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5 Fun Facts About August 17 In Indiana History

---Learn Every Day: IN Today In History Facts Texted Each Day - Text: history in To: 618-270-4005---

1. In 1825, the Indiana General Assembly passed a law that required all free African Americans in the state to register with the county clerk and pay a bond. This law aimed to discourage African Americans from moving to Indiana and was a reflection of the state's increasing racial tensions.

2. On August 17, 1861, Hoosier soldier William T. Willard was the first Union soldier killed in the American Civil War. Willard was a member of the 1st Indiana Volunteers, which was engaged in a skirmish at Philippi, Virginia.

3. In 1907, the Indiana State Fair opened for the first time at its current location on the east side of Indianapolis. The fair has been an annual event in Indiana since 1852 and is one of the largest state fairs in the United States.

4. On August 17, 1945, Indiana native and World War II hero Joe Foss was awarded the Medal of Honor by President Harry S. Truman. Foss, a pilot in the Marine Corps, shot down 26 enemy planes during the war.

5. In 1985, Indianapolis hosted the first IndyFest, a celebration of the city's cultural diversity. The event, which featured food, music, and dance from various ethnic groups, has since become an annual tradition in the city.
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