HOOSIER HISTORY HIGHLIGHTS: Indiana’s First Carnegie Library


July 25 – July 31

The Week in Indiana History


1902     Dedication ceremonies were held for the Carnegie Library in Crawfordsville.  It was the first of 164 libraries in Indiana to be funded by businessman Andrew Carnegie.  He built more libraries in Indiana than in any other state.  Like many, the Crawfordsville library was started by a local women’s organization (the Current Events Club.) The Carnegie building in Crawfordsville now serves as the Montgomery County Museum.


1917     Anna Marie Ridge organized the first group of girl scouts in Marion County. Named Indianapolis Troop 1, the scouts became active in the community.  They were awarded a flag for selling bonds during the Liberty Loan drive in World War I.  For many years, the troop met at the Presbyterian Church in Irvington.  (Pictured:  The Indiana Historical Marker in Irvington.)

interurban1931     The Indiana Railroad System advertised new high-speed electric coaches in service for central and northern Indiana.  The company offered “swift and luxurious travel” with 15 trains daily between Indianapolis, Anderson, Muncie, Hartford City, Montpelier, Bluffton, and Fort Wayne.  Riders could leave Indianapolis at 7:00 am and arrive in Fort Wayne at 10:45 am.

Indpls1945     The USS Indianapolis was torpedoed by a Japanese submarine.  Of the 1,196 men aboard, approximately 300 went down with the ship.  Those remaining were plunged into shark-invested waters.  By the time they were rescued four days later, only 316 were alive.


1959     A large tent collapsed at the Rush County Fair, trapping about 100 people.  In the midst of a searing heat wave, a violent thunderstorm hit the area with 80 mph winds.  Most of those caught in the tent suffered only minor injuries, but several were taken to the Rush County Hospital with more serious injuries.  (Pictured:  The headline from the Rushville Republican.)

baseball1984     An Old-Timers Dream Baseball Game heralded the opening of the new Hoosier Dome in Indianapolis.  Over 15,000 fans cheered as Joe DiMaggio, Bob Feller, Whitey Ford, Don Larson, Hank Aaron, Ernie Banks, Carl Erskine, Willie Mays, Brooks Robinson and other legendary players took to the field.  On the PA microphone was veteran Chicago Cubs broadcaster Jack Brickhouse.


Carnegie builds th’ libraries and Rockefeller builds th’ fillin’ stations.

(Kin Hubbard, The Indianapolis News, September 20, 1917)

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Indiana Department of Administration

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Indiana Quick Quiz

     Match the Hoosier movie stars to their movies.

1.  Carole Lombard       2.  James Dean  3.  Marjorie Main  4.  Steve McQueen

A.  Ma and Pa Kettle   B.  Bullitt

C.  My Man Godfrey   D.  Giant

Answers Below

Hoosier Quote of the Week


“When I looked back, after I got into the water and swam a little ways, all I could see was the ship going straight down.”

– – – Jimmy O’Donnell (1920 – 2013)

Born in Indianapolis, Jimmy O’Donnell joined the Navy in World War II.  He survived the sinking of the USS Indianapolis and went on to serve the city as a  fireman for many years.


Did You Know?

     The sailors aboard the USSIndianapolis are honored by a memorial located on the north end of the Canal Walk in Indianapolis (at Senate Avenue and Walnut Street.)  Dedicated in 1995, the monument is available to the public 24 hours a day, seven days a week.  Engraved on the south face of the memorial are the names of the ship’s company and one passenger who made up her final crew.

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ANSWERS:  1.  C     2.  D     3.   A

4.  B



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