Indianapolis in History

Indiana: Fort Wayne - Gary

Historical Events

  • 1862-11-04 Dr Richard Gatling patents Gatling machine gun in Indianapolis
  • 1887-06-28 Phillies most lopsided shut-out beating Indianapolis 24-0
  • 1894-11-25 Greenback (Independent) Party organizes in Indianapolis
  • 1900-01-29 American League organized in Buffalo, Chicago, Cleveland, Detroit, Indianapolis, Kansas City, Milwaukee and Minneapolis
  • 1900-03-06 After a meeting in Indianapolis, USA, a group forms the Social Democratic Party and nominates Eugene Debs as its candidate for President in the forthcoming election (becomes the Socialist Party in 1901)
  • 1900-03-25 US Socialist Party forms in Indianapolis
  • 1909-08-19 Indianapolis Motor Speedway, home of automobile race Indianapolis 500, opens in Speedway, Indiana
  • 1920-05-02 1st game of National Negro Baseball League played in Indianapolis
  • 1922-11-12 The Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority is founded on the campus of Butler University in Indianapolis, Indiana.
  • 1934-01-15 While robbing the First National Bank in East Chicago, Indianapolis, Dillinger is shot several times by officer William O'Malley, but survives because he is wearing a bullet proof vest.
  • 1935-08-31 1st national skeet championship (Indianapolis)
  • 1936-03-29 10,000 watch the 200-inch mirror blank passing through Indianapolis

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1940-02-02 Frank Sinatra's singing debut in Indianapolis (Tommy Dorsey Orchestra)

Singer and Actor Frank Sinatra
Singer and Actor
Frank Sinatra
Jazz Trombonist and Big Band Leader Tommy Dorsey
Jazz Trombonist and Big Band Leader
Tommy Dorsey
  • 1945-07-16 Cruiser Indianapolis leaves San Francisco with atom bomb
  • 1945-07-26 US cruiser Indianapolis reaches Tinian with atom bomb

Sinking ShipSinking of the USS Indianapolis

1945-07-30 After delivering the Atomic Bomb across the Pacific, the cruiser USS Indianapolis is torpedoed and sunk by Japanese submarine I-58. 880 of the crew died, many after being attacked by sharks, the inspiration for the movie Jaws.

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A scene from the 2016 movie
A scene from the 2016 movie "USS Indianapolis: Men of Courage"
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  • 1945-08-02 After 3½ days suffering exhaustion, lack of water and shark attacks in the Philippine Sea, the surviving crew of USS Indianapolis are spotted by Wilbur “Chuck” Gwinn, a PV-1 Ventura pilot on a routine sector search. 316 had survived.
  • 1946-12-21 Morton Gould's "Minstrel Show" premieres in Indianapolis
  • 1949-05-30 WRTV TV channel 6 in Indianapolis, IN (ABC) begins broadcasting
  • 1951-01-06 Indianapolis Olympians beat Rochester Royals, 75-73 in NBA-record 6 overtimes; also the longest game in NBA history
  • 1955-08-03 Automobile Association of America ends support of auto racing, Le Mans disaster & Bill Vukovich death at Indianapolis contributing factors
  • 1957-10-30 WLWI (now WTHR) TV channel 13 in Indianapolis, IN (ABC) 1st broadcast
  • 1958-12-09 Robert W. Welch Jr and 11 other men meet in Indianapolis to form the conservative and anti-Communist John Birch Society

Sport defeatBoxing Title Fight

1959-05-01 Floyd Patterson scores 11th round KO of Englishman Brian London in Indianapolis; his 4th World Heavyweight Boxing title defence

Boxing Champion Floyd Patterson
Boxing Champion
Floyd Patterson
  • 1970-10-04 WFYI TV channel 20 in Indianapolis, IN (PBS) begins broadcasting
  • 1971-01-25 WHMB TV channel 40 in Indianapolis, IN (IND) begins broadcasting

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1973-03-31 American tennis star Billie Jean King ends Australian Margaret Court's 57-match winning streak 6-7, 7-6, 6-3 in semi finals of the WTA event in Indianapolis, IN

Tennis Legend Billie Jean King
Tennis Legend
Billie Jean King
  • 1973-09-14 Indianapolis is awarded a WHA franchise
  • 1974-09-15 Market Square Arena in Indianapolis opens

Music concertMusic Concert

1977-06-26 Elvis Presley sings in Indianapolis, the last performance of his career

Singer & Cultural Icon Elvis Presley
Singer & Cultural Icon
Elvis Presley
  • 1978-07-23 US Open Women's Golf, CC of Indianapolis: Hollis Stacy successfully defends title by 1 stroke from Sally Little and JoAnne Carner

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1978-11-02 Wayne Gretzky is sold to the Edmonton Oilers after just 8 games with the Indianapolis Racers of the WHA (scoring 6 points); scores 104 points in 72 games (both teams combined) and is named WHA rookie of the year

Ice Hockey Great Wayne Gretzky
Ice Hockey Great
Wayne Gretzky
  • 1985-02-10 35th NBA All-Star Game, Hoosier Dome, Indianapolis: West beats East, 140-129; MVP: Ralph Sampson, Houston Rockets, C
  • 1985-06-16 Willie Banks of USA sets triple jump record (58 feet 11 inches) in Indianapolis
  • 1986-02-09 Marvin Johnson stops Leslie Stewart in 7 rounds in Indianapolis to win WBA light heavyweight boxing title; record 3rd time he regains a version of light heavyweight crown
  • 1987-08-15 At Pan Am games in Indianapolis, USA & Cuba are tied with 2 outs in 9th, Ty Griffin HR, Cuba 1st loss in 20 years of Pan Am competition
  • 1987-10-20 10 die as US Air Force jet crashed into a Ramada Inn near Indianapolis
  • 1987-11-22 Patriots shutout Indianapolis 24-0
  • 1989-09-10 Indianapolis running back Eric Dickerson rushes for 106 yards against San Francisco to become the fastest player to top the 10,000 yard plateau; 91st career game
  • 1992-03-01 Jenny Thompson swims 100m freestyle world record 54.48s at the US Olympic Trials in Indianapolis, IN; passes famous GDR drug tainted record, Kristen Otto 1986 by 0.25s
  • 1992-03-02 American swimmer Anita Hall breaks the 200m breaststroke world record twice in the one day at the US Swimming championships in Indianapolis; wins final in 2:25.35

Sport defeatWrestleMania

1992-04-05 WrestleMania VIII, Hoosier Dome, Indianapolis, IN (62,167): Hulk Hogan defeats Sid Justice by DQ; Randy Savage beats Ric Flair for WWF Heavyweight title

Professional Wrestler Hulk Hogan
Professional Wrestler
Hulk Hogan
Professional Wrestler Ric Flair
Professional Wrestler
Ric Flair
  • 1998-01-30 Howard Stern Radio Show premieres in Indianapolis IN on WNAP 93.1 FM

Event of interestEvent of Interest

2006-07-02 Michael Schumacher wins US F1 Grand Prix for the 5th time, 1st driver in any series to win 5 races at Indianapolis Motor Speedway

Formula 1 Driver Michael Schumacher
Formula 1 Driver
Michael Schumacher

Sport awardSuper Bowl

2007-02-04 Super Bowl XLI, Dolphin Stadium, Miami Gardens, Miami, FL: Indianapolis Colts beat Chicago Bears, 29-17; MVP: Peyton Manning, Indianapolis, QB

NFL Quarterback Peyton Manning
NFL Quarterback
Peyton Manning

Sport awardSuper Bowl

2010-02-07 Super Bowl XLIV, Sun Life Stadium, Miami Gardens, Miami, FL; New Orleans Saints beat Indianapolis Colts, 31-17; MVP: Drew Brees, New Orleans, QB

NFL Quarterback Drew Brees
NFL Quarterback
Drew Brees

Sport awardSuper Bowl

2012-02-05 Super Bowl XLVI, Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis, IN: New York Giants beat New England Patriots, 21-17; MVP: Eli Manning, New York, QB

NFL Quarterback Eli Manning
NFL Quarterback
Eli Manning

Event of interestEvent of Interest

2017-08-18 Civilian researchers led by Paul Allen re-discover the USS Indianapolis 18,000 feet below the Pacific surface, 72 years after it was sunk by Japanese torpedoes

Co-founder of Microsoft Paul Allen
Co-founder of Microsoft
Paul Allen

Famous Birthdays

  • 1829-02-11 William Anderson Pile, American politician, minister, and Brevet Major General (Union Army), born in Indianapolis, Indiana (d. 1889)
  • 1830-09-29 John Parker Hawkins, American Brevet Major General (Union Army), born in Indianapolis, Indiana (d. 1914)
  • 1871-10-20 Frederick Burton, American actor (The Big Trail, One Way Passage), born in Indianapolis, Indiana (d. 1957)
  • 1876-08-05 Mary Ritter Beard, American historian (Woman as a Force in History), born in Indianapolis, Indiana (d. 1958)
  • 1878-11-26 Marshall Taylor, American track cyclist (first African-American world champion; 1899 World Track C'ships), born in Indianapolis, Indiana (d. 1932)
  • 1888-05-21 May Aufderheide, American ragtime composer (Dusty Rag), born in Indianapolis, Indiana (d. 1972)
  • 1889-11-19 Clifton Webb [Webb Parmelee Hollenbeck], American actor (Razor's Edge, Laura), born in Indianapolis, Indiana (d. 1966)
  • 1890-01-11 Monte Blue, US silent film actor (Montana, Oh Boy), born in Indianapolis, Indiana (d. 1963)
  • 1890-07-18 Chick Evans, American golfer (US Open 1916), born in Indianapolis, Indiana (d. 1979)
  • 1891-09-29 Fabien Sevitzky [Koussevitzky], Russian-American conductor (Indianapolis Symphony), born in Vishny Volotchok, Russia (d. 1967)
  • 1892-03-13 Janet Flanner, American journalist (New Yorker), born in Indianapolis, Indiana (d. 1978)
  • 1895-10-05 Walter Bedell Smith, U.S. Army general (WWII) and head of CIA (1950-52), born in Indianapolis, Indiana (d. 1961)
  • 1897-10-11 Russell Collins, American actor (Niagara, Close Up, Shockproof), born in Indianapolis, Indiana (d. 1965)
  • 1900-08-18 Glenn Albert Black, American archaeologist, born in Indianapolis, Indiana (d. 1964)
  • 1903-02-05 Nathaniel Owings, architect (Oak Ridge, TN; Sears), born in Indianapolis, Indiana

Person of interestJohn Dillinger

1903-06-22 John Dillinger, Notorious American bank robber, born in Indianapolis, Indiana (d. 1934)

Gangster John Dillinger
Gangster
John Dillinger
  • 1904-02-16 James Baskett, American actor (Song of the South) 1st African American male to receive an Oscar, born in Indianapolis, Indiana (d. 1948)

Person of interestChuck Klein

1904-10-07 Chuck Klein, American Baseball Hall of Fame right fielder (Triple Crown 1933; MLB All-Star 1933, 34; NL MVP 1932; Philadelphia Phillies), born in Indianapolis, Indiana (d. 1958)

Baseball Hall of Fame Right Fielder Chuck Klein
Baseball Hall of Fame Right Fielder
Chuck Klein
  • 1906-07-11 Harry Von Zell, TV announcer (Burns & Allen), born in Indianapolis, Indiana
  • 1910-12-02 Robert Paige, American actor, TV newscaster and political correspondent (Son of Dracula, Pardon My Sarong, Colgate Comedy Hour), born in Indianapolis, Indiana (d. 1987)
  • 1911-01-24 C. L. Moore, American science fiction & fantasy writer (Judgment Night), born in Indianapolis, Indiana (d. 1987)
  • 1911-06-13 Albert Cleage, African-American theologian and religious leader, born in Indianapolis (d. 2000)
  • 1912-08-24 Durward Kirby, American TV announcer (Garry Moore Show), born in Indianapolis, Indiana (d. 2000)
  • 1914-05-30 Bobby Sherwood, American orchestra leader (Milton Berle Show), born in Indianapolis, Indiana (d. 1981)
  • 1914-07-24 Robert Emhardt, American actor (Another World, Underworld USA, Mooncussers), born in Indianapolis, Indiana (d. 1994)

Person of interestKurt Vonnegut

1922-11-11 Kurt Vonnegut Jr, American author (Slaughterhouse Five, Sirens of Titan), born in Indianapolis, Indiana (d. 2007)

  • 1923-03-06 John "Wes" Montgomery, American influential jazz guitarist and Grammy Award winner, born in Indianapolis, Indiana (d. 1968)
  • 1924-01-22 J. J. Johnson, American composer and jazz trombonist, born in Indianapolis, Indiana (d. 2001)
  • 1925-02-09 Bobby Lewis, American rock and roll singer (Tossin' and Turnin'), born in Indianapolis, Indiana (d. 2020)
  • 1929-12-23 Dick Weber, American ten-pin bowling pro (16, 300 games), born in Indianapolis, Indiana (d. 2005)
  • 1930-02-22 James McGarrell, American painter, born in Indianapolis, Indiana
  • 1930-09-14 Allan Bloom, American philosopher and author (Closing of the American Mind), born in Indianapolis, Indiana (d. 1992)
  • 1931-07-11 Thurston Harris, American pop vocalist (The Sharps, Little Bitty Pretty One), born in Indianapolis, Indiana (d. 1990)
  • 1931-12-21 David Baker, American composer (Reflections) and educator, born in Indianapolis, Indiana (d. 2016)
  • 1932-04-04 Richard Lugar, American politician (U.S. Senator from Indiana, 1977-2013), born in Indianapolis, Indiana (d. 2019)
  • 1932-07-24 William Ruckelshaus, American attorney and first Head of Environmental Protection Agency, born in Indianapolis, Indiana
  • 1934-04-18 George Shirley, African-American tenor (first African-American tenor to perform a leading role at the Metropolitan Opera in New York City), born in Indianapolis, Indiana

Person of interestMichael Graves

1934-07-09 Michael Graves, American postmodernist architect, born in Indianapolis, Indiana

Architect Michael Graves
Architect
Michael Graves
  • 1937-04-03 Sandra Spuzich, American golfer (US Open 1966), born in Indianapolis, Indiana (d. 2015)
  • 1937-06-17 Peter Lupus, American bodybuilder and actor (Mission Impossible), born in Indianapolis, Indiana
  • 1938-04-07 Freddie Hubbard, jazz trumpeter (Art Blakey), born in Indianapolis, Indiana
  • 1938-06-21 Dan Burton, American politician (Member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Indiana), born in Indianapolis, Indiana
  • 1939-02-27 Peter Revson, American race car driver (1971 Indianapolis pole winner), born in New York City
  • 1939-08-09 Billy Henderson, American singer (The Spinners - "The Rubberband Man"), born in Indianapolis, Indiana (d. 2007)
  • 1940-10-03 Mike Troy, American swimmer (Olympics 2 gold-1960), born in Indianapolis, Indiana
  • 1940-12-02 Constance "Connie" Booth, American writer, actress, comedienne and psychotherapist (Fawlty Towers, Monty Python and the Holy Grail), born in Indianapolis, Indiana
  • 1941-07-09 Don McPherson, American R&B singer (The Main Ingredient), born in Indianapolis (d. 1971)
  • 1942-05-15 Anthony Wayne England, PhD/astronaut (STS 51-F), born in Indianapolis, Indiana
  • 1943-02-22 Dick Van Arsdale, American NBA all-star (NY Knicks, Phoenix Suns), born in Indianapolis, Indiana
  • 1943-02-22 Tom Van Arsdale, American NBA all-star (Detroit, Cincinnati, KC-Omaha, Phil), born in Indianapolis, Indiana
  • 1947-02-04 James Danforth "Dan" Quayle, USA (Sen-R-Ind, 44th Vice President 1989-93), born in Indianapolis, Indiana

Person of interestDavid Letterman

1947-04-12 David Letterman, American comedian (Late Night), born in Indianapolis, Indiana

Comedian and Television Host David Letterman
Comedian and Television Host
David Letterman
  • 1947-10-09 William E. McAnulty, Jr., American lawyer (1st African American justice on the Kentucky Supreme Court), born in Indianapolis, Indiana (d. 2007)
  • 1950-04-13 Terry Lester, American actor (Young & Restless, As World Turns), born in Indianapolis, Indiana
  • 1950-10-31 Jane Pauley, American newscaster (Today, NBC Weekend), born in Indianapolis, Indiana
  • 1952-08-20 John Hiatt, American singer and songwriter (Have a Little Faith in Me), born in Indianapolis, Indiana
  • 1954-01-23 Richard Finch, American disco and rock bassist, songwriter and producer (KC and the Sunshine Band - "Shake Your Booty"; "i'm Your Boogie Man"), born in Indianapolis, Indiana
  • 1954-04-12 Marvin Johnson, American middleweight boxer (Olympic bronze 1972), born in Indianapolis, Indiana
  • 1956-08-23 David Wolf, American astronaut (STS 58, sk: 89/91), born in Indianapolis, Indiana
  • 1958-10-13 Maria Cantwell, American politician (Member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Washington), born in Indianapolis, Indiana
  • 1959-04-10 Babyface [Kenneth Edmonds], American Grammy Award-winning R&B singer, songwriter ("Every Time I Close My Eyes") and record producer (Boyz II Men; Whitney Houston; Arianna Grande; Eric Clapton), born in Indianapolis, Indiana
  • 1960-10-25 Scott Anthony Haneline, murderer (FBI Most Wanted List), born in Indianapolis, Indiana
  • 1961-08-26 Jeff Parrett, American pitcher (St Louis Cardinals), born in Indianapolis, Indiana
  • 1961-11-24 Carl Sundquist, cyclist (Olympics 1996), born in Indianapolis, Indiana
  • 1965-07-12 Russ Bertram, diver (Olympics 1996), born in Indianapolis, Indiana
  • 1966-10-28 Tim Bogar, infielder (NY Mets), born in Indianapolis, Indiana
  • 1967-04-27 Jason Whitlock, American sports journalist, born in Indianapolis, Indiana
  • 1968-12-03 Brendan Fraser, American actor (School Ties, 20 Bucks), born in Indianapolis, Indiana
  • 1969-08-05 Kenny Irwin Jr., American auto racer (USAC National Midget Champion 1996; NASCAR 87 starts), born in Indianapolis, Indiana (d. 2000)
  • 1970-06-28 Steve Burton, American actor (Chris-Out of this World), born in Indianapolis, Indiana
  • 1971-01-11 Stephen Smith, high jumper, born in Indianapolis, Indiana
  • 1971-03-13 Ryan Hayden, American athlete, 400m hurdler, born in Indianapolis, Indiana
  • 1971-04-24 Ken Klee, NHL defenseman (Washington Capitals), born in Indianapolis, Indiana
  • 1971-09-06 Holli Hyche, American runner, born in Indianapolis, Indiana
  • 1972-09-08 Lisa Kennedy, American political commentator and television personality, born in Indianapolis, Indiana
  • 1973-11-21 Brook Kerr, American actress (Passions), born in Indianapolis, Indiana
  • 1977-08-23 Jared Fogle, American spokesperson known as the Subway Guy, born in Indianapolis, Indiana
  • 1977-08-24 John Green, American author (The Fault in Our Stars) and vlogger, born in Indianapolis, Indiana
  • 1977-09-05 Rosevelt Colvin, American football player, born in Indianapolis, Indiana
  • 1979-09-26 Jaycie Phelps, American gymnast (World bronze 95, Olympic gold 1996), born in Indianapolis, Indiana
  • 1988-12-25 Eric Gordon, American basketball player, born in Indianapolis, Indiana
  • 1990-01-15 Chris Warren Jr., American actor, born in Indianapolis, Indiana
  • 1993-05-25 Dilley sextuplets, American sextuplets (United States' first set of surviving sextuplets), born in Indianapolis, Indiana

Famous Weddings


LoveWedding of Interest

1985-06-08 US Vice President Mike Pence (25) weds Karen Batten (26) at Indianapolis, Indiana

48th Vice President of the United States Mike Pence
48th Vice President of the United States
Mike Pence
  • 2005-10-22 "Extra" reporter Carlos Diaz weds Adrienne Allen at Union Station's Grand Hall in Indianapolis, Indiana

Famous Deaths


Person of interestBenjamin Harrison

1901-03-13 Benjamin Harrison, 23rd President of the United States (Republican: 1889-93), dies in Indianapolis at 67

23rd US President Benjamin Harrison
23rd US President
Benjamin Harrison