Today is the final day of campaigning for Rick Perry before Christmas. We’ll make three stops today...then back to Des Moines for flights back home. (Some of the reporters are heading to Zombie Burger tonight, one of the press corps favorite Des Moines hang outs.)
So here’s a round-up of some of the towns we saw along the trail this week – and what each is famous for.
Council Bluffs – Known as the "Black Squirrel Capital of the World." Along with it’s across the river/state line neighbor Omaha, it makes up the 60th largest metro area in the U.S.
Harlan – Home of a high school football dynasty. The Harlan Cyclones have won 12 Class 3-A state championships in football: 1972, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1993, 1995, 1997, 1998, 2003, 2004, 2005, and 2009
Denison – Academy award-winning actress Donna Reed (co-star of Rick Perry’s favorite Christmas movie, “It’s a Wonderful Life”) was born on a farm near here.
Algona - The town was the site of a German prisoner of war camp during World War II. It housed nearly 10,000 prisoners, many of whom were put to work on farms owned by Americans who were fighting overseas.
Clear Lake and Mason City (see earlier “On the Road” story)
Decorah – The town of under 10,000 people has a large Norwegian population. And each July the town hosts Nordic Fest, a celebration of Norwegian culture with ethnic dancing, food, and music.
Muscatine – Known as the “Pearl Button Capital of the World,” for the large industry that produced buttons from pearls harvested from clams from the Mississippi river that runs beside the town.
Burlington – birthplace of Arabella Mansfield, the first female lawyer in the U.S.
Ottumwa – home town of fictional character Radar O’Reilly from M*A*S*H.
And the final stop of the 1st leg of the “Faith, Jobs and Freedom” Rick Perry bus tour, Newton, Iowa, home to the Maytag Dairy Farm, which produces the world famous Maytag blue cheese.