Hoosier History Highlights


May 16 – May 22

The Week in Indiana History


1820     Indiana Governor Jonathan Jennings, Commissioner John Tipton, and others set out from the state capital of Corydon to select a site for a new capital city.  They traveled through the dense forest into the middle of the state.  After a five-day journey, they arrived at the home of William Conner near present-day Noblesville.   From there, they began their survey of the area.


1905     Construction began on the Tulip Railroad Trestle in Greene County, east ofBloomfield.  At over 2,300 feet long and 157 feet tall, it is one of the longest bridges of its kind in the world.  The structure took one and one-half years to build, and it is in still in use today.

Marshall1920     United States Vice President Thomas Marshall gave the keynote address at the Democratic State Convention in Indianapolis.  Speaking at the Denison Hotel, the former Indiana Governor praised President Woodrow Wilson and his policies during World War I.  Former Indiana Governor Samuel Ralston was cheered by the crowd when he encouraged Marshall to run for President.

Wakefield1932     Dan Wakefield was born in Indianapolis.  He attended Shortridge High School where he was a sports writer for the school’s newspaper, The Shortridge DailyEcho.  He graduated from Columbia University and went on to become a journalist, novelist, and screenwriter.  Two of his novels, Going All the Way and Starting Over, were made into movies.

U of I1986     At commencement ceremonies for Indiana Central University, school president Gene E. Sease announced that the name of the institution would be changed to The University of Indianapolis.  He and Mayor William H. Hudnut said the change had already been authorized by the Indiana Secretary of State and would take place immediately.  At the same time, a $25 million “Focus on the Future” fund drive was launched.

Willy T. Ribbs1991     Willy T. Ribbs became the first African American to qualify for the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race.  He qualified again in 1993 and also competed in many other forms of auto racing, including Indy Car, NASCAR, and the Trans-Am Series.  He was raised on a ranch in California where he became interested in racing at an early age.


Folks that tell ever’thing they know wouldn’ be so bad if they didn’ work in a lot o’ stuff they don’t know.  (Kin Hubbard, The IndianapolisNews, May 19, 1924)


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Indiana Quick Quiz

Match the School to the City

1.  DePauw University  2.  Martin University  3.  Bethel University  4.  Taylor University

A.  Mishawaka  B.  Indianapolis  C.  Upland  D.  Greencastle

Answers Below

Hoosier Quote of the Week


“But you do not think much about the stars.  They are always there.  Look at them when you have a moment.”

– – – Mary Jane Ward (1905 – 1981)

Born in Fairmount, Indiana, she became a novelist whose book TheSnake Pit was made into an Oscar-winning motion picture.

Did You Know?

Pay for the Commissioners

     In January of 1820, the Indiana General Assembly in the capital city of Corydon passed an act which called for the appointment of a  commission of ten members “to select and locate a site for the permanent seat of government for Indiana.”   Those chosen were George Hunt (Wayne County,) John Conner (Fayette County,) Stephen Ludlow (Dearborn County,) John Galleland (Switzerland County,) Joseph Bartholomew (Clark County,) Jesse B. Durham (Jackson County,) John Tipton (Harrison County,) Frederick Rapp (Posey County,) William Prince (Gibson County,) and Thomas Emmerson (Knox County.) Each member of the Commission would receive an allowance of “two dollars each, per day, for their services, and also the sum of two dollars for every twenty-five miles each may travel.”

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ANSWERS:  1.  D Greencastle    2.  B Indianapolis  3.  A Mishawaka 4.  C Upland