VINCENNES, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) — The Indiana State Museum and Historic Sites, including the local Vincennes site, offered free admission on Monday, February 20th, in honor of President’s Day.
The Vincennes State Historic Site is normally closed on Mondays, but in honor of President’s Day, this important place in Indiana history was made available for tours.
In 1800, Congress created the Indiana Territory and named Vincennes its capital. The new territory was larger than the current size of the state today. It included what is now known as Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin, and part of Minnesota.
In Vincennes, Governor William Henry Harrison and other officials made important decisions that would influence what is now known as the Midwest.
One stop on the tour includes the Original Territory Capital Building, which is considered the oldest major government building in the Midwest.
Another building of note is Jefferson Academy, which was the first institute of higher education in Indiana. It was founded in 1801 by Governor Harrison. The Academy was named after the 3rd U.S. President, Thomas Jefferson, and in 1806 it became Vincennes University.
According to the White House’s website, in 1841, Governor Harrison, an American military officer and politician was elected the 9th President of the United States. At the time, he was the oldest president to be elected. After being in office for only a month, Harrison caught a cold that developed into pneumonia. On his 32nd day as president, he became the first President to die in office. Harrison has historically served the shortest tenure in U.S. Presidential history.
For more details on Vincennes’ State Historic Site or to schedule a tour, visit the Indiana state museum and historic site’s Vincennes page. The Vincennes/ Knox County Visitors and Tourism Bureau also features a “Bill of Sights” sightseeing tour on its website, which gives participants a chance to see the top three presidential attractions of Knox County. From William Henry Harrison’s mansion to Eisenhower’s WWII uniform to Nixon’s Marine Corps flight jacket, you can explore White House-worthy history close to home.