INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (ADAMS) – The state of Indiana is rich in history. Did you know the following things happened the week throughout the Hoosier state? The Indiana Department of Administration compiled a list of notable events in this week’s Hoosier History Highlights.
Indiana Quick Quiz
1. What Kentucky city lies across the bridge from Evansville?
2. The “four horsemen” made up the legendary backfield for what college football team?
3. Who will be the new owner of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway?
November 24 – November 30
The Week in Indiana History
1806 The Indiana Territorial Legislature chartered Vincennes University, the first college in Indiana. Founded in 1801 by William Henry Harrison, it is one of only two universities established by a United States President. The other is Thomas Jefferson’s University of Virginia.
1863 The United States Department of War authorized Indiana Governor Oliver P. Morton to raise a Civil War Infantry Regiment comprised of African American soldiers. The recruits formed the 28th Indiana Infantry and trained for three months in Indianapolis before leaving for Washington, D.C., to help in the defense of that city.
1901 Clement Studebaker died in South Bend, where he and his brother Henry had opened a blacksmith shop 50 years earlier. They later built Conestoga wagons and carriages which became known for their high quality. The company produced cars and trucks into the 1960s.
1938 Oscar Robertson was born in Charlotte, Tennessee. His family moved to Indianapolis where he played basketball for Crispus Attucks High School, helping win two state titles. After attending the University of Cincinnati, he became an NBA All-Star with the Cincinnati Royals and Milwaukee Bucks. Known to fans as “The Big O,” he is regarded as one of the greatest basketball players of all time.
1939 Some Hoosiers celebrated two Thanksgivings. The holiday, usually the last Thursday of November, fell very late that year since November had five Thursdays. It had been moved up a week, to the fourth Thursday, by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in order to allow more shopping days before Christmas. However, some Indiana cities, like Washington and New Albany, elected to follow tradition and go with the last Thursday of the month. The mayor of Delphi gave city employees the day off on both Thursdays.
1968 The Indianapolis Library on South Alabama Street closed its doors for the last time. Opened in 1914 as the Madison Branch, it was one of five libraries built in the city by Andrew Carnegie. The building was demolished to make way for Interstate 70. The Carnegie Library on West Morris Street was torn down in 1994. Of the three Carnegie buildings left in Indianapolis, the ones on East Washington Street and in Spades Park are still open as libraries. The old Hawthorne Branch, on North Mount Street, is now a community center.
Hoosier quote of the week:
“I feel very strongly about the value of passing. I may score forty or fifty points, but I consider it a bad night if I don’t have at least ten assists as well.”
– Oscar Robertson
Did You Know?
Thanksgiving has not always been celebrated in November. In the early years of our nation, a day of gratitude was celebrated on various dates as local leaders felt compelled to give thanks for beneficial events. It was in 1863 that President Abraham Lincoln set the last Thursday of November as a national day of thanksgiving. A controversy arose in 1939. The last Thursday of November in that year was the last day of the month, cutting short the traditional shopping season between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Merchants persuaded President Franklin D. Roosevelt to move the holiday up one week. Many people were disturbed. They called the new date “Franksgiving.” Two years later, the holiday was officially established as the fourth Thursday of November.
*Answers: 1. Henderson 2. University of Notre Dame 3. Roger Penske