HOOSIER HISTORY HIGHLIGHTS: Torpedoes Sink the USS Indianapolis

Hoosier History Highlights

July 28 – August 3

The Week in Indiana History


1804     In Vincennes, Elihu Stout published the Indiana Gazette,the first newspaper in the Indiana Territory.  It lasted until 1806, when the publishing house burned to the ground.  Stout later established the Western Sun, now called the Vincennes-Sun Commercial.

Booth Tarkington1869     Booth Tarkington was born in Indianapolis. He attended Shortridge High School, Purdue University, and Princeton University, where his interest in theater led to a successful writing career. He wrote for Broadway and won two Pulitzer Prizes (for the novels The Magnificent Ambersons and Alice Adams.) Active in politics, he served one term in the Indiana House of Representatives.

100 Years Ago
Art Nehf

1919     The big news in sports was that Arthur Nehf, star left-handed pitcher for the Boston Nationals, had been recruited by the New York Giants (now in San Francisco.)  Nehf was born in Terre Haute and attended Rose Polytechnic Institute.  His pro baseball career also included the Boston Braves, Cincinnati Reds, and Chicago Cubs.  The varsity baseball field at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology is named in his honor.

USS Indianapolis

1945     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-infested waters.  By the time they were rescued four days later, only 316 were alive.

Frances Farmer1970     Movie actress FrancesFarmer died in Indianapolis at the age of 56.  Her beauty and talent won her a contract with Paramount Pictures in the 1940s.  In later years, she moved to Indianapolis where she hosted a popular afternoon television show on WFBM.  She presented feature films and often provided first-hand knowledge about their production.


Tippecanoe County Courthouse in Lafayette

1998     A Ford F-250 pickup truck carrying a homemade bomb crashed into the east entrance of the Tippecanoe County Courthouse in Lafayette.  The truck caught fire, but the explosive did not detonate.  The cost of repairs to the building amounted to over $200,000.  The driver escaped and the case remains unsolved.

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Tour Office

Indiana Department of Administration

Indiana Quick Quiz

1.  What building now stands on the site of the old Marion County Courthouse?

2.  Which Indiana County Courthouse has a tree growing out of the top?

3.  The Ohio County Courthouse is the oldest one in the state.  In what city is it located?

Answers Below



“Go placidly amid the noise and haste and remember what peace there may be in silence.”

— Max Ehrmann

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Gibson County Courthouse

Gibson County Courthouse in Princeton

New Display at the Statehouse

     Indiana is proud of its 92 county courthouses.  They are majestic architectural masterpieces that serve as jewels in the middle of courthouse squares.  Their styles range from classical renaissance to mid-century modern.  They reflect the pride people have in their communities and their desire to build for future generations. A new display at the Indiana Statehouse contains photos and artifacts that pay tribute to these magnificent structures.  Check it out on the second floor near the tour desk.

ANSWERS:  1.  The Indianapolis City-County Building now stands on the site of the old Marion County Courthouse.  2.  The Decatur County Courthouse in Greensburg is famous for the tree growing out of the tower.   3.  The Ohio County Courthouse, built in 1844, is in Rising Sun.