By MAUREEN HAYDEN
CNHI Statehouse Bureau
INDIANAPOLIS — A legislative resolution to honor the 200th anniversary of the founding of New Albany didn’t just contain interesting bits of history. It also evoked a boast from the state’s Attorney General that the city is “the birthplace of Hoosier Hospitality.”
Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller made that claim this week when he spoke to the Indiana House of Representatives in support of a resolution acknowledging New Albany’s bicentennial birthday.
“Just call before you come,” said Zoeller, a New Albany native. “Any of us will make you feel welcome.”
Asked for evidence that his hometown birthed the sentiment of hospitality that Hoosiers like to claim as their own, Zoeller replied, “My grandfather told me that, so it must be true.”
Zoeller, whose relatives immigrated to Southern Indiana from Germany in the 1800s, joined a small battalion of New Albany boosters on the floor of the House for a reading of the resolution sponsored by Rep. Ed Clere, who told lawmakers that he was “honored to represent New Albany” in the General Assembly.
Joining Clere and Zoeller on the House floor were Dave Barksdale, the state appointed Floyd County historian; Shelle England, co-chair of the New Albany Bicentennial Commission; Bob Caesar, city councilman and co-chair of the New Albany Bicentennial Commission; Carlene “Boots” Price, regent of the Piankeshaw Chapter of the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution; and Vicky Zuverink, former chairman of the national DAR and a genealogy columnist for the News and Tribune.
Barksdale presented a copy of a book commissioned for the bicentennial, “Historic New Albany, Indiana: By the River’s Edge” that was later given to the Indiana State Library.
Just moments before the House resolution was offered by Clere, he was asked a question by House Speaker Pro Tempore Eric Turner, who was presiding over the day’s session. “Is N’Albany one word or two?” Turner jokingly asked, as he pushed the city’s name into one long word.
“It depends on whom you ask,” Clere responded.
The resolution honoring the city’s deep history was also read in the Senate by state Sen. Ron Grooms, R-Jeffersonville.
Tuesday’s event at the Indiana Statehouse is part of a yearlong celebration of the city’s founding in 1813. Other events scheduled through the year can be found on the New Albany Bicentennial website, www. newalbany200.org