Indiana in History

Historical Events

  • 1800-05-07 Indiana Territory organized
  • 1816-12-11 Indiana becomes 19th state of the Union
  • 1825-01-03 Scottish factory owner Robert Owen buys 30,000 acres in Indiana as site for New Harmony utopian community
  • 1844-01-15 University of Notre Dame receives its charter in Indiana
  • 1851-11-09 Kentucky marshals abduct abolitionist minister Calvin Fairbank from Jeffersonville, Indiana, and take him to Kentucky to stand trial for helping a slave escape.
  • 1859-08-17 1st air mail (in a balloon) took off from Lafayette, Indiana
  • 1863-07-09 R Morgan's: Indiana [->JUL 13]
  • 1865-05-13 Battle of Palmito Ranch, near Brownsville, Texas: final engagement of the American Civil War, Private John Jefferson Williams of B Company, 34th Regiment Indiana Infantry is last man killed
  • 1868-05-22 Train robbery at Marshfield, Indiana by the Reno Brothers Gang, who make off with $98,000
  • 1870-01-27 1st sorority (Kappa Alpha Theta) (DePauw U in Greencastle, Indiana)
  • 1873-10-08 First women's prison run by women opens at Indiana Reformatory Institute
  • 1874-03-10 Purdue University (Indiana) admits its 1st student
  • 1883-06-02 1st night baseball under lights, Fort Wayne Indiana
  • 1892-01-11 William D McCoy of Indiana appointed US minister to Liberia
  • 1905-08-06 26.7 cm rainfall at Princeton, Indiana (state record)
  • 1905-11-23 Henry Watson Furness, an Indiana physican, named minister of Haiti
  • 1907-03-09 1st involuntary sterilization law enacted, Indiana
  • 1910-10-23 Blanche Scott becomes the first woman to fly at a public event in the US at Fort Wayne, Indiana.
  • 1911-05-15 Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Indiana University, incorporates
  • 1925-03-31 WOWO-AM, Ft Wayne Indiana begins radio transmission (500 watts)
  • 1929-07-04 AM radio station WOWO, Indiana's transmitter burns down
  • 1929-07-05 WOWO-AM, Indiana returns to air, 1 day after transmitter burns down
  • 1930-08-07 A large mob estimated at 2,000 lynch two young black men, Thomas Shipp and Abram Smith in Marion, Indiana

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1933-10-23 John Dillinger and his gang rob Central National Bank, in Greencastle, Indiana. They take $75, 000

Gangster John Dillinger
John Dillinger
  • 1936-07-14 116°F (47°C), Collegeville, Indiana (state record)
  • 1938-12-31 Dr R N Harger's "drunkometer", 1st breath test, introduced in Indiana
  • 1945-09-18 1000 whites walk out of Gary, Indiana, schools to protest integration
  • 1949-11-11 WTTV TV channel 4 in Bloomington-Indianapol, IN (IND) 1st broadcast
  • 1951-02-02 -35°F (-37°C), Greensburg, Indiana (state record until 1994)
  • 1954-12-17 1st fully automated railroad freight yard (Gary, Indiana)
  • 1963-10-31 Leaking propane gas explodes kills 64 at 'Holiday on Ice' in Indiana
  • 1964-02-01 Indiana Governor Mathew Walsh tries to ban "Louie Louie" for obscenity
  • 1967-11-07 Richard G Hatcher elected mayor of Gary, Indiana
  • 1968-04-06 Gas and gunpowder explosions at sporting goods store, downtown Richmond, Indiana, kills 41 and injures more than 150
  • 1968-07-27 Race Riot in Gary Indiana
  • 1969-09-09 Allegheny 853 collides with Piper Cherokee above Indiana, kills 82
  • 1972-03-10 1st black US political convention opens (Gary Indiana)
  • 1974-12-09 Johnson Grigsby freed after 66 years in jail in Indiana
  • 1979-03-26 Michigan State Spartans snaps Indiana State's 33-game win streak

Film release premierFilm Premier

1981-06-12 "Raiders Of The Lost Ark", the 1st an Indiana Jones film directed by Stephen Spielberg, produced by George Lucas and starring Harrison Ford premieres

Actor Harrison Ford
Harrison Ford
Film Director George Lucas
Film Director
George Lucas
Director Steven Spielberg
Steven Spielberg
  • 1984-05-23 "Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom", 2nd in the film series, directed by Stephen Spielberg, produced by George Lucas and starring Harrison Ford, opens in the US
  • 1986-01-21 100 participate in Nude Olympics race in 38°F (3°C), Indiana
  • 1988-04-22 Women are allowed to compete in Little 500 bicycle race (Indiana)
  • 1991-07-21 Sharmell Sullivan (Gary Indiana), 20, crowned 23rd Miss Black America

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1992-02-10 Mike Tyson convicted of raping Desiree Washington in Indiana

Heavyweight Boxing Champion Mike Tyson
Heavyweight Boxing Champion
Mike Tyson
  • 1994-01-19 -36°F (-38°C) in New Whiteland, Indiana (state record)
  • 1994-10-31 American Eagle ATR-72 crash down at Gary, Indiana: 68 killed
  • 2005-11-06 The Evansville Tornado of November 2005 kills 25 in Northwestern Kentucky and Southwestern Indiana.
  • 2012-03-02 Tornadoes kill at least 27 people in the American states of Indiana and Kentucky

Event of interestEvent of Interest

2016-07-16 Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump announces Indiana governor Mike Pence as his Vice Presidential running mate

Businessman, TV Personality and Politician Donald Trump
Businessman, TV Personality and Politician
Donald Trump

Famous Birthdays

Birthdays 1 - 100 of 111

  • 1814-06-22 James Henry Lane, US General during Civil War (Union) and Senator (Kansas), born in Lawrenceburg, Indiana (d. 1866)
  • 1815-07-30 Thomas Jackson Rodman, Salem Indiana, Bvt Brigadier General (Union volunteers) was an American military inventor of the rodman gun and perforated-cake gunpowder
  • 1846-05-22 Oliver Perry Hay, Saluda Indiana, American Paleontologist
  • 1855-11-05 Eugene V. Debs, Terre Haute, Indiana, American labor leader and Socialist presidential candidate (d. 1926)

Person of interestPerson of Interest

1867-04-16 Wilbur Wright, American aviator (Wright Brothers), born in Millville, Indiana (d. 1912)

Aviator Wilbur Wright
Wilbur Wright
  • 1873-01-30 Rose Melville, American stage actress (Sis Hopkins), born in Terre Haute. Indiana
  • 1875-11-11 Vesto Slipher, Mulberry Indiana, American Astronomer who provided the first evidence to support the expanding-universe theory
  • 1886-12-01 Rex Stout, American mystery writer (Nero Wolf novels), born in Noblesville, Indiana (d. 1975)

Person of interestPerson of Interest

1890-09-09 Colonel Harland Sanders, American founder of Kentucky Fried Chicken, born in Henryville, Indiana (d. 1980)

Businessman and Restaurateur Colonel Sanders
Businessman and Restaurateur
Colonel Sanders
  • 1891-06-09 Cole Porter, Indiana, composer/lyricist (Anything Goes, Kiss Me Kate)
  • 1896-05-30 Howard Hawks, American director/producer (Rio Bravo, Scarface), born in Goshen, Indiana (d. 1977)
  • 1899-07-01 Henry "Indiana" Jones Jr, fictional character "Indiana Jones"
  • 1899-07-25 Ralph Dumke, Indiana, actor (Movieland Quiz)
  • 1902-03-09 Will Geer, Frankfort Indiana, American actor (Grandpa Walton-The Waltons)
  • 1902-06-07 Herman B Wells, president and chancellor of Indiana University (d. 2000)
  • 1903-01-20 Leon Ames, Portland Indiana, actor (Mr Ed, Father of the Bride)
  • 1904-06-24 Phil Harris [Wonga Philip], Linton, Indiana, American actor and singer (Anything Goes, Robin Hood)
  • 1906-05-08 David Van Vactor, Plymouth Indiana, composer (Chaconne)

Person of interestPerson of Interest

1908-05-20 Jimmy Stewart, American actor (Mr Smith Goes to Washington, It's a Wonderful Life), born in Indiana, Pennsylvania (d. 1997)

  • 1908-10-06 Carole Lombard [Jane Alice Peters], American actress (My Man Godfrey, In Name Only), born in Fort Wayne, Indiana (d. 1942)
  • 1913-09-05 Kathleen Burke, American actress (Island of Lost Souls), born in Hammond, Indiana (d. 1980)
  • 1914-04-23 John Hubbard, Indiana Harbor Indiana, actor (Don't Call Me Charlie)
  • 1917-11-06 Edgar Whitcomb, American politician and Governor of Indiana (1969-73), born in Hayden, Indiana (d. 2016)
  • 1918-01-26 Philip José Farmer, Terre Haute Indiana, American science fiction novelist (Riverworld)

Person of interestPerson of Interest

1919-03-26 Strother Martin, American actor (Cool Hand Luke, Slapshot), born in Kokomo, Indiana (d. 1980)

  • 1920-12-28 Bruce McCarty, South Bend, Indiana, architect (1982 World Fair), (d. 2013)
  • 1923-10-23 Ned Rorem, Richmond Indiana, composer/author (Sky Music)

Person of interestPerson of Interest

1924-04-04 Gil Hodges, American baseball player and manager (Brooklyn Dodgers, NY Mets), born in Princeton, Indiana (d. 1972)

MLB First Baseman Gil Hodges
MLB First Baseman
Gil Hodges
  • 1924-08-19 William Marshall, actor (Blacula, Something of Value), born in Gary, Indiana
  • 1926-08-22 Bob Flannigan, jazz singer (The Four Freshmen), born in Greencastle, Indiana (d. 2011)
  • 1928-01-22 Birch Bayh, American politician, Senator (D) Indiana (1963-81), wrote 2 amendments to US constitution born in Terre Haute, Indiana

Person of interestPerson of Interest

1928-03-14 Frank Borman, American astronaut (Gemini 7, Apollo 8) and CEO of Eastern Air Lines (1975-86), born in Gary, Indiana

Astronaut Frank Borman
Frank Borman
  • 1928-09-04 Dick York, actor (Darrin-Bewitched, Inherit the Wind), born in Fort Wayne, Indiana
  • 1928-12-31 Ross Barbour, singer (4 Freshmen), born in Columbus, Indiana
  • 1929-06-13 Ralph McQuarrie, conceptual designer (Star Wars, E.T.), born in Gary, Indiana (d. 2012)
  • 1929-08-07 Don Larsen, American MLB pitcher (NY Yankees), born on what must have been a perfect day in Michigan City, Indiana
  • 1929-11-01 Betsy Palmer, actress (Mr Roberts, Friday the 13th), born in East Chicago, Indiana (d. 2015)

Person of interestPerson of Interest

1930-03-24 Steve McQueen, American actor (The Magnificent Seven, The Great Escape), born in Beech Grove, Indiana

Person of interestPerson of Interest

1931-05-13 Jim Jones, American Leader of Peoples Temple cult (Jonestown Massacre), born in Randolph County, Indiana (d. 1978)

Founder of the Peoples Temple cult Jim Jones
Founder of the Peoples Temple cult
Jim Jones
  • 1931-05-25 Donald Phelps, American actor (Ghost Ship), born in Indiana (d. 1993)
  • 1932-10-19 Lloyd Haynes, South Bend Indiana, actor (Pete Dixon-Room 222)

Person of interestPerson of Interest

1934-07-01 Sydney Pollack, American diretcor, actor and producer (Tootsie, Out of Africa), born in Lafayette, Indiana (d. 2008)

Film Director, Producer and Actor Sydney Pollack
Film Director, Producer and Actor
Sydney Pollack
  • 1937-06-11 Chad Everett [Raymon Lee Cramton], South Bend, Indiana, American actor (Medical Center, Airplane II)
  • 1937-09-06 Jo Anne Worley, Lowell Indiana, comedienne (Laugh-in)
  • 1938-08-25 David Canary, actor (Bonanza, One Life to Live), born in Elwood, Indiana (d. 2015)
  • 1939-06-12 Francis X McCloskey, (Rep-D-Indiana, 1983- )
  • 1940-10-25 Bobby Knight, college basketball coach (Indiana, Olympic-gold-1984)
  • 1941-07-18 Lonnie Mack, American rocker (Baby What's Wrong), born in Aurora, Indiana (d. 2016)
  • 1941-08-14 Connie Smith, Elkhart, Indiana, singer (Dream Painter, New Horizons)

Person of interestPerson of Interest

1942-07-13 Harrison Ford, actor (Star Wars, Indiana Jones, Frantic), born in Chicago, Illinois

  • 1942-07-15 Philip R Sharp, (Rep-D-Indiana, 1975- )

Person of interestPerson of Interest

1944-05-14 George Lucas, American director (Star Wars, Indiana Jones), born in Modesto, California

Film Director George Lucas
Film Director
George Lucas

Person of interestPerson of Interest

1945-07-28 Jim Davis, American cartoonist and creator of the comic strips "Garfield" and "U.S. Acres", born in Marion, Indiana

Garfield Cartoonist Jim Davis
Garfield Cartoonist
Jim Davis
  • 1945-08-22 Steve Kroft, American journalist and longtime correspondent for 60 Minutes, born in Kokomo Indiana
  • 1946-03-05 Michael Warren, Indiana, actor (Bobby Hill-Hill Street Blues)
  • 1949-08-13 Peter J Visclosky, (Rep-D-Indiana, 1985- )
  • 1949-08-23 Shelley Long, actress (Diane-Cheers, Money Pit), born in Fort Wayne, Indiana
  • 1950-03-26 Ernest Thomas, actor (Roger-What's Happening!!), born in Gary, Indiana
  • 1950-05-29 Rebbie [Maureen] Jackson, singer (R U Tuff Enuff), born in Gary, Indiana
  • 1951-05-04 Jackie Jackson, [Sigmund], rocker (Jackson 5-ABC), born in Gary, Indiana
  • 1951-05-04 Mick Mars [Robert Alan Deal], guitarist (Mötley Crüe), born in Terre Haute, Indiana (alternative date 4 April 1955)
  • 1951-10-07 John Cougar Mellencamp, Seymour Indiana, rocker (Jack & Diane)
  • 1952-01-13 Sharon Gabet, actress (Edge of Night, Another World), born in Fort Wayne, Indiana
  • 1952-07-15 Jill Long, (Rep-D-Indiana)
  • 1953-09-29 Drake Hogestyn, Ft Wayne Indiana, actor (7 Brides for 7 Brothers)
  • 1953-11-03 Kate Capshaw [Nail], American actress (Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom), born in Fort Worth, Texas
  • 1953-12-06 Kin Shriner, Indiana, actor (Scott-General Hospital, Rituals)
  • 1953-12-06 Wil Shriner, NYC/Indiana, talk show host (Wil Shriner Show)

Person of interestPerson of Interest

1954-10-10 David Lee Roth, American rock singer (Van Halen), born in Bloomington Indiana

Van Halen Rocker David Lee Roth
Van Halen Rocker
David Lee Roth
  • 1954-12-11 Jermaine Jackson, singer (Jackson 5-ABC), born in Gary, Indiana
  • 1954-12-25 Steve Wariner, Noblesville Indiana, country singer (Small Town Girl)
  • 1955-01-01 Michael James Sullivan, PGA golfer (1980 Southern Open), born in Gary, Indiana
  • 1955-06-15 Polly Draper, American actress (Thirtysomething, Side Effects), born in Gary, Indiana
  • 1956-05-29 LaToya Jackson, American singer/model (If You Feel the Funk)/posed for Playboy, born in Gary, Indiana
  • 1956-10-08 Janice Voss, South Bend, Indiana, astronaut (shuttle radar topography mission), (d. 2012)
  • 1956-10-08 Larry Crane, Seymour, Indiana, American rocker (John Mellencamp band)
  • 1956-10-30 Tim Roemer, (Rep-D-Indiana)
  • 1956-12-09 Sylvia, Kokomo Indiana, country singer (Nobody)
  • 1957-03-12 Marlon D Jackson, singer (Jackson 5-Maybe Tomorrow), born in Gary, Indiana

Person of interestPerson of Interest

1958-08-29 Michael Jackson, recording artist and King of Pop (Thriller, Bad), born in Gary, Indiana (d. 2009)

King of Pop Michael Jackson
King of Pop
Michael Jackson
  • 1958-11-26 Steve Buyer, (Rep-R-Indiana)
  • 1959-06-07 Mike Pence, American politician (R), Governor of Indiana (2013-) and Donald Trump's running mate, born in Columbus, Indiana
  • 1959-06-16 The Ultimate Warrior [James Brian Hellwig], professional wrestler, born in Crawfordsville, Indiana (d. 2014)
  • 1961-04-20 Don "Hitman" Mattingly, Evansville, Indiana, American MLB 1st baseman (NY Yankees/MVP 1985)
  • 1961-10-29 Randy Jackson, rocker (Jackson 5-ABC), born in Gary, Indiana
  • 1962-02-04 Dan Plesac, pitcher (Pittsburgh Pirates), born in Gary, Indiana
  • 1962-03-09 Brian Green, actor (Sam Fowler-Another World), born in Columbus, Indiana
  • 1964-06-23 Joey Allen, Ft Wayne Indiana, rock guitarist (Warrant-Cherry Pie)
  • 1965-08-11 Embeth Davidtz, Lafayette, Indiana, American actress (Bicentennial Man, Schindler's List)
  • 1965-10-11 Sean Patrick Flanery, actor (Young Indiana Jones, Powder)

Person of interestPerson of Interest

1966-05-16 Janet Jackson, singer, Michael's sister (Control), born in Gary, Indiana

  • 1967-05-31 Kenny Lofton, E Chicago Indiana, outfielder (Cleveland Indians)
  • 1968-11-15 Brenda Alyce Bassett, Kokomo Indiana, Miss Indiana-America (1991)
  • 1970-10-08 David Doster, infielder (Philadelphia Phillies), born in Fort Wayne, Indiana
  • 1970-10-18 Bob Kennedy, Bloomington Indiana, 5k runner
  • 1971-01-21 Tommy Puett, actor (Tyler-Life Goes On, America's Top 10), born in Gary, Indiana
  • 1971-03-23 Karen McDougal, playmate (Dec, 1997), born in Gary, Indiana
  • 1971-07-20 William Deering Jr, South Bend Indiana, pole vaulter
  • 1971-11-03 Tricia Carolyn Nosko, Miss USA-Indiana (1997)
  • 1972-02-18 Shani Lynn Nielsen, New Albany IN, Miss America (Indiana-Top 10-1997)

Famous Weddings

  • 1992-09-05 Rock singer John Mellencamp (40) weds model Elaine Irwin Mellencamp (23) in Indiana

HeartWedding of Interest

1993-06-27 Actress Julia Roberts (25) weds country singer Lyle Lovett (36) at St. James Lutheran Church in Marion, Indiana

Actress Julia Roberts
Julia Roberts

Famous Deaths

  • 1845-03-18 John Chapman, [Johnny Appleseed], American pioneer agronomist dies in Allen County Indiana
  • 1876-06-08 George Sand, French author (Indiana, Consuelo), dies at 71
  • 1886-08-22 Jose da Silva Mendes Leal, Portuguese author (Indiana), dies at 67
  • 1997-11-20 Gary Burris, murderer (Kenneth Chambers), executed in Indiana
  • 2003-09-13 Frank O'Bannon, Governor of Indiana (b. 1930)
  • 2007-12-15 Julia Carson, U.S. Congresswoman from Indiana (b. 1938)
  • 2016-02-04 Edgar Whitcomb, American politician and Governor of Indiana (1969-73), dies at 98