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Hoosier History Live is an independently produced new media project about Indiana history, integrating podcasts, website www.HoosierHistoryLive.org, weekly enewsletter, and social media. Its original content comes initially from a live with call in weekly talk radio show hosted by author and historian Nelson Price. You can hear the show live Saturdays from noon to 1 pm ET at WICR 88.7 fm or stream the show live at the WICR HD1 app on your phone, or at our website.

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April 27, 2024

Amelia Earhart and her Indiana connections: Encore

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 for an encore broadcast of one of the most popular shows in our Hoosier History Live archives with the original show from 2012.

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.

John Norberg.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. She became the first woman to receive an official position during the Indianapolis 500. serving as a race official. Earhart also demonstrated a parachute training device before the race began.

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. She was attempting to become the first woman to circumnavigate the globe.

Purdue's sponsorship of her Lockheed Electra included arranging for financial assistance from Indianapolis business leader J.K. Lilly and other donors. The huge collection of Earhart memorabilia at Purdue includes some of her flight suits, logs and diaries, lecture notes, poems and even a pre-marital agreement with her husband, George Putnam.

Another famous aviator had Purdue ties. Astronaut Neil Armstrong was in Purdue’s class of 1955. His statue on campus was covered with flowers on the day of his death, Aug. 25, 2012. Image courtesy The Exponent.Amelia Earhart wasn't a native Hoosier. Born in Atchison, Kansas, in 1897, Earhart earned her pilot's license in 1922 and within a month set an altitude record (14,000 feet) for a woman aviator.

Subsequently, her list of record-breaking achievements included becoming the first woman to fly across the Atlantic Ocean in 1928, and two years later setting a speed record (181 mph) for a woman in flight.
Invitations to establish a relationship with Purdue apparently were appealing for several reasons. She liked the fact that engineering and mechanical training were fully open to women students, and she was appreciative that, in 1935, Purdue was the only university in the country with its own airstrip.

Our guest John Norberg has written extensively about Earhart's colorful life. During our show, he confirms various accounts about the impact of her stay on the Purdue campus. They include an appeal by women students to administrators after they observed the celebrity aviator in slacks. Under a dress code enforced in the mid-1930s, women students at Purdue were prohibited from wearing slacks.


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April 06, 2024 -Civic education: The need for a refresh Click here for podcast.

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Roadtrip: Eleutherian College in Madison County

Amy Lamb of the Indiana Historical Society will tell us about free African-Americans who had the opportunity to study at Historic Eleutherian College near Madison, Ind.

The college site is actually in the country; from Madison go north on State Road 7 and turn east on State Road 250, and soon you will come upon the beautiful village of Lancaster and see the college, a three-story limestone building, on your left.

Eleutherian College was one of only a few institutions before the Civil War to intentionally adopt a model of multiracial and coeducational education. Its location less than 10 miles from the slave state of Kentucky made it exceptional among its peer institutions.


Social media volunteer sought for Hoosier History Live

Hey, more and more of our stuff is online. But can people find it? And do people even know that if you click on a podcast link, you can generally hear it?

I'm Molly Head, Hoosier History Live's producer, and if you'd like to post old show podcasts on Facebook, email me at molly@hoosierhistorylive.org. Be aware that I'm an aging baby boomer, and sometimes I like to talk on the phone! Not just text or email.

I create all the initial Facebook posts for Hoosier History Live. Somehow, last week's show had like 22 shares on Facebook. That means 22 people or organizations "forwarded" our post about that week's show.

By the way, we try to keep our website, www.hoosierhistorylive.org, kind of our "information central" on what's going on with us. On its home page, you can also sign up for our free weekly enewsletter.

Also on our website you can click on our ARCHIVES section, you can also pull up old show podcasts and old show enewsletters. Our ARCHIVES are a work in progress. And a shout out to our mighty tech team of Corene Nickel and Ryan DeRome.

As for people who don't like Facebook, I've found that it is easy for me to "get rid" of people or organizations who say negative or dumb things. AS with ALL media, consider the source of what you are reading or listening to! 

Yes, this means that I am the editor of what I read or look at. But that's okay! We should all be the editors of what we read or look at! We should all be discerning! 

Just remember to look for the yellow Hoosier History Live logo on all of our media.

Trivia prizes sought

Our "History Mystery" on air contest continues to be very popular!  If you are an organization or business that would like to contribute tickets or admissions, please contact our host Nelson at nelson@hoosierhistorylive.org.

Prizes must fit in a standard business envelope. Hoosier History Live prefers to "snail mail" prizes to our trivia winners. And If prizes are time sensitive, they need to be offered well in advance of the event so that we can get them out in time.

We'd like to thank the following recent individual contributors who make the Hoosier History Live media project possible. For a full list of contributors over the years, visit Support the Show on our website.

  • Anonymous
  • Marion Wolen, honoring Richard Sullivan
  • Margaret Smith
  • Charlotte Ottinger
  • Bruce and Julie Buchanan  
  • Sandra Hurt
  • Chuck and Karen Bragg
  • Ken and Luan Marshall
  • Tom Swenson
  • Mike Freeland and Sharon Butsch Freeland
  • Dr. William McNiece
  • Serita Borgeas
  • Richard Stroup in memory of Robert W. Stroup

Molly Head, executive producer (317) 506-7164 
Nelson Price, host and historian
Corene Nickel, web designer and tech manager

Richard Sullivan and Ryan DeRome, tech consultants
Pam Fraizer, graphic designer

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Facebook logo links to the Hoosier History Live! page.Acknowledgements to WICR-FM, Fraizer Designs, Monomedia, Henri Pensis, Maddie Fisher, Austin Cook, and many other individuals and organizations. We are independently produced and are self-supporting through organizational sponsorship and through individual contribution, either online at our yellow button on our newsletter or website, or by U.S. mail. For organizational sponsorship, which includes logos, links, and voiced credits in our podcasts and in our show, please contact Molly Head at (317) 506-7164 or email her at molly@hoosierhistorylive.org.

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