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This Week's Facts:

-Monday We Commemorate Columbus's Discovery of New World Has Helpful & Fun Tips to Help Kids with Homework

-Document of the Month: Report of the Trustees and
Other Officers of the Soldiers and Orphan’s Home

Events Feature Free Financial Advice Throughout October

During the month of October, professional financial planners will provide free advice at special one-off Financial Planning Day events in several cities across the country. Bring whatever financial questions you might have, and invite your friends and family to attend.

This all-volunteer group of planners is partnering with city governments to offer no-strings-attached financial advice without selling their services or handing out business cards. They won’t even be using branded pens and paper from the companies they work for.

You can get personalized advice on a variety of areas – retirement planning, credit and debt, budgeting, investments, taxes, insurance, estate planning and small business finances, among many others. Planners will also present classroom workshops addressing key personal finance topics.

Free packets of financial information will be available, as well. Can’t attend any of the Financial Planning Days events? The publications in those packets are also available online:

You Can Organize and Simplify Your Financial Life: A How-to Guide

Saving and Investing: A Roadmap to Your Financial Security

Smart Saving for College - Better Buy Degrees

Guide to Disability Income Insurance

Guide to Long Term Care Insurance

Savings Fitness

Consumer Guide to Financial Self-Defense

These tips are brought to you by the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) via the blog.

Friday Facts Editorial Team:

Katharine Springer
State Data Center Coordinator

Kim Brown-Harden
State Documents Coordinator

Indiana Federal Depository Library Program

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Monday We Commemorate Columbus's Discovery of New World

Library of Congress: Columbus DayColumbus Day is celebrated in October to commemorate Christopher Columbus's landing in the New World (at San Salvador Island in the Bahamas) on October 12. The October 12 page of American Memory’s Today in History website provides historical references to Columbus Day and its meaning:  During the morning of October 12, 1492, a sailor on board the Pinta saw land. The following day, 90 crewmembers of Columbus’s fleet surveyed what was an island in the Bahamas and named it San Salvador (now Watling Island, then called Guanahani by native Bahamians). This ended a voyage that began nearly ten weeks earlier in Palos, Spain. 

The first recorded celebration of Columbus Day in the United States took place on October 12, 1792.  The day was organized by the Society of St. Tammany, also known as the Columbian Order. It commemorated the 300th anniversary of the landing of Columbus and his crew. The 400th anniversary of the event inspired the first official Columbus Day holiday in the United States. President Benjamin Harrison issued a proclamation in 1892, “recommending to the people the observance in all their localities of the 400th anniversary of the discovery of America” and describing Columbus as “the pioneer of progress and enlightenment.” In the decades that followed, the Knights of Columbus, an international Roman Catholic fraternal benefit society, lobbied state legislatures to declare October 12 a legal holiday. Colorado was the first state to do so on April 1, 1907. New York declared Columbus Day a holiday in 1909 and on October 12, 1909, New York Governor Charles Evans Hughes led a parade that included the crews of two Italian ships, several Italian-American societies, and legions of the Knights of Columbus.

President Franklin Delano Roosevelt designated Columbus Day (then celebrated October 12) a national holiday in 1934. Since 1971, when Columbus Day was designated the second Monday in October, the day has been celebrated as a federal holiday. In many locations across the country Americans hold parades to commemorate the day. You can find additional resources using the webpage about Columbus Day. Has Helpful & Fun Tips to Help Kids with Homework

Kids.govWith school back in session, you’re probably looking for quick and easy ways to help your kids with their homework assignments and projects. has you covered. is the U.S. government's website for children (grades K-8). Kids, parents, and teachers can use the site to get help with homework, access lesson plans, watch videos, play games, and more. The website pulls together the best resources from across government, and puts them in one place so they are easy to find. is safe and free, so parents and teachers don’t have to worry about kids seeing anything inappropriate while they’re exploring the site.

If you've visited previously, you'll notice that the website has been completely redesigned. The vibrant new site provides areas for three specific audiences: kids (grades K-5), teens (grades 6-8), and grown-ups (teachers and parents).

Enjoy exploring all that has to offer, including:

  • How to Become President of the United States -- Check out a colorful and informative poster to help kids understand the process of becoming president.

  • Fun and Educational games – Explore life in another country through the Peace Corps, stuff your piggy bank full with money games from the U.S. Mint, and more.

  • Videos Featuring Fascinating Careers -- Watch videos describing different professions, ranging from an archaeologist with the National Park Service to an executive chef at the White House.

  • How Parents Can Get Involved -- Get tips for making homework time less stressful, learn about school meal programs, find out how to help stop bullying, and more.

  • Lesson Plans -- Teachers can find lesson plans on math, history, science, music, and other topics.

These tips are brought to you as a courtesy of the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) via the blog.

Document of the Month: Report of the Trustees and
Other Officers of the Soldiers and Orphan’s Home

ISL: State Documents CollectionThe idea for a Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Children’s Home in Indiana began in 1865 as an addition to a proposed Home for Disabled Civil War Soldiers. A home for children was proposed by Indianapolis philanthropist George Merritt, who was familiar with dying soldiers' concern for their children's welfare. Merritt privately established the Soldier's Orphan's Home in the military ward at City Hospital, now present day Wishard Hospital. The Home underwent numerous location and name changes between 1865 and 1929. In 1929, the Home was renamed the Indiana Soldiers' and Sailors' Children's Home.

The Home was located approximately two miles south of Knightstown, Indiana, on State Road 140 and consisted of 419 acres that included an administration building, children's dormitory cottages, Morton Memorial School, a hospital, dairy farm, camp grounds and recreational facilities. Children ages 4 to 18 were cared for with each child being eligible for vocational training. The Home was owned by the State of Indiana and managed through a superintendent.

The Annual reports of the Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Children’s Home provides a look into the early history of welfare systems in Indiana. The reports include detailed financial statements, expenditures, and statistical information such as number of residents and counties they represented. The annual reports are also divided into sections such as: Matron’s Report, Steward’s Report, Treasurer’s Report, and Superintendent’s Report. Later reports include a descriptive roll of children with information such as name, date of birth, admission date, and parent’s names. These and other interesting items can be found in the Indiana Collection, I 362.7 I385ss for the years 1870-1953. For more historical details and information on the Soldier’s and Sailor’s Home, see the Indiana State Archives website on the Soldiers' and Sailors' Children's Home


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