Public radio listeners are most likely familiar with the name Will Shortz. The Puzzlemaster from NPR’s Weekend Edition on Sunday mornings has been on the air since that program started in 1987. The estimated sixty-four million Americans who work crosswords have probably also encountered the native Hoosier’s name at some point or another.
As the days grow brisker and the leaves take on brilliant hues, many Americans of a certain generation are wont to characterize the season with an expression born in Indiana. “When the frost is on the punkin” is the opening phrase of a classic poem by James Whitcomb Riley.
Toward the end of the 1960s, a diminishing tax base and a deteriorating downtown prompted Indianapolis civic leaders to push for measures that would revive the city. In 1970, the Indiana state legislature provided for the consolidation of the governments of Indianapolis and Marion County.
A portrait of the Indiana Historical Commission in 1915 shows eight members, some bearded and most white-haired, in similarly cut three-piece suits. But it is the ninth commissioner that especially piques our curiosity. Barely peeking above the others’ shoulders is a woman of a certain age, in a broad-rimmed black hat. Having just begun serving on the commission when that portrait was made, Charity Dye used the appointment to play a major role in the state’s Centennial Celebration.
The tragic outcome of the Jonestown Agricultural Project is well known. A thorough understanding of the 1978 massacre of more than 900 people in Guyana, however, remains elusive—as does common knowledge of the group’s roots and its leader. Jim Jones called Indiana home for the first 34 of his 47 years. Born in Crete in 1931, James Warren Jones was raised in Lynn, another small town in Randolph County.