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

Saturdays, noon to 1 p.m. ET on WICR 88.7 FM.
And always online at hoosierhistorylive.org!

March 16 show

Birds across Indiana

American White Pelicans at the Wabashiki Fish & Wildlife Area in Vigo County, Indiana. The species is becoming a more common migrant in the state. Photo by Marty Jones.Have you heard birds chirping?

Anticipating the arrival of spring, Hoosier History Live! will swoop into all things related to birds across the state. Our show will feature the return appearance of a guest who is making his own history.

Don Gorney, a longtime volunteer board member of Amos Butler Audubon Central Indiana who is known for his bird hikes that often are based at Fort Harrison State Park, has just become the first full-time staffer in the 75-year history of the nonprofit.

Don joined Nelson in studio to share insights about our bird heritage in late November 2009 for a show that primarily focused on winter-related aspects of our feathered friends. This time around, with spring imminent, there will be much more turf to cover. It's also a golden opportunity for you to phone in and ask any bird-related question under the sun.

Cliff Chapman.Nelson also will be joined by Cliff Chapman, conservation director of the Central Indiana Land Trust and a board member of Amos Butler Audubon.

During the show, we will explore the Goose Pond Fish and Wildlife Area in Greene County near the town of Linton. According to our guest Don Gorney, about 8,000 acres of restored marsh and prairie were drained in the 1800s for the site. It’s become a “hot spot” for bird watching because of the sheer numbers of species and individual birds.

"In late February and early March, there were thousands of geese, over 15,000 Sandhill Cranes, 200 American White Pelicans, 25,000 ducks and nesting bald eagles" seen at the Goose Pond Fish and Wildlife Area, Don reports.

In his new post as Amos Butler Audubon's director of bird conservation and education, Don will be an advocate for bird conservation and lead the Lights Out Indy initiative designed to prevent the nighttime deaths of birds as they migrate over the Hoosier capital. He also will oversee a Wings Over Indy project that's designed to benefit - hold on to your hat - chimney swifts.

Don Gorney visits with a hyacinth macaw, a species of parrot that is native to South America, at the Indianapolis Zoo. In addition, Don will be working with the city of Indy to increase awareness of the Indianapolis Birding Trail. Expected to be unveiled later this spring, the non-linear trail will highlight existing sites in Marion County where birds can be found.

"Trail sites," he says, "will be designated by signage, and narrative text will be available via a website and smartphone app."

Our guest Cliff Chapman, who oversees land management for the Land Trust's preserves located throughout central Indiana, lives in Indy on a nature preserve on the White River. He describes himself as "passionate about birds," noting he has traveled across the country to seek out "rare birds in sometimes beautiful and sometimes difficult areas."

Amos Butler Audubon describes itself as a "grassroots chapter" of the National Audubon Society. Don, a naturalist who has worked as a bank examiner, began serving on the chapter's board in 2009. He recommends www.ebird.org as a convenient way to keep bird checklists and provide important data to researchers.

During our show, Don, Cliff and Nelson also will explore:

  • The Indiana "Big Year". The "big year" concept in birding - which involves seeing large numbers of different species in a specific geographical area - came to widespread public attention thanks to the movie The Big Year (2011). According to Don Gorney, the Indiana Big Year record is 313 species seen in 2008. Only about eight people, including Don, have "broken" the 300 barrier in Indiana. (He saw 301 species in 2005.)
  • Eagle Creek Park Ornithology Center. It's probably the only municipal center in the country dedicated only to birds, Don reports.
  • Human-induced hazards to birds. They include, in Don's words, "free-roaming cats, urban lighting, loss of habitat, pesticides and wind turbines."

Roadtrip: Urban Homestead at Flower and Patio Show

A detail from the “Urban Homestead” lot concept.Roadtripper Chris Gahl of Visit Indy will be calling in with a live report from the 55th annual Indiana Flower and Patio Show, which runs through March 17 at the Indiana State Fairgrounds in Indianapolis.

Amidst the lush flowers, landscaping and innovative building materials you get to see every year, new this year is the "The Urban Homestead" - an on-site primer for adopting and living a sustainable (think small house!) lifestyle.

The "Eco Cottage" on display sits on a 10,000-square-foot "city lot" inside Expo Hall, complete with rain gardens, rain barrels, wind turbines, wood-burning boiler, chicken coops with live chickens, raised-bed gardens and beehives. Learn more when you tune in this Saturday!

History Mystery

Birds - majestic, colorful or wise - serve as the mascots for sports teams at some Indiana high schools. At one high school, the sports teams are known as the Owls. At another, they are the Cardinals, in honor of our state bird. Other high schools have as their mascots the Blackhawks, the Eagles and the Golden Eagles.

Question: Name just ONE of the Indiana high schools with one of these bird-themed mascots.

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 gift certificate to the Kurt Vonnegut Memorial Library, courtesy of Visit Indy, as well as two tickets to You Are There, where you can see the new 1913: A City Under Water interactive exhibit that opens March 26, courtesy of the Indiana Historical Society.

Party pics!

Lots of smiles at our 5-year anniversary fest

Some nice coverage of our five-year anniversary soiree came from Cathy Kightlinger of the Indianapolis Star, who gave the party a nice writeup:

"When Nelson Price talks history, people listen. That was apparent Thursday when his show, Hoosier History Live!, celebrated its fifth anniversary with a soiree of the state's notables and fans of the show. The event included a few trivia questions (something the Saturday show, which airs at noon on WICR-FM (88.7) is known for) and lots of shoulder rubbing."

Special thanks to Bill Holmes, who took all of the photos below.

History gurus gather at the Hoosier History Live! five-year anniversary fest. From left are Joan Hostetler, Tiffany Benedict Berkson and David Willkie, all known for their contributions to history in Indianapolis.

divider line - blue dots

Chris Worden, district director for U.S. Rep. Andre Carson, speaks to a full crowd at the Cook Theater, Indiana Landmarks Center, on the evening of Feb. 21, 2013 to celebrate Hoosier History Live's 5th anniversary.

divider line - blue dots

Pam Fraizer of Fraizer Designs smiles for the camera at the Hoosier History Live! five-year anniversary soiree.

divider line - blue dots

Producer Molly Head hands out a prize to the lucky winner of one of the five-year Hoosier History Live! anniversary fest’s history-trivia question prizes. Photo by Bill Holmes.

divider line - blue dots

Garry Chilluffo (left) and Nelson Price bring out the cake for the five-year Hoosier History Live! anniversary fest celebration. Photo by Bill Holmes.

divider line - blue dots

Michael Freeland, Nelson Price and show supporter Sharon Butsch Freeland smile for the camera at the Hoosier History Live! celebration of five years on the air, Feb. 21, 2013, at the Indiana Landmarks Center in Indianapolis. The Freelands hauled home some history-mystery prizes! Photo by Bill Holmes.

divider line - blue dots

Show supporter Roz Wolen engages with host Nelson Price at the Hoosier History Live! five-year celebration in Indianapolis. Photo by  Bill Holmes.

divider line - blue dots

Rita Kohn shares a moment with Andy Hein and Dona Stokes-Lucas at the Hoosier History Live! celebration of five years on the air, Feb. 21, 2013, at the Indiana Landmarks Center in Indianapolis. Both Rita and Dona have been studio guests twice, Rita for shows about the Delaware Indians (Lenape) and Indiana’s beer heritage, Dona for shows about roots-tracing and the Underground Railroad. Photo by Bill Holmes.

divider line - blue dots

Amy Summer, newspaper librarian at the Indiana State Library, was a guest at the Hoosier History Live! celebration of five years on the air, Feb. 21, 2013, at the Indiana Landmarks Center in Indianapolis. Photo by Bill Holmes.

Thanks to Antique Helper, corporate sponsor for the Hoosier History Live! fifth-anniversary party!

Extra thanks to Bill Holmes (who has done photography for five years), Emily Barker, Jeanne Blake, Garry Chilluffo of Chilluffo Media, Mark Szobody, Suzanne Stanis, Hoaglin to Go, Lockerbie Pub, Pam Mitchell (who made the cake), Lorraine Vavul (who made the elegant donation box), Richard Sullivan of Monomedia, Pam Fraizer of Fraizer Designs, Molly Head, Nelson Price, Charlotte Carmichael, Kathy Riester, Mary Kummings, Barbara Goddard, and Lynn Herold.

We thank the following new individual donors to Hoosier History Live!  Paul J. Fouts, Jr., Rita Kohn, Margaret Sabens, Richard Vonnegut Jr., Margaret Smith, Sharon Butsch Freeland, Don Gorney, Alice Roettger, Maureen Dunlap, Peggy Hollingsworth, Monica Thompson-Deal, Clarke Kahlo, Janet Gilray, Barry Glazer, and Bruce and Julie Buchanan.

We thank those whom we count on to keep Hoosier History Live! on the air, on the web and in your in-box! If you’d like to know how to support us, visit our website at Hoosier History Live!

We look forward to being around for next year's sixth anniversary - and on into the future with our ever-growing body of history journalism!

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 Authors Award logo.Indiana Historical Society logo.

Story InnAntique Helper logo.

Aesop's Tables logo.Lucas Oil

Please tell our sponsors that you appreciate their support: Aesop's Tables | Antique Helper | Indiana Authors Award | Indiana Historical Society | Indiana Landmarks | Indiana State Museum | 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.

March 23 show

Amelia Earhart and her Indiana connections

Amelia Earhart.She vanished more than 75 years ago over the South Pacific while attempting to fly around the world in a Lockheed Electra 10E twin-engine airplane sponsored by Purdue University. That's just one of the connections between famous aviator Amelia Earhart and the Hoosier state.

She was particularly associated with Purdue, which has the world's largest and most comprehensive collection of artifacts associated with the famous aviator, whose disappearance in 1937 remains a mystery.

To explore the sky-high stack of Earhart links to Indiana, Purdue staff writer and historian John Norberg, an aviation expert, joins Nelson in studio for one of the most popular shows in our Hoosier History Live! archives. Amelia Earhart in 1931 set a world altitude record of 18,415 feet in a Pitcairn PCA-2 autogyro plane.(Its original air date was Sept. 15, 2012.) Our salute to Women's History Month makes a re-broadcast of this show particularly appropriate.

During the final two years before Amelia Earhart vanished, she was a sort of visiting celebrity-in-residence on the West Lafayette campus, where she was a career counselor for women students, and where she lectured and conducted conferences. She also was an adviser to the university’s department of aeronautics. Despite her fame, "Lady Lindy" chose to stay in a women's dorm (then known as South Hall, today it's part of Duhme Hall) and eat with students in the cafeteria.

In 1935, the same year she joined the Purdue faculty, Earhart visited the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and served as an Indianapolis 500 race official, becoming the first woman to do so.

The pioneer aviator was just 39 years old when she disappeared with her navigator, Fred Noonan, while flying from New Guinea to the Howland Islands.

© 2013 Hoosier History Live! All rights reserved.

Hoosier History Live!
c/o WICR at University of Indianapolis
1400 E. Hanna Ave.
Indianapolis, IN 46227
(317) 927-9101