Every year we celebrate National Iowa Day on February 8. This day recognizes the Hawkeye State. The state is known for its fertile prairie, rolling hills, home to talented people, and creating nostalgic movie moments. From the Mississippi River to the harvests in Plymouth, Harrison, and Fremont counties, Iowa has contributed to America’s history, beauty, and hospitality. The state was named after Iowa Native Americans who populated the area when European settlement forced Eastern tribes to settle in the Western part of the country. Acquired as part of the Louisiana Purchase, the Iowa Territory settlement did not happen until around the 1830s.
History of National Iowa Day
The first Europeans to reach Iowa were two French explorers in 1673. The first permanent settlement did not take place until the early 1830s. In the meantime, both pioneers and Native Americans moved through the area exploring and hunting. The combined French and Native American history can be seen in geographic names throughout the state such as Des Moines, Dubuque, Le Mars, Ottumwa, Keokuk, and Onawa.
The area that today constitutes the modern state of Iowa was included in the Louisiana Purchase from France in 1803. After the purchase of Eastern Iowa from the Fox and Sauk in the 1830s, settlers rapidly moved into the land. The Territory of Iowa was established in 1838, with a population of 23,242. In 1846, it joined the U.S. union. The population of Iowa rapidly grew during the 1850s, and the Spirit Lake Massacre in 1857 marked the final instance of Native American hostility in the state.
The immediate years before the American Civil War were marked with lawlessness, vigilantes, and lynchings accompanying the unsteady beginnings of a new society. Iowa was deeply involved on both sides of the issues that led to the Civil War. Iowa became well-known for assisting in the escape of slaves from the South to Canada via the Underground Railroad. The state also contributed more soldiers to the war than any other state. No battles were fought in Iowa, but a Confederate guerrilla raid from Missouri occurred in 1864. Today Iowa is recognized as a state with fertile lands and beautiful vistas.
National Iowa Day timeline
Iowa is released from French domination and becomes independent.
Indians are pressured to move Westwards from the Eastern Settlement.
Poverty overtakes the state following the events of the Great Depression.
The body is created to bolster economic developments in the state.
National Iowa Day FAQs
Is Iowa a good state to live in?
If you desire a low cost of living, economic opportunity, and a quality educational system then yes, Iowa is a good state to live in.
What is Iowa’s most famous food?
Pork tenderloin is one of the most famous foods of the Hawkeye State.
What is the climate like in Iowa?
Iowa has a four-season climate, reflecting the state’s position deep in the interior of the continent. Winters are cold, with January temperatures averaging about 14 °F (−10 °C) in the northwestern section of the state and the low 20 °F (about −6 °C) in the southeast.
How to Observe National Iowa Day
Visit Iowa to celebrate National Iowa Day. Bask in the glorious sights of the states and check out its many tourist destinations.
Enjoy food from Iowa
If you can’t visit Iowa, bring Iowa to you. Celebrate the day by treating yourself to Pork Tenderloins, Iowa Sweet Corn, and Breakfast Pizza.
Learn and share Iowa’s history
Iowa has a long history with its share of triumphs and hardships. On National Iowa Day, learn more about the history of this glorious state and share your newfound knowledge with others.
5 Important Facts About Iowa
Iowa has a state flower
The wild rose is usually represented as the prairie rose and is the official state flower of Iowa.
Iowa's state motto
The motto is "Our liberties we prize and our rights we maintain,” and represents Iowa's fight to be recognized as a state in its own right.
Two parallel rivers
The Mississippi River runs on its east and Missouri on its west.
Iowa is home to lots of wildlife
Red foxes, least weasels, thirteen-lined ground squirrels, and white-tailed deers are the common animals.
The butterfly stroke was invented here
It was invented by a swim coach at the University of Iowa.
Why National Iowa Day is Important
Commemorates the succession of the state
National Iowa Day teaches us about historical events that took a state from depression to peacefulness. It shows us how much the world has changed for the better.
Acknowledges the state’s contribution to the nation
National Iowa Day also celebrates the innumerable ways in which the state has contributed to the rich tapestry of American culture, history, and heritage. We love this!
It’s a day to appreciate Iowans
National Iowa Day also celebrates all the wonderful Iowans whom we know and are friends with. It is the day to appreciate the people who hail from the Hawkeye State.
National Iowa Day dates