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Indiana Bicentennial Celebration 2016

IBC Home > Resources > Hoosier History Highlights Hoosier History Highlights

Compiled by Jim Johnson, a retired teacher who lives in Greenwood and is now working as a tour guide with the Statehouse.


TorchJanuary 1, 1827
Presbyterian minister John Finley Crowe establishes Hanover College, the oldest private college in the state

January 2, 1781
Virginia grants 150,000 acres of land to George Rogers Clark and his men.  Included is all of present Clark County, Indiana, in addition to parts of surrounding counties

January 3, 1825
Scottish factory owner Robert Owen buys 30,000 acres in Southwest Indiana which becomes New Harmony

January 4, 1986
Poet Arthur Franklin Mapes dies in Kendallville.  Among his works is “Indiana,” adopted as the Indiana State Poem in 196

January 5, 1948
Raintree County is published by Ross Lockridge, Jr.  The novel takes place during the Civil War era.  Henry County, Indiana, is the basis for the title locale

January 6, 1859
Dr. Mary F. Thomas becomes the first woman to address the Indiana Legislature

January 6, 1887
The General Assembly opens its first session at the new State House in Indianapolis

January 7, 1885
Mark Twain performs at the Plymouth Church in Indianapolis.  A reporter for the Journal writes, “The drollery of his appearance and manner invests the commonplace and wearisome with a freshness and comicality that is irresistible”

January 8, 1790
General Arthur St. Clair and party reach the Falls of the Ohio on their tour of the western country

January 9, 1821
The legislature authorizes the construction of the first state prison, to be built in Jeffersonville

January 10, 1825
The General Assembly holds its first meeting at the County Courthouse in Indianapolis, marking the transfer of the state capital

January 11, 1910
James Whitcomb Riley and others are at the U. S. Capitol in Washington for the unveiling of the statue of Lew Wallace

January 12, 1874
Carl Fisher is born in Greensburg.  He becomes an entrepreneur who builds the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, inspires the Lincoln National Highway, and develops Florida as a tourist destination

January 13, 1890
Elmer Davis is born in Aurora, Indiana.  He becomes a nationally-known reporter and radio commentator.

January 14, 1919
Indiana ratifies the 18th Amendment to the United States Constitution (the “Prohibition Act.”)

January 15, 1903
The first Carnegie Library in Indiana opens in Goshen.  Over the next 20 years, the state would lead the nation with a total of 164 Carnegie libraries in 155 communities.

January 16, 1942
Actress Carole Lombard dies in a plane crash after attending a war bond rally in Indianapolis.  The popular movie star was born in Fort Wayne.

January 17, 1834
A patent is issued to W. Miller and E. Rogers of Connersville for a new type of washing machine.

January 18, 1781
Ratliff Boon is born in North Carolina. As Lieutenant Governor, he assumes the office of Indiana Governor for 3 months in 1822 when Jonathan Jennings is elected to Congress.  Boon returns as Lieutenant Governor under William Hendricks.

January 19, 2000
A new display case for the Indiana Constitutions is dedicated in the State House Rotunda. Officials include Governor Frank O’Bannon, Chief Justice Randall Shepard, and Senator James Merritt.

January 20, 1989
Dan Quayle of Huntington takes the oath of office to become 44th Vice President of the United States (serving under George H. W. Bush.)

January 21, 1875
Zerelda Wallace, widow of Governor David Wallace, addresses the Indiana General Assembly and presents 21,050 signatures on temperance petitions.

January 22, 1820
The Indiana legislature approves an act for locating and laying out the first system of state highways.

January 23, 1867
Indiana ratifies the 14th Amendment, granting citizenship to former slaves.  Stephen Neal of Boone County is given credit for writing the original draft of the document.

January 24, 1937
Evansville is under martial law as the Ohio River floods to 54 feet.

January 25, 1978
The state is paralyzed by a snowstorm that becomes known as the “Blizzard of ’78.”  Wind gusts up to 55 mph bring snow depths of 20 feet in the central section to 40 feet in the south.

January 26, 1826
The “Boatload of Knowledge” (scientists and scholars from the East) arrives in the community of New Harmony.

January 27, 1967
A flash fire aboard the Apollo I test capsule took the lives of Hoosier astronaut Gus Grissom and two fellow astronauts.

January 28, 1822
George Smith and Nathaniel Bolton published the Indiana Gazette, the first newspaper in Indianapolis.

January 29, 1844
Charles Gerard Conn was born in New York State. As a child, his family moved to Elkhart where he grew up to be Mayor, entrepreneur, and founder of a band company which became world famous.

January 30, 1930
Frank Lewis O’Bannon was born in Corydon. He grew up to become Indiana’s 47th governor, serving from 1997 until his death in 2003.

January 31, 1871
Land was purchased to build the U.S. Quartermaster Depot in Jeffersonville.


February 1, 1870
A railroad bridge was built over the Ohio River at Jeffersonville.

February 2, 1883
The first night baseball games were playing in Fort Wayne.

February 2, 1940
Frank Sinatra debuted with the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra at the Lyric Theater in Indianapolis.

February 3, 1809
Congress passes an act dividing the Indiana Territory into two governments, creating the Illinois Territory.

February 4, 2007
The Indianapolis Colts win Super Bowl XLI in Miami, defeating the Chicago Bears, 29 to 17.

February 5, 1897
The Indiana House of Representatives unanimously passes a bill to set the value of pi at 3.2.  The bill dies in the Senate six days later.

February 6, 1837
The State geological survey is authorized.

February 7, 1801
Ovid Butler is born in Augusta, New York.  His family moves to Indiana, where he grows up to become a lawyer and publisher of an abolitionist newspaper.  In 1850 he founds Northwestern Christian University which later becomes Butler University.

February 8, 1901
Indiana University competes in its first ever basketball game.  One hundred fans travel with the team by train to Irvington to play Butler, which wins by the score of 20 to 17.

February 9, 1866
George Ade is born in Kentland, Indiana.  He attends Purdue University and becomes a popular humorist and playwright.   Fables in Slang becomes one of his most popular works.

February 10, 1851
The Constitutional Convention concluded in Indianapolis. 150 Delegates had met for 127 days in the chamber of the House of Representatives of the State House.

February 11, 1866
Second Christian Church, an African-American institution, was founded in Indianapolis.

February 12, 1861
Abraham Lincoln woke up on his 52nd birthday at the Bates House Hotel in Indianapolis. After breakfast, he went to the State House to address the legislature.

February 13, 1889
The Benjamin Harrison Marching Society, formed during Harrison’s campaign for the Presidency, reorganized as the Columbia Club.

February 14, 1934
Florence Henderson was born in Dana, Indiana. She became a start of Broadway, motion pictures, and television. Her most famous role was that of Carol Brady on The Brady Bunch.

February 15, 1898
The U.S.S. Maine exploded in waters off Cuba. The tragedy helped ignite the Spanish-American War. Indiana sent 7,421 volunteers into the conflict, which lasted six months.

February 16, 1852
Henry and Clement Studebaker opened a blacksmith shop in South Bend. Their company became the world’s largest maker of wagons and carriages and later a major automobile manufacturer.

February 17, 1892
James F. Hanley is born in Rensselaer.  He becomes a popular songwriter and in 1917 publishes “Back Home Again in Indiana.” Another of his hits is “Zing Went the Strings of My Heart.”

February 18, 1851
Ida Husted Harper is born in Fairfield in Franklin County.  She becomes a nationally known journalist and advocate of women’s suffrage.

February 19, 1909
The Overland Automobile Company incorporates in Indianapolis.  The Model 30, with a four-cylinder, 30 hp engine, sells for $1,250.

February 20, 1842
The first medical school in Indiana opens as a department of LaPorte University.  A graduate of the school is William Worrall Mayo, who establishes the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota in 1889.

February 21, 1940
At Rochester, fire sweeps through the winter headquarters of the Cole Brothers Circus.  Over 100 animals are killed, including elephants, lions, tigers, and leopards.  For a while, circus animals roam the Rochester area.

February 22, 1862
The first group of Confederate soldiers arrives at Camp Morton prison in Indianapolis.

February 23, 1985
Bobby Knight, coaching the IU basketball team at Purdue, picks up a chair from the IU bench and tosses it across the playing floor.  The incident ignites widespread national comment.

February 24, 1811
Henry Smith Lane was born in Kentucky.  He later moved to Indiana where he practiced law, served as Governor for two days, and then was elected by the legislature to serve in the United States Senate.

February 25, 1779
George Rogers Clark captured Fort Sackville at Vincennes, marking the beginning of the end of British influence in America’s western frontier.

February 26, 1918
Otis Bowen was born in Fulton County.  He became a physician and, after serving as Speaker of the Indiana House, was elected Governor in 1972.   In 1985, he was appointed by President Reagan to serve as Secretary of Health and Human Services.

February 27, 1987
The West Baden Springs Hotel in French Lick was named a National Historic Landmark. Built in 1901, the structure has a free-spanning dome that at one time was the largest in the world.

February 28, 1893
The USS Indiana was launched in Philadelphia.  10,000 people were in attendance, including President Benjamin Harrison.  The ship served in the Spanish-American War as part of the North Atlantic Fleet.


March 1, 1888
The Ball Brothers began glass production in Muncie.  The company became famous for their glass canning jars and grew to become the largest producer of recyclable beverage cans in the world.

March 2, 1933
The Indiana Legislature adopted the cardinal as the official state bird.

March 3, 1934
John Dillinger escaped from the Crown Point jail, stole Sheriff Lillian Holley’s car, and headed for Chicago.

March 4, 1889
Benjamin Harrison took the oath as president of the United States. As he placed his hand on the Bible, he wore a top hat and a Prince Albert coat made for him by the A. J. Treat and Sons Tailor Shop at 24 N. Pennsylvania Street in Indianapolis.

March 4, 1902
The John Herron Art Institute opened in Indianapolis.  In 1967, it became a school of Indiana University and, in 1969, a division of IUPUI.

March 5, 1860
Samuel Luther Thompson was born in Danville.  He became one of the best baseball hitters in history.  Inducted posthumously into the Hall of Fame in 1974, his RBI per game record still stands.

March 5, 1865
Indiana accepted the provisions of the Morrill Land Act, which led to the foundation of Purdue University.  @LifeatPurdue

March 6,  1896
Al G. Field brought his production of “Darkest America” to the Elwood Opera House. This minstrel show was the first to use black actors, some of the best in the nation.

March 6, 1923
Jazz Musician Wes Montgomery was born in Indianapolis.  One of the best jazz guitarists of the 20th century, he influenced countless others and changed the role of the guitar in popular music.

March 7, 1917
Governor James Goodrich signed orders creating a major north-south road called Main Market Highway 1.  It was later named State Road 1 and then US 31.

March 8  1915
The Indiana Historical Commission was formed to organize the observance of the state centennial. The group later became the Indiana Historical Bureau.

March 9, 1902
Will Geer was born in Frankfort, Indiana. Beginning an acting career in tents and on riverboats, he rose to fame on stage and screen.  His most noted role was that of Grandpa Walton in the 1970s TV show, The Waltons.

March 9, 1935
The Rural Electric Membership Corporation was signed into law by Governor Paul V. McNutt, allowing electricity lines to spread to rural areas of the state.

March 10, 2004
Former Indiana Governor Robert D. Orr died at the age of 86. After the governorship (1981-1989), he served three years as U.S. Ambassador to Singapore.

March 10, 2008
John Mellencamp of Seymour was  inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

March  11, 1813
An act was approved to move the capital of the Indiana Territory from Vincennes to Corydon.

March  11, 1911
Crawfordsville won the state’s first high school basketball tournament, defeating Lebanon by the score of 24 to 17.

March  12, 1906
The first stakes were set in the laying out of the new city of Gary, Indiana.

March  13, 1957
The peony was adopted as the official state flower of Indiana. Earlier state flowers had been the carnation, tulip blossom and zinnia.

March  14  1877
The state legislature authorized construction of a new State House, to be built on the site of the existing building in Indianapolis.

March 14, 1913
The legislature adopted the official state song:  On the Banks of the Wabash Far Away.

March  15, 1806
Paris Dunning was born in North Carolina. His family moved to Indiana where he became the only person ever to serve in five state offices:  state representative, state senator, president pro-tem of the senate, lieutenant governor and governor.

March  15, 1904
Ground was broken in Terre Haute at the corner of 7th and Eagle Streets for the Emeline Fairbanks Memorial Library.  The building later became part of Indiana State University.

March  16, 1901
Benjamin Harrison lay in state in the rotunda of the State House.  Over 50,000 people filed past the casket, led by members of Harrison’s 70th Indiana Civil War Regiment.

March  17, 1880
Fire destroyed the Bowen-Merrill Bookstore in Indianapolis on West Washington Street.  All four floors collapsed, killing 13 firemen inside.

March 17, 1960
Northwest Orient Airlines Flight 710 crashed near Tell City. All 63 aboard were killed.

March  18, 1845
Johnny Appleseed died in Ft. Wayne. Born John Chapman, he introduced apple trees to West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois.

March  18, 1925
A tornado stormed through Missouri, Illinois, and Southwestern Indiana.  Over 700 were killed. Entire farms were blown away in Laconia and Elizabeth, Indiana.

March  19, 1955
Crispus Attucks High School, led by Oscar Robertson, defeated Gary Roosevelt to win the state basketball championship. It was the first all-black high school in the nation to win the state title.

March  20, 1821
The town of Tiptonia, named for John Tipton, changed its name to Columbus.

March  20, 1954
The basketball team from tiny Milan High School won the state championship. The victory was the inspiration for the film “Hoosiers,” one of the most popular sports movies of all time.

March  21, 1814
Abram Hammond was born in Vermont. He became the 12th governor of Indiana, serving only three months to finish the term of Ashbel Willard, the first Indiana governor to die in office.

March  21  1854
St. Meinrad was founded in Spencer County.  It is one of only two archabbeys in the United States and one of eleven in the world.

March  22, 1824
Nine Native Americans were murdered near Pendleton. Called “The Fall Creek Massacre,” the crime resulted  in the hanging of  three white men, the first time such a penalty had been carried out for the killing of Native Americans.    

March  23, 1823
Schuyler Colfax was born in New York. He moved to Indiana, got involved in politics, served as Speaker of the House, and was elected Vice-President under Ulysses S. Grant.

March  24, 1924
Steve McQueen was born at St. Francis Hospital in Beech Grove  He became a leading actor of his time, starring in such films as The Magnificent Seven, The Great Escape, and Bullitt.

March 25, 1863
Secretary of War Edwin Stanton awarded the first medals of honor to members of the Civil War “Andrew’s Raiders.” Among them was Elihu Mason, born in Wayne County

March  25, 1919
The Indiana Federation of Farmers was organized.  Later it became the Indiana Farm Bureau.

March  26, 1948
A tornado destroyed most of the town of Cannelton in Hendricks County.  Fourteen people were killed.

March 26, 1979
Michigan State defeated Indiana State in the NCAA basketball championship. Earvin “Magic” Johnson led the Spartans against Larry Bird and the Sycamores. 

March 27, 1812
Hugh McGary established McGary’s Landing on a horseshoe bend of the Ohio River. In 1814 the name was changed to Evansville to honor Colonel Bob Evans who had served under William Henry Harrison in the War of 1812.

March  27, 1847
Voters endorsed a new charter making Indianapolis an incorporated city.  The population had risen to almost 8000 by this time.

March  28, 1885
The Willard Library was dedicated in Evansville. Paid for by Willard Carpenter, the city’s “Pioneer of Public Charity,” the Gothic-Revival structure continues to serves the citizens of Vanderburgh County and is known for the legend of the “Gray Lady” ghost.

March 28, 1936
Bill Gaither was born in Alexandria. He is a famous singer and songwriter of gospel and contemporary Christian music

March  29, 1878
Albert Von Tilzer was born in Indianapolis.  He grew up to write many hit songs, including “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” and “I’ll Be With You in Apple Blossom Time.”

March  30, 1940
Indiana University won its first NCAA basketball championship.  Branch McCracken coached  the Hoosiers to a 60-42 victory over Kansas.

March  31, 1880
Wabash became the first city in the world to be lit by electricity. Large arc lights, hung from the dome of the county courthouse, pierced the darkness for more than a mile in all directions.

March  31, 1931
Notre Dame football coach Knute Rockne was killed with seven others in a plane crash in Kansas.  Over 300,000 mourners lined the streets to view the funeral procession as it made its way to Sacred Heart Church on the Notre Dame campus.


April 1, 1822
The first Marion County election was held with 366 voters participating.

April  1, 1904
The Indianapolis Glove Company began operation, with factories also in Marion, Richmond, and Rushville.

April  2, 1871
Indianapolis began collecting weather data, with instruments in the Blackford Block at the southeast corner of Washington and Meridian Streets.

April 2, 1918
The Indiana prohibition law went into effect at midnight. Over 3,500 bars and taverns ceased the sale of alcohol. The state ratified the national prohibition amendment the following January.

April  3, 1974
Powerful tornadoes tore through four sections of the state, causing 48 deaths, over 1000 casualties, and $200,000,000 in damage.

April  4, 1968
Robert F. Kennedy, in Indianapolis on a campaign tour, announced the death of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. to a crowd at 17th and Broadway.  His impassioned plea for peace on that night is considered one of the best public addresses of the era.

April  5, 1922
Purdue University was granted a broadcast license for radio station WBAA.  At 920 on the AM dial, it is the oldest continuously operating radio station in Indiana.

April 6, 1917
The United States entered World War I. Indiana sent more than 130,000 soldiers. The Indiana World War Memorial Plaza was constructed to honor the more than 3,400 who did not return home.

April 7, 1841
A funeral service was held in the East Room of the White House for President William Henry Harrison, who had died three days earlier.  He had served as President for 31 days.

April  8, 1990
Ryan White died at age 18 in Indianapolis. An AIDS patient, his courageous struggle for acceptance gained national attention.

April  9, 1865
News reached the state of the surrender of Confederate General Robert E. Lee.  Hoosiers celebrated the end of the Civil War which had cost the state over 24,000 lives.

April  10, 1824
United States mail delivery by stagecoach was established between Vincennes and Louisville.

April  11, 1965
Palm Sunday tornadoes wreaked havoc in 20 Indiana counties, killing 137 people and injuring over 1700.

April  12, 1822
Governor Jonathan Jennings proclaimed a day of fasting and prayer because of the great amount of sickness prevalent in all parts of the state.

April  13, 1992
Groundbreaking ceremonies were held for the new Indiana State Police Youth Education and Historical Center on East 21st Street in Indianapolis.

April  14, 1912
The RMS Titanic struck an iceberg near midnight and sank early the next morning.  Over 1500 died.   Among the 710 survivors were at least three from  Indiana,  including Ellen Toomey, who returned to her home on Bates Street in Indianapolis.

April  15, 1861
As the Civil War erupted, Governor Oliver P. Morton called for 75,000 volunteers to join the Union Army.

April  16, 1867
Wilbur Wright was born in Millville in Henry County.   He and his brother Orville succeeded in making the first airplane flight in 1903.

April  17, 1926
Over six inches of wet snow fell in the Lafayette area.  It was one of the heaviest spring snowfalls on record for the state.

April  18, 1945
War correspondent Ernie Pyle was killed by sniper machine gun fire near Okinawa.  He was born in Dana, Indiana, and attended Indiana University, where the School of Journalism is now named in his honor.

April  19, 1816
President James Madison signed the Enabling Act which granted permission to Indiana to form a government and join the Union.

April  20, 1961
Don Mattingly was born in Evansville. Nicknamed “The Hit Man,” he played for the New York Yankees for 14 years and is currently manager of the Miami Marlins.

April  21, 1884
The city of Hammond was incorporated in Lake County.  It was named for George H. Hammond, a butcher who founded the local slaughterhouse and developed refrigerated boxcars to haul beef.

April  22, 1902
President Theodore Roosevelt sent a note to Secretary of War Elihu Root suggesting that the new Army post in Indianapolis be named for President Benjamin Harrison.

April  23, 1784
The Ordinance of 1784, primarily written by Thomas Jefferson, established government for the Northwest Territory and a system for the area to be divided into states.  Indiana became a state 32 years later.

April  24, 1847
Samuel Henderson was elected the first Mayor of Indianapolis.  About 500 votes were cast.

April  25, 1898
Governor James A. Mount called for 4000 volunteers to fight in the war with Spain.  Response was strong and Indiana was the first state in the nation to meet its quota.

April  26, 1939
The first Crosley automobile was sold. Manufactured in Richmond, Indiana, the tiny two-door convertible weighed less than 1000 pounds and was priced at $250.

April  27, 1925
An earthquake struck the Wabash Valley. Chimneys toppled in Princeton, Indiana, and crowds fled from movie theaters in Evansville.

April  28, 1941
The New York Central Railroad began regular service of the James Whitcomb Riley train.  It carried passengers between Chicago, Indianapolis, and Cincinnati.

April  29, 1896
Dan Patch was foaled in a barn near Oxford, Indiana.  He became famous around the world as one of the fastest harness horses of all time.

April  30, 1865
The funeral train for Abraham Lincoln arrived in Indianapolis.  His body lay in state in the rotunda of the old Capitol.  An estimated 100,000 people passed by the funeral bier.


May  1, 1813
The capital of the Indiana Territory was moved from Vincennes to Corydon

May  2, 1829
Construction on the National Road (now U. S. 40) entered Indiana at the eastern edge.  Completion through the state would take until 1834.

May  3, 1989
The Indiana legislature ratified the Lottery Act.  It was signed a week later by Governor Evan Bayh. Scratch-off ticket sales began in October.

May  4, 1871
The first professional baseball game was played in Ft. Wayne between the Ft. Wayne Kekiongas & the Cleveland Forest Citys.  It was rained out in the top of the ninth inning with the Kekiongas ahead, 2 to 1.

May  5,  1817
The Indiana Supreme Court held its first session in Corydon.  The three judges were appointed by the governor to serve seven-year terms.

May  6,  1869
The Indiana General Assembly, under the Morrill Act, accepted land and money from John Purdue to establish a school for the study of science, technology, and agriculture.

May  7,  1800
A bill to divide the Northwest Territory and create the Indiana Territory passed both houses of Congress.  It became law on July 4, 1800.

May   8, 1854
Alvin P. Hovey was appointed by Governor Joseph Wright to fill a vacancy on the Indiana Supreme Court.  Hovey later became the 21st Governor of the State.

May  9, 1806
Paris C. Dunning was born in Greensboro, North Carolina.  As a young man he moved to Indiana where he studied law.  He got involved in politics and became the only person to hold all four elected state offices under the 1816 Constitution:  State Representative, State Senator, Lieutenant Governor, and Governor.

May  10,  1876
Colonel Eli Lilly opened a laboratory on Pearl Street in Indianapolis.  His firm grew to become one of the largest pharmaceutical companies in the world.

May  11,  1811
First classes began at Vincennes University. Tuition was $18 per year.

May 11, 1852
Charles W. Fairbanks was born in a log cabin in Ohio. As a young man he moved to Indiana and became a U.S. senator. In 1904 he was elected to serve as vice president under Theodore Roosevelt.

May 12, 1825
Marquis de Lafayette visited Jeffersonville on his visit to all 24 states of the Union at that time. Called “The Hero of Two Worlds,” he had served as a general in the American Revolutionary War.

May  13,  1865
John J. Williams of Jay County died at the Battle of Palmito Ranch in Texas.  He was the last soldier killed in action during the Civil War.

May 13, 1869
The Indiana General Assembly passed an act which admitted black children to public schools

May 14, 1869
Indiana ratified the 15th Amendment of the United States Constitution, which prohibits the denial of voting rights based upon race or color of skin.

May 15, 1902
The Soldiers and Sailors Monument on the Circle was formally dedicated.  General Lew Wallace was Master of Ceremonies. The program included the reading of a poem by James Whitcomb Riley and music written and performed by John Philip Sousa.

May 16, 1944
George Ade died at his home in Brook, Indiana.  A popular writer, newspaperman, and playwright, he helped fund the construction of Ross-Ade Stadium at Purdue University.

May 17, 1937
The childhood home of James Whitcomb Riley in Greenfield was opened to the public after restoration by the Riley Old Home Society.

May  18,  1912
Indiana students observed “Peace Day,” sponsored by the Department of Education and inspired by Charity Dye, a teacher at Shortridge High School.

May  19, 1681
French explorer Robert de La Salle held a peace council with Miami Indians at the area now known as South Bend

May  20, 1863
The “Battle of Pogue’s Run” took place in Indianapolis.  Not an actual battle, the name refers to an incident during the Civil War when Southern Loyalists were forced to throw their weapons out of the windows of a train traveling along Pogue’s Run, a creek which runs southwest through the city.

May  21, 1921
Wonder Bread was introduced by theTaggart Bakery in Indianapolis.

May  22, 1846
Governor James Whitcomb called for Indiana men to join the Mexican War.  Five regiments were sent from the Hoosier State.

May  23, 1933
Four bandits held up the Lowell National Bank.  Shots were fired into the floor as they gathered up cash totaling $5000.  They escaped in a Cadillac and were never caught, but many suspected the Dillinger gang.

May  24, 1992
Al Unser, Jr. won the closest Indianapolis 500 race in history, beating Scott Goodyear by .043 of a second.

May 25, 1825
William Digby, a river boatman and adventurer, established a new town on the Wabash River.  He called it Lafayette.

May  25, 1993
Sextuplets were born to Becki and Keith Dilley of Indianapolis.  The first sextuplets to survive in the United States, all six graduated from high school with honors.

May 26, 1813
The first issue of “The Western Eagle” newspaper was published in Madison by William Hendricks who was later elected governor of Indiana

May 27, 1844
May Wright Sewall was born in Wisconsin. She moved to Indianapolis and became a leader in the feminist movement.  She established a girls’ classical school in the city and helped found the Propylaeum.

May  27, 1851
The Indiana State Board of Agriculture was organized with Governor Joseph Wright as President. 

May 28, 1820
Commissioners searching for a site for the new state capital were guests at the farm of William Conner.

May 29, 1840
William Henry Harrison launched his presidential campaign at a large Whig rally at the Tippecanoe Battlefield.

May 30, 1949
The first TV station in Indiana went on the air. WFBM, channel 6, premiered with a live broadcast of the 500-Mile Race.

May 31, 1917
The Indiana State Flag, designed by Paul Hadley of Mooresville, was officially adopted by the State Legislature.

May 30, 1949
The first TV station in Indiana went on the air. WFBM, channel 6, premiered with a live broadcast of the 500-Mile Race.

May  30, 1907
President Theodore Roosevelt was in Indianapolis to dedicate the statue of  General Henry Lawton.  He also placed a wreath on the grave of President Benjamin Harrison at Crown Hill Cemetery.

May  31, 1917
The Indiana State Flag, designed by Paul Hadley of Mooresville, was officially adopted by the State Legislature.


June 1, 1864
Dedication ceremonies were held at the new Crown Hill Cemetery.  The first burial took place the next day.  At 555 acres, Crown Hill is the third largest cemetery in the United States with over 200,000 graves.

June 2, 1942
The first official order was issued from the new Camp Atterbury Training Center near Edinburgh.  The facility was named for Indiana native General William Wallace Atterbury, who had served as a staff member to General John G. Pershing in World War I.

June 3, 1825
Two men were hanged near Pendleton for the murder of nine Indians.  A third man had his noose removed at the last minute as Governor James Brown Ray arrived with a pardon.

June 4, 1918
Charles Warren Fairbanks died at his home in Indianapolis.  He had served as a U. S. Senator from Indiana and as Vice-President of the United States under Theodore Roosevelt.

June 5, 1909
An air balloon race at the new Indianapolis Speedway attracted 40,000 spectators.  The first 500-mile race would take place two years later.

June 6, 1903
The Indianapolis Star published its first edition.  The front page carried greetings to the newspaper from President Theodore Roosevelt.

June 7, 1820
Commissioners of the Indiana Legislature selected a small village in dense woods by the east bank of the White River as the site of the future state capital.

June  8, 1839
The first boat on the Whitewater Canal

June 8, 1865
The 70th Indiana Regiment led by Benjamin Harrison mustered out of service in Washington, D.C. The men were welcomed home two days later at the state capitol by Governor Oliver P. Morton

June 9, 1913
The bust of Colonel Richard Owen was unveiled at the Indiana State House. A gift to the state from Confederate veterans, the bust honors Owen for his “kindness and courtesy” as Commandant of Camp Morton, a Civil War prison camp in Indianapolis.

June  9,  1891
Cole Porter was born in Peru, Indiana.  He became one of America’s most popular composers of music for Broadway and movies.

June 10, 1816
The Constitutional Convention met for the first day in Corydon.  There were 43 delegates from 15 counties.

June  11, 1988
The Indianapolis Zoo opened in its new location at White River Park.

June 11, 2001
Timothy McVeigh was executed at the federal prison in Terre Haute.  He had been found guilty in the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing that killed 168 people and injured over 600.

June 12, 1865
The last Confederate prisoner of war was released from Camp Morton, which occupied 30 acres in what is now the Herron-Morton neighborhood.

June 13, 1842
The carriage carrying former President Martin Van Buren was overturned into the mud near Plainfield.  It was a joke played upon Van Buren, who had vetoed a bill to improve the national road.  The nearby elm tree became known as the Van Buren Elm.

June 14, 1936
President Franklin D. Roosevelt was in Vincennes to dedicate the George Rogers Clark Memorial. In his speech, the President said that Clark “did battle against the tomahawk and the rifle.  He saved for us the fair land that lay between the mountains and the Father of Waters.”

June  15,  1867
The Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Children’s Home opened in Knightstown to care for the children of Civil War veterans.

June 15, 1884
A statue of Civil War Governor Oliver P. Morton was unveiled in the center of Circle Park in Indianapolis.  The statue was moved to the perimeter when the Soldiers and Sailors Monument was built.

June 16, 1906
The new Army fort in Indianapolis was named for President Benjamin Harrison, who had died five years earlier.

June 17, 1881
The Indianapolis Brush and Electric Company was formed.  This was the first utility to bring electricity to the capital city.

June 18, 1812
The War of 1812 began.  Indiana Territorial Governor William Henry Harrison left office to help lead soldiers in the 32-month conflict between the U.S. and Great Britain and its Indian allies.

June 19, 1978
Garfield the cat, a creation of Hoosier cartoonist Jim Davis, made his first appearance in 41 newspapers around the country.

June 20, 1790
Knox County was created out of the Northwest Territory.  It covered a huge area, embracing all or parts of Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Ohio, and Wisconsin.

June 21, 1803
Elihu Stout brought the first printing press to Vincennes and began publication of the Indiana Gazette.

June 22, 1819
Indiana Governor Jonathan Jennings entertained James Monroe and Andrew Jackson at his home in Corydon. The two were on a tour of frontier states.

June  23, 1802
The city of Jeffersonville was platted based upon plans made by Thomas Jefferson.

June 23, 1950
Henry Harland Shelton, on the “10 Most Wanted List,” was captured after a gun battle with FBI agents in Indianapolis.

June  24, 1971
President Richard Nixon visited Jennings County to help dedicate the placement of an historic marker indicating the birthplace near Butlerville of his mother, Hannah Milhous Nixon.

June 24, 2002
First Lady Judy O’Bannon dedicated an Indiana historical marker at Lyles Station, an early African-American community in Gibson County.

June  25, 1888
Meeting at the new Auditorium Theater in Chicago, Republicans nominated Benjamin Harrison to be their Presidential candidate in the upcoming election.

June 25, 1950
The U.S. entered the Korean War. During the three-year conflict, over 36,000 American soldiers were killed including over 900 from Indiana.

June 26, 1977
In the final concert of his career, Elvis Presley performed at Market Square Arena in Indianapolis.

June 27, 1859
Heavy rains caused the collapse of a railroad bridge near South Bend. The Night Express train plunged into the water with 150 passengers on board. The death toll was placed at over 40 with many more injured.

June 28, 1816
The Indiana Constitutional Convention recommended the establishment of a state library. No action was taken until 1825 when the library was created with the Secretary of State designated as librarian.    

June  28, 1934
Ownership of the West Baden Springs Hotel was transferred to the Society of Jesus for use as a Jesuit School.

June 29, 1816
The first Indiana State Constitution was adopted by the legislature in Corydon.

June  30,  1857
James Oliver of South Bend obtained a patent for the chilled steel plow which retained its sharp edge and was extremely smooth, alleviating the problem of sticking soil.  Oliver plows were used worldwide.

June 30, 1890
The USS Indiana was authorized by Congress. Launched in 1893, she was a prominent battleship for the Navy and participated in the Spanish-American War.


July 1, 1896
William F. Walker was born in Pendleton. The son of a freed slave, he became a popular actor whose career spanned 40 years in scores of movies, including “To Kill A Mockingbird.”

July   1, 1942
The United States Naval Air Station at Bunker Hill, Indiana, opened as a training base.

July 2, 1862
President Abraham Lincoln signed the Morrill Land Grant Act, which led to the foundation of Purdue University.

July  2, 1937
The last radio contact was made by Amelia Earhart, flying a twin-engine Lockheed Electra airplane owned by Purdue University.

July 3, 1862
Abraham Lincoln sent a telegram to Indiana Governor Morton saying, “If I had 50,000 more troops here now, I could substantially end the war in two weeks…the quicker you send, the fewer you will have to send.  Time is everything.  Please act in view of this.”

July 4, 1916
McCormick’s Creek was dedicated as Indiana’s first state park.  It was named for John McCormick, an early settler who had lived along the canyon by the waterfalls.

July 5, 1861
The 14th Indiana Infantry Regiment, organized at Camp Vigo in Terre Haute, left the state to fight in the Civil War. The unit participated in battles at Antietam, Chancellorsville and Gettysburg.

July  5, 1929
Radio station WOWO in Fort Wayne was back on the air after fire had destroyed the studio the day before.

July 6, 1921
The first all-female jury in Indiana and perhaps the nation sat for a trial in the Jennings County Courthouse in Vernon.

July 7, 1932
The Ohio River Bridge between Evansville and Henderson, Kentucky, opened for traffic.  At the dedication ceremony, Kentucky governor Ruby Laffoon shook hands with Indiana governor Harry G. Leslie.

July 8, 1863
Fearing an attack by Morgan’s Raiders, five regiments of soldiers were ordered to Indianapolis to guard the Indiana State House.

July 9, 1863
Over 2,000 Confederate soldiers under the command of John Hunt Morgan attacked about 400 Indiana militia and citizen volunteers outside Corydon. The “Battle of Corydon” was the only Civil War clash on Indiana soil.

July 10, 1945
Actor Ron Glass was born in Evansville. He majored in drama and literature at the University of Evansville. He is best-known as Detective Ron Harris on the TV show Barney Miller.

July 11, 1916
Dan Patch died at the age of 20.  One of the most famous horses in history, he was born in Oxford, Indiana, and as a pacer broke world speed records at least 14 times in the early 1900s.

July 12, 1883
Lightning struck the science building at Indiana University.  Fire destroyed the building and contents, which included university records and a 12,000 volume library.

July 13, 1913
The Senate Avenue YMCA in Indianapolis was dedicated by Booker T. Washington.

July 14, 1812
Little Turtle died near present-day Fort Wayne.  Leader of the Miami people, he was one of the most famous Indian leaders of his time.

July  15, 1887
The state sweltered under a heat wave, with temperatures reaching 101.  Forty teams of horses delivered 125 tons of ice to Indianapolis every day.

July 15, 1921
The legislature created the Indiana Motor Vehicle Police, the first agency to have statewide jurisdiction to enforce state laws.  The organization evolved into today’s Indiana State Police.                                          

July 16, 1921
Orville Redenbacher was born in Brazil, Indiana.  He attended Purdue University and served as a Farm Bureau extension agent before becoming famous for developing his brand-name hybrid popcorn.

July  17, 1855
The Clionian Society was formed in Vernon.  It was the first women’s club in Indiana. The purpose was the “mutual improvement of its members.”

July 17, 1997
Space Shuttle Columbia landed at Kennedy Space Center. On board was Astronaut Janice E. Voss from South Bend. In five missions, she logged 18.8 million miles in space, circling the earth 779 times

July 18, 1862
Newburgh, Indiana was “captured” for a few hours by a group of Kentuckians who had log and stovepipe “cannons” placed along the Ohio River.

July  18, 1913
Comedian Red Skelton was born in Vincennes.  Starting as a circus clown, he became famous in vaudeville, movies, radio, and television.

July 19, 2005
John G. Roberts was nominated for the U. S. Supreme Court by President George Bush.  Born in Buffalo, NY, he moved with his family to Long Beach, IN, when he was in the fourth grade.  He graduated from La Lumiere School in La Porte before going to Harvard.

July 20, 1935
The Indiana Rural Electric Membership Corporation formed to bring electricity to farms and homes outside the reach of municipal power plants

July 21, 1969
Purdue University graduate Neil A. Armstrong walked on the moon as a member of the Apollo 11 Space Program.

July 22, 1934
John Dillinger was killed by FBI agents as he came out of the Biograph Theater in Chicago.  Dillinger was born in Indianapolis and in his teens moved with his family to Mooresville.

July  23, 1966
President Lyndon B. Johnson was in Indianapolis to make a speech at the Athletic Club.  He noted the 150th anniversary of Indiana Statehood.

July  23, 1966
President Lyndon B. Johnson was in Vincennes to make the George Rogers Clark Memorial a part of the National Park Service

July 24, 1916
35,000 mourners passed by the body of Hoosier Poet James Whitcomb Riley as he lay in state in the rotunda of the Indiana State House.

July 25, 1917
Carl Erskine of Anderson, began his major league pitching career with the Brooklyn Dodgers. He spent his entire career with the Dodgers and helped the team win five pennants. He set a World Series record with 14 strikeouts in a single game.

July  25, 1917
The Ball Brothers of Muncie purchased the Indiana Normal Institute.  The next year,  they gave the school to the State of Indiana and it evolved into Ball State University.

July 26, 1788
The official seal of the Northwest Territory was used for the first time in a proclamation from Governor Arthur St. Clair

July  26, 1840
The African Methodist Episcopal Church organized in the Greenville Settlement of Randolph County.

July  27, 1905
Reid Memorial Hospital in Richmond was dedicated.  Construction was financed by Daniel G. Reid, who had made his fortune in tin plating, railroads, and steel.

July 27, 2003 
Vance Hartke died at the age of 84 in Falls Church, Virginia. Born in Pike County Indiana, he served the state as U.S. Senator from 1959 to 1977.

July 28, 1945
Jim Davis was born in Marion, Indiana. His Garfield comic strip, first published in 1978, is widely syndicated around the world.

July  28, 1969
The Auburn Automobile Heritage Corporation was formed to start plans for the Auburn Cord Duesenberg Museum, which opened in 1974.

July 29, 1805
The first General Assembly of the Indiana Territory met in the territorial capital of Vincennes. The session went through August 26.

July 30, 1945
The USS Indianapolis was torpedoed by a Japanese submarine. The ship sank in 12 minutes. Of the 1,196 crewmen aboard, approximately 300 went down with the ship. Survivors drifted in the ocean until August 2.

July 31, 1804
The first issue of the state’s first newspaper, The Indiana Gazette, was published in Vincennes.


August 1, 1901
Science Professor Mary Bidwell Breed became the first female dean at Indiana University. She was Dean of Women from 1901 until 1906.

August 1, 1920
Former Indiana Governor J. Frank Hanly was killed in a car-train accident near Dennison, Ohio. He had served as Governor from 1905 – 1909.

August 2, 1945
At 10:25 am, Navy pilot Wilbur Gwinn spotted survivors of the USS Indianapolis adrift in the ocean.  Contrary to orders, he landed his plane on the surface and began picking up the men.  Of the 880 who survived the sinking, only 321 came out of the water alive. The rest had died from exposure and shark attack.

August 2, 2002
The Indiana State Quarter was released by the U.S. Mint. Part of the 50-State Quarter series, the coin features an image of a racecar superimposed on an outline of the state with the inscription “Crossroads of America.” Also included are 19 stars, signifying Indiana as the 19th state to join the Union.

August 3, 1795
The Treaty of Greenville was signed by Native Americans from a dozen different tribes.  It  established a border between Indian territory and land controlled by the United States.

August 4, 1823
Oliver Morton was born in Wayne County.  The first Indiana governor to be born in the Hoosier State, he was chief executive during the Civil War and later served as United States Senator.

August 5, 1816
The first Indiana state election was held with Jonathan Jennings elected governor.  In November, the first general assembly met in the Corydon Capitol with 29 representatives and 10 senators.

August 5, 1882
James Whitcomb Riley’s poem When the Frost is on the Pumpkin was published, becoming one of his most popular works.

August 6, 1802
William Conner established a trading post on the White River near what would become the city of Indianapolis.

August 6, 1994
The First Brickyard 400 race was run at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.  The winner was Jeff Gordon.

August 7, 1908
The Fisher and Bradshaw Company of Delphi, Indiana, built the first school bus.  Called a  “school hack,” it was a closed-body horse-drawn wagon.

August 7, 1987
The Pan American games opened in Indianapolis.  Over 4400 athletes participated from 38 countries.

August 8, 1900
James H. Pierce was born in Freedom, Indiana.  Nicknamed “Babe,” he played football for IU before moving to Hollywood where he appeared in many movies.  His most famous role was that of Tarzan.

August 8, 2002
The Indiana state quarter was officially released by the U. S. Mint.  The coin carries an image of a racecar superimposed on the outline of the state and the words “Crossroads of America.”  There are 19 stars to signify that Indiana was the 19th state to join the Union.

August 9, 1943
The USS Indiana arrived at Pearl Harbor.  The third battleship to be named for the Hoosier State, it earned nine battle stars for service during World War II.

August 10, 1899
Marshall “Major” Taylor of  Indianapolis won the one-mile world championship in bicycling at Montreal.

August 11, 1810
William Henry Harrison met with Shawnee Chief Tecumseh at the governor’s home in Vincennes. Tecumseh expressed his disapproval of a recent treaty, which gave the U.S. a large tract of Native American land in Central Indiana

August 11, 1884
Maurice Clifford Townsend was born in Blackford County, Indiana.  Starting as a teacher, he entered politics and was elected Governor in 1936.  During his administration driving exams were instituted and all school buses were painted yellow as a safety measure.

August  12, 1889
Zerna Sharp was born in Clinton County, Indiana.  She wrote the Dick and Jane school books that helped teach millions of children how to read. (“Oh, oh.  See Spot run.”)

August  13, 2011
Wind gusts from an approaching thunderstorm caused a stage to collapse at the Indiana State Fair.  Seven people were killed and 58 were injured.

August  14, 1945
Japanese forces surrendered, ending World War II.  Around 338,000 Indiana men fought in the war and over 118,000 Hoosier women also served in the military.  13,370 Indiana servicemen were killed.

August  15, 1934
Bobby Helms was born in Martinsville. He became a popular star of early rock and roll,  recording such hit songs as My Special Angel and Jingle Bell Rock.

August  16, 2008
Ribbon-cutting ceremonies were held for Lucas Oil Stadium.  It replaced the RCA Dome as the home of the Indianapolis Colts.

August  17, 1940
Wendell Willkie accepted the Republican nomination to run for President in his hometown of Elwood.  Over 260,000 were in the crowd.

August   18, 1920
The 19th Amendment was ratified by the United States Congress, giving women the right to vote.

August  19, 1909
The first automobile race was held at  the new Indianapolis Motor Speedway.  The 5-mile dash was a disaster as a result of the breaking up of the crushed rock track.  Six people died.  Louis Schwitzer won with an average speed of 57.43 mph.

August  20,  1833
Benjamin Harrison was born in North Bend, Ohio.  As a young attorney he moved to Indianapolis.  He served as a U. S. Senator and, in 1888, was elected President of the United States.

August  21, 1805
The Treaty of Grouseland was signed at the home of William Henry Harrison in Vincennes.  As a result, former Indian land was opened to settlers in Southern Indiana, Northeast Indiana, and Northwestern Ohio.

August  22, 1840
The Indiana Horticultural Society was organized in Indianapolis.

August 22, 1889
The cornerstone was laid for the Soldiers and Sailors Monument on the Circle in Indianapolis.  It was the first memorial in America dedicated to the common soldier.

August  23, 1949
Actress Shelley Long was born in Fort Wayne.  She became best known for her role as Diane Chambers on Cheers, for which she won an Emmy Award.

August 24, 1781
On their way to join George Rogers Clark, Colonel Archibald Lochry and his men were ambushed by Native Americans near Versailles.

August  24, 1805
The first Indiana Canal Company was authorized with plans to build a canal around the Falls of Indiana near the Kentucky border.

August  25, 1917
The 38th Division of the National Guard was formed, made up primarily of units from Indiana.

August 25, 1938
David Canary was born in Elwood. He became an actor best known for roles in “Bonanza”, “All My Children”, and “One Life to Live”.  He has won five Daytime Emmy Awards.

August 26, 1838
Indiana Governor David Wallace visited a Potawatomi Indian camp and authorized the raising of volunteers to move the tribe west.

August 26, 1985
13-year-old AIDS patient Ryan White of Kokomo began to gain national attention as he was forced to leave school and enroll in online classes.

August 27, 1871
Theodore Dreiser was born in Terre Haute.  He became a journalist and novelist, producing such noted works as Sister Carrie and An American Tragedy.

August 28, 1808
The first corn was ground at Beck’s Mill in Washington County. Settlers from nearby Pigeon’s Roost were some of the first to come to the mill.

August 28, 1918
A Scott County newspaper reported that women and girls were making good money peeling tomatoes for local canning factories. Pay averaged $4.00 a day.

August 29, 1958
Music Superstar Michael Jackson was born in Gary, Indiana.  He dominated the pop music world until his death in 2009.

August  30, 1916
The Circle Theater opened in Indianapolis.  It was the first in the city to be built for the purpose of showing motion pictures.  Today it is home to the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra.

August 31, 1928
Canned tomato juice was offered for the first time by the Kemp Brothers of Kokomo, in response to a physician’s need for baby food.

August 31, 1949
Civil War soldiers of the Grand Army of the Republic held their final meeting in Indianapolis. Six of 16 surviving Union soldiers were in attendance. Their ages ranged from 100 to 106.


September  1, 1853
The first high school in Indianapolis opened in a building on the southwest corner of University Park.  115 students were enrolled.

September 1, 1868
Kin Hubbard was born in Bellefontaine, Ohio. He moved to Indiana and created the character of Brown County philosopher Abe Martin, who became a popular figure in newspapers across the nation.

September  2, 1911
Madame C. J. Walker applied for incorporation of her cosmetics company in Indianapolis. She became the first woman millionaire in the U.S.

September 2, 1925
Governor Ed Jackson made the first purchase of 106 acres for land that would become the Dunes State Park.

September  3, 1812
Native Americans attacked the village of Pigeon Roost in Scott County, killing  24 settlers.  The state erected a memorial at the site in 1904.

September 3, 1964
The Beatles, on their first wave of popularity, appeared live at the Indiana State Fair Coliseum in two sold-out shows in front of 30,000 fans.

September  4, 1972
Swimmer Mark Spitz of Indiana University won his 7th gold medal at the Summer Olympics in Munich.  He set new world records in all seven events in which he competed.

September 4, 2012
A life-sized bronze statue of Orville Redenbacher was unveiled in Valparaiso, where he developed the popcorn that made him famous.

September  5, 1931
The Indianapolis Indians played their first game in the new Perry Stadium on West 16th Street.  It was renamed “Victory Field” in 1942 and changed to “Bush Stadium” in 1967.  The team moved to the new Victory Field in 1996.

September 5, 1936
President Franklin D. Roosevelt was in Indianapolis to open the state fair. After the ceremony he met with Governor Paul V. McNutt.

September 6, 1849
A charter was granted to the Madison Volunteer Fire Department to change its name to Fair Play Fire Company Number One. It is the oldest volunteer fire department in Indiana.

September  6, 1883
Two children, Blanche and Orris Hiestand, discovered Marengo Cave in Crawford County.

September 7, 1819
Thomas Hendricks was born in Ohio.  He grew up in Indiana, became an attorney, and got involved in politics.  He was elected Governor in 1872 and, in 1884, Vice-President of the United States.  He died while serving in that office in 1885.

September 8, 2003
Indiana Governor Frank O’Bannon suffered a stroke at the Palmer House Hilton in Chicago.  He died five days later at age 73 and was buried at Cedar Hill Cemetery in Corydon.

September 9, 1890
Harland Sanders was born near Henryville, Indiana.  He developed a popular recipe for frying chicken in a pressure cooker, becoming famous as the Kentucky Colonel of KFC restaurants.

September 10, 1913
The route of the Lincoln Highway was revealed.  The idea of Indiana’s Carl Fisher, it was the first coast-to-coast paved road.  In Indiana, the Lincoln Highway went through Elkhart, South Bend, and LaPorte.

September 11, 2001
Terrorists attacked Twin Towers in New York City.  Task Force One from Indianapolis was assisting at Ground Zero within 24 hours.

September 12, 1912
Arsenal Technical High School opened on the grounds of the former U.S. Army Arsenal built during the Civil War.

September  13, 1803
A post office was established in the Ohio River settlement of Jeffersonville, named for then President Thomas Jefferson.

September 13, 1836
A celebration took place in Brookville for the breaking of ground for the White Water Canal.  When work stopped in 1847, the canal stretched 76 miles from Lawrenceburg to Hagerstown

September 14, 1972
“The Waltons” premiered on TV and became a family favorite. The role of Grandpa Walton was played by Will Geer from Frankfort, Indiana.

September 15, 1974
The first public event was held at the new Market Square Arena in Indianapolis. Singer Glen Campbell entertained the opening night audience.

September 16, 1822
William Conner purchased 80 acres in Marion County to establish an area for Native Americans and French fur traders to transact business. This is likely the origin of “Trader’s Point.”

September 17, 1891
An opalescent glass factory opened in Marion, taking advantage of the natural gas “boom” in that area of the state.

September 18, 1927
WOWO, in Ft. Wayne, became one of the pioneer stations for the new CBS radio network. The station, which began in 1925, remains one of the dominant broadcasters in Indiana.

September 19, 1859
Mr. and Mrs. Abraham Lincoln arrived in Indianapolis, where Abraham gave a speech at Masonic Hall that evening. They stayed overnight at the American House Hotel and left for home the next day.

September 20, 1856
The LaGrange County Rangers had their first meeting. The group was formed for the “detection and apprehension of horse thieves and other nefarious operators.”

September  14, 1901
President William McKinley died from an assassin’s bullet.  He had been in Indianapolis earlier in the year to attend the funeral of Benjamin Harrison.

September 16, 1874
Classes began at the new @LifeAtPurdue with six instructors and 39 students. There were 14 in the first graduating class.

September 17, 1862
September 17, 1862 became known as the “Bloodiest day of the Civil War”. The 27th Indiana regiment lost 75% of its men at the Battle of Antietam in Maryland.

September 18, 1889
An electric streetcar began operating in Richmond on and became part of a network of “interurban” lines throughout Indiana.

September 19, 1892
The gates opened for the @IndyStateFair at its new locations on East 38th Street.  In previous years the fair had been held at Military Park and the area of Camp Morton.

September 20, 1853
The first “union” railroad station in the world opened in Indianapolis.  It stood on the site of the present station which replaced it in 1888.

September 21, 1975
The historical museum was dedicated in Fairmount. Displays included memorabilia about actor James Dean who grew up in the Grant County town.

September 22, 1901
Allan “Rocky” Lane was born in Mishawaka. He grew up to be a movie cowboy in over 100 films, but his most famous role was that of the voice of the talking horse “Mr. Ed” on television.

September 23, 1902
President Theodore Roosevelt was in Indianapolis to make a campaign speech at Tomlinson Hall, which stood at the corner of Market and Delaware Streets.

September 24, 1910
Two people were killed and six were injured in the collision of two trains outside Tipton.

September 25, 1863
Crown Hill Cemetery was incorporated. Located on over 550 acres in northwest Indianapolis, it is the third largest in the nation.

September 26, 1774
John Chapman was born in Massachusetts. He became known as “Johnny Appleseed” and established orchards throughout the Midwest. He died in Ft. Wayne in 1847.

September 27, 1931
A large three-day festival dedicated the new Indianapolis Metropolitan Airport. Over 100 aircraft participated in air races, acrobatics, parachute jumps and stunt flying.

September 21, 1928
My Weekly Reader  was published for the first time.  The current events newspaper for grade school students was created by editor Harrison Sayre after meeting with Indiana teachers.

September  22, 1853
The first boat to travel the entire length of the Wabash and Erie Canal reached Evansville.

September  23, 1902
The new Allen County Courthouse was dedicated in Fort Wayne.  Built at a cost of over $817,000, it is now a National Historic Landmark.

September  24, 1936
Two members of the notorious Brady Gang were moved to the Hancock County Jail in Greenfield.  They later escaped and were killed the next year in a shoot-out with FBI agents.

September  25, 1894
Culver Military Academy opened for its first regular session with 32 cadets in attendance.

September  26, 1811
William Henry Harrison left Vincennes with about 1,000 men to go up the Wabash River to Prophetstown.  In the early hours of November 7 they would fight the Battle of Tippecanoe.

September  27, 1880
The English Opera House opened on the Circle in Indianapolis.  The first production was  Hamlet starring Lawrence Barrett, a leading actor of the day.

September  28, 1880
A 10-ton block of limestone was laid as the cornerstone of the new Indiana State House. The program included speeches from Governor James “Bluejeans” Williams and former Governor Thomas Hendricks and recitation of a poem by Sarah Bolton.

September 29, 2005
John G. Roberts was sworn in as the nation’s 17th Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. He grew up in Long Beach, Indiana and attended Notre Dame Elementary School.

September 30, 1809
Territorial Governor William Henry Harrison signed a treaty with Native Americans, which opened up 3,000,000 acres for settlement. Called the “10:00 Treaty,” the border was determined by a shadow cast by the sun each September 30 at 10:00 a.m.

September 30, 1955
24-year-old actor James Dean from Fairmount, Indiana, is killed in an auto accident in California.


October 1, 1847
The first train arrived in Indianapolis on the new line from Madison.  With access to the Ohio River, the city saw a large increase in commerce.

October 1, 1887
President Grover Cleveland and wife Francis visit the new Indiana State House.

October 2, 1798
Anne Therese Guerin is born in Brittany, France.  She becomes Sister Theodore and founds St. Mary of the Woods near Terre Haute. She is canonized a Saint in 2006.

October 2, 1905
Lyman S. Ayres opened a new store at the southwest corner of Meridian and Washington Streets in Indianapolis.

October 3, 1818
Indians cede land in Central Indiana through the Treaty of St. Mary’s signed in Ohio.

October 3, 1862
Pleasant A. Hackleman of Franklin County died at Corinth, Mississippi.  He was the only Civil War General from Indiana to be killed in action.

October 4, 1860
U.S. Senator and Former Governor James Whitcomb died while on a visit in New York. On this same date in 1860, Ashbel Willard became the first Indiana Governor to die in office.

October 4, 1860
Indiana Governor Ashbel Parsons Willard becomes the first governor to die in office.  His body lies in state at the State Capitol with burial in New Albany.

October 5, 1813
William Henry Harrison wins a decisive victory at the Battle of the Thames.  Shawnee Chief Tecumseh is killed in the fighting.

October 6, 1866
The first train robbery in the U. S. is staged by the Reno Brothers in Seymour.

October 7, 1849
James Whitcomb Riley is born in Greenfield.  He gains international fame as the “Hoosier Poet.”

October 7, 1850
The Constitutional Convention convenes in Indianapolis.

October 8, 1821
The sale of lots begins in the new city of Indianapolis.  Jesse McKay buys the first lot, paying $152.75 for lot 3 in square 70, on West Washington near Missouri St.

October 9, 1926
The James F. D. Lanier Mansion in Madison becomes a State Memorial. During the Civil War, Lanier loaned money to the state to prevent bankruptcy.

October 10, 1765
Fort DeChartres near St. Louis surrenders to the British, ending French rule in the Northwest.

October 11, 1957
Visitors enjoy the first Parke County Covered Bridge Festival.

October 12, 1912
The Chambers Co. incorporates in Shelbyville and begins producing sturdy and stylish cook stoves.

October 13, 1816
Indiana Centennial Education Day is celebrated in Indianapolis.

October 14, 1910
Johnny Wooden is born in Hall, Indiana.  He gains fame as a basketball coach, taking UCLA to 10 championships

October 14  1925
Samuel Ralston dies at the age of 67. As the 28th Governor of Indiana, he began the state park system

October 15, 1966
Angel Mounds near Evansville is added to the National Register of Historic Places

October 16, 1826
Potawatomi Indians cede land in North Central Indiana, giving right of way to Michigan Road

October 17, 1823
Early Hoosiers enjoy the Pepin & Barnet Circus in Vincennes, featuring “horsemanship and feats of agility”

October 18, 1954
The Regency TR-1, the first transistor radio, begins production in Indianapolis

October 19, 1790
Near Fort Wayne, Colonel John Hardin’s troops are defeated by Miami Indians led by Chief Little Turtle

October 20, 1852
The first Indiana State Fair opens at Military Park

October  21, 1794
The U.S. Army moves into a new stockade fort named for General Anthony Wayne.  It grows to become Indiana’s second largest city

October 22, 1840
Mother Theodore begins organization of St. Mary of the Woods College

October 23, 1826
The Miami tribe signs the Mississinewa Treaty, ceding land which allows the construction of the Wabash & Erie Canal

October 24, 1999
Market Square Arena closes in Indianapolis.  It is demolished in 2001

October 25, 1909
Four loud explosions rip through  Indianapolis buildings, linked to a nationwide labor dispute labeled the “dynamite conspiracy”

October 26, 1803
Meriwether Lewis and William Clark set off down the Ohio River from Clarksville to explore the Louisiana Purchase and the Northwest Territory.  The journey would take them all the way to the Pacific Ocean.

October 27, 1896
Swift and Company of Chicago began building a meat packing plant on the west side of Indianapolis.  The city’s many railroad lines made it a popular location for this industry.

October 28, 1798
Levi Coffin is born in North Carolina.  In 1826 he moves to Newport, IN (now Fountain City) and operated what has become known as the “Grand Central Station” of the Underground Railroad.

October 29, 1792
Samuel Merrill is born in Vermont. He becomes Indiana State Treasurer and oversees transfer of the capital from Corydon to  Indianapolis

October 29, 1829
Andrew Wylie was inaugurated as the first President of Indiana College, later to be named Indiana University. He served in that position until he died in 1851.

October 30, 1893
Indiana Harbor Works incorporates in East Chicago.  It later becomes the Inland Steel Company

October 30, 1938
WIBC radio began broadcasting in Indianapolis at 1070 AM.

October 31, 1963
A propane tank exploded during a performance of “Holiday on Ice” at the Indiana State Fairgrounds Coliseum, killing 74 people and injuring more than 400


November 1, 1851
The new Indiana Constitution goes into effect.  Continuing to serve as the foundation of state government, it is one of the oldest in the nation, one of the shortest and one of the least modified.

November 2, 1920
Julia D. Nelson of Delaware County is the first woman elected to the Indiana legislature

November 3, 1868
Schuyler Colfax of New Carlisle, IN, is elected Vice-President under Ulysses S. Grant

November 4, 1816
The first Indiana legislature convenes in Corydon

November 4, 1884
Former Indiana Governor Thomas Hendricks is elected Vice-President under Grover Cleveland

November 5, 1940
Robert Lee Brokenburr becomes the first African-American elected to the Indiana Senate

November 6, 1888
Benjamin Harrison wins the Presidential election,  campaigning primarily from his home on Delaware Street

November 7, 1811
The Battle of Tippecanoe is waged between forces under William Henry Harrison and Native Americans led by the Prophet, brother of Tecumseh

November 8, 1900
Indiana author Theodore Dreiser publishes Sister Carrie, hailed as “America’s greatest urban novel.”

November 9, 1839
Amish settlers move to Adams County, Indiana, from Ohio

November 9, 1852
John F. Brinkman opened a hotel in Batesville. After the Civil War it was named for Gen. William T. Sherman. The Sherman House remains a popular restaurant and inn.

November 10, 1986
The movie “Hoosiers” premieres at the Circle Theater in Indianapolis.  One of the most popular sports movies of all time, it is loosely based on the 1954 Milan High School basketball championship.

November 11, 1918
The Armistice is signed to end World War I.  130,670 Hoosiers served

November 11, 1933
Governor Paul V. McNutt led dedication ceremonies for the Indiana World War Memorial. The cornerstone had been laid in 1927 by General John “Black Jack” Pershing who led the American Expeditionary Forces in World War I.

November 12, 1880
Lew Wallace publishes Ben Hur which has been hailed as one of the most influential books of the 19th century.  Wallace also commanded the Eleventh Indiana Infantry, known as the Zouaves, from the beginning of the Civil War until he was promoted to brigadier general.

November 13, 1850
Robert Dale Owen pleads for women’s rights at the Indiana Constitutional Convention

November 13, 1888
Charles Edward Henry began production at the Opalescent Glass Works in Kokomo. Still in business, the company is known world-wide.

November 14, 1945
Terre Haute businessman Anton Hulman, Jr., buys the Indianapolis Motor Speedway for $750,000

November 15, 1880
The Bowen-Merrill Company publishes “Elf Child” by James Whitcomb Riley.  The title is later changed to “Little Orphant Annie.”  A typecasting error during printing renamed the poem to its current form.

November 16, 1963
The first touch-tone telephones roll off the line at the Bell Telephone Western Electric plant on the eastside of Indianapolis

November 17, 1845
Transportation on the Whitewater Canal is heavy; 200 wagons a day discharge produce at Cambridge City for Cincinnati

November 18, 1883
Indiana cities adjust clocks to  synchronize with “standard time” set by major railroad companies

November 19, 1752
George Rogers Clark is born in Virginia.  He becomes the “Conqueror of the Old Northwest,” taking  Vincennes from the British

November 20, 1880
Governor James “Blue Jeans” Williams dies in office.  He lies in state at the Marion County Courthouse.  Lt. Gov. Isaac Gray serves the remaining two months of the Governor’s term

November 21, 1959
Chrysler Field House opens in New Castle.  It is the world’s largest high school gym

November 22, 1963
John F. Kennedy is assassinated in Dallas.  JFK had been in Indiana the year before to campaign for Birch Bayh

November 23, 1891
Governor Alvin Hovey dies in office. He had served as a U. S. Congressman and Indiana Supreme Court Justice.  Lt.  Gov. Ira Joy Chase serves the 14 months remaining in Hovey’s term

November 24, 1889
The Salvation Army incorporates in Indiana

November  25, 1885
Vice-President Thomas A. Hendricks dies while on a visit to     Indianapolis. He had served as Congressman, U. S. Senator, and 16th Indiana Governor

November 26, 1918
A statue of James Whitcomb Riley is unveiled in front of the Hancock County Courthouse in Greenfield, primarily funded by pennies contributed by school children across the country

November 27, 1909
Harold Handley is born in LaPorte. He becomes the 39th Governor of Indiana

November  28, 1839
Indiana’s first Thanksgiving is declared by Governor David Wallace

November 29, 1806
Vincennes University is incorporated.  Founded by William Henry Harrison, it is one of two schools in the nation started by a President. The other is University of Virginia (Thomas Jefferson)

November 30, 1863
The U. S. Department of War authorizes Governor Olive P. Morton to raise a Civil War infantry regiment composed of African-Americans


December 1, 1891
The first game of basketball is played in Springfield, MA.  It soon becomes the sport most closely identified with Indiana

December  2, 1840
William Henry Harrison is elected President of the United States, defeating incumbent Martin Van Buren.  Voter turnout is 80.2%

December  3, 1803
The Vincennes Library Company is incorporated

December  4, 1868
Two steamboats, the “America” and the “United States,” collide on the Ohio River, killing 72 people

December  5, 1679
Robert LaSalle reaches the portage between St. Joseph and Kankakee Rivers.   He is considered the first explorer to reach Indiana

December  6, 1924
“Limberlost” author Gene Stratton Porter dies in Los Angeles when her limousine is struck by a streetcar.  Her novels, poetry and nature books capture her love of outdoor Indiana

December  7, 1941
Japanese planes attack Pearl Harbor, leading to World War II. Over 400,000 Hoosiers go into uniform; 11,783 are killed, over 17,000 wounded

December  8, 1821
Alexander Ralston publishes his map of Indianapolis, a one-mile square with four diagonal streets and a circle in the middle

December  8, 1983
President Ronald Reagan gave a speech about excellence in education at the Indiana Convention Center.

December  9, 1963
Studebaker announced its closing in South Bend.  The company had begun more than 100  years earlier with the production of wheelbarrows.  They became the world’s largest maker of wagons and carriages and evolved into a major manufacturer of cars and trucks.

December  10, 1837
Edward Eggleston was born in Vevay.  He wrote some of the earliest novels about life in Indiana, including “The Hoosier Schoolmaster.”

December  11, 1816
President James Madison signed a Congressional resolution admitting Indiana to the Union as the 19th state.

December  12, 1958
Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. spoke to a crowd of 4,000 in Indianapolis at Cadle Tabernacle. He said, “We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools.”

December  13, 1977
A DC-3 crashed shortly after takeoff from the Evansville airport, killing all 29 aboard, including nearly the entire University of Evansville “Purple Aces” basketball team.

December  14, 1909
Workers placed the last of 3.2 million ten-pound bricks on the 2 1/2 mile oval track at the Indianapolis Speedway.  It has been called “The Brickyard” ever since.

December 15, 1863
The Indiana 22nd Light Artillery Regiment mustered in at Indianapolis.  One of many Hoosier units to serve in the Civil War, the 22nd took part in the Atlanta Campaign and the Battle at Nashville.

December 16, 1908
Harland Sanders was born in a four-room house in Henryville, Indiana.  After many jobs, including farmhand, streetcar conductor and fireman, he created the “secret recipe” for fried chicken that made him famous as the “Colonel” of Kentucky Fried Chicken.

December 17, 1904
Brown County philosopher Abe Martin made his first appearance in the Indianapolis News.  The creation of Kin Hubbard, Abe became popular across the country.  Abe and his friends are now immortalized in Nashville and Brown County State Park.

December 18, 1958
The movie “Some Came Running” was released.  Filmed primarily in Madison, it starred Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, and Shirley MacLaine.

December 19, 1868
A bridge spanning the Wabash River opened in Vincennes.

December 20, 1865
The Indiana legislature created the Indiana Normal School, which later became Indiana State University.

December 21, 1956 - The bust of Sherman Minton was unveiled at the Indiana State House.  Governor George Craig led the ceremony honoring Minton, the only native Hoosier to serve on the U. S. Supreme Court.

December 22, 1935
A 22-foot statue of St. Nicholas was completed at Santa Claus, Indiana.  The 40-ton statue still stands as a symbol of the festive town.

December  23, 1867
Businesswoman, entrepreneur and philanthropist Madam C. J. Walker is born.  In Indianapolis, she establishes a cosmetics company which makes her the first African-American millionaire

December  24, 1968
Apollo 8 becomes the first manned spacecraft to orbit the moon.  Commander of the mission is Gary native Frank Borman

December  25, 1962
The Soldiers and Sailors Monument celebrates the first “Circle of Lights”

December  26, 1956
Evan Bayh is born in Shirkleville, Indiana.  He becomes the 46th Governor of the State, serving from 1989 to 1997.

December  27, 1981
Hoagy Carmichael dies in Rancho Mirage, California.  Growing up in Bloomington, he became a popular writer of songs, including “Stardust” and “Georgia on My Mind.”

December  28, 1812
William Henry Harrison resigns as Governor of the Indiana Territory in order to join in the War of 1812.  John Gibson is acting governor until Thomas Posey is appointed by James Madison

December  29, 1885
The Indiana Academy of Science is organized at a meeting at the Marion County Courthouse

December  30, 1861
The 40th Regiment Indiana Infantry musters in at Lafayette and Indianapolis.  Serving until the end of the Civil War, the regiment engages in 16 significant battles, including Shiloh, Chickamauga, Missionary Ridge, Resaca, and the Siege of Atlanta

December  31, 1921
Francis P. Hamilton launches the first Indianapolis radio station, 9ZK