|A Year of Indiana History - 2016|
The excitement caused by the 150th anniversary of the American Revolution in 1926 created a wave of enthusiasm among Vincennes residents to commemorate George Rogers Clark's capture of Fort Sackville at Vincennes on February 25, 1779. Their efforts led to the creation of the largest National Memorial outside of Washington DC to be built along the banks of the Wabash River.
Exact Location of Fort Sackville Uncertain
After the Revolution, Vincennes continued to grow and the town spread over the site of the original fort. The Daughters of the American Revolution marked the spot where they believed the fort stood in 1905. Though no one knows the exact location, it is certain it was within the grounds of the current National Memorial.
The Dedication of the Memorial
After a major push by Vincennes residents, theCongress passed an act establising the George Rogers Clark Sesquicentennial Commission. President Calvin Coolige signed the bill on May 23, 1928. New York architect Frederic Charles Hirons designed the eighty foot tall, ninety foot diameter structure. Artist Ezra Winter painted the huge paintings inside the memorial, a task that occupied two and a half years. The memorial is a fitting monument to a man whose arduous task of ensured that the Northwest would become part of the new nation when Great Britain signed the Treaty of Paris in 1783.
President Franklin Delano Roosevelt dedicated the Memorial on June 14, 1936. The National Park Service took over the site in 1966. For information contact:
George Rogers Clark National Historical Park
401 S 2nd St
Vincennes, IN 47591
A Year of Indiana History - 2016
© Paul Wonning