This Day in History
December 28th: Iowa Becomes the 29th State of the Union, Pledge of Allegiance Officially Adopted by Congress, and Other Events of the Date
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December 28th: Iowa Becomes the 29th State of the Union, Pledge of Allegiance Officially Adopted by Congress, and Other Events of the Date


A number of important events have taken place on December 28 in U.S. history. Here is our take on the most interesting and valuable of them.

1832 - John C. Calhoun becomes the first U.S. Vice President to resign

What a scandal it was, and what a precedent it set when on this day in 1832, John C. Calhoun, who served as Vice President for more than  seven years, under John Quincy Adams and Andrew Jackson, resigned.

This was actually a kin of a trick. Calhoun resigned as VP but entered the Senate to gain some “weight” there. He didn’t leave politics--he simply changed the institution he served. Calhoun also left over the Nullification Crisis (the tensions between the federal government and South Carolina over tariffs), which he couldn’t cope with.

In his later years, he sought the Democratic nomination for the presidency in 1844, but lost to surprise nominee James K. Polk, who went on to become President and served as Secretary of State under John Tyler from 1844 to 1845. As Secretary of State, he supported the annexation of Texas as a means to extend slave power and helped settle the Oregon boundary dispute with Britain.

1846 – Iowa becomes the 29th state of the Union

Being a quiet and rural place and one of the true Republican strongholds in the American Midwest, Iowa is also known as the Hawkeye State. The first American settlers officially moved there in June 1833. Primarily, they were families from Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, Indiana, Kentucky, and Virginia, and the families were in desperate need for land they could settle and use to practice agriculture. Five years later, July 4, 1838, the U.S. Congress established the Territory of Iowa.

Robert Lucas was appointed governor of the territory by President Martin Van Buren. At that time Iowa had just 22 counties and a population of 23,242 – 135 times less than the population of the state nowadays (over 3 million people inhabit Iowa today). The capital of the state (since 1857) is the city of Des Moines.

Almost immediately after achieving territorial status, locals realized they wanted to see Iowa as a state, and just eight years after Iowa Territory was established, Iowa became the 29th state in the Union December 28, 1846 when President James K. Polk signed Iowa's admission bill into law. Once admitted to the Union, the state's boundary issues resolved, and most of its land purchased from the Native Americans, Iowa set itself towards development and organized campaigns for settlers and investors, boasting the young frontier state's rich farmlands, fine citizens, free and open society, and good government.

1945 – Pledge of Allegiance officially adopted by Congress

The Pledge of Allegiance of the United States is an expression of allegiance to the flag of the United States and to the republican order of the United States of America. It is an expression of American patriotism. The pledge was originally composed by Captain George Thatcher Balch who served in the Union Army during the Civil War.

Back on December 27, 1945, soon after the end of the Second World War, the Pledge was officially adopted by Congress, although by that time it had already been officially used in American schools for three years (since October 1942). After the words “under God” were added to the Pledge back in 1954 and till this day the text reads: 

“I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands, one Nation under God indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”

These are the most notable events in U.S. history that occurred on December 28, at least in our view.

Author: USA Really