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Lincoln Funeral Train

at Marking Hoosier History

Our Lincoln Funeral Train blog is live and accepting submissions. IHB is promoting the commemoration of the 150th anniversary of Lincoln’s death and funeral train journey from Washington, D.C. to Springfield, Illinois.  IHB staff is blogging about the three official Indiana stops in Richmond, Indianapolis, and Michigan City.  Read the first post in the series about the journey and learn about not only the stops, but how Hoosiers expressed their mourning along the route: for example, by erecting arches of evergreen over the tracks, tolling church bells, draping buildings in black, firing military salutes, and keeping lanterns and bonfires lit throughout the nights. 

We encourage and welcome blog posts, especially those demonstrating/documenting reactions from around the state—using newspapers, letters, etc., from the time.  Please contact IHB if you have questions or would like to join us in this effort --  and please encourage others to help commemorate this very significant anniversary as well.  Keep checking the IHB Lincoln Funeral Train blog for updates on the commemorative events throughout the state and programs at the State House in April 2015.

Lincoln Funeral Train

Photo: President Abraham Lincoln’s Railroad Funeral Car, photograph, Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. 20540 USA

The Best of 2014

We’re ringing in the New Year by taking stock of our favorite 2014 Indiana history Facebook posts, Letterman style. It’s apparent Indiana has a lot to celebrate! If you haven’t already, visit IHB’s Facebook page for more inspiring, odd, and enlightening history facts. Happy 2015!

10. On September 12, 2011, the statue "Victory" was returned to the top of the Soldiers' and Sailors' Monument in Indianapolis. It had been down for repairs since April. The monument was completed in stages starting in the 1890s and dedicated in 1902.

9. On December 23, 1867, businesswoman, entrepreneur and philanthropist Madam C. J. Walker was born. In Indianapolis, she established a cosmetics company on Indiana Avenue that made her a millionaire, an exceptional accomplishment for African American women during the time period.

8. On September 3, 1964, The Beatles, on their first wave of popularity, appeared live at the Indiana State Fair Coliseum and grandstand in two sold-out shows in front of 30,000 fans.

7. On December 6, 1896, Indianapolis native Marshall “Major” Taylor won his first professional bicycle race and established himself as a world-class cyclist. (He wired the $200 prize money to his mother!) Despite discrimination he confronted as cycling’s earliest African American star, he won several major championships before retiring in 1910.  Learn more!

6. On June 10, 1816, the Constitutional Convention met for the first day in Corydon. There were 43 delegates from 15 counties.

5. On April 2, 1918, the Indiana prohibition law went into effect at midnight. Over 3,500 bars and taverns ceased the sale of alcohol. The state ratified the national prohibition amendment the following January.  Learn more about prohibition in Indiana at the State Museum.

4. On July 30, 1945, the USS Indianapolis was torpedoed by a Japanese submarine. The ship sank in 12 minutes. Of the 1,196 crewmen aboard, approximately 300 went down with the ship. Survivors drifted in the ocean until August 2.

3. On April 30, 1865, the funeral train for Abraham Lincoln arrived in Indianapolis, Indiana. His body lay in state in the rotunda of the old Capitol. An estimated 50,000 people passed by the funeral bier.

2. On January 23, 1867, Indiana ratified the 14th Amendment, granting citizenship to former slaves. Stephen Neal of Boone County, Indiana is often credited for writing the original draft of the document.

1. On December 11, 1816, President James Madison signed an act of Congress admitting Indiana to the Union as the 19th state. Indiana was the second state, after Ohio, to be created out of what was the Northwest Territory. IHB has a great overview and IUPUI has a collection of primary documents covering the Road to Indiana Statehood.

Lincoln Funeral Train by Reed cover

Shop @ IHB

Are you ready to explore something new in the new year?  The IHB Book Shop has many great titles for you to add to your reading list, from fiction classics by Indiana authors to the most current scholarship on Indiana and Midwest history. 

Our newest titles explore the Lincoln Funeral Train, Midwestern Independence Day celebrations, U.S. Colored Troops, and the WWII Women's Land Army.  You can explore new items or find titles by topic on our website.


New Marker Research is Underway!

While the freezing temperatures may have slowed work on our marker survey and marker repainting projects, new marker research has continued on without delay! This is the time of year when IHB staff hunker down in microfilm, dig through various archival collections, and search online databases for our new marker topics.

Curious about what new markers will be installed and dedicated in 2015? IHB staff are currently gathering primary source material on topics that explore industry during World War I and World War II, art education and appreciation in Indiana and the Midwest, and African American soldiers’ contributions during the Civil War.


1915-2015: IHB Centennial

It is hard to believe 2015 is already here! In less than two months, IHB will be celebrating its 100th birthday.  Staff, volunteers, colleagues, retirees, and friends, we'd love to hear your memories in our 100th year.  Share them directly on our Facebook page, or send them to Aimee.

Celebrating Indiana's 100th birthday was our agency's first major program, and we are proud to partner with the Indiana Bicentennial Commission as the 200th nears.  We will continue looking back in 2015 with more stories from the Historical Commission's Centennial Newsletters, alongside news about current research and programs, on our blog at Marking Hoosier History.


Things to do

These history-inspired events are all indoors, but they are still just as much fun as Spring and Summer festivals and reenactments.

Jan. 15 (Indianapolis) - 24th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Indiana Holiday Celebration.  Click for details and registration.

Jan. 15 (Porter) - Music Heritage Series at the National Lakeshore.  Repeats monthly.

Jan. 17 (Indianapolis) - Conservator Morgan Zinsmeister speaks about Lincoln documents at the Indiana State Museum.

Jan. 19 (South Bend) - Discover! series, South Bend Landmarks.  Details here.

Jan. 23 (Franklin) - Games After Dark at the Johnson County Museum of History.

Feb. 2 (Muncie) - Muncie's Sesqicentennial Celebration begins.

Feb. 7 (Corydon) - Old Time Winter on the Farm at O'Bannon Woods State Park.

These events are just a sampling of what is being offered around the state.  Send Aimee an email if you'd like to have your events featured in an upcoming issue!