Iowa turns 175 on Dec. 28. Gov. Kim Reynolds and other distinguished Iowans reflect on what the statehood anniversary means.

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As the state turns 175 on Dec. 28, all Iowans have much to celebrate. By birth or by choice, we’re connected to a land of abundance and opportunity.

Iowa’s blessings are rooted in the land itself, some of the most fertile in the world, bounded by North America’s two longest rivers, the mighty Mississippi on the east and the even longer Missouri on the west.

Another great blessing came from the delegates who gathered in Iowa City in 1857 to write our state’s constitution, which as a whole proclaims “the core belief of equality,” as the late Iowa Supreme Court Chief Justice Mark Cady wrote.

Cady observed that early settlers were industrious and self-reliant in the face of harsh conditions on the frontier and were imbued with a “pioneer sense of justice, democracy and equality.” Practicality shaped political and social ideals: “On Iowa’s frontier, everyone was equal.”

Even today, Iowa weather and life in general can deliver a hailstorm of hardship: heat and cold, flood and drought, tornadoes, derechos and pandemics. Yet with self-reliance and an abiding belief in equality, Iowans persevere and thrive.

— Carol Hunter, executive editor of the Des Moines Register  [link]

Marquart, Debra. “Gratitude with Dogs Under Stars.” Des Moines Register. Iowa Poet Laureate poem to commemorate Iowa’s 175th Anniversary. 23 Dec. 2021.  [link]