Hoosier History Highlights June 28 – July 4

Indiana (NNDC):

June 28 –  July 4

The Week in Indiana History

Map1800     Under the terms of a bill signed by President John Adams, the Indiana Territory was created out of a section of the Northwest Territory.  The large area included most of what is now Indiana and Illinois and parts of Michigan, Minnesota, and Wisconsin.  William Henry Harrison was appointed Governor of the new territory.

canal boat1835     The Wabash and Erie Canal was completed between Fort Wayne and Huntington.   Before railroads, the canal was the primary means of transportation for people and cargo.  Extended to Evansville by 1853, the Wabash and Erie was the nation’s longest canal (460 miles.)

artist palette1884     Victor Higgins was born on a farm in Shelbyville.  His artistic talent took him to Chicago where he studied at the Art Institute and the Academy of Fine Arts.  After four years of further training in Paris and Munich, he moved to New Mexico where he joined the famed Taos Society of Artists.  In his wide range of work, he is known for his sensitivity to brilliant colors and the ability to capture the transitory aspects of nature.


1916     Indiana’s first state park, McCormick’s Creek, was dedicated in a ceremony including Governor Samuel Ralston and Richard Lieber, founder of the state park system.  Lieber called the park “a gift to Hoosiers for the state’s 100th birthday.”  Starting with 350 acres at McCormick’s Creek, the state park system has grown to encompass over 170,000 acres.


1932     The Fourth of July was celebrated in Evansville with the opening of a bridge over the Ohio River.  The span connecting the city to Henderson, Kentucky, was dedicated in a ceremony led by Indiana Governor Harry G. Leslie and Kentucky Governor Ruby Laffoon.  Later there was a two-mile long parade through the city followed by a spectacular fireworks display.

G I Joe

1945     A live nationwide broadcast from the State Fairgrounds Coliseum heralded the premier of the movie “The Story of G. I. Joe,” based on the life of Indiana journalist Ernie Pyle.  Over 13,000 people were in the audience as Ed Sullivan interviewed friends and neighbors of the popular war correspondent from Dana, Indiana.  Pyle had been killed in action only three months earlier.



Indiana Statehouse Tour Office

Indiana Department of Administration

Tours of the Statehouse have been temporarily suspended.  You are invited to take a “Virtual Tour” by clicking the link at the bottom of this column.

(317) 233-5293


     Seven Indiana State Parks offer inns which provide comfortable overnight accommodations.  Name the state park which is home to each of the following.

A.  Abe Martin Lodge  B.  Clifty Inn  C.  Canyon Inn  D.  Potawatomi Inn

Hoosier Quote of the Week


“My father loved flowers, their forms and their colors, and he tended his garden as a painter might work a canvas.”

– – –  Victor Higgins (1884 – 1949)


     The Indiana State Park System is a wonderful legacy of the state centennial celebration in 1916.  Starting with McCormick’s Creek State Park, some of the state’s most beautiful natural resources have been set aside to be enjoyed by Hoosiers young and old. The 2020 Recreation Guide, published by the Department of Natural Resources, lists 24 state parks, 8 lakes, 15 state forests, 7 state park inns, 24 fish and wildlife areas, and 21 nature preserves.  The Guide is a wonderful tool for those who wish to take advantage of Indiana’s rich natural heritage and to learn about special events through the year.

Take an “Armchair Tour” of the Indiana Statehouse

Statehouse Virtual Tour

ANSWERS:  1.  Brown County State Park  2.  Clifty Falls State Park         3.  McCormick’s Creek State Park  4.  Pokagon State Park