Hoosier History Live! features host Nelson Price, Saturdays at 11:30 a.m. on WICR 88.7 FM in Indianapolis.

Saturdays at 11:30 a.m. ET on WICR 88.7 FM.
And always online at hoosierhistorylive.org!

You can listen to Hoosier History Live! live on the air each Saturday, or listen online at the WICR website during the broadcast on any computer with speakers, anywhere, or on a smartphone. We invite you to visit our website!

June 23 show

Civic and business leader Andre Lacy as Living Legend

Andre Lacy.His towering list of civic and business endeavors - from serving as board chairman of one of Indy's largest privately held firms to leadership posts at the Indiana State Fair Commission, Indianapolis Motor Speedway Corp., Indiana Chamber of Commerce, Indianapolis Public Schools, United Way of Central Indiana and the Indianapolis 500 Festival Association - almost could stack as high as Mount Kilimanjaro.

Adventure-seeking Andre Lacy has climbed that volcano in Tanzania. He's also an avid motorcyclist, scuba diver and whitewater rafter. Not only that, Mr. Lacy pilots a plane that he owns.

A few weeks before Mr. Lacy and his sister, civic leader Margot Lacy Eccles, are named Living Legends by the Indiana Historical Society, Mr. Lacy will join Nelson in studio for a look at his life, career, civic endeavors and passions.

Andre Lacy is the chairman of LDI Ltd., formerly Lacy Diversified Industries. It, in turn, evolved from a company founded by his grandfather, H.J. Lacy, in 1912 that became one of the country's largest makers of cardboard boxes. This year marks the 100th anniversary of the company that initially was known as U.S. Corrugated-Fibre Box.

The Test Building at 54 Monument Circle in Indianapolis was built in 1925 and houses the headquarters of LDI.Today, LDI Ltd. is a holding company headquartered on Monument Circle that, according to a recent Indianapolis Business Journal article, has enjoyed steady growth ever since 1961, when Mr. Lacy joined the company; it now buys regional distribution businesses and helps them grow to national expansion. (Although Mr. Lacy retired as CEO in 2007, he remains board chairman.)

But Andre Lacy is known as much for his civic activities as his business success. Not only is he an alum of Shortridge High School (a member of the Class of '57, Mr. Lacy was inducted last month into his alma mater's hall of fame), he served as president of the IPS board in the mid-1980s.

He's also an alum of the renowned Stanley K. Lacy Executive Leadership Series, a program for emerging civic leaders. It was established in the 1970s by his mother, Edna Balz Lacy, in honor of Mr. Lacy and Mrs. Eccles' brother, who was killed in an automobile accident.

Andre Lacy and his wife, Julia, have three adult sons. One of them, J.A. Lacy, has been named chief operating officer at LDI, which, according to the IBJ, is preparing to hand off leadership to him. The IBJ also reported that Andre Lacy, despite being in his early 70s, rode a motorcycle to the Arctic Circle last year.

Yet, according to several accounts, Mr. Lacy also has agricultural roots. Active in 4-H as a youth, he worked on weekends at a family farm with dairy cattle.

Out of the Box: 100 Years and Counting, the history of LDI book cover.During the 1930s, his grandfather purchased farms in Speedway, Westfield and Brownsburg. According to Out of the Box: 100 Years and Counting (IBJ Book Publishing), a corporate history of LDI, one of the farms eventually became the site of Speedway High School.

"Even to this day, I can tell you the butterfat content properties relative to Jersey and Guernsey and Holstein cattle," Andre Lacy told The Indianapolis News in 1987.

Long before Mr. Lacy's teenage years in the 1950s, his family's business had become a national force in the packaging industry. During the 1920s, corrugated boxes replaced wooden crates as the major way of shipping many products, including fruits and vegetables.

Upon the sudden death of Andre Lacy's father, Howard J. Lacy II, in 1959, Edna Lacy became chairman of the company, making her one of the first women executives of a major Indiana business. Mount Kilimanjaro.(After graduating from college, Andre Lacy joined the company and worked for years with his mother, who died in 1991.) The company was renamed Lacy Diversified Industries in 1972, and later LDI.

Away from the office, Mr. Lacy has a full schedule with his civic endeavors and various adventures. According to Out of the Box, he has attended every Indianapolis 500 race since he was 7 years old. His enthusiasm for motorcycles revved up when LDI acquired Tucker Rocky, a Texas-based distributor of motorcycle parts.

So there's much turf for us to cover with this Living Legend-to-be.

By the way, other Hoosiers who will be named Legends at the historical society's annual gala include a fellow inductee into the Shortridge hall of fame, Max Schumacher, the longtime president of the Indianapolis Indians. Others to be named Legends at the July 20 gala are Gerald and Dorit Paul, arts and cultural leaders in Indy.

History Mystery

President Franklin D.  Roosevelt meets with polio patients at Warm Springs, Ga., the rehabilitation center that he made available to any polio victim in the country.Our History Mystery is a carry-over from last week, when there wasn't a correct answer. The question concerns one of Franklin D. Roosevelt's visits to Indiana.

During a visit while president in the 1930s, FDR attended the dedication of a massive memorial in southern Indiana. The memorial, which honors a military leader who shaped Indiana's history, is said to be the largest memorial west of Washington, D.C., that pays tribute to an individual.

Question: Name the famous historic figure honored with the memorial dedicated by President Roosevelt.

Hint: It's not a memorial to Benjamin Harrison, which was an incorrect guess by a caller last week.

To win the prize, you must call in with the correct answer during the live show and be willing to be placed on the air. Please do not call if you have won a prize from any WICR show during the last two months. The call-in number is (317) 788-3314, and please do not call until you hear Nelson pose the question on the air.

This week's prize is four tickets to the Indiana Experience, including You Are There: 1955: Ending Polio. These tickets are courtesy of the Indiana Historical Society. You also receive a one-night stay at the Fairfield Inn by Marriott Indianapolis Downtown, which is courtesy of the ICVA.

Roadtrip: German Park on Indy's far-southside

German Park, on the southside of Indianapolis, has a long history of hosting family-friendly festivals. Here, climbers try out a climbing wall. Image courtesy German Park.Hoosier History Live! has explored German heritage in Indiana in a number of past shows, but did you know that you don't have to be German, or have a membership card, to dance the night away with friends of all ages at German Park on Indy's far south side?

Roadtripper Chris Gahl of the ICVA tells us that back in 1881, 30 acres was purchased at 8600 S. Meridian Street to create Germania Park. Now known as German Park, the private park is owned and operated by the Federation of German Societies in Indianapolis and boasts a number of summer festivals which include beer, brats, live bands, dancing in the old pavilion and fun and games for the kids.

This Saturday night, June 23, German Park is open to the public for a Summerfest from 5 to 11 p.m. with live music by Alpine Express. Admission is $3, and children under 12 are admitted for free.

Also located on the grounds of German Park is the Edelweiss Restaurant, which is open to the public for dinner Tuesday through Saturday from 5 to 9 p.m. The restaurant serves sauerbraten, wiener schnitzel and other German delights. Don't be surprised if an accordion player stops by your table while you dine.

Your Hoosier History Live! team,

Nelson Price, host and creative director
Molly Head, producer, (317) 927-9101
Chris Gahl, Roadtripper
Richard Sullivan, webmaster and tech director

Pam Fraizer, graphic designer
Garry Chilluffo, creative consultant
Michele Goodrich, Jed Duvall, grant consultants
Joan Hostetler, photo historian
Dana Waddell, volunteer-at-large


Author Connie Nordhielm Wooldridge's book, Just Fine the Way They Are From Dirt Roads to Railroads to Interstates.Story Inn

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Please tell our sponsors that you appreciate their support: Aesop's Tables | Just Fine the Way They Are, a children's book about the National Road | Indiana Historical Society | Kurt Vonnegut Memorial Library | Lucas Oil | Story Inn.

Facebook logo links to the Hoosier History Live! page.Acknowledgments to Print Resources, Monomedia, Indiana Humanities, Indianapolis Convention & Visitors Association, WICR-FM, Fraizer Designs, Heritage Photo and Research Services, Conner Prairie, Derrick Lowhorn and many other individuals and organizations. We are an independently produced program and are self-supporting through organizational sponsorships, grants and through individual tax-deductible contributions through Indiana Humanities. Visit our website to learn how you can support us financially.

June 30 show

Famous fashion designers from Indiana

A sample of garments by fashion designer Halston appears in the Indianapolis Museum of Art as part of the exhibit An American Legacy: Norell, Blass, Halston and Sprouse. Image courtesy Indianapolis Museum of Art.Is it surprising that three of the top fashion designers of the last 100 years had Hoosier connections?

Bill Blass, who became internationally known for his classic sportswear and evening gowns, was a native of Fort Wayne.

In Evansville, Roy Halston Frowick attended Bosse High School. Eventually calling himself just Halston, he created the pillbox hat worn by Jacqueline Kennedy as first lady. Then he designed dresses worn by celebrities such as Liza Minnelli and became a celebrity himself at the epicenter of Manhattan's fast-paced nightlife of the 1970s.

And from the early 1940s through the late 1960s, the country's foremost fashion designer was Norman Norell, who grew up in Noblesville and Indianapolis.

To explore the lives, creations and careers of these icons, Nelson will be joined in studio by Petra Slinkard, associate curator at the Indianapolis Museum of Art. The museum features clothes created by the three designers in An American Legacy: Norell, Blass, Halston & Sprouse, an exhibit that opened earlier this year. It includes an evening gown created for former first lady Nancy Reagan by Blass, who designed the red dresses she made famous in the White House.

Petra Slinkard.Blass (1922-2002) had a turbulent family life in Fort Wayne – his father committed suicide in their parlor when Bill was five years old – before he moved to New York to study fashion. His eventual mentor was Norell (1900-1972), a member of the Levinson family, well-known clothing retailers in Indiana.

Norman David Levinson created the name "Norell," which he explained this way: "Nor is for Norman. L for Levinson. Another L for looks." His clients included some of the world's most glamorous women such as Lauren Bacall.

Unlike the other  two famous designers, Halston (1932-1990) was not born in Indiana; he was a native of Iowa. But he spent most of his youth in Evansville and even attended Indiana University before heading to New York. The IMA exhibit includes a gown he designed in1972 based on "flowers" paintings by Andy Warhol.

All three designers won multiple Coty Awards, the top honor in the American fashion industry.

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