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Hoosier History: On This Day, January 23

Musician Rick Finch of the funk group "KC and the Sunshine Band" poses for a portrait in circa 1975. (Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)

Today is Wednesday, Jan. 23, the 23rd day of 2019.

Today’s Hoosier Highlights in History:

On Jan. 23, 1954, music composer, producer, engineer, and song arranger Richard Finch is born in Indianapolis. The multi-Grammy Award winner is best known as the co-founder and former bass guitar player of KC and the Sunshine Band. Along with Harry Wayne “KC” Casey, he co-wrote six No. 1 Billboard Hot 100 hits. The Finch/Casey collaboration’s hits included “Shake Your Booty”, “Get Down Tonight”, “Please Don’t Go”, “Boogie Shoes” and “I’m Your Boogie Man”. (You can listen to a medley of Finch’s songs with KC and the Sunshine Band in the video player below.)

Stephen Neal. (Photo courtesy: Neal Manor)

On Jan. 23, 1867, Indiana ratifies the 14th Amendment, granting citizenship to former slaves. Judge Stephen Neal of Boone County is widely given credit for writing the original draft of the document. It is alleged that he wrote a draft of the proposed amendment in 1866 and sent that draft to Godlove S. Orth, a former Indiana state legislator and then U.S. Representative to Congress. A bust of Neal, commissioned in 1907, by local Indiana artist Clara Barth Leonard is located on the second floor of the Indiana Statehouse.

James Maurice Thompson. (Photo: Crawfordsville District Public Library)

On Jan. 23, 1879, the U.S. National Archery Association forms in Crawfordsville. After the Civil War, Confederate soldiers were not allowed to own firearms. Because of this, two brothers — James Maurice and William H. Thompson — learned to do their hunting with the bow and arrow and became accomplished archers. They were both the founding members of the NAA, which is known today as USA Archery and is now headquartered in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

Miriam Mason Swain. (Photo courtesy: Delta Zeta Sorority)

On Jan. 23, 1900, nationally-recognized children’s book author Miriam Mason Swain is born on a farm near Goshen. Swain wrote 57 books from 1935 to the late 1960s. Many of Mason’s book characters were inspired by her experience of growing up on a farm. She moved to Batesville in the 1940s and lived there until her death in 1973. The Batesville Memorial Public Library has 55 of Mason’s books in its circulating collection, as well as several original manuscripts and book illustrations, plus other related correspondence on display.

On this date elsewhere:

In 1368, China’s Ming dynasty, which lasted nearly three centuries, began as Zhu Yuanzhang was formally acclaimed emperor following the collapse of the Yuan dynasty.

In 1789, Georgetown University was established in present-day Washington, D.C.

In 1845, Congress decided all national elections would be held on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November.

In 1932, New York Gov. Franklin D. Roosevelt announced his candidacy for the Democratic presidential nomination.

In 1933, the 20th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, the so-called “Lame Duck Amendment,” was ratified as Missouri approved it.

In 1950, the Israeli Knesset approved a resolution affirming Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

In 1962, Jackie Robinson was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility. Tony Bennett recorded “I Left My Heart in San Francisco” in New York for Columbia Records.

In 1964, the 24th Amendment to the United States Constitution, eliminating the poll tax in federal elections, was ratified as South Dakota became the 38th state to endorse it.

In 1968, North Korea seized the U.S. Navy intelligence ship USS Pueblo, commanded by Lloyd “Pete” Bucher, charging its crew with being on a spying mission; one sailor was killed and 82 were taken prisoner. (Cmdr. Bucher and his crew were released the following December after enduring 11 months of brutal captivity at the hands of the North Koreans.)

In 1978, rock musician Terry Kath, a key member of the group Chicago, accidentally shot himself to death following a party in Woodland Hills, California; he was 31.

In 1989, surrealist artist Salvador Dali died in his native Figueres, Spain, at age 84.

In 1998, a judge in Fairfax, Virginia, sentenced Aimal Khan Kasi (eye-MAHL’ kahn KAH’-see) to death for an assault rifle attack outside CIA headquarters in 1993 that killed two men and wounded three other people. (Kasi was executed in November 2002.)

In 2005, former “Tonight Show” host Johnny Carson died in Los Angeles at age 79.

Ten years ago: President Barack Obama quietly ended the Bush administration’s ban on giving federal money to international groups that performed abortions or provided information on the option. New York Gov. David Paterson chose Democratic Rep. Kirsten Gillibrand (KEHR’-sten JIL’-uh-brand) to fill the Senate seat vacated by Hillary Rodham Clinton.

Five years ago: Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel ordered immediate actions to define the depth of trouble inside the nation’s nuclear force, which had been rocked by disclosures about security lapses, poor discipline, weak morale and other problems. A fire at a seniors’ home in L’Isle-Verte, Quebec, Canada, killed 32 people. Pop star Justin Bieber was arrested in Miami Beach, Florida, on charges of driving under the influence, resisting arrest and driving with an expired license. (Bieber later pleaded guilty to careless driving and resisting arrest under a deal that spared him jail time.)

One year ago: An early-morning shooting at a high school in Benton, Kentucky, left two 15-year-old students dead and more than a dozen others injured; authorities charged a 15-year-old classmate with murder and assault. LeBron James, at 33, became the youngest player in NBA history with 30,000 career points, reaching that mark during the Cleveland Cavaliers’ 114-102 loss to the San Antonio Spurs; he was the seventh player to score that many points in his career. “The Shape of Water” led the way with 13 Academy Award nominations, including one for best picture.

Today’s Birthdays: Actress Chita Rivera is 86. Actor-director Lou Antonio is 85. Jazz musician Gary Burton is 76. Actor Gil Gerard is 76. Actor Rutger Hauer is 75. Rhythm-and-blues singer Jerry Lawson is 75. Sen. Thomas R. Carper, D-Del., is 72. Singer Anita Pointer is 71. Actor Richard Dean Anderson is 69. Rock musician Bill Cunningham is 69. Rock singer Robin Zander (Cheap Trick) is 66. Former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa (vee-yah-ry-GOH’-sah) is 66. Princess Caroline of Monaco is 62. Singer Anita Baker is 61. Reggae musician Earl Falconer (UB40) is 60. Actor Boris McGiver is 57. Actress Gail O’Grady is 56. Actress Mariska Hargitay is 55. Rhythm-and-blues singer Marc Nelson is 48. TV host Norah O’Donnell is 45. Actress Tiffani Thiessen is 45. Rock musician Nick Harmer (Death Cab for Cutie) is 44. Actress Lindsey Kraft is 39. Christian rock musician Nick DePartee (Kutless) is 34. Singer-actress Rachel Crow is 21.

(The Indiana State Museum and the Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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