HOOSIER HISTORY HIGHLIGHTS: Governor Morton Goes to Gettysburg

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Hoosier History Highlights

November 14 - November 20

The Week in Indiana History


1831     The first newspaper in northern Indiana was founded by John D. Defrees in South Bend.  Under the banner of The Northwestern Pioneer and St. Joseph Intelligencer, the paper was published for about a year.  Defrees later became an attorney and was elected to the Indiana Senate.  He returned to the newspaper business in 1846 when he purchased the Indianapolis Journal (now the Indianapolis Star.)


1863     Indiana Governor Oliver P. Morton boarded a train to go to ceremonies dedicating the cemetery at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.  Two days later, he was on the speaker's platform behind President Abraham Lincoln as Lincoln gave what has become one of the most famous speeches in history.  Morton accompanied the  President on the return train to Washington.  


1911     Patrons were introduced to their new public library in Clinton (Vermillion County.)  The building was the result of a $12,500 gift from  industrialist Andrew Carnegie.  The neoclassical structure, with extensive additions, still serves the reading public.  Carnegie built 164 libraries in Indiana, more than in any other state.



1921     Pedestrians along Washington Street in Indianapolis were amazed to hear music being played on a phonograph two miles away.  According to the newspapers, it was made possible by "wireless telephone."  The demonstration was conducted by radio engineer Francis F. Hamilton, who soon established the city's first broadcasting station.  


1947     The English Theater on the Circle in Indianapolis announced two performances by the Vatican Choir.  The program was advertised as "the musical event of the age for all religions, with 60 voices."  Ticket prices ranged from 90-cents to three dollars.  The concert was part of a 99-city tour which marked the first time in history the choir had sung outside the Vatican.  


1957     Former First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt came to Indianapolis to visit the Flanner House.  At the social service center on West 16th Street, she said, "You have to educate so people can do for themselves what they should do."  She was taken on a tour to see the nearly 200 homes built through the Flanner House self-help program.  


     The feller that's allus talkin' about doin' somethin' jist as soon as he finds time knows where all th' big fish hide.

(Kin Hubbard, Abe Martin's Short Furrows, Abe Martin Publishing Co., Indianapolis, 1912)


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Indiana Quick Quiz

1.  What county is called the "Covered Bridge Capital of the World"?

2.  What type of animal appears on the official state seal of Indiana?

3.  The iconic Coke bottle was first created in what Indiana city?

Answers Below 

Hoosier Quote of the Week


"Our democracy is not a product but a continual process. It is preserved not by monuments but deeds. Sometimes it needs refining; sometimes it needs amending; sometimes it needs defending. Always, it needs improving."

- - - Lee H. Hamilton

Growing up in Evansville, Hamilton became an attorney who served in the United States Congress from 1965 to 1999.

Did You Know?

     Perusing newspapers from the past, one begins to notice a journalistic style not found in the standard reporting of today.  Perhaps it could be described as "waxing poetic."  For example, here, from the Indianapolis Star, is the lead sentence in the story 100 years ago about the amazing possibilities of the new medium of radio:  "No longer need one fuss and fume over losing a collar button or struggle into a dress suit to attend a grand opera, nor is it necessary any longer to struggle wildly to get within hearing distance of some political spellbinder, for science demonstrated in Indianapolis last night how easy it will be to sit idly in negligee at home and hear anything that goes on within a thousand miles, or possibly around the globe." 

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ANSWERS:  1.  Parke  County             2. Bison     3.  Terre Haute