history

Tour Historic Des Moines from Home

Sketch of Old Central Library

There are a lot historic places worth visiting in Des Moines, but after lots of snow (who’s counting anymore?) and sub-zero temperatures you might prefer visiting some Des Moines landmarks from the cozy comfort of your home.  All you have to do is visit the Places page of our virtual library's local history section.  There you will find historic tour maps that incorporate images, a map and list of places on the National Register of Historic Places, and a number of links to other his

Two Thanksgivings in Iowa? 1939-1941

cornucopia

If you enjoy stuffing yourself silly with turkey and all the trimmings at a Thanksgiving meal, you would have been just ecstatic in 1939. Things had been running fairly smoothly since President Lincoln declared in 1863 that a national “day of thanksgiving and praise” would be on the last Thursday of November. In 1939, President Franklin Roosevelt decided that businesses needed more time for shopping between Thanksgiving and Christmas, and declared the fourth (instead of the fifth) Thursday in November as the official federal observation of Thanksgiving.

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