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Iowa: Hawkeye State

CAPITAL: Des Moines
JOINED UNION: December 28, 1846
STATE BIRD: Eastern Goldfinch
MEANING OF STATE NAME: Based on Indian word meaning "beautiful land"
1992 POPULATION: 2,812,448
LAND AREA: 55,875 square miles
ECONOMY: Corn, soybeans, oats, livestock, fertilizer, insurance, farm equipment, office furniture, auto accessories, construction materials -- cement, sand, and gravel
HISTORY: Prehistoric home to Indians who built mounds on Iowa's plains and later home to Blackhawk and Iowa Indians, among others. Claimed for France by explorers Marquette and Jolliet in 1673, Iowa was part of the Louisiana Purchase in 1803. Iowa became a relocation center for Indians moved there from their eastern homes in mid-1800s. Bloody fighting between Indians and whites in 1832 prompted removal of Iowa Indians to Kansas. Iowa strongly supported
Lincoln during Civil War.

Field of Dreams And Food 1992


Corn has been the food of sustenance for Native Americans as far back as records can be found. Some Native Americans refer to themselves as "children of the corn."

When European explorers and then settlers came to America, the native Indians gave them corn and showed them how to cook and eat it. The new inhabitants integrated corn into their own cuisine.

Throughout the heartland of America, as seen here, green fields of corn glisten in the prairie sun and the crop feeds people and hogs alike. In New Mexico, there is a blue corn used to make popular blue-corn chips and enchiladas. In the South and Southeast, corn fritters are popular. In the Pacific Northwest and New England, corn-on-the cob accompanies barbecues and clam bakes. While adults in bars everywhere enjoy corn-based bourbon whiskey, children and adults alike munch popcorn at movie theaters in large and small American cities.

In fact, corn is probably more truly American than apple pie but "Mom and corn" may not be as catchy a slogan as "Mom and apple pie."

Perfect...Not 1972


Dan Gable, one of America's legendary wrestlers, has known virtually nothing but complete success as an athlete.

For his competition in the lightweight (149-1/2 lb., or 68 kg., weight limit) division at the 1972 Munich Games, he trained for three years leading up to it -- every day, seven hours a day. As expected, the 23-year-old native of Waterloo, Iowa -- a hotbed of great wrestling -- won the gold medal, beating Japan's Kikuo Wada in the final.

In 1984, Gable returned to the Olympics to coach the American freestyle wrestling team through its very successful run in Los Angeles. And back when he was wrestling for West High School in Waterloo? Gable was 64-0. And in college? Gable won his first 117 matches at Iowa State.

But for all that, even Dan Gable wasn't perfect. He lost his final college match, to Larry Owings of Washington in the NCAA finals, 13-11.


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