Hoosier History Highlights: April 17-23

This Week in Indiana History

1865 - The funeral train carrying the body of Abraham Lincoln arrived in Indianapolis. The President lay in state in the rotunda of the old Capitol. Although there was a steady rain all day, over 50,000 people passed by the bier. At midnight, the casket was returned to Union Depot where the train traveled to Michigan City, its last scheduled stop in Indiana.

1865 - The sidewheeler steamboat Sultana exploded and sank on the Mississippi River near Memphis. The boat, built to carry 376 passengers, was vastly overloaded with paroled Civil War prisoners of war. Many of the over 1200 who died were from Indiana. The 55 from Delaware County are honored by a monument at Beech Grove Cemetery in Muncie.

1919 - Hoosier leaders were aboard a welcome boat in New York Harbor as 1,800 Indiana soldiers of the 150th Artillery Regiment returned from service in World War I. They came home aboard the S. S. Leviathan, at the time the largest ship in the world. An Indianapolis Star reporter wrote, “There are simply no words to describe the fervor of the welcome accorded these fighting men.”

1939 - The Crosley Corporation announced plans to manufacture a low-priced automobile in Richmond, Indiana. The one-seat, three-passenger car would have a wheelbase of about six feet. It would go up to 60 mph and travel 50 miles on a gallon of gas. The proposed cost of the little Crosley was around $400.

1949 - Multi sport athlete George Crowe, a Franklin native and the first winner of Indiana's Mr. Basketball, became the first African American from Indiana to sign with a major league baseball team, the Boston Braves. This was two years after Jackie Robinson broke the Major League Baseball color line. Crowe would spend most of the next two years in the Braves farm system before making his major league debut on April 16, 1952.

50 Years Ago

1972 - Former Vice President Hubert H. Humphrey was in Clarksville campaigning for the Democratic presidential primary. He had been to Terre Haute earlier in the day. He called for the Vietnamese to release American prisoners of war and said the United States needed a better relationship with Russia and China. He lost the primary that year to George McGovern.

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"It is the woman who has walked across the fields on a wild winter night to help a sister woman in her hour of trial, the woman who has dressed the newborn baby and composed the limbs of the dead, learned the rude surgery of the farm, harnessed horses, milked cows, carried young lambs into the kitchen to save them from perishing in the rough March weather- - - it is she who has seen life."

---Juliet V. Strauss. (1863 - 1918)

Juliet V. Strauss was a journalist from Rockville, Indiana, whose work appeared in the Indianapolis News and Ladies’ Home Journal. She helped found the Women’s Press Club of Indiana and was the leader in efforts to establish Turkey Run State Park.

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Indiana quick quiz

“Colorful” Indiana City Names

Match the city to its county

1. Auburn; 2. Brownstown; 3. Greencastle; 4. Whiteland

A. Johnson; B. DeKalb; C. Putnam; D. Jackson


1. B; 2. D; 3. C; 4. A

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Abe Martin sez:

The only way to entertain some folks is to listen to them

Boys will be boys, and so will a lot of middle-aged men

Nothing will dispel enthusiasm like a small admission fee

Fun is like life insurance; the older you get, the more it costs

- - - Kin Hubbard (1868 - 1930)

This article originally appeared on Evening World: Hoosier History Highlights: April 10-16