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.

Historical Reminiscences of the City of Des Moines, 1857

Newly digitized! Historical Reminiscences of the City of Des Moines, Together with a Full Description of the City and the County, H. B. Turrill, 1857. Update: Well, it looks like Archive.org is either having problems or changing their format. Here is a link directly to the "Read Online" version of Historical Reminiscences. Enjoy.

State Capitol Fire of 1904

On January 4, 1904 the Capitol Building caught fire. According to an article in the Des Moines Register and Leader the House Legislative Chamber and adjacent rooms were gutted by the fire. The cause of the fire was unknown at the time the article was written. The total loss from the fire was estimated at between $300,000 and $500,000.


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