Georgia Street honorees. Who's missing?

December 16, 2011
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On Dec. 14, Mayor Ballard announced the first batch of 10 Hoosiers to be honored as part of the Georgia Street redo.

The first crop of honorees:

1. President Benjamin Harrison—A no brainer...the choice, not the pres...although not terribly exciting to anyone not familar with the Sherman Antitrust Act.

2. The Lilly Family—Picking a whole family, even such an important one, seems a bit of a cheat. Why not just start with Eli and bring in others later when ideas are thin?  

3. President Abraham Lincoln—I like that we can claim Abe as our own, but at least two other states have a greater claim on him.

4. J.S. "Wes" Montgomery—The jazz artist was more Indiana connected then many other possible A&E choices.

5. Ernest "Ernie" Pyle—Seems the right media choice. Paul Poteet will just have to wait until next year.

6. Booth Tarkington—Indiana is all over the double Pulitzer-winner's work.

7. May Wright Sewall—If you'll excuse the later "psychic" wackiness,...and don't mind that she's not even mentioned on the state government list of famous Hoosier. 

8. Tecumseh--After all, we are Indiana.

9. Madame C.J. Walker—Still high-profile after all these years. Let's just get more shows into her namesake theater.

10. Lew Wallace—Huge during his time. Nearly forgotten now.

So who's missing? And what of these choices?

Was Cole Porter more influential than Wes Montgomery? Kurt Vonnegut more deserving than Lew Wallace? Should there been a place for Eugene Debs? John Wooden?

And, collectively, does the parade of Hoosiers on Georgia Street make us proud or make us look like, well, like Hoosiers.

Your thoughts?  

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  • not done yet
    They plan to have a total of 30. These are the first ten. I believe they will do 10 the next year then ten the following year. But I agree with the names you put forth should be on display as well.
    • Men who have slipped the sliverly bonds.
      Let's see how about Wilbur Wright the man co-invented power flight. And the 1st Hoosier in a long line of Indiana astronauts, Gus Grissom. The man who died so men could walk on the moon.
    • My vote
      Surely LeRoy Carr and Scrapper Blackwell should be among those honored. Two musicians who are often overlook but whose influence is still felt to this day. Scrapper's "Kokomo Blues" evolved into "Sweet Home Chicago" and Blackwell's "How Long Blues" and "Blues before Sunrise" have been covered by the best.
    • More...
      Cole Porter, Kurt Vonnegut...definitely.
      James Whitcomb Riley
      Gene Stratton-Porter
      T.C. Steele
      Hoagy Carmichael
      Carole Lombard
    • Gerogia street
      I like the individuals mentioned above but not yet selected. How about James Dean, Red Skelton,Oscar Robertson,Steve McQueen,Carol Lombard,James Whitcomb Riley, Larry Bird, Ernie Pyle,Sydney Pollack, etc. etc??
    • 20 years gap
      I did question Wes. Not sure on the national awareness he has. If they wanted someone in the music field then Cole or Hoagy. Their music is being played today. I understand that a person had to be dead for 20 years. My vote would have gone to Red Skelton but he died 15 years ago.
    • 20 more
      OK, after Cole Porter, Kurt Vonnegut, Eugene Debs, John Wooden, you now have 14 down and 16 to go. Consider Tony Hulman, Jr or Hulman Family, who have done more than the Indy 500; Neil Armstrong; Gene Stratton Porter; General Walter Bedell Smith, and Admiral Raymond Ames Spruance for starters.
    • 20 years dead
      Remember they have to be dead for 20 years. Wooden can't be listed. I would think that there would be more sports names in this sports state. How about Rev. Nicholas McKay (basketball pioneer), Major Tayor, Carl Fisher, Knute Rockne.
    • Georgia Street Honorees
      Others who should definitely be included: Tony Hulman, Jr.; Carl Fisher; Forrest Tucker; Steve McQueen; Irene Dunne; and Amelia Earhart (she went missing while flying a Purdue funded airplane).

      Others with Indiana ties: Alvah Curtis Roebuck (co-founder of Sears Roebuck & Co.) and Charles A. Beard (historian).

      And, while he's only been dead 16 years - Phil Harris.
    • Letdown
      This group isn't exactly going to help Indiana's image with the Super Bowl crowd. There will be ton of people wondering who the heck most of these people are. The only name in that ten that everyone knows would be Lincoln. President Harrison is by far one of the least known presidents. Where is James Dean? Arguably the most famous person born in Indiana. David Letterman, Kurt Vonnegut, Larry Bird, Coach Bob Knight, and Oscar Robertson definitely deserve to be part of the 30 but if the 20 year dead criteria applys than obviously they aren't eligible. Glad to see Wes Montgomery get some recognition but Cole Porter deserves it too. Freddie Hubbard and JJ Johnson are deserving as well but I'd be surprised if they have three jazz figures represented no matter how strong Indiana's contribution is to that art form. Finally, I think Peyton Manning clearly deserves a spot. And, don't even tell me that Peyton or Coach Knight can't be there since they weren't born in Indiana. Lincoln wasn't born here and none of what he was famous for happened here.
    • Indybt
      Michael Jackson, John Mellencamp forget the 20 years
    • Do the right thing.
      I truly hope Ryan White is honored. No Hoosier has had such immense impact on our nation in recent memory, and he meets the twenty year postmortem period for recognition.
    • Levi the man
      Too bad Levi Coffin wasn't in the first group. Sewall and Montgomery may have been outstanding in their fields, but Levi Coffin had major international impact. A large part of his most important work was in Indiana (unlike Lincoln.)
    • Ballards list sucks!
      How is Charles "CHUCK" Taylor missing?.... He was from Brown County and invented Converse Chuck Taylor basketball shoes.

      James Watson ...uh hello em... cofounder of DNA?

      Also why no John Dillinger from

      They needed to have pavers also .i.e. like Hollywood. There are way too many Hoosiers needing to be honored.
    • Honorees
      I think more contemporary figures should be added to the list of names: Florence Henderson, Jane Pauley, David Letterman, John Mellencamp, Larry Bird, and Jim Davis.
    • Test of time.
      If someone is remembered 20 years after their death then they should be honored. The above names of people living still have a way to be honored in many other ways. If they are remembered 20 years after they died, then put them on the list.
    • Musicians
      I would put up the name of Fred Jewell from Worthington IN. Started as a circus bandsman and rose to Music Director for Barnum & Bailey Greatest Show on Earth 1908-1911. Wrote some of the most famous circus music of the early 20th century and is honored by most circus lists of the greats. Indianapolis tie as he was the Conductor of the Murat Temple Band late in his career. His name would not ring bells nationally, but after reading a plaque people would agree with his eligibility.

      Joshua Bell of Bloomington is considered by many to be the greatest violinist of this generation. Still living.
    • Missing a lot!
      I mean you have to include the following at some point:
      Shawn Kemp
      Glenn Robinson
      Vivica A. Fox
      Henry Lee Summer
      Dan Quayle
      Jeff Gordon
      That guy that drove through the new part of 465 when he was drunk and ruined a 1/2 mile stretch of interstate
      and...
      the family from Carmel that invented the accessories for Croc's

      Without them the street is nothing more than a cascade of travesty and deceit to the true meaning of a Hoosier!
    • Riley over Tarkington and Wallace
      James Whitcomb Riley should have been in the first ten BEFORE Tarkington and Wallace. He was THE most famous Hoosier of his time - which included Tarkington and Wallace who he continally outsold on the Best Sellers list. He was nominated to be the FIRST Poet Laureate of America, but Congress failed to act on his nomination. Furthermore, unlike some of these other nominees - he was a true Hoosier. He was born here, lived in Indiana and died here. He is buried on the highest hill in Marion County on top of Crown Hill Cemetery. He once wrote to Tarkington saying nothing could convince him to leave his home or his state. He loved Indiana. His poetry idolized his time in the Hoosier State, and the people of Indiana and the country loved him. He was REQUIRED reading for every school child in America by order of the National Superintendent of Education, and his birthday was declared a National Holiday in 1915. When he died the President of the US sent personal condolences to the family, and 35,000 people went by his casket as it laid in state at the Indiana State Capitol building. To give you a modern comparison: Elvis had only 30,000 at his Graceland funeral, and Michael Jackson had 20,000 at the Staples Center.

      Riley should have been in the top ten, but since he was overlooked - he had better be in the next group of ten.

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