With the passing of 2007, Indianapolis completes its year-long commemoration of native son Kurt Vonnegut. When the irreverent author passed away in April, the city had already unveiled plans to christen 2007 “The Year of Kurt Vonnegut.” Ironically, the author had once joked that he would be remembered in his hometown only by virtue of his familial relation to a longtime Indianapolis hardware store chain.
On the grounds of the Indianapolis Museum of Art, Oldfields – Lilly House and Gardens, is decorated in the style of Christmas in the 1930s, when the mansion was the new home of Indianapolis businessman and philanthropist Josiah Lilly.
For Hoosier storytellers with a taste for the macabre, the Central State Hospital is a familiar theme. The defunct institution on the near-west side of Indianapolis treated and housed many of the state’s mentally ill for almost 150 years.
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.
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.
Although it’s certainly not the geographic center of the continental United States, the state of Indiana has nonetheless played the role of “The Crossroads of America”.
Artist Robert Indiana is most often associated with the New York pop-art movement of the 50’s and 60’s but was born Robert Clark in New Castle, Indiana.
Indiana has its share of ghost stories, and maybe even more than its fair share of ghost-tracking clubs.
At the Fairgrounds Coliseum on Halloween night 1963, more than 4,000 spectators watched Holiday on Ice when, during the finale, there was a massive explosion.
When the Pacers the championship in 1970, it inspired Indianapolis Mayor Richard Lugar and two private investors to build Market Square Arena.