"A work of this magnitude and high quality will obviously be indispensable to anyone studying the history of Indianapolis and its region." -- The Journal of American History "... absorbing and accurate... Although it is a monument to Indianapolis, do not be fooled into thinking this tome is impersonal or boring. It's not. It's about people: interesting people. The Encyclopedia of Indianapolis is as engaging as a biography." -- Arts Indiana "... comprehensive and detailed... might well become the model for other such efforts." -- Library Journal With more than 1,600 separate entries and 300 illustrations, The Encyclopedia of Indianapolis is a model of what a modern city encyclopedia should be. From the city's inception through its remarkable transformation into a leading urban center, the history and people of Indianapolis are detailed in factual and intepretive articles on major topics including business, education, religion, social services, politics, ethnicity, sports, and culture.
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With its selection as Indiana's capital in 1821, Indianapolis was destined to become a major Midwestern hub. Through the decades that followed, the Circle City led Indiana into its golden age, when the state was one of the largest industrial and agricultural producers in the nation. Forced to reinvent itself after the decline of heavy industry, Indianapolis now supports a diverse technology- and service-based economy and proudly proclaims itself the amateur sports capital of the world.
More than banquet halls, golf courses, and swimming pools, social clubs were a haven for businessmen, politicians, and community leaders, offering respite from public scrutiny. Defining Indianapolis, the clubs were stoic agents of power and segregation, providing clear historical snapshots of Hoosier pomp and circumstance. The clubs did more than produce Olympic swimmers, world-class golfers, and tennis professionals; they were Indianapolis's multigenerational playgrounds. There were the politics and business dealings at the Columbia Club and the Indianapolis Athletic Club, the golfing, tennis, and formality of Woodstock, Meridian Hills, and other country clubs, and the family fun in the sun at Riviera, Devon, and Olympia. These organizations offered more than magical summers with family and friends; they were the places to be seen.
Indianapolis has been home to eight professional hockey teams in four different leagues off and on since 1939. In that span, seven championship cups (1942, '50, '58, '82, '83, '90, and 2000) were claimed by the Circle City, and dozens of Indianapolis icemen went on to win the coveted Stanley Cup in the NHL. And it was at Indy's Market Square Arena that the legendary Wayne Gretzky--the "Great One"--began his professional career, skating for eight games with the Indianapolis Racers in 1978 before joining fellow ex-Racer Mark Messier to dominate the NHL in Edmonton. Indianapolis Hockey tells the story of the teams and players who have created such a rich hockey history in the state capital, from the earliest Capitals teams of mid-century through the Indianapolis Ice of today.
In 1910, Indianapolis had the smallest foreign stock population of any city north of the Ohio River, and city historians merely ignored the presence of the ethnic communities. In the 1920s, the Hoosier capital supposedly lacked a cosmopolitan character, and the Ku Klux Klan gloried in the slogan "100% American." However, the size of a community does not indicate its significance in municipal life. Rather, immigrants and their descendants make a difference because of their talents and available local opportunities. Residents of Italian origin have contributed mightily to Indianapolis's economy, culture, and professional and religious life. The first to arrive were the Sicilians who developed the city's fruit and vegetable trade and the Friulani who engaged in terrazzo-mosaic tile work. Early immigrants became grocers, shoemakers, tailors, and barbers. Later, primarily after World War II, many American-born of Italian descent moved into Indianapolis, excelling in business and professional fields, including law, medicine, and education. The community has continued to grow, adding to its numbers the Italian-born but married to American military or engaged in skilled labor in carpentry, tailoring, salesmanship, and food preparation.
Inaugurated as the state capital in 1825, Indianapolis was patterned after the nation's capital and laid out on a mile-square grid with Monument Circle at its center. As the city grew and experienced the tumult of the Civil War, legislators decided to erect a monument to the war's fallen servicemen. In 1902, one of the world's most outstanding memorials was completed-the Soldiers and Sailors Monument. Surrounding Monument Circle, "The Circle City" gets its nickname from the prominence and historical significance of the central city structure. Throughout the years, Indianapolis has maintained its commitment to honoring the achievements of Hoosiers. This dedication to Indiana has given the capital its own rich history, told not only through monuments and memorials, but also through the architecture, parks, businesses, and people that make up the heart of Indianapolis. This new book documents the heroes and history of the city, using an impressive collection of vintage photographs from the late 1800s through the early 1900s juxtaposed against present-day images.
The Indianapolis ABCs were formed around the turn of the century, playing company teams from around the city; they soon played other teams in Indiana, including some white teams. Their emergence coincided with the remarkable growth of black baseball, and by 1916 the ABCs won their first major championship. When the Negro National League was formed in 1920, Indianapolis was one of its charter members. But player raids by the Eastern Colored League, formed in 1923, hurt the ABCs and by the Depression the team was fading into oblivion. The team was briefly resurrected as a Negro league team in the late 1930s, but was otherwise relegated to the semiprofessional ranks until its demise in the 1940s. Through contemporary newspaper accounts, extensive research and interviews with the few former ABC players still living, this is the story of the Indianapolis team and the rise of Negro League baseball. The work includes a roster of ABC players, with short biographies of the most prominent.
The 68 year existence of Indianapolis Washington High School is described in a decade-by-decade history with an emphasis on people and athletics as well as focusing on individuals from the World War II and Vietnam eras. The varied lists of both a factual and subjective nature will be of interest to many in central Indiana.