So, POTUS, not even two weeks following a bout with the Wuhan Flu is giving the world his impression of Superman and the Energizer Bunny Combined, and his opponent…well….
Is MIA. Again. With 20 days to go before the election.
Alright, well, tonight, the campaign turns to flyover country and the state up the river known as Iowa. President Trump will be in Des Moines, to be precise. From wiki:
Des Moines takes its name from Fort Des Moines (1843–46), which was named for the Des Moines River. This was adopted from the name given by French colonists. Des Moines (pronounced [de mwan] (listen); formerly [de mwɛn]) translates literally to either “from the monks” or “of the monks”. The historian Virgil Vogel claimed that the name was derived from Moingona, an Algonquian clan name, which means “Loon“.
Some historians and researchers lacking linguistic or Algonquianist training concluded that Moingona meant “people by the portage” or something similar, a reference to the Des Moines Rapids. This was where the earliest known encounters between the Moingona and European explorers took place.
One popular interpretation of “Des Moines” ignores Vogel’s research, and concludes that it refers to a group of French Trappist monks, who in the 17th century lived in huts built on top of what is now known as the ancient Monks Mound at Cahokia, the major center of Mississippian culture, which developed in what is present-day Illinois, east of the Mississippi River and the city of St. Louis. This was some 200 miles (320 km) from the Des Moines River.
Cahokia…I have ancestors who lived there.
Oh, wait, we’re supposed to be in Iowa, not Illinois. Here you go:
Based on archeological evidence, the junction of the Des Moines and Raccoon Rivers has attracted humans for at least 7,000 years. Several prehistoric occupation areas have been identified by archeologists in downtown Des Moines. Discovered in December 2010, the “Palace” is an expansive, 7,000-year-old site found during excavations prior to construction of the new wastewater treatment plant in southeastern Des Moines. It contains well-preserved house deposits and numerous graves. More than 6,000 artifacts were found at this site. State of Iowa archaeologist John Doershuk was assisted by University of Iowa archaeologists at this dig.
At least three Late Prehistoric villages, dating from about AD 1300 to 1700, stood in or near what developed later as downtown Des Moines. In addition, 15 to 18 prehistoric American Indian mounds were observed in this area by early settlers. All have been destroyed during development of the city.
Origin of Fort Des Moines
Des Moines traces its origins to May 1843, when Captain James Allen supervised the construction of a fort on the site where the Des Moines and Raccoon Rivers merge. Allen wanted to use the name Fort Raccoon; however, the U.S. War Department preferred Fort Des Moines. The fort was built to control the Sauk and Meskwaki Indians, whom the government had moved to the area from their traditional lands in eastern Iowa. The fort was abandoned in 1846 after the Sauk and Meskwaki were removed from the state and shifted to the Indian Territory.…
Archaeological excavations have shown that many fort-related features survived under what is now Martin Luther King Jr. Parkway and First Street. Soldiers stationed at Fort Des Moines opened the first coal mines in the area, mining coal from the riverbank for the fort’s blacksmith.…
On September 22, 1851, Des Moines was incorporated as a city; the charter was approved by voters on October 18. In 1857, the name “Fort Des Moines” was shortened to “Des Moines”, and it was designated as the second state capital, previously at Iowa City. Growth was slow during the Civil War period, but the city exploded in size and importance after a railroad link was completed in 1866.
In 1864, the Des Moines Coal Company was organized to begin the first systematic mining in the region. Its first mine, north of town on the river’s west side, was exhausted by 1873. The Black Diamond mine, near the south end of the West Seventh Street Bridge, sank a 150-foot (46 m) mine shaft to reach a 5-foot-thick (1.5 m) coal bed. By 1876, this mine employed 150 men and shipped 20 carloads of coal per day. By 1885, numerous mine shafts were within the city limits, and mining began to spread into the surrounding countryside. By 1893, 23 mines were in the region. By 1908, Des Moines’ coal resources were largely exhausted. In 1912, Des Moines still had eight locals of the United Mine Workers union, representing 1,410 miners. This was about 1.7% of the city’s population in 1910.
By 1880, Des Moines had a population of 22,408, making it Iowa’s largest city. It displaced the three Mississippi River ports: Burlington, Dubuque, and Davenport, that had alternated holding the position since the territorial period.
More at wiki.
I’ll add live links to this post during the late afternoon as they become available.
In the meantime, please post tweets and videos below of what’s going on in Iowa, and any travel stories you may have of the place.