THIS WEEK

IN INDIANA HISTORY

Carl Erskine

SEPTEMBER 26  - OCTOBER 2


​​1858     The Metropolitan, the first theater in Indianapolis, opened its doors to the public.  Located on the northeast corner of Washington and Tennessee Street (now Capitol Avenue,) it was described by a local newspaper as “the most elegant theater in the West.”  A cast of 23 actors presented two plays:  a drama titled Love’s Sacrifice and a comedy called My Neighbor’s Wife, described as “a laughable farce.”

1881     Indiana Governor Albert Porter and other state officials traveled to Cleveland, Ohio, to attend the funeral of President James A. Garfield.  The President had been shot by an assassin in a Washington train station.  The governor issued a proclamation encouraging the cessation of all business throughout the state on the afternoon of the funeral. 

 1918     The first cases of Spanish Influenza were reported in Indianapolis.  The health department issued orders effectively closing all schools, theaters, and churches.  Many businesses shut down and postal workers started wearing masks.  The city would have over 6,000 influenza cases over the next two months.  Over 3,200 Hoosiers died from the illness. 

1934     Elfrieda Mais LaPlante was killed while driving her stunt car through a wall of fire at the Alabama State Fairgrounds.  Born and raised in Indianapolis, she was billed as the “only woman auto racer in the world.”  She had an adventure-filled life as a “wing walker” on airplanes, a race driver, and a stunt car star. 

 1953     Brooklyn Dodgers pitcher Carl Erskine set a baseball World Series record with 14 strikeouts in one game.  He led the team to a win over the New York Yankees by a score of 3 to 2.  Erskine, from Anderson, Indiana, spent his entire career with the Dodgers, from 1948 to 1959, and was the pitching mainstay in winning five National League pennants.

 2018     Governor Eric Holcomb and other state officials were in Cape Canaveral, Florida, for the commissioning of the new USS Indiana.  A fast-attack submarine, the vessel is powered by a nuclear reactor that can go three decades without refueling.  The governor told service members that “your crew is a lot bigger than you think . . .this crew is 6 million strong because there are 6.6 million Hoosiers who are proud of the USS Indiana.”