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Hoosier History Live

Or mail a check to "Hoosier History Live" at P.O. Box 44393, Indianapolis IN 46244

Hoosier History Live is brought to you by:

Greek Islands Restaurant and Catering.

MBP Catering.

Indiana Landmarks logo.

Shirley Brothers Mortuaries and Crematory logo.

Lucas Oil logo.

Story Inn logo.

Indiana Historical Society logo.

If you are interested in becoming a sponsor of Hoosier History Live, click here or call Molly Head at (317) 927-9101 for more info.

New shows online! See below for several newly available online MP3s for your listening! These shows also are listed on our "Listen" page. Or listen live on WICR Online when the show is under way.

Live from Hoosier Homecoming - Oct. 15, 2016. Hoosier History Live was amid the hoopla at the Hoosier Homecoming bicentennial celebration at the Indiana Statehouse for a live broadcast as Nelson interviewed an array of attendees. Online audio underwritten by Indiana Bicentennial Commission.

World War II vets look back - June 4, 2016. Online audio underwritten by Gordon and Mark Dreyfus in honor of their parents, Walter N. and Catherine F. Dreyfus, both WWII veterans.

Persian/Iranian heritage in Indiana - Oct. 17, 2015. Online audio availability underwritten by ShowCase Realty.

Ernie Pyle and John Bartlow Martin, journalists - May 23, 2015. Online audio availability underwritten by Ernie Pyle World War II Museum.

HIV history in Indiana - April 25, 2015.

Guinness World Records and Hoosiers - Jan. 31, 2015.

James Whitcomb Riley: before he was famous - Nov. 22, 2014.

Historic women's groups - Oct. 25, 2014.

World War I and Indiana - Sept. 27, 2014.

From family grocers to supermarkets - July 19, 2014.

Victorian-era and ethnic holiday traditions - Dec. 21, 2013.

Winona Lake, Warsaw, orthopedics and Grace College - Aug. 31, 2013.

Former Indy Mayor Bill Hudnut - June 8, 2013.

Frank Lloyd Wright show - March 30, 2013.

L.S. Ayres and Company history - Jan. 19, 2013.

Full show descriptions are on the Archives page.

  Nelson Price at microphone, 2011.  

Welcome. Hoosier History Live is a weekly radio adventure through Indiana history, live with call-in, hosted by Nelson Price, historian and author of Indiana Legends and Indianapolis: Then and Now. Facebook logo links to the Hoosier History Live! page.Each week, the program includes a featured guest and topic, a call in from The Roadtripper with a tip about a Hoosier heritage-related road trip, and a Hoosier History Trivia question, complete with a prize for the correct answer. Twitter logo for Hoosier History Live.It is the nation's first and only call-in talk-radio show about history, premiering as a live weekly show on Jan. 12, 2008.

Call-in number is (317) 788-3314.

The program airs live on Saturdays from noon to 1 p.m. Eastern Time on WICR at 88.7 FM from the University of Indianapolis. You can listen to Hoosier History Live on WICR Online.

Books by Nelson Price

Book cover of The Quiet Hero, A Life of Ryan White, by Nelson Price.

Indiana Legends book cover.Book cover of Indianapolis Then and Now, 2016 edition, by Nelson Price and Joan Hostetler, featuring photos by Garry Chilluffo.

Email newsletter

Acknowledgments

Hoosier History Live thanks our partners who help the show to go on!

Monomedia
Website design, email marketing and PC consulting.

Fraizer Designs
Graphic design and illustration.

Visit Indy
Promoting Indy and providing us with wonderful prizes for our History Mystery contest, including museums, sporting venues and great places to dine.

WICR
Our anchor radio station, on the campus of University of Indianapolis.

Heritage Photo and Research Services

 

Jan. 21, 2017 show

Ask Nelson - and President B. Harrison Site CEO, too

A few times every year, Hoosier History Live opens the phone lines so listeners can inquire about any aspect of our state's heritage.

President Benjamin Harrison lived in the Old Northside in Indianapolis and was elected president in November 1888.On these shows, our host Nelson Price is joined by a historian or media colleague who serves as co-host. This time, with the spotlight on the U.S. presidential inauguration today, the CEO of the historic site about the only president elected from Indiana will join Nelson to share insights and answer listener phone calls.

The co-host will be Charlie Hyde, CEO of the Benjamin Harrison Presidential Site in the Old Northside neighborhood of Indianapolis. Harrison, a Republican, was elected in November 1888 and was inaugurated during a ceremony after a rain-drenched parade in 1889. Before Harrison headed off to Washington D.C., a parade in Indianapolis was held honor of the Civil War general, who served as a U.S. senator from Indiana before his stint in the White House.

Charlie and Nelson also will discuss an unfortunate historic distinction related to the inauguration in 1841 of William Henry Harrison, Benjamin's grandfather. After refusing to don an overcoat, William Henry Harrison, 68, delivered the longest inaugural address in American history.

He died in office about one month later (serving in the White House for the shortest time of any U.S. president), his death blamed on pneumonia resulting from the inauguration. In recent years, though, another possible cause has been identified by historians, as Charlie and Nelson will discuss. (William Henry Harrison was living in Ohio when he was elected to the presidency, although he had been governor of the Indiana Territory as a young man.)

Primarily, though, this show will be your opportunity to call in and ask questions of the co-hosts. The WICR-FM studio number is (317) 788-3314.

Between phone calls, Nelson and Charlie - who both grew up in Indianapolis - will interview each other. Before becoming CEO of the Benjamin Harrison Presidential Site in 2014, Charlie served in various capacities at the Indianapolis Zoo and Conner Prairie Interactive History Park.

At the Benjamin Harrison Presidential Site, the public is invited to the grand opening on Jan. 26 of its newest exhibit, New Women of the Harrison Era. A look at "inspiring, notorious and groundbreaking" women during the era (Harrison lived from 1833 to 1901), the exhibit is the first in a partnership with IUPUI.

The Benjamin Harrison Presidential Site also has the olive-green dress that Caroline Scott Harrison wore in the inaugural parade; her inaugural ball gown is at the Smithsonian Institution. Mrs. Harrison, Indiana's only First Lady, died in the White House of tuberculosis in 1892.

Benjamin Harrison’s 1888 presidential campaign used the slogan, “Roll along. Roll away. Keep the ball in motion.” The 14-foot orb was rolled along the National Road from Maryland to Harrison’s home, pictured, in Indianapolis. Image courtesy Indiana Historical Society.During the show, Nelson will share insights about the untimely death of another famous Hoosier woman who, like Mrs. Harrison, is featured in his book Indiana Legends (Hawthorne Publishing, 2005). Movie star Carole Lombard, a Fort Wayne native, was killed 75 years ago this month after setting a record selling World War II war bonds in Indianapolis. The airplane Lombard boarded to return to southern California - where her husband Clark Gable was filming a movie - crashed in Nevada.

Carole Lombard was just 33 years old when the plane crashed in January 1942. The glamorous star of such movies as My Man Godfrey (1936) and Nothing Sacred (1937) spent her final days making stirring speeches at various sites in Indianapolis. They included war bond rallies on Monument Circle and at the long-gone Cadle Tabernacle and the Governor's Residence.

Cadle Tabernacle was a Spanish-style convention center that was the setting for major events ranging from concerts and religious revivals to dance marathons. During our show, Nelson will share insights about the tabernacle, which is featured in his book Indianapolis Then and Now (Pavilion Books, 2016 revised edition). The landmark at Ohio and New Jersey streets was demolished in the 1960s and now is the site of Firehouse Square condominiums.

Also during our show, Nelson will update listeners with recent news about another site featured in Indianapolis Then and Now: The long-vacant plant of P.R. Mallory and Co. on East Washington Street is expected to become the site of a new charter high school. The new polytechnic high school, to be overseen by Purdue University, is set to open in the fall, according to an article in The Indianapolis Business Journal. This will be the latest in a series of high-profile uses for the site on the Old National Road (U.S. 40). Long before P.R. Mallory opened its plant that manufactured electrical components, the eastside site was the setting for Wonderland Amusement Park, a lavish entertainment center that burned to the ground in 1911.

By then, former President Benjamin Harrison had been dead for 10 years. He had returned to Indianapolis after leaving the White House in 1893 and resumed his successful legal career. Co-hosts Charlie and Nelson will answer your questions about Harrison, his inauguration and other aspects about our state's heritage during the show if you call them at (317) 788-3314.

History Mystery

Question marks printed on paper.In the early 1890s, Benjamin and Caroline Scott Harrison became the first U.S. president and first lady to live in the White House with a relatively new invention.

It was installed in the White House about two years after Benjamin Harrison's inauguration in 1889. At the time, some Americans worried that the new invention was not safe.

Question: What was it?

The call-in number is (317) 788-3314. Please do not call in to the show until you hear Nelson pose the question on the air, and please do not try to win the prize if you have won any other prize on WICR during the last two months. You must be willing to give your name and address to our engineer and be willing to be placed on the air.

The prize is two admissions to the Benjamin Harrison Presidential Site, courtesy of Benjamin Harrison Presidential Site.

Roadtrip: Big Tunnel near Tunnelton

East entrance of the Big Tunnel in Lawrence County, Indiana.

Guest Roadtripper and educator Ken Marshall will take us to the mysterious Big Tunnel in Lawrence County. It is near Tunnelton in Lawrence County, in an unincorporated area near the East Fork of the Ohio River.

When railroads were introduced into Lawrence County, the hills presented quite a challenge. Rather than go around a hill between Tunnelton and Fort Ritner, the O&M (Ohio & Mississippi Railway) made the decision to tunnel through, thereby saving about eight miles of track. The hill became known as Tunnel Hill, and the resulting tunnel was a 1,750 foot-long, man-made cave carved through the solid rock of the hill and appropriately named the Big Tunnel.

The first train to pass through the Big Tunnel ceremoniously left Fort Ritner on the morning of October 6, 1856, and included a flat car carrying several young ladies in fine white dresses. It was a memorable inaugural run - and not without incident, for halfway through the tunnel, the train stalled and had to be pulled out by mules. It was necessary for the passengers to walk out, and, as one might expect, the smoke and soot had ruined everyone's fine clothes.

Many stories and legends cling to the Big Tunnel; learn more on Saturday!

Help keep Hoosier history alive!

Thanks for your support

No, we're not going to rattle a tin cup, but if you'd like to be among those individuals and sponsors who value the fresh perspective that Hoosier History Live offers, please consider clicking the big yellow "Donate" button above, or visit our website's "Support the show" page and make a contribution.

Or, you may make out a check to "Hoosier History Live" and mail it to:

Hoosier History Live
P.O. Box 44393
Indianapolis IN 46244-0393

Your support goes toward our ongoing expenses, including website hosting, email marketing software, audio editing, audio archiving and a long list of other items that a media team of any size must have to keep operations going.

We are a small creative/technical group that keeps our history-journalism reporter, Nelson Price, working - creating an Indiana-history archive that grows each week in heft and value. Nelson gets the interviews, and he gets the facts right.

We have produced more than 400 episodes - and counting - of original Indiana history journalism.

We are swimming against the tide, in a media landscape where ethical and objective reporting, without bias, has for the most part fallen by the wayside.

For questions about becoming an underwriting sponsor (the underwriter level includes logos on our website and newsletter and spoken credits in the live show), contact our producer, Molly Head, at molly@hoosierhistorylive.org, or (317) 927-9101, or Garry Chilluffo, our media+development director, at gchill@hoosierhistorylive.org.

Thanks again to recent individual contributors Carol Bacon, Michael J. Quinn, Sr., Jinsie Bingham, Jennifer Smith, Theresa and David Berghoff, Stacia Gorge, Sally Cook, Margaret Smith, and Jo Ellen Meyers Sharp.

Please consider taking a moment to support our unique-in-the-world content. No, we are not a non-profit organization - perhaps soon; that is an ongoing discussion - so we are not in a position to offer a tax deduction. Rather, we are simply a tiny corps of Indiana creators, private citizens who each week create an original radio show, newsletter and website about our great state's history.

Your support is our only support!

Jan. 28, 2017 show - upcoming

Indiana's first governor and first lady

With the inauguration this month of a new Indiana governor, Hoosier History Live will explore the life and career of the first.

We also will explore the life - and early death - of First Lady Ann Jennings, the wife of Gov. Jonathan Jennings.

Jonathan Jennings served as Indiana’s first governor, from 1816 to 1822. Image courtesy in.gov.Neither was born on Hoosier soil. And they lived in Corydon, the capital when Indiana became a state in 1816, rather than Indianapolis.

According to the book First Ladies of Indiana and the Governors (1984), no portrait ever was painted of Ann Jennings; she lived before photography was invented, of course. So no image of her exists, meaning no one knows precisely what she looked like.

Even so, Lori Roberts, a U.S. history teacher who lives in Brownstown in Jackson County, is a historic re-enactor who, in early 1800s attire, portrays Ann Jennings. Lori, who teaches at Shawswick Middle School in Bedford, will be among Nelson's studio guests.

Also on the program will be award-winning historian, editor and author Ray Boomhower of the Indiana Historical Society. Ray was the editor for Jonathan Jennings: Indiana's First Governor (IHS Press, 2005), a biography written by Randy Mills.

The son of a Presbyterian minister, Jonathan Jennings was born in New Jersey in 1784 and grew up in Pennsylvania. Ann Hay (later Jennings) was the daughter of a prosperous surveyor in Kentucky, where she was born in 1792. Ann, who married Jonathan in 1811, was just 24 years old when she became Indiana's first lady in 1816.

Jonathan Jennings had moved to the Indiana Territory to study law; he settled in Charlestown near the Ohio River. A strong opponent of slavery, he was elected a territorial delegate to the U.S. Congress in 1809, defeating a pro-slavery candidate. Periodically, Ann Jennings nursed victims of malaria, which was an epidemic both in Washington D.C. and southern Indiana.

Jonathan Jennings' years as governor were sandwiched between stints in Washington. He won re-election as governor, but he quit during the middle of his second term in 1822 to take a seat in Congress. Ann Jennings, whose health had begun to fail, did not make the return move to Washington. She died at age 34 in Charlestown.

Battles with alcoholism ended Jonathan Jennings' political career several years before his death in 1834.

Our guest Lori Roberts is the author of three books, including historical fiction. In addition to portraying Ann Jennings, she is a the re-enactor of several other historic figures, including the wife of Gen. "Stonewall" Jackson. Her website is at stonewallswife.com.

A piece of history!

Live from Hoosier Homecoming audio now online

The Hoosier Homecoming bicentennial celebration featured participants in period garb.
 Hoosier History Live photo.

(Dec. 1, 2016) - Our Oct. 15, 2016 live broadcast from Indiana's Hoosier Homecoming celebration at the Indiana Statehouse of our state's 200-year anniversary is now available online - part of the permanent record.

Hoosier History Live was amid the hoopla as Nelson interviewed an array of attendees. Online audio underwritten by Indiana Bicentennial Commission.

Live from Hoosier Homecoming - Just click to listen!

Volunteers needed

Calendar itemkeeper, listening-group host opportunities

Would you be interested in placing the Hoosier History Live show topic and dates and times and ways to listen on the Bicentennial calendar and various other free community calendars across the state? This is rather detailed online weekly public relations work, but it would help get the word out about our show. If interested, please email molly@hoosierhistorylive.org, and please include your phone number.

Would you be interesting in hosting or facilitating a listening group at Central Library in Indianapolis each week? You would be responsible for being there each week during the live show and making sure a listening device is available. And generally facilitating the discussion. If interested, please email molly@hoosierhistorylive.org, and please include your phone number.

A note of support

'We hope to see it broadcast far and wide'

A particularly nice letter of support came in some time ago from authors James Alexander Thom and Dark Rain Thom. We like to re-read it from time to time!

To Whom it May Concern:

Last Spring, my wife and I were interviewed by Nelson Price on his Hoosier History radio program, as authors of frontier and Native American history books. Mr. Price's program was so well prepared and conducted that we feel it should be made available to students and general audiences as widely as possible. His program is well-researched, all questions pertinent to the chosen theme, and moves along briskly. Listeners called in with questions and comments that were intelligent and relevant, a sign of an avid audience.

As historical writers, we try to overcome the public's indifference to history, to bring alive in any way we can the important lessons of the past, and are enthusiastic about programs and writings that make those lessons interesting. The Hoosier History Live program does that so well that we hope to see it broadcast far and wide over this historically significant State of Indiana. It is an excellent program, worthy of extensive distribution and strong support.

James Alexander Thom & Dark Rain Thom, authors
Bloomington, Indiana
July 14, 2011

Shows, we got shows

We have more than 400 Hoosier History Live radio shows completed, as a matter of fact. And we need to get show audio onto the website, which we are doing by and by, but we sure could use some sponsorship assistance as we edit and publish audio for each archived show. Take a look at the list below and check out all the opportunities for sponsoring a slice of original Hoosier History Live content on the Web.

No one else is doing anything quite like what we're doing. We are the nation's only live call-in radio program about history. We offer a permanent and growing archive of quality content, available for sponsorship opportunities.

If you are interested in becoming a sponsor of Hoosier History Live, click here or call Molly Head at (317) 927-9101 for more info.

What people are saying about Hoosier History Live

"Hoosier History Live does more to promote Indiana history than does any single source."

Andrea Neal, Indianapolis author and educator

"Hoosier History Live is a fun and interesting way to learn about the heart and soul of Indiana. No boring classes or books here! The production team does an outstanding job."

Judy O'Bannon, civic leader and public broadcasting producer

"The folks at Hoosier History Live are able to find great stories and the people to tell them - people and stories that you seldom hear on the national air."

Dr. James H. Madison, author and Indiana University history professor

"As museums and educational institutions scramble to make their offerings more interactive, more entertaining and more 'relevant' to today's digitally obsessed consumers, Hoosier History Live seems to have mastered that formula."

Glynis Worley, rural Bartholomew County listener

"Hoosier History Live is a perfect place to consider and reconsider history ... not just what happened in the past, but what it may mean in the present. Nelson Price is the perfect host: enthusiastic, curious and knowledgeable. Tune in to Hoosier History Live and be prepared to be surprised."

James Still, playwright in residence, Indiana Repertory Theatre

"Hoosier History Live is a fantastic opportunity for people to not only learn about history, but also become a part of the conversation. Much like our mission, the telling of Indiana's stories, Nelson and his guests wonderfully connect people to the past!"

John Herbst
President and CEO, Indiana Historical Society

"The links on the Friday Hoosier History Live enewsletter are a great way to learn more about history, and from a variety of sources."

Jill Ditmire
Omni Media Specialist

"Distilling life experience into stories is an art. Telling stories of life experience for Hoosiers past and present will shape the lives of young people and enrich the lives of all in our state. Mr. Nelson Price brings alive the life experience of notable Hoosiers in Hoosier History Live."

David T. Wong, Ph.D., President
DT Wong Consulting, LLC
Former Lilly research scientist who developed Prozac

"Nelson Price, more than anyone I know, infuses joy into the pursuit of history. And that joy rings out loud and clear on the radio show, Hoosier History Live."

Marsh Davis
President, Indiana Landmarks

"No, I haven't heard of another call-in talk radio show about history. Our airwaves are now full of the worst vitriol! Give me the phone number for the show. I want to call in!"

Ken Burns, speaking at a preview of his film "The War" at Indianapolis Hebrew Congregation, April 18, 2007

 

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