When Universal Pictures floated its set of classic horror flicks from the 30s and 40s as ready-made content for the TV stations cropping up across the country in the 1950s, WISH-TV was the first Indiana station to bite—so to speak.
In addition to running syndicated shows from their affiliates, the new stations produced local programming, from news to station breaks. One opportunity for creating a local presence emerged with the so-called “Shock Package” of classic horror films Universal Pictures distributed to fledgling television stations.
A pop radio staple for three decades, Grammy-award winner John Mellencamp was officially inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in March 2008. A native of the Jackson County town of Seymour, which would be immortalized as the “ Small Town” of his eponymous 1985 hit, Mellencamp took a two-year degree from Vincennes University and left for New York City in 1975.
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.
The ranks of Indiana writers boast such venerable names as Kurt Vonnegut, Jessamyn West, James Whitcomb Riley and Theodore Dreiser. But one of the state’s best-selling authors to date bears little kinship with the traditions of satire, historical fiction, sentimental verse and gritty realism represented by those literary forbears.
Within the cultural mythology of Indiana, Hoosiers are traditionally considered good, wholesome folks…but not exactly saints ? The Hoosier demographic was broadened considerably, however, with the canonization of a French native who came to Indiana as a missionary.
Indiana’s Democratic leadership was not enthusiastic about Robert Kennedy’s presidential bid in 1968, which he had announced in mid-March, just before flying to Indianapolis to register for its May primary. The junior Senator from New York and erstwhile U.S. Attorney General who had long championed civil rights returned to stump across Indiana April 4 th.
The author of five previous novels—only two of which had been published—Mary Jane Ward was unprepared for the firestorm that surrounded The Snake Pit when it was released in 1946.
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.
Jerry Seinfeld cites him as an influence, and named his third son after him. In his seminal text, Understanding Media , Marshall McLuhan tagged his work as innovative in its use of the medium of radio. But outside the context of the now-classic holiday flick A Christmas Story , the name Jean Shepherd may go unrecognized.