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 John Hunt Morgan's cavalry aid into 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
  • 1879-01-23 US National Archery Association forms in Crawfordsville, Indiana
  • 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 US minister to 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

Sport awardGolf Major

1924-09-20 7th PGA Championship: Walter Hagen wins at French Lick CC, Indiana

Golfer Walter Hagen
Walter Hagen
  • 1925-02-10 1st waterless gas storage tank put into service, Michigan City, Indiana
  • 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 Airlines flight 853 collides with a Piper Cherokee above Indiana, kills all 83 occupants
  • 1972-03-10 1st black US political convention opens in 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 first 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

48th Vice President of the United States Mike Pence
48th Vice President of the United States
Mike Pence
45th US President, Businessman and TV Personality Donald Trump
45th US President, Businessman and TV Personality
Donald Trump

Famous Birthdays

Birthdays 1 - 100 of 169

  • 1811-10-18 Hugh Thompson Reid, American Brigadier General (Union Army), born in Union City, Indiana (d. 1874)
  • 1814-06-22 James Henry Lane, US General during Civil War (Union) and Senator (Kansas), born in Lawrenceburg, Indiana (d. 1866)
  • 1814-11-15 Pleasant Adam Hackleman, American lawyer, politician and Brigadier General (Union Army), born in Franklin County, Indiana (d. 1862)
  • 1815-07-30 Thomas Jackson Rodman, American Brevet Brigadier General (Union Army), inventor of the rodman gun and perforated-cake gunpowder, born in Salem, Indiana (d. 1871)
  • 1816-06-11 Robert Huston Milroy, American Major General (Union Army), born in Salem, Indiana (d. 1890)
  • 1819-12-19 James Clifford Veatch, American Brevet Major General (Union Army), born in Elizabeth, Indiana (d. 1895)
  • 1821-09-26 Alvin Peterson Hovey, American judge, 21st Governor of Indiana (1889-1891), andBrevet Major General (Union Army), born in Mount Vernon, Indiana (d. 1891)
  • 1823-08-04 Oliver Hazard Perry Throck Morton, American politician (Governor of Indiana), born in Salisbury, Indiana (d. 1877)
  • 1823-11-22 Nathan Kimball, American physician, politician, postmaster, and Brevet Major General (Union Army), born in Fredericksburg, Indiana (d. 1898)

Person of interestAmbrose Burnside

1824-05-23 Ambrose Burnside, American soldier, politician and industrialist (Governor of Rhode Island, 1866-69), born in Liberty, Indiana (d. 1881)

Union General, Politician and Industrialist Ambrose Burnside
Union General, Politician and Industrialist
Ambrose Burnside
  • 1824-10-23 Thomas Gamble Pitcher, American Brigadier General (Union Army), born in Rockport, Indiana (d. 1895)
  • 1826-01-12 Charles Cruft, American teacher, lawyer, railroad executive, and Brevet Major General (Union Army), born in Terre Haute, Indiana (d. 1883)
  • 1826-09-09 Thomas John Lucas, American Brevet Major General (Union Army), born in Dearborn County, Indiana (d. 1908)
  • 1827-04-10 Lewis "Lew" Wallace, American author (Ben-Hur) and Major General (Union Army), born in Brookville, Indiana (d. 1905)
  • 1828-03-02 Jefferson Columbus Davis, American Brevet Major General (Union Army), born in Clark County, Indiana (d. 1879)
  • 1830-02-06 Marcellus Monroe Crocker, American Brigadier General (Union Army), born in Franklin, Indiana (d. 1865)
  • 1830-10-01 Jeremiah Cutler Sullivan, American Brigadier General (Union Army), born in Madison, Indiana (d. 1890)
  • 1831-11-21 John Franklin Miller, American lawyer, businessman, and Brevet Major General (Union Army), born in South Bend, Indiana (d. 1886)
  • 1832-03-17 Walter Quintin Gresham, American statesman, jurist, and Brevet Major General (Union Army), born in Lanesville, Indiana (d. 1895)
  • 1834-01-27 Robert Sanford Foster, American Brevet Major General (Union Army), born in Vernon, Indiana (d. 1903)
  • 1838-10-08 John Milton Hay, American politician (Union), born in Salem, Indiana (d. 1905)
  • 1846-05-22 Oliver Perry Hay, Saluda Indiana, American Paleontologist
  • 1851-07-21 Sam Bass, American Old West train robber and outlaw, born in Mitchell, Indiana (d. 1878)
  • 1855-11-05 Eugene V. Debs, Terre Haute, Indiana, American labor leader and Socialist presidential candidate (d. 1926)

Person of interestWilbur Wright

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 (A Baby Grand, Her Great Invention), born in Terre Haute, Indiana (d. 1946)
  • 1873-10-14 Ray Ewry, jumper (10 Olympic golds 1900, 04, 06, 08), born in Lafayette, Indiana
  • 1875-11-11 Vesto Slipher, Mulberry Indiana, American Astronomer who provided the first evidence to support the expanding-universe theory
  • 1878-10-05 Louise Dresser [Kerlin], American actress (Maid of Salem), born in Evansville, Indiana (d. 1965)
  • 1884-08-23 Will Cuppy, American humorist (The Decline and Fall of Practically Everybody), born in Auburn, Indiana (d. 1949)
  • 1886-12-01 Rex Stout, American mystery writer (Nero Wolf novels), born in Noblesville, Indiana (d. 1975)
  • 1889-10-08 Collett E. Woolman, American airline founder (Delta Air Service), born in Bloomington, Indiana (d. 1966)
  • 1890-01-11 Max Carey, American baseball player, born in Terre Haute, Indiana (d. 1976)
  • 1890-02-24 Marjorie Main [Tomlinson], American actress (Another Thin Man), born in Acton, Indiana (d. 1975)

Person of interestColonel Sanders

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
  • 1891-02-12 Max Terhune, American actor (Arizona Stagecoach, Hit the Saddle, Range Justice), born in Franklin, Indiana (d. 1973)
  • 1891-06-09 Cole Porter, Indiana, composer/lyricist (Anything Goes, Kiss Me Kate)
  • 1895-07-21 Ken Maynard, American stuntman and actor (Phantom Rancher, $50,000 Reward), born in Vevay, Indiana (d. 1973)
  • 1896-01-20 Isabel Withers, American actress (Possessed, Lady of Burlesque), born in Frankton, Indiana (d. 1968)
  • 1896-05-30 Howard Hawks, American director and producer (Rio Bravo, Scarface), born in Goshen, Indiana (d. 1977)
  • 1896-07-26 Charles Butterworth, American actor (Mad Genius), born in South Bend, Indiana (d. 1946)
  • 1897-08-24 Fred Rose, American songwriter and music publishing executive, born in Evansville, Indiana (d. 1954)
  • 1898-09-01 Marilyn Miller [Renolds], American actress (Sunny) and wife of Jack Pickford, born in Evansville, Indiana (d. 1936)
  • 1899-07-01 Henry "Indiana" Jones Jr, fictional character "Indiana Jones"
  • 1899-07-25 Ralph Dumke, American actor (Movieland Quiz), born in South Bend, Indiana (d. 1964)
  • 1900-12-13 Norman Foster, American actor (Skyscraper Souls), born in Richmond, Indiana (d. 1976)
  • 1901-03-21 Carmelita Geraghty, American actress (My Best Girl, Texas Ranger), born in Rushville, Indiana (d. 1966)
  • 1902-03-09 Will Geer [William Aughe Ghere], American actor (Salt of the Earth, The Waltons), born in Frankfort, Indiana (d. 1978)
  • 1902-06-07 Herman B. Wells, president and chancellor of Indiana University (d. 2000)
  • 1903-01-20 Leon Ames, American actor (Mister Ed, Father of the Bride), born in Portland, Indiana (d. 1993)
  • 1904-06-24 Phil Harris [Wonga Philip], American actor and singer (Anything Goes, Robin Hood), born in Linton, Indiana (d. 1995)
  • 1904-08-16 Wendell Stanley, American biochemist, first to crystallize a virus (Nobel 1946), born in Ridgeville, Indiana (d. 1971)
  • 1906-04-11 Dale Messick [Dalia Messick], American cartoonist (Brenda Starr), born in South Bend, Indiana (d. 2005)
  • 1906-05-08 David Van Vactor, Plymouth Indiana, composer (Chaconne)
  • 1906-08-29 Lurene Tuttle, American actress (Father of Bride, Julia), born in Pleasant Lake, Indiana (d. 1986)

Person of interestJimmy Stewart

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, American actor (Don't Call Me Charlie, The Tall T, One Million B.C.), born in East Chicago, Indiana (d. 1988)
  • 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 sci-fi novelist (Riverworld)

Person of interestStrother Martin

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)
  • 1922-03-10 Adam Kennedy, American actor, screenwriter, novelist ant painter (The Californians, Just Like Humphrey Bogart), born in Lafayette, Indiana (d. 1997)
  • 1922-06-22 Bill Blass, American fashion designer (Nancy Reagan), born in Fort Wayne, Indiana (d. 2002)
  • 1923-08-21 Chris Schenkel, American sportscaster (Monday Night Fights), born in Bippus, Indiana (d. 2005)
  • 1923-10-23 Ned Rorem, composer and author (Sky Music), born in Richmond, Indiana

Person of interestGil Hodges

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, American actor, director, and opera singer (Blacula, Scream Blacula Scream), born in Los Angeles, California (d. 2003)
  • 1925-01-31 Charles Aidman, American TV narrator (New Twilight Zone), born in Frankfort, Indiana
  • 1925-12-13 Henry Charles Gordon, engineer and astronaut (Dynasoar), born in Valparaiso, 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 interestFrank Borman

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, American actor (Darrin-Bewitched, Inherit the Wind), born in Fort Wayne, Indiana (d. 1992)
  • 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 interestSteve McQueen

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

Person of interestJames Dean

1931-02-08 James Dean, American stage and film actor (Giant, Rebel Without a Cause), born in Marion, Indiana (d. 1955)

Actor James Dean
James Dean

Person of interestJim Jones

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)
  • 1933-08-15 Bobby Helms [Robert Lee Helms], American country music singer (Jingle Bell Rock), born in Bloomington, Indiana (d. 1997)
  • 1934-02-14 Florence Henderson, actress and singer (Carol in The Brady Bunch), born in Dale, Indiana (d. 2016)

Person of interestSydney Pollack

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, American comedienne (Laugh-in), born in Lowell, Indiana
  • 1938-08-25 David Canary, actor (Bonanza, One Life to Live), born in Elwood, Indiana (d. 2015)
  • 1939-01-10 Jared Carter, American poet, born in Elwood, Indiana
  • 1939-06-12 Francis X McCloskey, (Rep-D-Indiana, 1983- )
  • 1940-08-22 David R. Vance, American horse trainer, born in Logansport, Indiana
  • 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)
  • 1941-10-09 Brian Lamb, American Founder of c-span, born in Lafayette, Indiana
  • 1942-02-13 Donald E Williams, Capt USN/astro (STS 51D, STS 34), born in Lafayette, Indiana

Person of interestHarrison Ford

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

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

Famous Weddings

  • 1992-09-05 Rock singer John Mellencamp (40) weds model Elaine Irwin (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
  • 1877-11-01 Oliver Hazard Perry Throck Morton, American politician (Governor of Indiana), dies of a stroke at 56
  • 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