iowa,
The fairest State of all the west, Iowa, O! Iowa,
From yonder Mississippi's stream
To where Missouri's waters gleam
O! fair it is as poet's dream, Iowa, in Iowa.
See yonder fields of tasseled corn, Iowa, in Iowa,
Where plenty fills her golden horn, Iowa, in Iowa,
See how her wondrous prairies shine.
To yonder sunset's purpling line,
O! happy land, O! land of mine, Iowa, O! Iowa.
Items of Interest
- Fenlon Place Elevator, the shortest and steepest railroad in the U.S. is in Dubuque. It is 296 feet long, and rises at an incline of 60 degrees to a height of 189 feet.
- The highest double track railroad bridge in the world, the Kate Shelley Bridge, is located at Boone.
- The red Delicious apple was developed in East Peru, IA.
- Quaker Oats, in Cedar Rapids, is the largest cereal company in the world.
- Clarion is the only county seat in the exact center of the county.
- Dubuque is home to the only county courthouse with a gold dome.
- Cornell College is the only school in the nation to have its entire campus listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
- The Sergeant Floyd Monument in Sioux City honors the only man to die during the Lewis and Clark expedition.
- Knoxville's National Sprint Car Hall of Fame and Museum is the only museum in the country dedicated to preserving the history of sprint car racing.
- The town of Fort Atkinson was the site of the only fort ever built by the U.S. government to protect one Indian tribe from another.
- Iowa is the only state name that starts with two vowels.
- Iowa State University is the oldest land grant college in the U.S.
Some of these were born here, others just lived a while in the state.
- Bess Streeter Aldrich - author (Cedar Falls)
- Adrian Constantine "Cap" Anson (1851-1922) - great 19th century baseball player (Marshalltown)
- Bix Beiderbecke - jazz musician (Davenport)
- Amelia Jenks Bloomer (1818-1894) - woman's rights activist (Council Bluffs)
- Johnny Carson (1925- ) - comedian (Corning)
- Carrie Chapman Catt (1859-1947) - campaigned for women's right to vote (Charles City)
- William "Buffalo Bill" Cody (1846-1917) - Pony Express rider, cavalry scout, buffalo hunter, showman (LeClaire)
- Gardner Cowles Jr. - publisher (Algona)
- Mamie Doud Eisenhower - first lady (born in Boone)
- Bob Feller (1918- ) - baseball pitcher for the Cleveland Indians (Van Meter)
- William Frawley - actor (Burlington)
- Dan Gable (1948- ) Olympic Gold medalist wrestler and coach (Waterloo)
- George H. Gallup - poll taker (Jefferson)
- Susan Glaspell - writer (Davenport)
- Fred Grandy (1948- ) - actor (Sioux City)
- Herbert Hoover (1874-1964) - 31st U.S. president, first president born west of the Mississippi (West Branch)
- Ann Landers - columnist (Sioux City)
- Cloris Leachman - actress (Des Moines)
- William D. Leahy - fleet admiral (Hampton)
- John L. Lewis - labor leader (Lucas)
- Glenn L. Martin - aviator, manufacturer (Macksburg)
- Elsa Maxwell - writer (Keokuk)
- Fred Maytag (1857-1937) - founder of the Maytag Company (Newton)
- Glenn Miller (1904-1944) - trombonist, band leader, composer (Clarinda)
- Harriet Nelson - actress (Des Moines)
- David Rabe - playwright (Dubuque)
- Harry Reasoner - television commentator (Dakota City)
- Maynard Reece - only artist to win the Federal Duck Stamp competition five times.
- Donna Reed (born Donnabelle Mullenger) - Oscar Award-winning actress (Denison)
- Lillian Russell - soprano (Clinton)
- Wallace Stegner - author, critic (Lake Mills)
- Billy Sunday - evangelist (Ames)
- James A. Van Allen - physicist (Mount Pleasant)
- Abigail Van Buren - columnist (Sioux City)
- Henry Wallace (1888-1965) - U.S. vice president and secretary of agriculture during the depression (Orient)
- John Wayne (born Marion Michael Morrison)(1907-1979) - actor (Winterset)
- Andy Williams - singer (Wall Lake)
- Meredith Willson (1902-1984) - composer, lyricist, played with the New York Philharmonic (Mason City)
- Grant Wood (1892-1942) - artist (Anamoso)
The Iowa State Flag
The Iowa flag, adopted in 1921, has three vertical stripes similar to the French flag. The outer stripes are red (for courage) and blue (for loyalty, justice and truth). The inner strip is white (for purity) and wider than the others. On the white stripe is an eagle carrying a blue streamer in its beak with the state motto "Our Liberties We Prize, and Our Rights We will Maintain" written on it. "Iowa" is printed below the eagle in red letters.
You know you are from Iowa if...
- Weather is 90 percent of your conversation.
- Snow tires came standard on your car.
- You have no concept of public transportation.
- The top 5 percent of your graduation high school class went to Iowa State--everyone else attended the U of I.
- Your school classes have been canceled because of cold.
- You have boiled fish in lye for Christmas.
- You know what "uff-da" means and how to use it properly.
- You know what "Amish Country" is.
- You've licked frozen metal.
- The only reason you go to Wisconsin or Missouri is to get fireworks.
- You wear shorts when it's 50 degrees out in March, but bundle up and complain in August when it goes below 60 degrees.
- You have gone Trick-or-Treating in two feet of snow.
- In a conversation you heard someone say "Yah sure you betcha" or "No, I never" or "Not once ever even" and you didn't laugh.
- You know exactly where "Field of Dreams" was filmed.
- When someone says they are going out for dinner or supper, you know which meal they are talking about.
- You've never met any celebrities.
- Your idea of a traffic jam is ten cars waiting to pass a tractor on the highway.
- 'Vacation' means driving through the Amanas or going to Adventureland.
- You've seen all the biggest bands ten years after they were popular.
- You measure distance in minutes.
- Down south to you means Missouri.
- You know several people who have hit a deer.
- You have no problem spelling or pronouncing "Des Moines".
- You know the answer to the question "Is this Heaven?".
- Your school classes were canceled because of cold.
- Your school classes were canceled because of heat.
- You know what "Hawks" and "Clones" are.
- You've ridden the school bus for an hour each way.
- You've had to switch from "heat" to "A/C" in the same day.
- You think ethanol makes your truck "run a lot better".
- You know what's knee-high by the Fourth of July.
- Stores don't have bags, they have sacks.
- You see people wear bib overalls at funerals.
- You see a car running in the parking lot at the store with no one in it no matter what time of the year.
- You end sentences with an unnecessary exposition. Example: "Where's my coat at?"
- All the festivals across the state are named after a fruit or vegetable.
- You can locate Iowa on the United States map.
- Detassling was your first job.
- Your idea of a really great tenderloin is when the meat is twice as big as the bun and accompanied only by ketchup and a dill pickle slice.
- You learn your pickup will run without a muffler.
- You install security lights on your house and garage and leave both unlocked.
- When asked how your trip was to any foreign, exotic place, you say "It was different".
- Being a bit younger, you remember Terry Branstad as the governor the whole time you were growing up.
- You consider being called a "Pork Queen" an honor.
- You carry jumper cables in your car.
- You drink "pop".
- You know what the numbers I-80, 280 and 380 mean.
- You know what "cow chips" are.
- You actually understand these statements and pass them on to all your Iowa friends.
Songs about Iowa
- Dry Cleaner From Des Moines - Joni Mitchell (1979)
- I Owe a Lot to Iowa - Napoleon XIV (1966)
- Iowa - Dar Williams (1997)
- Iowa Lands - Robin Holcomb (2005)
- Iowa Rose - Eddie Dean (1956)
- Iowa Stubborn - Original Broadway Cast of The Music Man (1957)
- Iowa Summer - Anya Turned and Robert Grusecki (1998)
- Iowa Waltz - Greg Brown (1981)
- Jenny (Iowa Sunrise) - Janis Ian (1979)
- Love Song for Iowa - Bonnie Koloc (1970)
- Old Iowa Waltz, The - Shadric Smith (1996)
- Sioux City Sue - Willie Nelson (1978)
- Way Down in Iowa (I'm Going to Hide Away) - Billy Murray (1917)
- When You're Down in Iowa - Shadric Smith (1985)