Local History

An Airplane Surprise!

By the late 1950s, airplanes were a fairly common sight over Des Moines, but not quite like this.  On January 29, 1957, Roy Soderquist took a Cessna 172 from his flight instructor and spent the next several hours flying low over downtown Des Moines. He managed a crash landing in a field, with little injury to himself and the plane. Charges against him were dismissed.

Was the first night baseball game played in Des Moines?

Though it has been widely believed that the first night professional baseball game under lights was played in Des Moines on May 2, 1930, it appears that this is not entirely accurate. The Des Moines Demons did indeed play the first game under permanent lights on that date at the Western League Park at Sixth and Holcomb.

Sixth Avenue Bridge Collapse, 1965

Recent discussions of the country's failing infrastructure might lead some long-time Des Moines residents to remember April 17, 1965, the day the Sixth Avenue bridge over the Des Moines River collapsed. Shortly after 3 P.M. that Saturday, three cars were on the bridge when the middle section, about 100 feet long and over half the width of the bridge, fell into the river.

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