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1820
A law banning the carrying of concealed weapons was passed in Indiana.
Links: USA, Guns, Indiana     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1824
Robert Owen (1771-1858), Welsh social reformer and mill owner, traveled to America to invest the bulk of his fortune in an experimental 1,000-member colony on the banks of Indiana's Wabash River, called New Harmony.
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1840
A US no-bail-out policy forced some state into default. Several US states had loaded up on unsustainable debt following an extended period of easy credit. These states consequently found payments on their existing bonds increasingly unaffordable. Between 1841 and 1843 Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Mississippi, Pennsylvania and one territory – a proto-state called Florida – defaulted.
Links: USA, Louisiana, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Illinois, Florida, Michigan, Mississippi, Arkansas, Indiana, Banking     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1841
In Indiana Mother Theodore Guerin (1798-1856), a French nun, established St. Mary-of-the-Woods College for women. In 2006 Pope Benedict XVI named her a saint.
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1845 Feb 18
John Chapman, aka Johnny Appleseed, died in Allen County, Indiana. In 1954 Robert Price authored Johnny Appleseed: Man and Myth.”
Links: USA, Food, Indiana, Biography     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
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1852 Apr 30
A strong tornado hit New Harmony, Indiana, killing 16 people.
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1853
The town of Austin, Indiana, was founded. It became an important rail stop between Indianapolis and Louisville.
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1858
Tell City, Ind., was founded as a planned community of Swiss furniture craftsmen from Cincinnati, Ohio.
Links: USA, Switzerland, Ohio, Indiana, Antique, Furniture     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1865
Swiss furniture craftsmen formed the Chair Makers Union of Tell City, Ind. This later became the Tell City Chair Co.
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1879
The American Furniture Co. was first organized in Batesville, Ind. It was re-organized in 1888 and in 1930 merged with 2 other firms to form RomWeber Co.
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1891 Mar
David Starr Jordan (1851-1931) of Indiana Univ. accepted an offer as president of the new Stanford Univ. in Palo Alto, Ca.
Links: USA, SF Bay Area, Indiana, Education     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1905
Studebaker of South Bend, Indiana, produced an electric car, the Victoria Phaeton, that could be charged at home.
Links: USA, Cars, Indiana     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1906
US Steel Corp. begat a company town in Indiana named Gary after Elbert Henry Gary, the chairman of the board.
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1907 Jul 16
Orville Redenbacher (d.1995), agronomist and popcorn entrepreneur, was born in Brazil, Indiana. "Do one thing and do it better than anyone."
Links: USA, Food, Quote, Indiana     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1908
Belle Gunness (48), reportedly died in a fire at her farm in Laporte, Indiana. Many locals believed Gunness, dubbed Lady Bluebeard, staged her death and had killed at least 25 people before the fire.
Links: USA, Women, Murder, Indiana     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
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1914
The Napanee Line of Dutch Kitchenet cabinets was introduced by Coppes Brothers and Zook of Nappanee, Indiana, about this time.
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1916 Jul 11
Dan Patch (b.1896), a record-breaking, Indiana-born, harness race horse, died and was buried in Minnesota. He was the first harness race horse to break the 2-minute mile. In 2008 Charles Leersen authored “Crazy Good: The True Story of Dan Patch, The Most Famous Horse in America.” Here Leersen details the pharmacopoeia used in racing at the turn of the century.
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1917 May 26
Up to eight separate tornadoes cut a path of destruction for nearly 300 miles across Illinois and Indiana.
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1920 Dec 14
George Gipp (b.1895) died in Indiana from pneumonia and a strep infection during his senior year at Notre Dame. He was buried in northern Michigan. Gipp was the school's first All-American and set a school career rushing record that stood for more than 50 years. Ronald Reagan portrayed Gipp in the 1940 movie "Knute Rockne, All American," in which he made famous the phrase "win one for the Gipper."
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1925 Mar 18
The great Tri-State Tornado killed 695 people in Illinois, Indiana and Missouri and injured some 13,000 people, and causing $17 million in property damage. Several other destructive tornadoes in Tennessee, Kentucky, and Indiana, as well as tornadoes in Alabama and Kansas brought the total to at least 747 dead.
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1927
Max Ehrmann (1872-1945), Indiana lawyer, wrote his poem “Desiderata” – “Be gentle with yourself…”
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1929
Sociologists Robert and Helen Lynd rechristened Muncie, Indiana, to “Middletown” in a study regarding it as representative of the American experience.
Links: USA, Indiana, Sociology     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1930 Aug 7
In Marion, Indiana, a mob broke into a jail and beat to death 2 young black men and hung them from a tree in the courthouse square. Tommy Shipp and Abe Smith and a 3rd teenager had just been arrested for a botched robbery that left Claude Deeter, a white man, dead. James Cameron (16) was saved from hanging, even as a noose was on his neck. In 2006 Cynthia Carr authored “Our Town: A Heartland Lynching, a Haunted Town and the Hidden History of White America.”
Links: USA, Black History, Murder, Indiana, Mad Crowd     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1939
Dan West, a relief worker from Indiana, concluded during the Spanish Civil War that there must be a better way to help the needy than simply handing out free milk. In 1944, the first shipment of 17 heifers left York, Pennsylvania, for Puerto Rico, going to families whose malnourished children had never even tasted milk.
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1956
The Indiana Toll Road opened with eight pairs of travel plazas along the 156-mile stretch lin king Chicago to Ohio and points eastward. In 2015 IFM, an Australian infrastructure fund, acquired a 66-year lease on the road in a $5.8 billion deal.
Links: USA, Indiana     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
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1958 Aug 29
Michael Jackson (d.2009), pop singer, entertainer, was born in Gary, Ind., the 7th of nine children.
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1963 Oct 31
On Halloween night leaking propane gas exploded and killed 64 at the "Holiday on Ice" show at the Indiana State Fair Grounds in Indianapolis.
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1963
Richard Trentlage, Indiana songwriter, wrote the TV jingle “I wish I were an Oscar Mayer wiener,” and had it sung by his kids.
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1963
Studebaker halted production of its cars. Some 4,000 employees lost their company pensions as the firm permanently closed its plant in South Bend, Ind. This led to the passage of the Employment Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) in 1974.
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1968 Apr 4
Bobby Kennedy spoke at a black ghetto in Indianapolis just after hearing of the assassination of Martin Luther King. His speech registered the enormity of the event and began the work of healing. Riots over the next few days hit 76 American cities, but Indianapolis re-mained quiet.
Links: USA, Black History, Indiana     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
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1968 Jul 27
A 3-day race riot began in Gary, Indiana.
Links: USA, Black History, Indiana, Mad Crowd     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1968 Jul 30
In Gary, Indiana, policemen took aim at snipers after the third night of racial unrest. 64 people were taken into custody. Mayor Richard G. Hatcher, the first Negro mayor in a city with a Negro majority, said that he now believes that gangs realize they will not be allowed to use violence to get what they want.
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1973 Jul 2
Swede Savage (b.1946), American race car driver, died 33 days after suffering injuries at the Indianapolis 500.
Links: USA, Cars, Indiana     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1974 Apr 3
A series of 148 deadly tornadoes struck wide parts of the South and Midwest before jumping across the border into Canada; some 330 people were killed in 13 states: Alabama, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Mississippi, North Carolina, Ohio, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia. Total property damage was estimated at $600 million. In 2007 Mark Levine authored “F5: Devastation, Survival, and the Most Violent Tornado Outbreak of the 20th Century.”
Links: Georgia, Canada, Ohio, Virginia, Tennessee, Illinois, North Carolina, South Carolina, Michigan, Kentucky, Alabama, Mississippi, West Virginia, Indiana, Tornado     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1974
The first high school swing choir invitational competition was held at Bishop Luers High School in Fort Wayne, Ind. The Marion High School's (Indiana) "The 26th Street Singers," under the direction of teacher F. Ritchie Walton, introduced a new brand of song and dance at the competition and took home the competition trophy.
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1976
The American Basketball Association disbanded. Four of the teams, Indiana, San Antonio, Denver and New Jersey joined the NBA. The owners of the Spirits of St. Louis negotiated a deal to collect one-seventh of their NBA TV money in perpetuity. Terry Pluto later authored "Loose Balls," a definitive book on the ABA.
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1979 Mar 26
In the 41st NCAA Men's Basketball Championship the Michigan State Spartans beat the Indiana State Sycamores, 75-64, as Magic Johnson outscored Larry Bird, 24-19; this snapped Indiana State's 33-game win streak. In 2009 Seth Davis authored “When March Went Mad: The Game That Transformed Basketball.”
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1980 Mar 13
A jury in Winamac, Ind., found Ford Motor Company innocent of reckless homicide in the fiery deaths of three young women riding in a Ford Pinto.
Links: Michigan, Cars, Indiana     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1980 May 29
In Fort Wayne, Indiana, there was an attempted assassination of Vernon Jordan Jr., National Urban League president. in 1996 an acquitted sniper told a newspaper that he did shoot and wound Vernon Jordan, then president of the Urban League, outside an Indiana hotel in 1980.
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1980
1990
Herbert Baumeister (1947-1996), an Indianapolis businessman, killed 16 men, most of them gay, and dumped them in the woods behind his home and along rural roads in Indiana and Ohio. Baumeister committed suicide in Canada at age 49.
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1981 Aug 22
In Indianapolis, Indiana, King Edward Bell (33), a laid-off autoworker, killed his estranged wife, mother-in-law and 4 children. Bell was sentenced to six consecutive 40-year prison terms.
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1982 Aug 17
A jury in South Bend, Ind., acquitted self-avowed racist Joseph Paul Franklin, for the 1980 attempted assassination of Vernon Jordan Jr, National Urban League president.
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1982
The Fourth Freedom Forum was formed in Goshen, Indiana, by Howard Brembeck to advocate the use of economic power instead of military force.
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1984 Mar 29
The NFL Baltimore Colts moved to Indianapolis.
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1985 Feb 23
Indiana basketball coach Bobby Knight threw a chair during a game.
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1985 May 14
In Indiana Paula Cooper (b.1969) took part in the stabbing death of Ruth Pelke (78), a Bible studies teacher during a robbery with three other teens. Cooper was sentenced to death in 1986, but in 1988 the state’s high court set her death sentence aside and ordered her to serve 60 years in prison. Cooper was released from prison on June 17, 2013.
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1985 Aug 26
Thirteen-year-old AIDS patient Ryan White began "attending" classes at Western Middle School in Kokomo, Indiana, via a telephone hook-up at his home. School officials had barred Ryan from attending classes in person.
Links: USA, AIDS, Indiana, Education, Kids     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1986 Feb 21
Ryan White (1971-1990), AIDS patient, returned to classes at Western Middle School in Indiana.
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1986
The bodies of Tony (48) and Michael (41) Spilotro were found buried in an Indiana cornfield. Tony “The Ant” Spilotro was a top mob figure in Las Vegas. In 2005 prosecutors indicted 11 Chicago mob figures for at least 18 murders, including the Spilotros.
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1987 Mar 31
Indiana Univ. won the NCAA basketball finals with a last-second, corner shot by Keith Smart.
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1987 Oct 20
Ten people were killed when an Air Force jet crashed into a Ramada Inn hotel near Indianapolis International Airport after the pilot, who was trying to make an emergency landing, ejected safely.
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1988 Aug 16
VP George Bush tapped Indiana Sen. Dan Quayle to be his running mate.
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1988 Aug 18
Indiana Sen. Dan Quayle was nominated to be George Bush's running mate during the Republican convention in New Orleans; meanwhile, questions were being raised about Quayle's service in the Indiana National Guard during the Vietnam War.
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1988 Aug 19
During a news conference in his hometown of Huntington, Ind., Republican vice-presidential nominee Dan Quayle defended his service in the National Guard during the Vietnam War.
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1988 Aug 22
Speaking to the Veterans of Foreign Wars in Chicago, Vice President George Bush defended the Vietnam-era National Guard service of running mate Dan Quayle, saying, "He did not go to Canada, he did not burn his draft card and he damn sure didn't burn the American flag."
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1988 Nov 8
Evan Bayh, Indiana secretary of state, was elected as state governor.
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1988
Purdue Univ. began hosting the National Rube Goldberg Machine Contest. Reuben Lucius "Rube" Goldberg (b.1883), cartoonist, was known for drawing vastly complicated machines that performed simple tasks.
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1989 Jan 9
Evan Bayh (b.1955) began office as Indiana state governor and continued to 1997. In 1998 he was elected as a US Senator for Indiana. In 2010 he decided not to seek re-election.
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1989 May 28
Emerson Fittipaldi of Brazil won the Indianapolis 500 auto race.
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1989
In Noblesville, Ind., the parents of Brian and David Setters were shot to death. The brothers took over the family insurance business. In 1998 the 2 brothers were charged with the murder.
Links: USA, Murder, Indiana     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
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