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Corydon also celebrated 50 years ago

Celebrating Statehood
Corydon also celebrated 50 years ago Corydon also celebrated 50 years ago
Karen Schwartz, Special to The Corydon Democrat

This bicentennial is not the first time Corydon has thrown a big party. The town had quite the celebration for Indiana’s sesquicentennial in 1966.
Local planning for the state’s sesquicentennial began with the organization of the Indiana Sesquicentennial Committee of Harrison County in February 1964 in anticipation of Harrison County’s celebration. Representatives from 41 civic, school, political, farm, religious and patriotic organizations from all over Harrison County participated.
The committee’s purpose was to formulate and carry out an extensive program of activities in the county during 1966, the 150-year anniversary of Indiana’s admission to the Union.
Members of the executive committee included Olive Byers, Mary Margaret Jones, Arvil Weilbaker, Blanche Davidson, Helen Crayden, Frederick Griffin, Walter Fried, John A. Cabel and Arville L. Funk. Other members of the Indiana Sesquicentennial Committee of Harrison County included Sue Chapman, Bryan S. Fisher, Wayne Mathes, Ralph V. Wiseman, Talmage Windell, Robert P. O’Bannon, Anna Davis, Mrs. Robert P. Trumper, Annis McGrain, Dorothy Parks, Lewis D. Lamon, Cecil Fravel, Faith O’Bannon, Margaret R. Dukes, Julia Bickel and Fred Cromwell.
The Corydon Singers included Ivanna Conrad, the Rev. William Huckabone, Jerry Bradshaw, Dr. David Dukes, Harry Carpenter, Charles Conrad, Paul Conrad, the Rev. Nelson Chamberlin and Frank O’Bannon accompanied by LaDonna Chamberlin.
A dinner meeting on May 18, 1964, in Corydon was attended by 50 people representing supporting organizations. Dr. Donald Carmony, state chairman of the Indiana Sesquicentennial, and Car Zenor, state director, attended to hear presentations about the planned local program. Funding of $4,000 was raised through donations, souvenir sales and ‘150 Club’ pins, which were available for a $1 donation to the sesquicentennial committee.
The Harrison County Sesquicentennial Committee Program of Activities held in 1966 included:
April 16 ‘ Sesquicentennial commemorative stamp, designed by Paul A. Wehr, was issued.
April 19 ‘ Anniversary of the Enabling Act authorizing Indiana to move to Statehood.
May 1 and 8 ‘ Tours of redbud and dogwood territory, as well as open houses, in historic Southern Indiana.
June 1 ‘ Lincoln Hills Arts & Craft Gallery Opening in the Kintner House.
June 23 ‘ Official reception for State Legislature members and state officers. The legislature convened and had a mock session in the Old Capitol.
June 23 ‘ First performance of ‘Corydon, Cradle of Our Commonwealth’ pageant at the Harrison County Fairgrounds.
June 24-25 and July 1-3 ‘ Repeat performances of ‘Corydon, Cradle of Our Commonwealth’ at the fairgrounds.
Aug. 13 ‘ Historical parade celebrating 100-mile Trail Ride complete with horses, floats and costumes from the 19th century.
Oct. 16 ‘ Home and scenic tours to view fall foliage colors in historic Harrison County. The Society of Indiana Pioneers had its annual meeting in Corydon.
Dec. 11 ‘ Statehood Day honoring the 150th anniversary of Indiana statehood.
Act One, titled ‘History and Hearsay 1800-1816’ of ‘Corydon, Cradle of Our Commonwealth,’ included Ol’ Elmer – The Constitution Elm, The Coming of the White Man, Harrison’s Mill at Blue River, Conference with Tecumseh, Muster Day at Corydon and Return of the Yellow Jackets. Act II, ‘The Indiana Constitutional Convention,’ included Arrival of the Delegates, Convention at the Courthouse and Billy Boone Tavern. Act III, ‘Corydon the Capital 1816-1825,’ included Corydon, The Village, General Assembly and Visit of President Monroe, while ‘The Exodus,’ Act IV, included Auction, Capital Caravan and an epilogue.
Characters listed in the sesquicentennial program included Cecil Trobaugh, Marion Garrett, Virgil King, Lynn Anderson, Barbara Pinaire, Tom and Foster Stone, David Garrett, Robin Field, Judy Pitman, Ronnie Hoke, George Merk, Fleda Saulman, Harry Carpenter, Walter Franks, Keith Boller, Fred and Eleanor Griffin, Fred Cromwell, Kean Irwin, Ike Orwick, Cosette Field, Ralph E. Wiseman, Dwana Trobaugh, Ivanna Conrad, Bonita Brockman, Walter Fried, John Bill Leffler, Tommy Taylor, Christine Pendleton, Cindy Funk, Rosemary Funk, Arville Funk and Leslie Fields. There also were several non-speaking extra roles.
The Indiana Statehood Commemorative Stamp featured the official emblem of the Indiana Sesquicentennial Commission, a map of Indiana inset with the torch and stars from the Indiana State flag (the star at the top of the torch represents Indiana, the ninth state to enter the Union and an image of the First State Capitol at Corydon.
Lee Hamilton, the U.S. representative at the time, and Sen. Vance Hartke attended the First Day Sale of the commemorative stamp.
Hurley Conrad composed a special ‘The Indiana Sesquicentennial Song’ that was first performed at the event. The chorus of this lively tune, which celebrates Corydon’s contributions to Indiana statehood, goes like this:
‘It was a great day for the USA
When Indiana first became a state
Down in Old Corydon it got a firm foundation
That made of it the heart of all this mighty nation.
Let’s be grateful as we celebrate this heritage to which we shall be true.
Indiana ‘ you’ve a date with destiny that we will share with you!’
Karen Schwartz, president of the Historical Society of Harrison County, serves on the legacy group of the Harrison County Committee for the Indiana Bicentennial. In preparation of Indiana’s bicentennial in 2016, she is providing a monthly column ‘ focusing on a person, place or event from Harrison County’s history ‘ that gives insight to our history. She said the columns should serve as an introduction and/or summary of a topic but are not intended to include all known facts and information. To suggest a topic, contact Schwartz at 812-736-2373 or 812-738-2828, by e-mail at [email protected] or by regular mail at 5850 Devil’s Elbow Road NW, Corydon, IN 47112.

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