1853 The first boat to travel the entire length of the Wabash and Erie Canal reached Evansville. The canal, under construction for over 20 years, connected the Great Lakes with the Ohio River. At 459 miles, it the was longest canal ever built in the United States. In most places, the waterway was 30 to 40 feet wide and 6 feet deep. Alongside was a tow path for mules pulling the canal boats.
1902 President Theodore Roosevelt arrived in Indianapolis, after visiting Logansport, Tipton, Kokomo, and Noblesville. In the capital city, he spoke at Tomlinson Hall and the Columbia Club. From there, he was taken to St. Vincent Hospital where doctors performed surgery on a leg wound he had received a few days earlier in a carriage accident. The President cancelled the rest of his tour and returned to the White House later that night.
1925 The Broadcast Listeners’ Association in Indianapolis held an exposition at Cadle Tabernacle in the city. Radio was the marvel of the age, and the group advertised a “million dollar display” of the latest sets available. Special events included addresses by Indiana Governor Ed Jackson and Indianapolis Mayor Lew Shank. Music on the program included Bill Watson and his musical saw, Whistler J. L. Hall, and the Carmel Symphony Orchestra. The program was broadcast live on station WFBM. Pictured: A 1925 Atwater Kent Radio.
1929 A large crowd was present at the Indiana Statehouse for the unveiling of a plaque honoring Frances Willard, educator, suffragist, and leader in the Women’s Christian Temperance Union. Participants included Indiana Governor Harry G. Leslie, Ella Alexander Boole, president of the National Women’s Christian Temperance Union, and Lorado Taft, the artist who designed the tablet. A fleet of airplanes showered roses on the building as 5,000 children paraded into the Statehouse rotunda to place flowers at the base of the plaque.
1961 The final episode of “I Love Lucy” was broadcast on CBS Television. One of the principal writers on the show was Madelyn Pugh. Born in Indianapolis, she graduated from Shortridge High School and the Indiana University School of Journalism. She and her long-time writing partner, Bob Carroll, Jr., created scripts for hundreds of radio and television programs. Pictured: Madelyn Pugh and Lucille Ball.
1982 14-year-old Joshua Bell played a violin solo with the prestigious Philadelphia Orchestra. After he finished Mozart’s Violin Concerto No. 3, the audience burst into sustained applause. Bell, at the time a sophomore at North Bloomington High School, began playing the violin at age 4 and made his debut as a soloist at age 7. He has gone on to perform with virtually every major orchestra and today is one of the most celebrated violinists in the world.
Over the years, many United States Presidents have visited the Hoosier State. Match each of the four clues to the correct Presidential name listed below.
1. This President, in 1866, spoke from the same Bates House Hotel balcony his predecessor had used five years earlier.
2. On a 1948 “whistle-stop” campaign, this President stopped in at the Beech Grove Masonic Hall.
3. In 1887, this President visited the brand new Indiana Statehouse with his young bride, Frances.
4. This President, known for being “silent,” let his wife Grace do the talking when they came to Penn Station in Richmond in 1926.
A. Harry Truman B. Calvin Coolidge C. Andrew Johnson D. Grover Cleveland
Hoosier Quote of the Week
“You might think that after 40 years of practice you wouldn’t need to practice anymore, but sadly it doesn’t work that way. You still have to keep chugging away and perfecting.”
– – – Joshua Bell
Did You Know?
Madelyn Pugh had happy memories of her years at Shortridge High School in Indianapolis. She said she did not realize until later what a great school it was. The teachers were very encouraging and there were many opportunities to be creative. In her senior year, she was the Friday editor of the student newspaper, The DailyEcho. A variety of clubs met each week, and she and fellow student Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. were both members of the fiction club.
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ANSWERS: 1. C Andrew Johnson 2. A Harry Truman 3. D Grover Cleveland 4. B Calvin Coolidge