Iowa History Timeline: Text Version

 


B.C.E. = Before Common Era
C.E. = Common Era
1970:
Iowa Event

Iowan Receives Nobel Peace Prize

Borlaug won the Nobel Prize for his work in promoting the "Green Revolution." He developed strains of disease-resistant wheat in Mexico and India and increased the food supply in Third World countries. Borlaug was born on a farm near Protivin.

Find out more about Iowa innovations that changed the world.

1970:
U.S. Event

Still Fewer Farmers

Farmers made up a about 4.5% of the labor force in America. In 1790 they made up 90% of the labor force.

Find out more about farm life.

1970:
Iowa Event

Iowa's First Climate-controlled Mall Opens

Kennedy Mall in Dubuque was formally opened on April 15, 1970. At the time, it had 60 stores, which made it Iowa's largest enclosed mall and first to feature air conditioning.

Find out more about Iowa destinations and attractions.

1970:
U.S. Event

Earth Day

The first Earth Day was held.


1970:
Iowa Event

Iowa's population: 2,825,041

Federal Census of Iowa's population: 2,825,041

Find out more about the people of Iowa.

1970:
Iowa Event

Iowa Gets a New Slogan

"Iowa: A Place To Grow" becames the state slogan.

Find your Iowa story.

1970s:
U.S. Event

Discrimination Laws

In the 1970s federal legislation made it illegal to discriminate on the basis of a person's age. It also provided that individuals with handicaps be granted "reasonable accommodations" and not be refused employment.

Find out more about civil rights.

1970:
U.S. Event

Occupational Safety and Health Act

President Richard Nixon signed the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA), which established the right of government inspectors to enter workplaces to inspect conditions.

Find out more about the labor force in Iowa.

1971:
Iowa Event

Terrace Hill Donated to State of Iowa

Descendants of Frederick M. Hubbell donated Terrace Hill to the state of Iowa. The mansion will became the home of the governor. In 1977 Robert D. Ray became the first governor to use Terrace Hill as his residence when he moved his family there.

Find out more about government in Iowa.

1972:
U.S. Event

Progress for Women

Title IX legislation was passed by Congress. It banned discrimination on the basis of gender by schools receiving federal funds.

Find out about civil rights in Iowa.

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1973:
U.S. Event

Oil Embargo Affects Consumers

In 1973 oil-producing countries in the Middle East declared an embargo against any nation that supported Israel. The United States was a strong ally of Israel, so the United States faced difficulties getting oil. Americans were faced with a fuel shortage.


1973:
U.S. Event

Viet Nam War Ends for United States

All U.S. troops were withdrawn from South Viet Nam. The war was over for the United States. More than 57,000 U.S. troops were killed over the span of the war.


1973:
Iowa Event

First RAGBRAI

The first Register's Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa (RAGBRAI) was held when two Des Moines Register reporters challenged each other to ride across the state.

Find out more about bicycles in Iowa.

1974:
U.S. Event

President Resigns

In August President Richard M. Nixon became the first U.S. president to resign. He resigned when it seemed likely he would be impeached for actions related the to Watergate breakin.


1974:
Iowa Event

Nuclear Power Plant Begins Production

Duane Arnold (Atomic) Energy Center began operating in June 1974. Located north of Palo and eight miles northwest of Cedar Rapids, it is Iowa's only nuclear power plant.

Find out more about Iowa industry.

1976:
Iowa Event

Iowa Caucuses Bring National Attention

Democrat Jimmy Carter's decision to campaign extensively in Iowa during the 1975-1976 presidential campaign, and the Republican Party's decision to join the caucuses on the same night, brought intense media interest to this Iowa event. The Iowa caucuses, and it's "first in the nation" status, helped to change the form and substance of the choice of presidential candidates. Because of these caucuses candidates of all political parties descend on Iowa early in each presidential election year. Hordes of national and world media descend on Iowa to cover the caucuses every four years.

Find out more about the political process in Iowa.

1979:
U.S. Event

U.S. Hostages Taken in Mideast

Fifty-two Americans were taken hostage in Iran when the U.S. government refused to turn over the exiled Shah of Iran to his homeland.


1979:
U.S. Event

First Female Prime Minister in England

England elected Margaret Thatcher as the first female prime minister.


1979:
U.S. Event

Three Mile Island Disaster

A nuclear power plant at Three Mile Island in Pennsylvania experiences a partial meltdown.


1979:
Iowa Event

Pope John Paul II Visits Iowa

On October, 1979, nearly 350,000 people gathered at Living History Farms in Urbandale to be a part of history and participate in a Mass officiated by Pope John Paul II. This was the first Papal visit west of the Mississippi River and the largest gathering in the state until that time. In honor of the pope's historic visit, the Church of the Land was built at Living History Farms on the ground where he stood.

Find out more about religions in Iowa.

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1979:
U.S. Event

Grain Embargo

The United States government imposed a grain embargo on the Soviet Union when the Soviets refused to withdraw forces from Afghanistan.




Questions to Consider:
When viewing information in the timeline, consider the following questions:

  • What time in history did this event occur? What else was happening at that time?
  • What events led to this event? What events followed it? Does this event begin or end something? Is this event part of a sequence of other events?
  • How did this event influence the present? How might it influence our future?


 

Sources:
Several entries for this timeline were adapted from Prairie Voices Iowa Heritage Curriculum, Annotated Iowa History Timeline, State Historical Society of Iowa, 1995. Used with permission.

Additional Sources:

  • Agriculture in the Classroom: Growing a Nation: The Story of American Agriculture, United States Department of Agriculture.
  • Discovering Historic Iowa Transportation Milestones, Iowa Department of Transportation, 2000.
  • Downey, Mathew T. American History 1 and 2. Chicago: McGraw-Hill, 2006.
  • History and Life: The World and Its People. Glenview, Illinois: Scott, Foresman and Company, 1980.
  • Keenan, Sheila. Scholastic Encyclopedia of Women in the United States. New York: Scholastic Reference, 1996.
  • National Standards for History, UCLA National Center for History in the Schools, 1996.
  • Randy Lyon, This Month In Iowa History, State Historical Society of Iowa.
  • The Challenge of Freedom. River Forest, Illinois: Laidlaw Brothers, 1982.
  • William Kovarik, Ph.D., Environmental History Timeline, Radford University,
  • World Adventures in Time and Place. New York: Macmillan McGraw-Hill, 1997.

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