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!

Aug. 18 show

Ask Nelson

The last time we turned the tables on our host, author/historian Nelson Price, and let our listeners interview him, a caller wanted to know why novelist Kurt Vonnegut Jr. wasn't buried at Crown Hill Cemetery near several generations of his extended family. (Answer: The literary lion, who died in 2007, had expressed a desire to be cremated.)

The talk was all about Indiana's covered bridges on the Oct. 22, 2011 Hoosier History Live! show.  Left to right are host Nelson Price, Margaret Smith of Indianapolis, past president of the Indiana Covered Bridge Society, and Larry Stout of Rush County who helped spearhead the restoration of the historic Moscow Covered Bridge. Hoosier History Live! photo.Another caller inquired about one of the most sensational news stories of 1913: the mysterious disappearance in New Castle of a 9-year-old girl named Catherine Winters. Despite an exhaustive national search that persisted for years, she never was found. Dozens of theories about what happened to "poor little Catherine Winters" (as she became known across Indiana) were suggested but never were proved.

To give our listeners another opportunity to question Nelson, who calls himself a "garbage can of useless Hoosier trivia," Hoosier History Live! will open the phone lines. Listeners are invited to call the WICR-FM studio - the number is (317) 788-3314 - and ask questions of Nelson, who writes books about famous Hoosiers (both historic and contemporary figures) and Indianapolis city history.

As a commentator on motor-coach tours across the state, he also has shared insights on trips to destinations such as Wildflower Woods, the historic cabin near Rome City of Gene Stratton-Porter, the famous author, photographer and naturalist of the early 1900s. Other destinations of his tours have included the T.C. Steele State Historic Site in Brown County, which includes the studio and home (known as the "House of the Singing Winds") of Indiana's most famous painter.

Indianapolis TV news personality Patty Spitler joined Nelson Price on July 28, 2012 for a Hoosier History Live! broadcast about pets. Price has interviewed thousands of Hoosiers over the course of his reporting career. Photo by Shirley Ann Dennis.Nelson welcomes questions about any Indiana-related topic and loves to share anecdotes and insights. His books include Indiana Legends: Famous Hoosiers from Johnny Appleseed to David Letterman (Hawthorne Publishing) and Indianapolis Then and Now (Thunder Bay Press), a visual history of the Hoosier capital that features historic and contemporary images of about 70 sites. Those sites include the Columbia Club (did you know that, in the mid-1800s, a doctor's home and office were located on the Monument Circle site?), Broad Ripple and Beech Grove.

Speaking of Broad Ripple and Beech Grove: In our four-and-a-half years on the air, Hoosier History Live! has explored the heritage of those communities, as well as the histories of places ranging from Fort Wayne to Vincennes. We also have done rotating shows about our state's ethnic heritage. So we've explored immigration from Germany, Ireland, Scotland, Italy, Cuba, Greece and Brazil, among others. That means Nelson enjoys passing along insights that our expert guests have shared.

Freely conceding he can be stumped, Nelson hopes that won't be the goal. Instead, the idea is to enjoy a spontaneous, informative conversation with listeners about our state's fascinating heritage.

Some fun facts that may inspire questions, drawn from his books Indiana Legends and Legendary Hoosiers, which include profiles and vignettes about 160 famous men and women:

  • Indiana Legends: Famous Hoosiers from Johnny Appleseed to David Letterman, by Nelson Price. Book cover.Although the woman who alerted federal authorities to the whereabouts of bank robber John Dillinger has gone down in history as the “Lady in Red”, Anna Sage always contended she was wearing an orange skirt on July 22, 1934. That's when she informed federal agents that she would be accompanying Dillinger, a former Mooresville farm boy who became "Public Enemy Number One," to the Biograph Theatre in Chicago. Dillinger was killed in the resulting shootout.
  • Popcorn king Orville Redenbacher (1907-1995), who grew up on a farm near Brazil, is credited with making the first substantial alterations in popcorn since Native Americans introduced it to white settlers more than 250 years ago. After spending more than 40 years crossbreeding hybrids, Redenbacher created a variety that was whiter, fluffier and able to expand 40 times its original size when popped.
  • When Indianapolis native Marilyn Tucker Quayle was the nation's second lady, she co-wrote a novel titled Embrace the Serpent, a political thriller. Nelson interviewed Mrs. Quayle, the wife of then-Vice President Dan Quayle, about the novel, which focused on a power play between Cuba and the United States. Her co-author with the novel, published in 1992, was her older sister, Nancy Tucker Northcutt; the sisters are graduates of Broad Ripple High School.

Want to know more about any of this - or any other Indiana-related topic? Questions or insights are welcome from our wonderful listeners.

History Mystery

An earlier History Mystery question asked for the name of this small Grant County town, which built an extra-wide main street at the turn of the last century, thinking the town might become the state's next capital. Hoosier History Live! photo.Among the famous Hoosiers featured in Nelson Price's books Indiana Legends and Legendary Hoosiers is a baseball star of the late 1940s through the 1950s who is the pride of his Hoosier hometown. He was a pitcher for the Brooklyn Dodgers during the Jackie Robinson era, playing in five World Series. His claims to fame include being chosen to pitch the opening game in Los Angeles when the Dodgers moved there from Brooklyn in 1958.

After retiring from pro baseball, he resettled in his Indiana hometown, where he became a civic leader, serving as a bank president and a board member of the city's largest hospital. As a teenager, he had been a high school baseball star in his hometown. In recent years, he has been named a Living Legend by the Indiana Historical Society and is known for playing a rendition of Take Me Out to the Ballgame on his harmonica.

Question: Name both the famous Hoosier and his Hoosier hometown.

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 a pair of tickets to IndyFringe, courtesy of IndyFringe, a pair of tickets to Conner Prairie, courtesy of Conner Prairie, and a pair of tickets to the Eiteljorg Museum, courtesy of the ICVA.

Roadtrip: Quilt Show at Nancy Noel's The Sanctuary

Stained-glass windows at The Sanctuary in Zionsville, Indiana. Photo courtesy Nancy Noel.Chris Gahl of the ICVA suggests that we could easily make a day of it by Roadtripping to Zionsville to see Nancy Noel's astonishing collection of hand-crafted quilts.

The renowned Central Indiana artist is holding her annual quilt show at her gallery, The Sanctuary, in the historic village of Zionsville. The show continues through Saturday, Sept. 1, and vintage and  contemporary quilts will take their place alongside Nancy's artwork in the beautifully restored 150-year-old Victorian church that is home to her largest and most complete collection.

Also available are gallery tours, dining at The Sanctuary's restaurant, Ghyslain, quilt history sessions and quilting demonstrations. Enjoy!

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


Indiana Pioneers logo.Indiana Historical Society logo.

Story InnDan Ripley's Antique HelperIndy Reads Books logo.

Aesop's Tables logo.Lucas Oil

Please tell our sponsors that you appreciate their support: Aesop's Tables | Antique Helper | Indiana Historical Society | Indy Reads | Kurt Vonnegut Memorial Library | Lucas Oil | The Society of Indiana Pioneers | 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.

This n' that

A retrospective of Pan Am Games impact, and more

Margaret Drew, a 1987 Pan Am Games volunteer, poses with Nelson Price, host of Hoosier History Live, in the show's studios.Remember Indianapolis's "Naptown" days? In the early 1980s, Indianapolis was at a crossroads, and civic leaders developed a vision that set the city on its path to becoming the amateur sports capital of the world.

Much like Super Bowl XLVI, the 1987 Pan Am Games, which were the focus of two recent Hoosier History Live! shows, put Indianapolis on the map.

Join Indiana Humanities and Indiana Sports Corp for Chew on This, a series of dinner conversations at 10 various bars and restaurants across Indianapolis to discuss the success, failures and lasting impact of the Pan Am Games on its 25th anniversary.

Chew On This: Crossroads 1987 is presented by Hoosier History Live! partner Indiana Humanities.

  • When: Wednesday, Aug. 22 from 6 to 7:30 p.m.
  • Cost: $20.

Other bits of Hoosier History Live! news:

  • Thanks again to James Alexander Thom, a best-selling author of historical fiction, and Judy O'Bannon, former Indiana first lady and public television producer, for providing letters of support. Hoosier History Live! has been nominated for the Indiana History Outstanding Event or Project Award for 2012 with the Indiana Historical Society.

  • Nelson is newly featured in the Historic Indianapolis website as a "heritage steward." Author/historian Tiffany Benedict Berkson, who has appeared on Hoosier History Live!, interviews our host about his career, family and current activities. Check out the Q-and-A here.

  • Aug. 25 show

    Carmel city history

    Looking west on Main Street in downtown Carmel after the 1913 fire, circa 1920s. Range Line Road crosses in front of the white general merchandise store on the left. Courtesy Carmel Clay Historical Society.Maybe not every Hoosier is aware that, 175 years ago, Bethlehem was the initial name of the village in Hamilton County that became Carmel. Or that Range Line Road apparently once led clear south to Monument Circle in downtown Indy.

    Is any Hoosier, though, unaware of the explosive growth that has occurred in Carmel, which barely had 500 residents in 1900?

    To explore the history of the city that (according to 2010 U.S. Census info shared by a demographer on Hoosier History Live! awhile back) now has 79,191 people, Nelson will be joined in studio by three guests with some deep perspectives on the bustling city.

    They are historian Katherine Dill, executive director of the Carmel Clay Historical Society, and lifelong Carmel residents Nancy Childs and Karla Katterhenry, whose ancestors once owned a business in the Old Town area of the city. Today, the Old Town area anchors the Carmel Arts & Design District, which includes galleries, boutiques and other shops.

    They will share insights about the community that got its first boost in the 1880s when the Monon Railroad opened a Carmel depot. Today, the Monon Trail, the reclaimed railroad right-of-way, is a popular urban greenway that runs from 146th Street nearly to downtown Indy. In Carmel, the $55 million Monon Community Center, a family recreational facility with a lavish water park, opened in 2007.

    Some fun facts:

    • In the early 1920s, one of the country's first automatic traffic signals was installed in Carmel. Created by local inventor Leslie Haines, the stoplight went up at Main Street and Range Line Road.
    • Carmel High School is the state's largest, with 4,600 students enrolled. The girls swimming team holds an ongoing national record. Beginning in 1986, the team has won 26 straight state championships, more than any other girls team in any sport across the country.
    • Carmel has been called the "roundabout capital of the nation" because of the development of so many of  the circular intersections on local streets.

    © 2012 Hoosier History Live! All rights reserved.

    Hoosier History Live!
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    1400 E. Hanna Ave.
    Indianapolis, IN 46227
    (317) 927-9101