Articles

Memory Bank: Explosion at the Coliseum

On Oct. 31, 1963, during a Holiday on Ice skating performance at the Indiana State Fairgrounds Coliseum, an explosion occurred when a propane tank in the concession area—located underneath seats on the south side of the coliseum—ignited. Seventy-four people were killed and approximately 400 were injured in what’s considered one of the worst disasters in […]

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1929: In class

Butler University students sit in a classroom in 1929 in Arthur Jordan Hall. One of three original buildings at Butler’s current campus, Jordan Hall was designed in the Collegiate Gothic style by Robert Frost Daggett and Thomas Hibben. After two years of construction, it opened for the fall 1928 semester, the school’s first after it […]

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1950: Shapiro’s grows over more than a century

Now an Indianapolis staple, Shapiro’s Delicatessen opened its doors in 1905 as a small grocery deli serving the south side. The store was opened by Louis and Rebecca Shapiro, who had immigrated to the United States from Russia. Upon arriving in Indianapolis, they sold flour and sugar on the street from a pushcart. After raising […]

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Memory bank: Voter rally

Indianapolis Mayor William Hudnut participated in a march for Operation Big Vote, a coalition of labor and social groups created to increase voter registration among minority groups. Hudnut spoke at the rally along with the Rev. Thomas Brown and Julia Carson, a state senator who would later become the first woman and the first Black […]

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Memory bank: Gathering at Sunset Terrace

Crowds gather in 1953 outside the Sunset Terrace Ballroom, a jazz club on Indiana Avenue. Sunset Terrace was one of several nightclubs and taverns that sprang up along Indiana Avenue following the end of prohibition in 1933. It was opened by brothers Denver and Sea Ferguson in 1938 and operated through the “golden era of […]

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Memory Bank: Reopening Monument Circle

On Oct. 21, 1978, The Circle Celebration marked the reopening of Monument Circle in downtown Indianapolis after a redesign. Starting in 1973, city leaders began dreaming up a new look for the Circle that included remodeling, laying new bricks and adding trees, flowers and lights. Then-Mayor Richard Lugar formed the 26-member Greater Indianapolis Progress Committee […]

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Memory Bank: City Market in 1923

Throughout the early 1900s, vendor booths lined Market Street on market days outside the actual City Market structure, erected in 1886. The street filled with carts and stalls selling locally grown produce from the German south side and other sources. Sources: Indiana Historical Society, Encyclopedia of Indianapolis  Credit: This photo is courtesy of the Indiana […]

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1945: Celebrating the end of World War II

On Sept. 2, 1945, the Japanese formally surrendered aboard the battleship USS Missouri in Tokyo Bay, officially ending War World II. Afterward, people celebrated in Indianapolis, in part by jumping into the fountains on Monument Circle. Sources: Indiana Historical Society, USO.org Credit: This image is courtesy of the Indiana Historical Society. More images are available […]

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Memory Bank: Train crash kills six

A southbound freight train and a northbound passenger train collided on Sept. 24, 1910, on the Indiana Union Traction interurban line at the Ressler crossing 2 miles north of Tipton. Six people were killed and at least six others were injured, according to newspaper reports about the accident. Among the six who died was a […]

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1976: Meet your mayor

In this image, Indianapolis Mayor William Hudnut—who served in the position from 1976 to 1992—meets with workers at the General Motors stamping plant. Workers were invited to a brunch where they were able to have one-on-one conversations with the mayor. The General Motors stamping plant opened on Washington Street just west of downtown in 1930 […]

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Memory bank: Power in Indianapolis

Pictured in March 1954 is the building that today houses AES Indiana (formerly known as Indianapolis Power and Light Co.). The structure was originally built at the southeast quadrant of Monument Circle as the Continental Bank building in 1924. It was purchased by IPL—formed in October 1926 by a merger of the Indianapolis Light and […]

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Memory bank: Wagon wheels

John Guedelhoefer Wagon Co. employees are pictured with wagon wheels outside the company’s factory at 202 Kentucky Ave. The John Guedelhoefer Wagon Co. was founded by Guedelhoefer, who was born in 1832 in Germany and trained in carriage making in 1873, just a few years after he came to Indianapolis. The company, which operated until […]

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Memory bank: A circus and parade

Pictured are the Kid Circus and Pet Parade participants during the 1929 Indiana State Fair. Homer G. Keesler of New Ross was the winner that year. He is seated in a wagon at the center with his dog Bob and a large trophy. Today’s fair no longer includes a kid circus or a pet parade, […]

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Memory Bank: Labor Day at the State Fair

In 1941, the Indiana State Fair took place over Labor Day weekend. Pictured, a large crowd enjoys the fair on Monday, Sept. 1. One sign advertises a “lunch plate” for just 35 cents. The coliseum is pictured in the background. The Indiana State Fair has been held at the Indiana State Fairgrounds and Event Center […]

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Memory bank: Cattle judging

Cattle judging is underway in this photo from the 1947 Indiana State Fair. The cattle were judged in the Indiana Farmer’s Coliseum, which was built in 1939 as the Livestock Pavilion. At the time, it was ranked among the largest and grandest structures of its kind. In 2012, it underwent a $53 million renovation. Today, […]

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Memory Bank: Laying a cornerstone

On June 7, 1920, Bert H. Gadd, chairman of the Indianapolis Board of School Commissioners, laid the cornerstone of an addition to Charles E. Emmerich Manual Training High School at 525 S. Meridian St. The new building, which included an auditorium with a stage and orchestra pit, a cafeteria and a gymnasium, opened in 1922. […]

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Memory bank: Changing landscape

Pictured is an aerial view of Indianapolis in July 1968. It shows three new or under-construction high-rise buildings: The Indiana National Bank Tower, now known as Regions Tower, which opened at 211 N. Pennsylvania St. in 1970; The Hilton Hotel, now known as the Sheraton Hotel, which was built at the southwest corner of Meridian […]

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Memory bank: Movie premiere

A special event was held July 6, 1945, for the Indianapolis film premiere of “The Story of G.I. Joe” at Loew’s Theatre. The film was inspired by Hoosier Ernie Pyle’s war correspondence during World War II. Pyle was killed on April 18, 1945, by Japanese sniper fire while covering the Pacific Theater of the war. […]

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