Hoosier History: On This Day, January 24

The Ohio River flooded much of Evansville on Jan. 24, 1937. (Photo: Indiana National Guard)

Today is Thursday, Jan. 24, the 24th day of 2019.

Today’s Hoosier Highlights in History:

On Jan. 24, 1937, Evansville is under martial law as the Ohio River floods to 54 feet, almost 19 feet above flood stage. Flooding turned the waterway into a 25-mile-wide lake with damage stretching from Pittsburgh, Pa. to Cairo, Ill. in the region’s worst natural disaster. The flood left two-thirds of Evansville under water, forcing 90,000 people from their homes. Southern Indiana residents were evacuated quickly by train and bus early on, making Indiana the only state to avoid drowning fatalities. Evansville’s only fatality was a 56-year-old person who dropped dead of a heart attack due to stress. Indianapolis became a haven for Southern Indiana evacuees. (Watch historical footage of the flooding in Evansville in the video player below.)

Miss America 2009 Katie Stam (Photo: Getty)

On Jan. 24, 2009, Miss Indiana Katie R. Stam of Seymour is crowned the 2009 Miss America Pageant winner at the Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada. She became the first Miss Indiana to claim the Miss America title. As Miss America, Stam traveled approximately 20,000 miles each month promoting and speaking on her platform of community service; she also met President Barack Obama at the White House while serving as the official goodwill ambassador for the Children’s Miracle Network charity.

A Hoosier Sugar Cream Pie. (photo: Food Network)

Also On Jan. 24, 2009, a non-binding Indiana Senate resolution is passed to acknowledge the sugar cream pie as the official state pie of Indiana and to rename it “Hoosier Pie.” The sugar cream pie is said to have originated in the early 1800s in Northeast Indiana’s Amish community. It’s known by a variety of names: desperation pie, finger pie and Amish milk pie – but its most common name identifies its two key ingredients: sugar and cream. The oldest recipe on record dates back to 1816 – the year Indiana became a state. (Watch the video below for a recipe to make Hoosier sugar cream pie.)

On this date elsewhere:

In 1848, James W. Marshall discovered a gold nugget at Sutter’s Mill in northern California, a discovery that led to the gold rush of `49.

In 1862, author Edith Wharton was born in New York.

In 1942, the Roberts Commission placed much of the blame for America’s lack of preparedness for Imperial Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor on Rear Adm. Husband E. Kimmel and Lt. Gen. Walter C. Short, the Navy and Army commanders.

In 1943, President Franklin D. Roosevelt and British Prime Minister Winston Churchill concluded a wartime conference in Casablanca, Morocco.

In 1965, British statesman Winston Churchill died in London at age 90.

In 1975, the extremist group FALN bombed Fraunces Tavern in New York City, killing four people.

In 1984, Apple Computer began selling its first Macintosh model, which boasted a built-in 9-inch monochrome display, a clock rate of 8 megahertz and 128k of RAM.

In 1985, the space shuttle Discovery was launched from Cape Canaveral on the first secret, all-military shuttle mission.

In 1987, gunmen in Lebanon kidnapped educators Alann Steen, Jesse Turner, Robert Polhill and Mitheleshwar Singh. (All were eventually released.)

In 1989, confessed serial killer Theodore Bundy was executed in Florida’s electric chair.

In 1993, retired Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall died in Bethesda, Maryland, at age 84.

In 2003, former Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Ridge was sworn as the first secretary of the new Department of Homeland Security.

In 2013, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta announced the lifting of a ban on women serving in combat.

Ten years ago: Pilot Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger, who’d safely landed a crippled US Airways jetliner in the Hudson River, received a hero’s homecoming in Danville, Calif. President Barack Obama met with his economic advisers after asking Americans to support his economic package as a way to better schools, lower electricity bills and health coverage for millions who lose insurance. Brazilian model Mariana Bridi, 20, died after contracting an infection that had forced doctors to amputate her hands and feet.

Five years ago: A truck bombing struck the main security headquarters in Cairo, one of a string of bombings targeting police in a 10-hour period, killing 6 people on the eve of the third anniversary of the revolt that overthrew President Hosni Mubarak and left the Arab nation deeply divided.

One year ago: President Donald Trump told reporters that he would be willing to answer questions under oath from special counsel Robert Mueller. Former sports doctor Larry Nassar, who had admitted molesting some of the nation’s top gymnasts for years under the guise of medical treatment, was sentenced to 40 to 175 years in prison. Chipper Jones, Jim Thome, Vladimir Guerrero and Trevor Hoffman were elected to the baseball Hall of Fame. Scientists in China announced that they had used the cloning technique that produced Dolly the sheep to create healthy monkeys; it was the first such achievement in primates. Singer Elton John announced that he would be retiring from the road after an upcoming three-year global tour.

Today’s Birthdays: Cajun musician Doug Kershaw is 83. Singer-songwriter Ray Stevens is 80. Singer-songwriter Neil Diamond is 78. Singer Aaron Neville is 78. Actor Michael Ontkean is 73. Actor Daniel Auteuil is 69. Country singer-songwriter Becky Hobbs is 69. Comedian Yakov Smirnoff is 68. South Korean President Moon Jae-in is 66. Actor William Allen Young is 65. Bandleader-musician Jools Holland is 61. Actress Nastassja Kinski is 58. Rhythm-and-blues singer Theo Peoples is 58. Country musician Keech Rainwater (Lonestar) is 56. Comedian Phil LaMarr is 52. Olympic gold medal gymnast Mary Lou Retton is 51. Rhythm-and-blues singer Sleepy Brown (Society of Soul) is 49. Actor Matthew Lillard is 49. Actress Merrilee McCommas is 48. Blues/rock singer Beth Hart is 47. Actor Ed Helms is 45. Actor Mark Hildreth is 41. Actress Christina Moses is 41. Actress Tatyana Ali is 40. Rock musician Mitchell Marlow (Filter) is 40. Actress Carrie Coon is 38. Actor Daveed Diggs is 37. Actor Justin Baldoni is 35. Actress Mischa Barton is 33.

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

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