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

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And always online at hoosierhistorylive.org!

Dec. 1 show - Live from the Holiday Author Fair

History-making sheriff, immigrants to Indy, crusading politico and public gardens

For the fifth year, Hoosier History Live! will broadcast from a remote (non-studio) location: the Eugene and Marilyn Glick Indiana History Center, which will bustle with captivating interviewees, as about 80 authors with Indiana connections gather for the 10th Annual Holiday Author Fair. Nelson will be doing round-robin chats with a range of fellow authors who will participate in the Holiday Author Fair from noon to 4 p.m.

Note: Because this program will be taped at the Holiday Author Fair, there won't be an opportunity for call-ins from listeners or our History Mystery question. All of that will return Dec. 8 with our next live show.

Here are highlights of our special program:

Going Over All the Hurdles A Life of Oatess Archey book cover.History-making sheriff. Seven years after the notorious lynching in 1930 of two African-Americans in Marion, Oatess Archey was born in the Grant County city. He grew up to become the first African-American to be elected sheriff in Indiana.

Mr. Archey, who also was the first black teacher at Marion High School, where he had been a state champion in high hurdles in 1955, will join Nelson for an interview.

So will John Beineke, the author of a biography of his former teacher titled Going Over All the Hurdles: A Life of Oatess Archey (Indiana Historical Society Press). Oatess Archey.The book describes the hurdles that Mr. Archey encountered during a diverse career.

After teaching at Marion High School (where he initially had been rejected for the faculty and, despite being a college graduate, was hired instead as a janitor), Mr. Archey became the first black track coach and administrator at Ball State University. That was followed by a stint as an FBI agent and firearms instructor at the agency's headquarters in Washington D.C.

He returned to his hometown and was elected Grant County sheriff in 1998. Mr. Archey served two terms (the Ku Klux Klan denounced his initial election with a protest on the courthouse square), resulting in headlines that caught the attention of John Beineke, a Marion native who now is an administrator and professor at Arkansas State University.

Indianapolis: A City of Immigrants book cover.The two will share insights with Nelson about various historic events in Marion that are described in Going Over All the Hurdles, including the court-ordered desegregation in the 1950s of a swimming pool in the city's Matter Park. (As boys, Mr. Archey and his brother had to be taken to Anderson if they wanted to swim in a public pool.)

Teresa Baer.City of immigrants. Later during our show, Nelson will be joined by Teresa Baer, the author of Indianapolis: A City of Immigrants (IHS Press), a booklet that explores the waves of ethnic immigration to the Hoosier capital. It begins with a look at Native Americans (Delaware Indians) during the pre-1800 wilderness era and explores immigrants from Britain, Ireland, Germany and southern and eastern Europe.

Derived from a suggestion by former Mexican consul to Indianapolis Sergio Aguilera, the booklet also explores African-Americans in early Indiana, the immigration of Asians such as Chinese, Japanese, Koreans and Vietnamese, and also Hispanics from Mexico and other Central and Latin American countries.

According to Teresa, the booklet is intended as a supplement for high school juniors at schools in central Indiana as they study ethnic immigration; it includes a timeline about the waves of arrivals of various groups.

The People's Choice Congressman Jim Jontz of Indiana book cover.Teresa makes the point that, almost from the very beginning, immigrants have been confronted by resentment and hostility from people who arrived earlier. Initial targets in the 1800s were Germans and poverty-stricken Irish Catholics who came to build canals and railroads.

"Ultimately, all of us came from somewhere else to be here," notes Teresa, who is managing editor of family history publications at the historical society.

The booklet, which was sponsored by the Efroymson Family Fund, includes vintage photos of a German immigration guide from the 1930s; Greek children during the same era in Indianapolis, and students at Hasten Hebrew Academy during a Passover seder in 1998.

Ray Boomhower.According to Indianapolis: A City of Immigrants, Hispanics in Marion County increased from 33,000 in 2000 to 84,000 nine years later. The booklet is being sold to the general public as well as being used by students, with a free teachers guide available.

A "long shot" political career. Nelson also will be interviewing Ray Boomhower, author of The People's Choice: Congressman Jim Jontz of Indiana (IHS Press). It's a biography of Jontz, a populist U.S. congressman and crusading environmentalist from Indiana who died of cancer in 2007 at age 55.

Ray looks at the "long-shot" political career of Jontz, a Democrat known for his frugal lifestyle and "shoe leather" campaigns who repeatedly won various races, beginning as a state legislator, in northern Indiana districts considered to be conservative and Republican.

In 1974, at age 22 while working as an unpaid caretaker for a local nature preserve, Jontz unseated a top Indiana lawmaker by merely two votes. ("One vote more than I needed to win!" Jontz remarked, according to Ray's biography.) After a defeat in his final political race, an effort to unseat U.S. Sen. Richard Lugar in 1994, Jontz became an advocate for environmental groups.

The Visitor's Guide to American Gardens book cover.As a young newspaper report in Rensselaer during the early 1980s, Ray covered one of Jontz's campaigns. Several years earlier, Jontz had been inspired to enter politics by a controversial dam project in Warren County that threatened the Fall Creek Gorge area.

Ray is the editor of Traces of Indiana and Midwestern History, the colorful magazine published by the historical society. He has been a Hoosier History Live! guest several times, including shows about astronaut Gus Grissom and suffragette May Wright Sewall, who are subjects of some of his other biographies.

Jo Ellen Meyers Sharp.Gardening with Jo Ellen! Another favorite guest, Jo Ellen Meyers Sharp of "Hoosier Gardener" renown, also will join us during this Holiday Author Fair show. That's because Jo Ellen, an Indianapolis-based director of the Garden Writers Association, is the author of The Visitor's Guide to American Gardens (Cool Springs Press), a state-by-state exploration of public gardens.

Nelson will talk about Indiana's public gardens with Jo Ellen, a former Indianapolis Star colleague whose "Hoosier Gardener" column is a popular feature of the newspaper. She also has a regular stint as the "Hoosier Gardener" on WXIN-TV/Fox 59.

Her new book explores about 400 gardens in the United States and Canada and features maps as well as info about garden talks, walks and other events. Many of the gardens in the book are on the National Register of Historic Places. They include the gardens at Oldfields at the Indianapolis Museum of Art, Garfield Park (the oldest city park in Indy) and New Harmony State Historic Park, where the gardens feature a well-known labyrinth.

Fun facts, courtesy of Jo Ellen:

  • At Oldfields, the Ravine Garden was designed as a "bright, sunny spring garden" because the owners were away during summers. The gardens at Oldfields were designed by the famous landscape firm of the Olmstead Brothers; the Olmstead firm also designed Central Park in New York City.
  • Jo Ellen is a landscape consultant and the owner of Write for You!, a freelance writing business. Her new book pulls together information about attractions and features of public gardens that is unavailable in a single resource elsewhere, including on the Internet. Jo Ellen has been writing and speaking about natural gardening for more than 20 years.

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 Historical Society logo.Kurt Vonnegut Memorial Library logo.

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Please tell our sponsors that you appreciate their support: Aesop's Tables | Conner Prairie | 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, Visit Indy, WICR-FM, Fraizer Designs, Heritage Photo & Research Services, 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. We do not receive any government funding. Visit our website to learn how you can support us financially.

Notable and quotable

What they are saying about Hoosier History Live!

"As historical writers, we try to overcome the public's indifference to history, and to bring alive the important lessons of the pastJames Alexander Thom and Dark Rain Thom.. Hoosier History Live! does this so well that we hope to see it broadcast far and wide over this historically significant state of Indiana."
- James Alexander Thom and Dark Rain Thom, Bloomington, Indiana, authors

"Hoosier History Live! fills a much-needed niche."
- Kathleen Angelone, owner of Bookmamas, independent Indianapolis bookstore.

"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

Click to give!

Year-end holiday giving

Holiday wreath of evergreen with red ribbon, circular.If you would like to make a contribution to support the ongoing work on Hoosier History Live!, visit the website, where you can click to give. Remember that you also can memorialize a loved one with your contribution.

If you would like your gift to be tax deductible by year end, you must make the check out to "Indiana Humanities" and mention "to benefit Hoosier History Live!" in the memo line of the check. The check may then be mailed to:

Indiana Humanities
Attn: Nancy Conner 
1500 N. Delaware St.
Indianapolis, IN 46202

Be sure to include your name and return address so that you can receive a tax donation receipt from Indiana Humanities.

Our 2012 individual donors thus far include ...

Paul J. Fouts, Jr.
Peggy Sabens
Carol Faenzi
Theresa and David Berghoff
Ryan Zumbahlen
Patricia Rooney
David Meek
Jinsie Bingham
Certain proud parents
David Willkie
In Memory of Michael Fenwick
Gretchen Wolfram
Margaret Smith
Dana Waddell and Clay Collins
Sharon Butsch Freeland
Karla Katterhenry
In Memory of Katherine J. Simpson
Wanda Y. Fortune

Thanks to all - including our wonderful sponsors - who have helped keep Hoosier History Live! up and running!

Dec. 8 show

Colombian and Venezuelan immigration to Indiana

Their percentage of the Indiana population is still relatively small, but immigrants from Colombia and Venezuela have grown explosively here - and across the country - during the last 20 years.

So Hoosier History Live! will explore immigration from the two South American countries during the next show in our rotating series about the ethnic heritage of the Hoosier state, which has included looks at German, Irish, Scottish and Greek immigration here. During our nearly five years on the air, we also have focused on the arrival of Italian stonecutters in Indiana, our Cuban and Brazilian heritages and even the growing Sikh community here. (Click on the link to see the Hoosier History Live! archived enewsletter for that particular ethnic heritage show.)

Carmen DeRusha. Photo by Denis Ryan Kelly Jr.Colombia native Carmen DeRusha, a well-known civic leader in Indianapolis, will join Nelson in studio, as will Marco Dominguez, a native Venezuelan who co-anchors the Spanish-language news webcast launched this summer by WTHR-TV/Channel 13 in Indianapolis.

Nelson's guests also will include Danny Lopez, executive director of the Indiana Commission on Hispanic/Latino Affairs. Danny, who is of Cuban heritage, joined Nelson last May for our show about Cuban immigration to Indiana; because of his statewide position, he has informed perspectives about an array of Hispanic communities.

"In all, there are three times as many Colombians as Venezuelans in Indiana," Danny reports. He notes that Colombian immigrants are most heavily concentrated in Lake County and Marion County, whereas their Venezuelan counterparts have tended to settle in north-central Indiana and in Hamilton County.

Our guest Carmen DeRusha, an extension educator in economic and community development for the Purdue University cooperative extension service in Marion County, came to the United States in 1986. A board member and former president of Fiesta Indianapolis, Inc., she served as executive director of La Plaza and as interim director of the Hispanic Center.

Marco Dominguez immigrated from Venezuela to Indiana twice, beginning in the 1980s to study at Vincennes University, then at Butler University. He is former station manager for Univision in Indianapolis and is community sales director for the Finance Center Federal Credit Union. A pioneer in Hispanic media in Indiana, Marco was a producer for WTBU, Butler University's TV station, for eight years.

Danny Lopez.According to information supplied by Danny, much of the Venezuelan immigration has occurred during the late 1990s and early 2000s. In fact, almost 75 percent of Venezuelans living in Indiana came during that period, a trend that many analysts link to the ascendancy of Hugo Chavez, the controversial president of Venezuela.

Venezuelan immigration, in fact, is said to mirror (on a smaller scale) earlier waves of Cubans, with both groups having higher-than-average levels of education and financial resources.

Statistics supplied by Danny indicate about 3,890 people who describe themselves as Colombian live in Indiana. However, he notes wide discrepancies between estimates about immigrants from the Colombian and American governments.

The average Colombian in this country, according to Danny's information, is 34 years old; for the overall Latino population here, the average age is 27.

In addition to exploring immigration patterns, Nelson and his guests will share insights about the culture, impact, contributions and challenges of Colombian and Venezuelans here. He also will ask Carmen and Marco to share their personal stories about coming to the Hoosier state.

© 2012 Hoosier History Live! All rights reserved.

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