Iowa March 25, 2020
8 American Legends That Called Iowa Home
Iowa is loaded with history. You can find rich tales tied to many of our places, but we’ve also been home to some pretty important people. Featured below, you’ll find 8 Iowa icons.
We’re aware that these uncertain times are limiting many aspects of life. While we continue to feature destinations that make our state wonderful, please take proper precautions or add them to your bucket list to see at a later date. If you know of a local business that could use some extra support during these times, please nominate them here:
1. John Wayne
The legendary movie star John Wayne was born in Winterset, Iowa. Marion Robert Morrison moved to Southern California as a child and became one of America's most famous actors by starring in countless Westerns.
2. Grant Wood
Grant Wood was an Iowan painter known for his depictions of life in the Midwest. His most famous work is American Gothic. Woods was born in Anamosa and spent much of his life in Cedar Rapids.
3. Gene Wilder
Yup, Willy Wonka was an Iowan! He spent years living in the state and graduated from the University of Iowa. Later on, he donated collections of photographs and other mementos to the University library.
4. Herbert Hoover
Herbert Hoover was born in West Branch, Iowa. He was an engineer and a businessman before taking up politics and eventually serving as the 33rd President of the United States. He was a Quaker and prior to taking office he was Commission for Relief in Belgium, served as the director of the U.S. Food Administration, and served as the 3rd U.S. Secretary of Commerce.
5. Peggy Whitson
Peggy Whitson is an Iowan astronaut who holds the record for the most spacewalks completed by a woman, with 10. She was also the commander of the International Space Station for Expedition 51. She was born in Mount Ayr, Iowa, and graduated from Iowa Wesleyan University.
6. Johnny Carson
Johnny Carson was born in Corning, Iowa, and spent his childhood years in Avoca, Clarinda, and Red Oak. He hosted the Tonight Show from 1962–1992 and became an American legend, and one of the most recognized TV personalities of all time.
7. Arabella Mansfield
Arabella Mansfield was the first female lawyer in the United States. Despite a restriction in Iowa that allows only men to take the bar exam, she passed with high marks in 1869. She took her case to the Iowa courts that year, and Iowa became the first state to grant women the right to practice law.
8. Mamie Eisenhower
Mamie Doud was born in Boone, Iowa, and spent her childhood years in Cedar Rapids, before moving to Colorado. She met Dwight Eisenhower while wintering in San Antonio, and married him in 1916. She was a dedicated Army wife, and when Dwight Eisenhower was elected in 1953, she became the First Lady.
Let us know who you would add to this list in the comments!