Mural in Knightstown, Indiana,  the location of the Hoosiers Movie Home Gym

THIS WEEK

IN INDIANA HISTORY


NOVEMBER 10 - NOVEMBER 16


1866     Actress Laura Keene and her theatrical company presented the play “Our American Cousin” at Hamilton’s Hall in Fort Wayne.  Miss Keene had starred in the same play at Ford’s Theater in April the year before when President Abraham Lincoln had been assassinated.  With her was actor Harry Hawk who had also performed at Ford’s and whose character had spoken the last words ever heard by Lincoln.

 1917     Nellie Brown of Indianapolis was arrested outside the fence of the White House.  She and other women from around the nation were picketing the Executive Mansion, attempting to persuade President Woodrow Wilson to pressure the Senate into supporting a constitutional suffrage amendment. 

 1938     Popular author Theodore Dreiser spoke at the meeting of the National Scholastic Press Association at the Claypool Hotel in Indianapolis.  Dreiser, from Terre Haute, urged Americans to send food to both sides involved in the Civil War in Spain.  He told graphic stories of conditions he found in a recent visit there.

 1942     Modoc, an Indian elephant who had roamed Wabash and Huntington Counties for four days, was captured near Mt. Etna.  She had escaped from a circus in Wabash and created quite a stir as she wandered through the countryside.  The 1900-pound pachyderm was captured when her owner, accompanied by elephant playmates Judy and Empress, tempted her with 30 loaves of bread.  Modoc’s meanderings had attracted national attention.

 1963    The first touch-tone telephones went into production at the Western Electric plant on the east side of Indianapolis.  The new phones eventually replaced the rotary-dial models which had been in use for over 60 years.  The Indianapolis facility served the entire Bell System, producing 30,000 telephones every day.

 1986     Hoosiers premiered at the Circle Theater in Indianapolis.  Loosely based on the 1954 Milan High School basketball team, the movie was shot entirely in Indiana.  Film Critic Roger Ebert awarded the picture a full five stars.  “Hoosiers works a magic,” he wrote, “in getting us to care about the fate of the team and the people depending on it . . .  . it is a movie that is all heart.”