THIS WEEK

IN INDIANA HISTORY

Neil Armstrong

JULY  18 - JULY 24


1820     In State v. Lasselle, the Indiana Supreme Court ruled that “slavery can have no existence in Indiana.”  The case involved Polly Strong, an enslaved African American woman who was purchased at the age of ten by Vincennes innkeeper Hyacinthe Lasselle.  The decision established the 1816 Indiana Constitution as the authority in state courts regarding slavery and involuntary servitude. 

1890     Farms in many sections of the state were suffering from drought conditions.  Reports from Jeffersonville indicated that the corn was “almost beyond help, and even though it should rain, not more than one-third of the crop will be gathered.  No oats, half a crop of wheat, hardly any potatoes nor vegetables of any kind, make a bad outlook.”

1927     Edna Browning Ruby, from Lafayette, was named the “Outstanding Business Woman in America.”  The title was bestowed by the National Federation of Business and Professional Women’s Clubs.   She had already earned gold medals and other honors for her artistic talent in designing stained glass windows for churches.  She was also considered one of the nation’s leaders in textile design. 

1935     The Boone County Rural Electric Membership Corporation (REMC) became the first federally-funded electric utility in the state and one of the first in the nation.  Although many cities and towns had electrical power, most rural areas were still without it.  Other counties soon came on line as crews went from farmhouse to farmhouse, installing wiring, fuse boxes, and outlets. 

1946     City leaders from around Indiana met at the Claypool Hotel in Indianapolis to discuss post-war problems.  Among the 450 representatives were Mayor Loba Jack Bruner of Bloomington, Mayor Sydney Baker of New Castle, Mayor W. Vincent Youkey of Crown Point, and Mayor Clarence D. Rotruck of Anderson.  Topics discussed included finances, street repair, and sewage disposal plants. 

1969     Purdue graduate Neil Armstrong became the first person to walk on the surface of the moon.  He was 239,000 miles from home when he stepped from the lunar landing module Eagle and said, “That’s one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind.”