IN INDIANA HISTORY
AUGUST 12 - AUGUST 18
1859 Professor John Wise, a balloonist, was authorized to carry mail by air from Lafayette to the East Coast. An estimated 30,000 people gathered to see the ascent. After a one-day delay, the balloon rose. Blown off course, it landed in Crawfordsville and the mail was sent eastward by train.
1940 Over 260,000 crowded Wendell Willkie’s hometown of Elwood, Indiana, where he accepted the Republican nomination for President. Willkie waged an energetic, whirlwind campaign from his national headquarters in Rushville.
1945 Japanese forces surrendered, ending World War II. Approximately 338,00 men and 118,00 women from Indiana served in the war. Of these, almost 12,000 lost their lives and 17,000 were wounded.
1992 Larry Bird retired from the National Basketball Association. A star in his hometown of French Lick and at Indiana State University, Bird was a leading scorer for the Boston Celtics. NBA Commission David Stern said, “In the future, great players will be judged against the standards he has set.”
2011 Wind gusts from an approaching thunderstorm caused a stage to collapse at the Indiana State Fair. A temporary roof fell onto a crowd of spectators, killing 7 people and injuring 58.
2017 Wreckage of the USS Indianapolis was discovered 72 years after the ship had been sunk by a Japanese torpedo. Using high-tech sonar, a civilian research team found the remains of the ship 18,000 feet beneath the surface of the Pacific Ocean.