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Indiana Facts

Thanks to June Knight Shassere (W-58), Mike McCormick (W-56), Steve Bailey (T-69), Terry Lucas (W-69) and Jack Webster (T-50) for the following:

The Prairie Farmer publication has featured the cartoon "Slim and Spud" for 30 years. This cartoon is drawn by Hoosier Max Gwin.

The first regulated speed limit on Indiana roads was initiated in 1921. 25 mph!! Just Cruisin'!

Purdue is Indiana's land grant college.

An average of 400 funnel clouds are sighted each year in Indiana.

The exteriors of the hit movie Hoosiers was filmed just 25 miles from the Purdue campus at New Richmond, Indiana.

Remember another hit movie - Breaking Away? Well, it was filmed in Bloomington, Indiana and partially on the campus of Indiana University - I.U.!

"The Girls of Kokomo" appear annually in Playboy Magazine.

Infamous bank robber, John Dillinger, declared he would never rob any banks in Anderson, Indiana because there were railroad tracks over every exit road.

Josie Orr, wife of former Indiana Governor Robert Orr, flew bombers and cargo planes during World War II.

The Indianapolis Methodist Hospital is the largest Hospital in the Midwest.

One of the first complete bathrooms in Indianapolis was in the home of Hoosier poet, James Whitcomb Riley.

One of the first evaporated milk companies was started by an Indiana Dentist, Dr. Wilson.

Fort Wayne, Indiana Library houses one of the largest genealogy libraries in America.

Indianapolis has the most Interstate legs in the U.S. earning it the title of "Crossroads of America".

The Courthouse in Greensburg, Indiana has a tree growing from it.

The world's first transistor radio was made in Indianapolis.

Elkhart, Indiana is the band instrument capitol of the World.

Frank Sinatra first sang with the Tommy Dorsey band at the Lyric Theater in Indianapolis.

Purdue Alumnus, Earl Butz, served as the Secretary of Agriculture.

The singing McGuire Sisters spent their childhood summers at the Church of God Campground in Anderson, Indiana.

LaPorte County is the only county in America having 2 functioning Courthouses.

Nancy Hanks Lincoln is buried in Spencer County, Indiana.

The Lincoln Museum in Allen County contains the world's largest private collection of President Abraham Lincoln.

Buffaloes roamed in Indiana at the Needmore Buffalo Farm in Harrison County.

St. Meinrad Archabbey is located in Spencer County and is one of only 2 archabbey in the U.S. and seven in the world. Abbey Press is in operation of the archabbey.

The first oil extracted from grain (corn) was maufactured and marketed by the Hudnut Hominy Company of Terre Haute in 1899.

The first cocoa bean-shaped Coca Cola bottle was designed and manufactured in Terre Haute by the Root Glass Company in 1915-16.

The first V-8 juice was manufactured in Terre Haute.

The first digital audio disc was manufactured in Terre Haute.

The largest greenhouse in America was owned by Davis Gardens in Terre Haute.

At one time, the Terre Haute Quaker Maid plant of the Great A & P Co. was the largest food processing plant in the world under one roof.

Penicillin was frst commercially manufactured at Commercial Solvents plant in Terre Haute.

The first successful flight of an American-built monoplane occurred in North Terre Haute in August 1911. The craft was built by the Johnson brothers of Terre Haute and piloted by Louis Johnson.

John Ross "Dok" Hager of Terre Haute invented "The Waddles," cartoon characters which presented the daily weather forecasts, fiorst in a Seattle newspaper and then in the Christian Science Monitor.

Aviatrix Willa Beatrice Brown of Terre Haute was the second African-American to obtain a commercial pilot's licencse and the first African-American woman to run for Congress.

Virginia Somes Jenckes of Terre Haute was the first Congresswoman elected in Indiana.

Ellen Church Marshall, later administrator of Terre Haute's Union Hospital, was America's first airline stewardess.

John Palmer Usher of Terre Haute was secretary of interior under Abraham Lincoln.

Richard W. Thompson of Terre Haute was secretary of the navy under Rutherford B. Hayes.

Dr. John B. Stephenson of Terre Haute was the Librarian of Congress during the Lincoln administration.

William P. Dole of Terre Haute (later Clinton and Paris, Ill.) was the Superintendent of Indian Affairs under Lincoln.

Between 1836 and 1847, three Terre Haute lawyers were Chief Commissioner of the U.S. Land Office in Washington, D.C., succeeding each other: James Whitcomb (1836-1841), Elisha Mills Huntington (1841- 1845) and Thomas Holdsworth Blake (1845-1847).

Longtime Illinois Congressman and Speaker of the House Joseph G. Cannon, who resided during his youth in Parke County, Indiana, studied law and was admitted to the bar in Terre Haute. The House of Representatives office building is named after him.

U.S. Senator Daniel W. Voorhees of Terre Haute drafted and introduced the resolution to build the current Library of Congress.

Between 1889 and 1902, Terre Haute's Four-Cornered Track was the site of over 20 world records and was considered the fastest harness racing track in the world.

Before Prohibition, federal taxes on distilled spirits manufactured in Terre Haute accounted for over 14 percent of the nation's revenue.

Herald Rea Cox of Terre Haute discovered the vaccine for Rocky Mountain spotted fever and vaccines for several strains of typhus.

Former Terre Haute resident Edward J. Roye became the fifth president of Liberia.

Former Terre Haute resident Pinkney Benton Stewart Pinchback became the first African-American to serve as the governor of a state (Louisiana).

Hiram Rhodes Revels, who founded a subscription school for African-American children in Terre Haute, was the first African-American to be elected to the U.S. Senate.

Terre Haute resident James Sidney Hinton was the first African-American elected to the Indiana legislature and the only African-American to serve as a member of the board of trustees of the Wabash & Erie Canal.

The Wabash & Erie Canal, the longest manmade body of water ever built in the western hemisphere (468 miles), was headquartered in Terre Haute from 1847 to 1874.

Father Bede O'Conner, former pastor at St. Joseph's Church in Terre Haute and one of the founders of St. Meinrad Archabbey, is buried at St. Joseph's Cemetery in Terre Haute.

Edward Price Bell of Terre Haute was the first journalist ever nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize (1930).

Terre Haute actress Rose Melville appeared on stage as "Sis Hopkins" more than 5,000 times, more than any stage personality in history in the same role.

Bert Shepard of Dana, Indiana, is the only person ever to play in a major league baseball game with an artificial limb. His nephew currently is the mayor of Clinton, Indiana.

According to tradition, America's first pay toilet was placed in Big Four Station in Terre Haute in 1910.

Gen. Henry Dana Washburn of Clinton headed the first governmental expedition into the region now known as Yellowstone Park and is sometimes called the "Father of Yellowstone."

Two members of the group known as the "first Dillinger Gang" -- Russell Clark and Edward Shouse -- were from Terre Haute. Another member of the gang, Harry Pierpont, spent several formative years in Brazil, Indiana.

Steve McQueen was born Beech Grove, Indiana. Forrest Tucker was born in Ft. Wayne. Carl Malden was born in Indiana. Also Claude Aikens was born in Linton.

David Letterman, Red Skelton, Florence Henderson, Janie Fricke and Herb Shriner were all from Indiana...and let's not forget Jim Jones.

Also country star Steve Warnier is from Noblesville.

Thanks to Mike McCormick for the following two paragraphs of famous Terre Hautians:

Just listing the show business personalities will take up a couple of pages.
The Terre Haute representatives include Jonathan Banks (must share with Bloomington though his mother lives here), Joseph Benti, Wally Bruner (must share qwith Indianapolis) , Scatman Crothers, Johnnie "Scat" Davis (must share with Brazil), Scott Denny, Paul Dresser, Theodore Dreiser, Alice Fischer, Ross Ford, Irving "Izzy" Friedman (must share with Linton), Skeets Gallagher, Harry Glazier, Jess Hahn, Eleanor Hansen, Frank Holland (must share with Brazil), Maude Hosford, Burl Ives (must share with Robinson, Hunt and Charleston, Ill), Orin C. Jackson, Chubby Johnson, Grover Jones, Joe Keaton, Maria Kimberly (must share with Columbus, Ohio, where she moved iduring high school), Louise Kussner, Joanne Lansing, Billy Lee, Billy Link, David Madden (born in Canada but went to school here), George Mahare, Rose Melville, Mark Jeffrey Miller, Alvy Moore (born in Vincennes but went through school and college here), Harry Reeves, Jack Rooney, Edward Roseman, Luke Schoolcraft, Summer Selby, Earl Sibley, Otis Stantz, Valeska Suratt, Tex Terry (must share with Coxville in Parke County), Bill Thompson, Claude Thornhill, Tracey Trench, Lynne Topping Richter, Jerry Van Dyke (born and raised in Danville, Ill. but was on WTHI-TV for about three years), Hunter Von Leer and Rob Youngblood.

There are plenty of other Indiana show business personalities in this list .
. . . George Ade, Tom Adkins, Charles Aidman, Claude Akins, Lillia Albertson, Ron Alcorn, Betty Alden, Jack Aldworth, Jimmy Aleck, Jane Allen, Richard Allen, Leon Ames, David Anspaugh, Marlon Archey, Arnold, Charles Arnt, Howard Ashman, Chuck Aspegren, Ray Atchley, Harry Bailey, Leah Baird, Graham Baker, Michael Ballard, Richard Barbee, Julia Barr, James "Uncle Remus" Baskett, Rhonda Bates, Anne Baxter, Anita Bayless, Emmett Beck, Robert Becker, Ralph Bellamy, Harry Benham, Billie Bennett, Richard Bennett, Abraham Benrubi, Judith Marie Bergan, Polly Bergen, Richard Bergman, Jon Bernstein, James Best, Eddie Beverly Jr., William Bindley, Greta Blackburn, Larry Blanford, Monte Blue, Paul Bollen, Beulah Bondi, Lee Bonnell, Betsy Borns, Dorothy Bosley, John Bowers, Palmer Bowman, Harriett Brandon, Tom Broecker, John Bromfield, Avery Brooks, Candy & Randi Brough, June Brown, Kate Bruce, Pamela Jean Bryant, Walter Bullock (Shelburn), Todd Buntin, Kathleen Burke, Frederick Burton, Steve Burton, Dan Butler, Lois Butler, Charles Butterworth, Duane Campbell, David Canary, Pete Candoli, James Carew, MacDonald Carey, Hoagy Carmichael, Helen Carroll, Ella Sturart Carson, Anthony Caruso, Michael Champion, Shirley Chandler, Arlene Charles, Tom Chatterton, Nobel Chissel, Ann Christy, Ludi Claire, Steve Clark, John Clarke, Bill Cody, Jr., Theo Coffman, Russell Collins, Ray Combs, Joe Cook, Johnny Coons, Annie Corley, Bartlett Cormack, Bill Cottrell, Sam Cowling, Cladia Craddock, Catherine Craig, John Craig, Duncan Cramer, Richard Crane, Mary Jane Croft, John Cromwell, Gretchen Cryer, Dick Curtis, Trisha Danner, Jane Darwell, George Daugherty, Herschel Daugherty, Frank T. Davis, George W. Davis, Jim Davis, Madelyn Davis, Muriel Davis, Isabel Dawn, James Dean, Ashton Dearholt, Julie McWhirter Dees, Ann DeLisle, Joyce DeWitt, Frank H. Dietl, James L. Dilley, Charles Dingle, Polly Draper, Louise Dresser, Michael Duane, Andrew Duggan, Ralph Dumke, Irene Dunne, Allan Dwan, Ed East, Kenneth "Babyface" Edmonds, James Edwards, Todd Edwards, Robert Emhardt, Ray Enright, Fred Eric, Chad Everett, Frances Farmer, Louise Fazenda, Bianca Ferguson, Albert Fields, Med Flory, Charles E. Ford, Norman Foster, The Four Freshmen, Tom "Stubby" Fouts, Vivica A. Fox, Charles H. France, Harry Frankel, Brendan Fraser, L.J. Frechetti, Earl Freeman, Terry Funk, Shanon Gabet, Fred A. Gamble, Harry M. Gardner, Will Geer, Carmelita Geraghty, Maurice Geraghty, Tom Geraghty, James Gibson, Donn Gift, Ron Glass, Barry Glazer, David Goodnow (a year or so on WTHI-TV), Edna Goodrich, Elsie Mae Gordon, Gordon Gordon, Maude Turner Gordon, Valentine Grant, Sid Grauman, David Gray, Brian Lane Green, Gloria Gresham, Tim Grimm, Johnny Gruelle, John Guedel, Victor Haboush, Molly Hagan, Jean Hagen, Rhea Haines, Robert T. Haines, Louise Closser Hale, Donald Hall, William J. Haney, Howell Hansel, Woody Harrelson, Phil Harris, Russ Harris, Howard Hawks, Kenneth Hawks, Bill Hayes, Joseph Hayes, Will Hays Jr. (Sullivan and Crawfordsville), Will Hays Sr.(Sullivan), Florence Henderson, Lana & Lori Hendricks, Frederick L. Herron, Kevin Hershberger, Joe Higgins, Eddie Hilgemeier Jr., James Hill, Lambert Hillyer, Drake Hogestyn, Kent Holaday, Hal Holbrook, Helen Holmes, Ann Hovey, Jobyna Howland, John Hubbard, Thom Huge, Mary Ellen Huggins, C. Roy Hunter, Lucille Hutton, Jack Imel, Frank Inn, Janet Jackson, Jermaine Jackson, La Toya Jackson, Michael Jackson, Dean Jagger, Elsie Janis, C. Francis Jenkins, William H. Jenner, Claudia Jennings, J. C. Jessen, John LeRoy Johnston, Julanne Johnston, Anissa Jones, Buck Jones, Doug Jones, William Jordon, Bill Justice, Edgar Justice, Mabel H. Justice, Patricia Kalember, Alex Karras, Monte M. Katterjohn, Muriel Kearney, Jim Keifer, Robert Keith, Anthony Paul Kelly, Emmett Kelly Sr., Adam Kennedy, John Kennedy, Roy Kenney, Ken Kercheval (Clinton but launched his theater career in Terre Haute), Brook Kerr, E. Katherine Kerr, J. Warren Kerrigan, Charles Kimbrough, Greg Kinnear, Durward Kirby, Kevin Kline, Lydia Knott, John Korty, John W. Krafft, Elizabeth Krueger, Ken Kugler, Carol Kunz, John Kurtz, Jeanne LaDuke, Neil LaBute, Art LaFleur, Jewell Lain, Brian Lamb, Allan "Rocky" Lane, Francie Lane, Lola Lane, Pat Lane, Robert Lansing, Priscilla Lawson, Billy Lee, Hyapatia Lee, Mary Lee, Alan LeMay, Terry Lester, David Letterman, Joseph Levering, Forrest Lewis, Robert Lieber, Winnie Lightner, Elmo Lincoln, Greta Lind, Monaei Lindley, Thomas G. Lingham, Josh Logan, Carole Lombard, Peggy London, Shelley Long, Dorothy Loudon, W. Wallace Lozier, John Lupton, Peter Lupus, Mara Lynn, Kenneth Macdonald, Marjorie "Ma Kettle" Main, Karl Malden, Claire Malis, Ned Mann, William Marshall, Strother Martin, Marilyn Maxwell, Baby Pasty May, Ken Maynard, Kermit Maynard, Ted McCord, Myron McCormick, John McGreevey, Maurice McKenzie, Jack McKeown, John McMartin, Charles McMurphy, William McNutt, Steve McQueen, Pat McVey, Robert Mead, Martha Merrill, Earl Metcalf, Dorothy Meyer, Harry Meyer, Michael Michele, Thomas B. Middleton, Walter O. Miles, Bettlu Miller, Denny Miller, Marilyn Miller, Sarah Miller, Geneva Mitchell, Roger Mobley, Sharyn Moffett, Mombasa, Margo Moore, Tom Moore, T.H. Mogan Jr., Patricia Morison, Muriel Morris, Charlie Murray, Priscilla Nedd-Friendly, Greg Neff, John Neilson, Tom Noel, Tom Nolan, Wayne Nunn, Joyce O'Conner, Tommy O'Haver, Betty Olds, Ole Olsen, James O'Rear, Paul Osborn, Jeff Osterhage, Joyce Otis, Jack Paar, Robert Paige, Betsy Palmer, Judie Parks, Jane Pauley, George Paulsin, George C. Peed, Bill Peet, William Dudley Pelley, Deedy Peters, Don Peters, Charles C. Pettijohn, Virginia Philley, John Philliber, Augustus Phillips, James Pierce, Angelo Pizzo, Lon Poff, Bernie Pollack, Sidney Pollack, Danny Polo (Clinton), Kent Poole, Cole Porter, Victor Potel, Dick Powell, Russ Powell, Phil Proctor, Tommy Puett, Irene Purcell, June Purcell, Sarah Purcell, Stuart Randall, Sue Randall, Jane Randall, James Rebhorn, Peter Reckell, Christina Reguli, Hal Reid, Camille Renault, Jerry Reynolds, Carol Richards, Charles Richards, Will M. Ritchey, Gale Robbins, Shari Robinson, Al Rockett, Clyde Roe, Ivan Rogers, Fred Rose, Bob Ross, Churchill Ross, Earle Ross, Ellen Ross, William D. Russell, Frank Ryan, Colonel Sanders, Thomas Santschi, Stephen Scaia, Paul Scherrer, Ray Schrock, Carly Schroeder, George Seaton, Miriam Seegar, Sara Seegar, Gretchen Seidel, Tom Seidel, Norman "Kid McCoy" Selby, Dean Selmier, Jean Shafer, Mark Shaw, Greg Shelton, Jean Shephard, Courtney Sherman, Bobby Sherwood, John Wesley Shipp, Bill Shirk, Bill Shirley, Herb Shriner, John Sibley, Autumn Sims, Barbara Sims, Red Skelton, James Sloyan, Cliff Smith, Connie Smith, William E. Smith, Susan Solt, Eloise Spann, Gary Spencer, Helene Stanley, Paul F. Startzman, Liz Stauber, Hans O. Stechhan, Larry Steers, Jules Stein, Rachel Stephens, Ford Sterling, Charles Sterrett, Margie Stewart, Barbara Stock, Jeffrey Stone, Scott Stone, Gene Stratton-Porter, Hugh Studebaker, Lucile Sullivan, Maggie Sullivan, Henry Lee Summers (Clay County), Marc Summers, Fay Suter, Sherri Sylvester, Booth Tarkington (mother was from Terre Haute), Jeri Taylor, Julia M. Taylor, Meshach Taylor, Max Terhune, Alice Terry, Steve Tesich, Twyla Tharp, Ernest Thomas, Frazier Thomas, Jacqueline Thomas, Lowell Thomas, Lyn Thomas, Jack Tolbert, Gary Tomlin, Patrick Tovatt, Forrest Tucker, Otis Turner, Sherlee Turner, Lurene Tuttle, Michael E. Uslan, Grace Valentine, Jon Van Ness, Ed Van Nuys, Vincent Ventresca, Irene Vernon, Arnold Vierling, Herb Vigran, Larry Vincent, Melanie Vincz, Andy Voils, Harry Von Zell, Kurt Vonnegut Jr., John P. Wade, Kristina Wagner, Raymond Walburn, Ken Wales, Stuart Walker, William Walker, Bill Wallace, May Wallace, John Waltz, Gabe Ward, Marion Warner, Alice Washburn, Mark Waters, Watkins Maurine Watkins, Fred Waugh, Paula Wayton, Marjorie Weaver, Clifton Webb, George Webb, Helen Weir, Nancy Westbrook, Bessie Emerick Wharton, Tim Whelan, Walker Whiteside, Robert J. Wildhack, Jan Wiley, Cynda Williams, Matt Williams, Fred Williamson, Frank Wilstack, Oprah Winfrey, Robert Wise, Isabel Withers, Cornett Wood, Jo Anne Worley, Herbert Wright, Mack V. Wright and William H.Wright.

And how about the Outlaw Sam Bass or the author of Ben Hur - Gen. Lew Wallace or Ernie Pyle and the famous rocker John Mellencamp? Don't forget Michael Jackson and the Jackson Five or the fact that the very first train robbery which soon became a national trend.

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