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Iowa History Daily: March 22 - Happy Birthday Iowa State!

Iowa History Daily: On March 22, 1858 the Iowa General Assembly approved the Iowa State Agricultural College and Farm. The resulting Iowa State University continues to represent one of Iowa’s most important institutions of higher learning.

Several counties throughout the state made proposals to host the new institution, but Story County ultimately won the bid on June 21, 1859 over Johnson, Kossuth, Marshall, and Polk counties. With the site selected, the state purchased 648 acres at a cost of $5,379. In 1861, builders completed construction on the Farm House (now home to the Farm House Museum). 

The following year, the Iowa State Legislature became the first to accept the terms of the federal government’s 1862 Morrill Act. The Morrill Act “allowed Iowa to sell federal land to finance a new college open to all regardless of wealth, race, or gender; offering a practical education in agriculture, engineering, and military science.” Iowa State admitted the first preparatory class in 1868, with the first formal admit of students in 1869 followed by the first graduating class in 1872. 

The very first Iowa State graduation consisted of twenty-four men and two women. The first state-sponsored School of Veterinary Science in the United States opened at the school in 1879. In 1898 the name of the institution changed to Iowa State College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts, becoming ‘Iowa State’ for short. The name changed again, to the current Iowa State University of Science and Technology, on July 4, 1959. #IowaOTD #IowaHistoryDaily #IowaHistoryCalendar


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