Hoosier History Highlights April 12 – April 18

Indiana (NNDC):


1822     Responding to an epidemic of malaria spreading throughout the state, Indiana Governor Jonathan Jennings proclaimed Friday, April 13, 1822, a “day of humiliation, fasting, and prayer” in hopes that the disease would abate.  Jennings signed the proclamation at the Statehouse in Corydon (pictured.)

Lincoln headline

1865     News reached Indiana by telegraph that President Abraham Lincoln had died from an assassin’s bullet in Washington, D. C.  He was shot while watching a play at Ford’s Theater.  The assassin, actor John Wilkes Booth, leaped from the Presidential box and escaped out the back door of the theater.  A fellow conspirator attacked Secretary of State William Seward, leaving him badly wounded.  (Pictured: Front page headline from the Daily State Sentinel in Indianapolis,  April 17, 1865.)

stamp1910     Burglars used glycerin to blow off the lock of the safe at the Greenfield Post Office.  They took $2,400 worth of stamps and escaped in two buggies stolen from a nearby farm.  Indianapolis Police later found the buggies on the near northside of the city.  Newspapers reported that “the horses showed the wear of a long and hard drive.”  Detectives said the theft, worth over $65,000 in today’s money, appeared to be the work of professionals. (Pictured:  A 2-cent first class stamp from 1910.)

White STar Line

1912     The RMS Titanic struck an iceberg and sank in the Atlantic Ocean.  Over 1500 died in the disaster.  Among 710 survivors were at least two from Indiana:  Ellen Toomey from Indianapolis and Harry Haven Homer from Knightstown.  Bloomington businessman John Bertram Crafton, traveling in first class, did not survive.

Lowell Thomas1934     Radio commentator, author, and world traveler Lowell Thomas spoke to a crowd of over 800 at the Coliseum in Richmond.  His theme was “The age of adventure and romance has not passed and there are still giants who walk the earth.”  The reporter for The Richmond Item wrote that Thomas “greatly impressed his audience as he recounted amazing incidents during his colorful career.”

ernie pyle1945     War Correspondent Ernie Pyle was killed by sniper fire near Okinawa.  Born in Dana, Indiana, he attended Indiana University.  During World War II, he wrote newspaper columns six days a week.  Often on the front lines, he described the war through the eyes of ordinary soldiers.  (Pictured:   A bronze sculpture of Ernie Pyle on the campus of Indiana University.)



Indiana Quick Quiz

1.  South Bend, Indiana, is on the southernmost bend of what river?

2.  Which city was the capital of the Indiana Territory from 1800-1813?

3.  What Indiana city was named for the president of the United States Steel Corporation?

Answers Below

Hoosier Quote of the Week


“I like gentle people, because there are so many in the world who are not gentle.”

– – – Ernie Pyle


Please remember to submit your Census Information.  Indiana is Counting On You.

Did You Know?

     Funeral services for President Abraham Lincoln were held at the White House.  Later, he lay in state in the rotunda of the United States Capitol.  The casket was then placed on a train and taken to Springfield, Illinois, for burial.  Dubbed “The Lincoln Special,” the nine-car train traveled through seven states.  In Indiana, it stopped at Richmond to pick up Indiana Governor Oliver P. Morton and other officials.  It passed through Centerville, Cambridge City, Dublin, and Greenfield on the way to Indianapolis.  There the coffin was placed on a horse-drawn hearse and carried to the Statehouse.  Newspapers reported that over 50,000 people passed by the bier in the rotunda.

ANSWERS:   1.  St. Joseph River  2.  Vincennes 3.  Gary (named for Elbert Henry Gary)