In her humorous columns in The New Yorker magazine, Muncie native Emily Kimbrough frequently referred to her Hoosier roots and world-view.
Although she inhabited the upper reaches, Sandy Allen was remarkably down-to-earth. Recognized by Guinness World Records as the World’s Tallest Woman in 1975, the Shelbyville resident held that title until her death August 13, 2008.
Having marked Nashville’s centennial as “The Art Colony of the Midwest” in 2007, it’s easy to forget that the Brown County village was not always the epicenter of the visual arts in Indiana. A significant regional school of painting developed in the Wayne County town of Richmond in the late nineteenth century, of which the Richmond Palette Club and the Richmond Prize were manifestations.
When T.C. Steele and colleagues returned to Indiana in the mid-1880’s after studying at Munich’s Royal Academy of Painting, their canvases evinced the tonal realism they’d absorbed there.
The dappled light and broken brushstrokes of the landscape paintings that belong to the Hoosier School seem indebted to the French movements of impressionism and post-impressionism. But the paintings’ true background is more precisely German.
“Way down deep, we’re all motivated by the same urges,” Fairmount-born cartoonist Jim Davis once suggested. “Cats have the courage to live by them—that’s what Garfield is all about.” Davis must have been on to something—his comic strip about the fat orange tabby that debuted in 1978 is now the most widely syndicated comic strip in the world.
From the Crispus Attacks Tigers to the Milan miracle, the annals of Indiana high school basketball provide an endless source of inspiration and emotion. One chapter in Hoosier hoops history has also been a source of whimsy, not to mention logistical and legal confusion.
From Winona Lake’s Billy Sunday, whose exhortations helped pass Prohibition in 1919, to Jim Jones, whose Indianapolis People’s Temple came to its tragic end in 1978, Indiana has produced its share of charismatic preachers.
Although he met his end in front of a Chicago movie house on July 22, 1934, the nation’s first Public Enemy Number One eventually found his way back home again to Indiana. Alongside Eli Lilly, James Whitcomb Riley, and President Benjamin Harrison, legendary gangster John Dillinger is buried in Crown Hill Cemetery in Indianapolis .
Indiana has consistently captured the attention of Hollywood with its legendary athletic figures and traditions. Such films as Knute Rockne: All-American, The Crowd Roars, Breaking Away and Hoosiers have lent a glamour to Hoosier sports once reserved for its gangsters.