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10 Fast Facts About Iowa
1/ Both the West and Eastern border of Iowa are rivers, and as such is the only state with this physical characteristic.
2/ Only 5.7% of Iowa is covered with forested land. But the industry itself is still a large one to the state of Iowa's economy, with an estimated 16,444 people employed in Forestry, which is 5.8% of the total workforce and generates an annual payroll of $418 million.
3/ Iowa has an average of around 50 thunderstorms every year and 37 tornadoes every year. Some years are however considerably more active in terms of storms then these statistics might indicate however. In 2001 and 2008 for example there were 105 tornadoes in each year in Iowa.
4/ Here are some average low and high temperatures in Fahrenheit for some of the larger cities in Iowa:
Keokuk - 65 / 85
Davenport - 66 / 83
Sioux City - 63 / 83
Des Moines - 65 / 84
Mason City - 58 / 80
5/ The official state flag of Iowa (see below) was adopted in 1921 and bears a close resemblance in style to that of the French flag. The reason for this is to remember past associations with French Louisiana. In the center of the flag is a magnificent eagle that carries a banner with the state motto on it, "Our liberties we prize and our rights we will maintain".
6/ The official state flower of Iowa is the Wild Rose, the official state bird is the Eastern Goldfinch, and the official state tree is the oak tree.
7/ During the Civil War Iowa supported the Union and out of a total population at the time of 675,000 people, around 116,000 men were subjected to military duty. Around one in six of those men would die during the civil war.
8/ There have to-date been 54 Medals of Honor which have been credited to Iowa. Thirty of these were during the Civil War, Three were during the Indian Wars, One was during the Spanish-American War, three were during the Philippine Insurrection, one was during the China Boxer Rebellion, two were during the Mexican campaign, only one was during World War I, seven were during World War II, one was during the Korea War, four were during Vietnam and the most recent was to Salvatore Augustine Giunta on Nov 16th 2010 for his bravery in Afghanistan in 2007.
9/ Not included in the list above of Iowa Medal of Honor winners is William Frederick Cody, who has come to be known as "Buffalo Bill" who also won the Medal of Honor during the Civil War in 1872 for his services as a scout and who was actually born in Scott County, Iowa. This is because he enlisted in Nebraska, and hence it is credited to that state (there are an additional 12 Medal of Honor winners who were born in Iowa, but whose Medal of Honor is credited to another state either because they enlisted there or had their military service there).
Cody's medal was actually revoked in 1917 when the US Army carried out a wide-scale revising of the standards to receive the medal of honor. It was however restored in 1989, along with several other scouts medals of honor following a further review.
10/ Iowa is the only state name that starts with two vowels. The name itself is actually named after the Iowa tribe, and some have ascribed to the name the meaning "sleepy ones", though it is not universally agreed that the name has any firm meaning.