For the last twenty years, students with so-so grades have taken heart in a rumor involving Ball State University and a certain gap-toothed late-night talk show host. According to urban legend, Hoosier native David Letterman established a scholarship at his alma mater for students with nothing better, or worse, than a “C” average. The rumor has insinuated itself so thoroughly into reality that the apocryphal “C”- average scholarship has been listed on the Internet and discussed at college financial aid sessions.
The turn-of-the-century phenomenon known as Chautauqua was uniquely American in its blend of religion and entertainment, politics and culture, and the bucolic enjoyment provided by the booming railroad industry. The Winona Lake Chautauqua was no exception.
During the last century, a preacher named Billy emerged as a world-renowned evangelist. But it’s not the Billy one might imagine. As if predestined by his surname, Billy Sunday brought “old time religion” to an estimated 100 million people without the benefit of television or electric amplification. Sunday’s career was intertwined with that of Winona Lake, in Kosciusko County, a mecca of religious and cultural activity from the 1890s through the 1930s.
The publication of a Sudoku puzzle in the Indianapolis Star on January 22, 2006 represented a sort of homecoming for the number-based puzzle. Although the addictive brain-teaser based on the 18th-century concept of the Latin square first gained renown in Japan, its long-concealed roots are in Indiana. Debuting without a byline in Dell Pencil Puzzles and Word Games in 1979 as “Number Place,” the puzzle showed up in a Japanese magazine in the mid-80s with an unwieldy title meaning “the digits must occur only once.”