Join us for a special event Friday, August 4, at 5 pm on Main Street.
Ninety years ago, on August 4th, 1933, the quaint town of Montpelier, Indiana, experienced an event that would forever be etched in its history—the audacious bank robbery led by the notorious John Dillinger and his gang. As the anniversary approaches, the town prepares to commemorate this pivotal moment in time with a sign unveiling ceremony. This historical marker set to be placed in front of the former First National Bank, is not a celebration of criminal deeds but rather a tribute to the past, a reminder of resilience, and an opportunity for collective reflection.
The event on that fateful afternoon of August 4th, 1933, saw John Dillinger and his gang storming the First National Bank in Montpelier around 2:40 pm. Their daring heist yielded between $10,000 and $12,000, but it also left a deep scar on the town’s memory. The eight-day raid that followed saw the gang targeting banks in various states, leading to the tragic loss of four lives, including two bank tellers and two policemen, a somber reminder of the devastating consequences of such criminal actions.
The decision to construct a sign commemorating this historical event is not an endorsement of John Dillinger’s criminal activities. Instead, it is a gesture of acknowledgment—a way to remember that Montpelier played a part in a national historical moment. By remembering history, the town seeks to learn from it, to understand the impact of past events, and to honor those who came before, both victims and heroes alike.
Montpelier’s journey over the past 90 years has been a testament to the town’s resilience. Despite facing challenges like the closure of the elementary school and the loss of the very bank that was robbed, the community has stood firm. The population may have fluctuated, and economic hardships might have tested them, but the spirit of Montpelier’s people has endured. This spirit, the driving force of the town, has led them toward progress and a brighter future.
As the sign unveiling ceremony draws near, Montpelier looks forward to coming together as a community. The event will take place at 5 pm in downtown Montpelier, on Main Street. The ceremony will begin with a short talk about the Depression-era bandits, providing historical context to the audience. This talk will delve into the events of August 4th, 1933, shedding light on the impact it had on Montpelier and its people.
Following the informative talk, the much-anticipated unveiling of the sign will take place. The historical marker, placed in front of the former First National Bank, stands as a symbol of Montpelier’s determination to remember its past and learn from it. It serves as a testament to the resilience of the community and a beacon of hope for the future.
As the 90th-anniversary event unfolds, Montpelier proudly embraces its past, cherishing the memory of those who were affected by the events of that day. Through reflection, understanding, and unity, the town stands ready to embrace a future filled with hope, resilience, and progress. The sign unveiling on Main Street is not just a ceremony; it is a collective reaffirmation of Montpelier’s identity—a town that values its history while steadfastly marching toward a brighter tomorrow.