Des Moines , capital of Iowa, is in the western region of the American Midwest.
Des Moines is the largest city in Iowa and the annual site of the Iowa State Fair. Because of Iowa's early caucus date the city is also a hotbed of political dreams and discourse every four years when presidential candidates tour the state and have multiple debates within the city. The meaning of 'Des Moines' itself is not clear as local Native Americans, the Moingona, had already been using a term (which meant 'river of the mounds') due to the number of burial mounds which were popular in the area. French Trappist Monks (Moines de la Trappe) called their settlement areas at the mouth of the Des Moines River 'La Riviere des Moines' which, in English, translates to 'the river of the monks.' "De Moyn," which means "middle," may have been used on the map of explorer Jacques Marquette to help others locate the Des Moines River-area (equidistant between the larger Mississippi and Missouri rivers). "Des Moines," today pronounced "duh MOIN," is located at the junction of the Des Moines River and the Raccoon River.