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First Railroad in Des Moines

On August 29, 1866, the Valley railroad entered Des Moines. The first train that entered left from Keokuk at 7:30 a.m. and arrived in Des Moines a few minutes before 3:00 p.m. with 300 passengers from many Iowa towns including Keokuk, Burlington, Fairfield, Ottumwa, and Oskaloosa.



I moved to Iowa eight years ago and admit that I knew nothing about RAGBRAI.  I wasn't even sure how to pronounce it!  Interestingly enough, when I was researching this post, I found a book,

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.

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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