THIS WEEK

IN INDIANA HISTORY


AUGUST 2 - AUGUST 9


1802     William Conner established a trading post on the west fork of the White River in Central Indiana.  Conner had success in the fur trade and general commerce.  A few years later, state commissioners met at the Conner cabin when they came to the area in search of a site for a future capital city. 

1816     In the first state election, Jonathan Jennings was elected Indiana governor, defeating Territorial Governor Thomas Posey.  At age 32, Jennings was faced with the challenge of laying the foundation for the new state.  In November, the new legislature met in the capital city of Corydon.

1903     Well-known journalist Mary Hannah Krout took time out from her travels to visit friends in Indianapolis.  Born in Crawfordsville, she had traveled the world as a correspondent for newspapers in several cities, including Chicago and Denver.  One of the first female journalists, she covered many news events of her day.  She also published several books and helped edit the autobiography of fellow Crawfordsville citizen Lew Wallace. 

1923     An express train sped through the night of August 7 carrying the body of President Warren G. Harding.  As it traveled through Northern Indiana on its way from California to Washington, thousands gathered at stations along the route, from Gary to Walkerton to Nappanee to Kendallville and St. Joe.  In Goshen, 75 boy scouts stood at attention as they sang “My Country ‘Tis of Thee.”  At the Lake Wawasee station, a salute was fired by cadets of the Black Horse Troop from Culver Military Academy.  Harding had died unexpectedly a few days earlier on a visit to San Francisco.  

1926     Charles Wiggins won the Gold and Glory Sweepstakes auto race at the Indiana State Fairgrounds.  The 100-lap, 100-mile event was held for African-American drivers who were not permitted to drive in the Indy 500.  Wiggins went on to win the Gold and Glory three more times.   

 1946     Santa Claus Land, the nation’s first theme park, opened in Santa Claus, Indiana, in Spencer County.  There were no roller coasters at first, but there was a house of dolls, a train ride, a restaurant, and, of course, Santa Claus.  The successful park grew each year and, in 1984, was renamed Hol

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Charles Wiggins