THIS WEEK

IN INDIANA HISTORY


JULY 14 - JULY  20


​1906     Gary, Indiana, was incorporated by the United States Steel Corporation and named for the company’s founder, Judge Elbert Henry Gary.  The new city grew quickly and within 20 years was one of the largest in the state.

 1913     Comedian Red Skelton was born in Vincennes.  Starting as a circus clown, he became famous in vaudeville, movies, radio, and television.   Today he is honored by a museum in his hometown which includes a fully-interactive exhibit entitled “Red Skelton:  A Legacy of Laughter.” 

 1926     Dedication ceremonies were held near Angola for land that would become Indiana’s fifth state park.  Originally called Lake James Park, the name was changed to Pokagon to reflect the area’s Native American heritage and Potawatomi leaders Leopold and Simon Pokagon.  Among those at the ceremony were Governor Ed Jackson and former Governor James Goodrich.

 1935     The first Indiana State Police Academy was held at the Indiana State Fairgrounds.  The recruits slept on army cots on the second floor of the horse barn and took their meals at the State Fair Hotel near Gate 6.  The rigorous five-week training program produced the first class of formally trained state troopers. 

 1950     Sales of television sets were expected to rise in Indianapolis as WFBM announced plans to carry network programs.  Viewers could look forward to seeing the World Series and shows with Arthur Godfrey and Jack Benny.  The bulk of RCA receivers were built in factories in Indianapolis, Bloomington and Marion.  The price of a 19-inch console model was $450 (over $4,000 in today’s dollars.)

 1969     Purdue graduate Neil Armstrong became the first person to walk on the surface of the moon.  He was 239,000 miles from home when he stepped from the lunar landing module Eagle and said, “That’s one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind.”