A live weekly radio adventure through Indiana history with host Nelson Price. Airs live on Saturdays from noon to 1 pm ET at WICR 88.7 fm in Indianapolis.
You can listen to WICR anywhere on your mobile device or at home on your smart speaker. Go to www.wicronline.org to listen live. You can also ask your smart speaker to "play WICR" OR "play 88.7 the Diamond".
March 25, 2023 - Women of historic Irvington Click here for the podcast
February 18, 2023 - Roberts Settlement in Hamilton County: its history and legacy Click here for the podcast
February 11, 2023 - Myths and tidbits about high school basketball history Click here for the podcast
January 28, 2023 - Calvin Fletcher, first prominent civic leader in Indianapolis Click here for the podcast
For a complete list of show podcasts and show enewsletters, please go to ARCHIVES on our website.
April 29, 2023
Jewish immigration to Indiana, 1840s-1920s: Encore
From the small city of Ligonier in northeastern Indiana to major cities including Indianapolis and South Bend, waves of Jewish immigration had, in a range of ways, an impact between 1840 and the 1920s on their communities. Immigrants came to the Hoosier state from various homelands, with a Jewish teenager who fled the Austro-Hungarian empire eventually becoming one of the founders of the Indianapolis Hebrew Congregation and a brigadier general for the Union Army during the Civil War.
Our guide for a statewide exploration of Jewish immigration in this encore of a show originally broadcast in 2022 will be Michael J. Brown, executive director of the Indiana Jewish Historical Society. Michael is the host of IN-Jewish History Podcast, a series that delves into the Hoosier state’s Jewish heritage. He has worked for Israeli start-ups and is a board member of Sinai Synagogue in South Bend.The differences in Jewish immigration patterns between South Bend and Indianapolis are among the topics Michael discusses when he is Nelson's guest for a show focusing on the 1840 to the 1920s. In Ligonier for much of that era, a multi-generational, German-speaking Jewish community flourished; a similar scenario unfolded in LaPorte and other, smaller Indiana cities.
Revolutions and pogroms in Europe caused many Jews to immigrate. They included Gen. Frederick Knefler (1833-1901) and his family, who fled the Austro-Hungarian empire and, even before the Civil War, had a significant impact in the Hoosier capital. Knefler became a founder of the Indianapolis Hebrew Congregation; after the war, he was a civic leader, serving on the board that crusaded for the Soldiers and Sailors Monument.
During our show, Michael will share insights about how various Hoosier politicians dealt with Jewish immigration, including Oliver P. Morton, the state’s governor during the Civil War (later, he was a U.S. senator), and Benjamin Harrison, who was elected U.S. president in 1888. During a show in 2018, Hoosier History Live explored how the Harrison administration oversaw the opening of Ellis Island in 1892 and the waves of immigrants that initially came through it. In the late 19th and early 20th century, the immigration of Jews from Eastern Europe, including Poland and Romania, had an impact on cities in northwestern Indiana such as Whiting and East Chicago.
The appalling rise of the Ku Klan Klan in Indiana during the 1920s, a topic Hoosier History Live explored most recently during a show in 2020, also will be part of this show. Our guest Michael J. Brown notes the Klan made Jewish immigration "one of its main lynchpins of hatred" along with anti-Black and anti-Catholic bigotry. The Klan’s stranglehold on Indiana, Michael adds, occurred just as Jewish immigration to Indiana was peaking.
Nelson's guest Michael J. Brown is a veteran of the U.S. Army Reserve and the National Guard, having served in the medical corps.
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Roadtrip: Allen County Courthouse in Fort Wayne
Guest Roadtripper and attorney Charles Braun hails from Fort Wayne, Indiana's second largest city in northeast Indiana. Although he has visited nearly every courthouse in the state, his favorite is the Beaux-Arts Allen County Courthouse in his hometown of Fort Wayne. Built between 1897 and 1902, Charles tells us that "in terms of size, exterior architecture style, artistic interior, its depiction of local history, and its incredible majesty, the Allen County Courthouse has little competition in the courthouse building category."
The Beaux-Arts architecture-style structure includes four 25-by-45-foot murals by Charles Holloway, and each of the five courtrooms has its own color scheme.Charles Braun has been a Hoosier lawyer for the last 47 years and also hosts "Legally Speaking" on WICR 88.7 FM at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday mornings. Learn more this Saturday!
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