Hoosier History: On This Day, February 1


CIRCA 1964: (L-R) Norm Sundholm, Lynn Easton, Dick Peterson, Mike Mitchell, and Barry Curtis of the touring version of the rock and roll band ‘The Kingsmen’ perform onstage in 1964. (Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)

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Today is Friday, Feb. 1, the 32nd day of 2019.

Today’s Hoosier Highlights in History:

On Feb. 1, 1964, Indiana Governor Mathew Welsh bans the Kingsmen’s version of the song “Louie Louie” from being played on local radio stations in the state, calling it “pornographic” and literally making a federal case out of it. The trouble with the Kingmen’s version was that it was difficult to understand the lyrics and rumors began to circulate about what the words were. Responding to complaints that the lyrics were obscene, the FBI does a thorough investigation resulting in a 118-page report concluding that “the recording was hurriedly produced and the technique was poor… (lyrics are) unintelligible at any speed,” but the record did not constitute obscenity.
(Listen to the song in the video player below.)

Elektro and Sparko. (Photo: State of Indiana)

On Feb. 1, 1950, children crowd onto the fifth floor of the L. S. Ayres Department Store in Indianapolis to see “Elektro, the Mechanical Man.” Made of metal, standing seven feet tall, and weighing 265 pounds, Elektro could talk, understand voice commands, move his arms, and even blow up balloons. He and his mechanical dog Sparko were built by the Westinghouse Company for an exhibit at the 1939 World’s Fair in New York. (Source: Hoosier History Highlights from the Indiana Department of Administration)

Circa 1950, a Cummins engine is inspected. (Photo: Indiana Historical Society)

On Feb. 1, 1919, “Clessie L. Cummins files articles of incorporation for Cummins Engine Company with the Indiana secretary of state. The Columbus company generated demand for its innovative diesel engines known for their quality and reliability. During the Great Depression, Cummins engines were introduced on race cars at the Indy 500, and had a good measure of success. In the post-World War II years, Cummins became an industry leader in producing diesel engines for the heavy duty truck market. The company netted $1.39 billion in income last year,” according to the Indiana Historical Bureau.

An exhibit at the African American History Museum. (Photo courtesy: Visit Fort Wayne)

On Feb. 1, 2000, the African-American Historical Museum opens in Fort Wayne. It was founded by Hana Stith, a retired school teacher and community leader. It exhibits the histories of people of African descent from earliest times to today. The museum houses the city’s largest public collection of African art. (Source: Hoosier History Highlights from the Indiana Department of Administration)

Meg Cabot. (Photo: JOEL SAGET/AFP/Getty Images)

On Feb. 1, 1967, author Meg Patricia Cabot is born in Bloomington. She has written and published over fifty books of romantic and paranormal fiction, and is best known for the Princess Diaries series which was made into two Disney feature films of the same name in 2001 and 2004. She’s celebrating her 53rd birthday today.

The Indiana Veterans’ Home as it looks today. (Photo: State of Indiana)

On Feb. 1, 1896, “several buildings at the Indiana State Soldiers’ Home in Lafayette open for occupancy. In 1886, the encampment of the Grand Army of the Republic at Indianapolis spearheaded the movement for a home to serve destitute and disabled veterans and their families. The institution’s name changed to the Indiana Veterans’ Home in 1976, and it continues to operate today as a long-term care skilled nursing facility for Indiana’s veterans and their spouses,” according to the Indiana Historical Bureau.

On this date elsewhere:

In 1790, the U.S. Supreme Court convened for the first time in New York. (However, since only three of the six justices were present, the court recessed until the next day.)

In 1862, “The Battle Hymn of the Republic,” a poem by Julia Ward Howe, was published in the Atlantic Monthly.

In 1942, during World War II, the Voice of America broadcast its first program to Europe, relaying it through the facilities of the British Broadcasting Corp. in London.

In 1943, during World War II, one of America’s most highly decorated military units, the 442nd Regimental Combat Team, made up almost exclusively of Japanese-Americans, was authorized.

In 1946, Norwegian statesman Trygve Lie (TRIHG’-vuh lee) was chosen to be the first secretary-general of the United Nations.

In 1959, men in Switzerland rejected giving women the right to vote by a more than 2-1 referendum margin. (Swiss women gained the right to vote in 1971.)

In 1960, four black college students began a sit-in protest at a Woolworth’s lunch counter in Greensboro, North Carolina, where they’d been refused service.

In 1968, during the Vietnam War, South Vietnam’s police chief (Nguyen Ngoc Loan) executed a Viet Cong officer with a pistol shot to the head in a scene captured by news photographers. Richard M. Nixon announced his bid for the Republican presidential nomination.

In 1979, Iranian religious leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini (hoh-MAY’-nee) received a tumultuous welcome in Tehran as he ended nearly 15 years of exile.

In 1982, “Late Night with David Letterman” premiered on NBC.

In 1993, Gary Bettman took office as the National Hockey League’s first commissioner, succeeding the NHL’s final president, Gil Stein.

In 1994, Jeff Gillooly, Tonya Harding’s ex-husband, pleaded guilty in Portland, Ore., to racketeering for his part in the attack on figure skater Nancy Kerrigan in exchange for a 24-month sentence (he ended up serving six) and a $100,000 fine.

In 2003, the space shuttle Columbia broke up during re-entry, killing all seven of its crew members: commander Rick Husband; pilot William McCool; payload commander Michael Anderson; mission specialists Kalpana Chawla, David Brown and Laurel Clark; and payload specialist Ilan Ramon (ee-LAHN’ rah-MOHN’), the first Israeli in space.

Ten years ago: The Pittsburgh Steelers defeated the Arizona Cardinals 27-23 to win Super Bowl XLIII (43). Rafael Nadal held off Roger Federer to win the Australian Open, 7-5, 3-6, 7-6 (3), 3-6, 6-2. Olympic great Michael Phelps acknowledged “bad judgment” after a photo in a British newspaper showed him inhaling from a marijuana pipe. Australian firefighter Dave Tree was photographed giving water to an injured koala found in burned brushland in Victoria state; the rescued female koala, dubbed “Sam,” became an Internet sensation, but ended up being euthanized in Aug. 2009.

Five years ago: The United Nations’ secretary-general, Ban Ki-moon, pressed the U.S. and Russia to help ensure that peace talks aimed at stemming Syria’s civil war would resume soon after a week of peace talks ended in Geneva with no concrete progress. Ray Guy became the first punter elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame; joining the long-time Oakland Raider were two first-time eligible players, linebacker Derrick Brooks and offensive tackle Walter Jones, as well as defensive end Michael Strahan, receiver Andre Reed, defensive back Aeneas Williams and defensive end Claude Humphrey. Peyton Manning won his fifth Associated Press NFL Most Valuable Player award in a landslide. Academy Award-winning actor Maximillian Schell, 83, died in Innsbruck, Austria.

One year ago: Republican State Rep. Don Shooter was expelled from the Arizona House because of a lengthy pattern of sexual misconduct, making him the first state lawmaker in the U.S. to be booted out since the (hash)MeToo movement emerged. Sheriff’s officials in Los Angeles said new witnesses had emerged in the 1981 drowning death of actress Natalie Wood, prompting investigators to name her former husband, Robert Wagner, a “person of interest” in what they considered a “suspicious death.” (Detectives later said the evidence hadn’t reached the threshold for a murder investigation and that they had no plans to file criminal charges.) A judge ordered a Wisconsin girl, Morgan Geyser, to be committed to a mental hospital for 40 years for stabbing a classmate when she was 12 years old to curry favor with the fictional horror character Slender Man.

Today’s Birthdays: Actor Stuart Whitman is 91. Folk singer Bob Shane (The Kingston Trio) is 85. Singer Don Everly is 82. Actor Garrett Morris is 82. Bluegrass singer Del McCoury is 80. TV personality-singer Joy Philbin is 78. Comedian-actor-director Terry Jones is 77. Political commentator Fred Barnes is 76. Sen. Mike Enzi, R-Wyo., is 75. Rock musician Mike Campbell (Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers) is 69. Blues singer-musician Sonny Landreth is 68. Actor-writer-producer Bill Mumy (MOO’-mee) is 65. Rock singer Exene Cervenka is 63. Actor Linus Roache is 55. Princess Stephanie of Monaco is 54. Country musician Dwayne Dupuy (Ricochet) is 54. Actress Sherilyn Fenn is 54. Lisa Marie Presley is 51. Comedian-actor Pauly Shore is 51. Actor Brian Krause is 50. Jazz musician Joshua Redman is 50. Rock musician Patrick Wilson (Weezer) is 50. Actor Michael C. Hall is 48. Rock musician Ron Welty is 48. Rapper Big Boi (Outkast) is 44. Roots rocker Jason Isbell is 40. Country singer Julie Roberts is 40. Actor Jarrett Lennon is 37. Rock singer-musician Andrew VanWyngarden is 36. TV personality Lauren Conrad is 33. Actress-singer Heather Morris is 32. Actress and mixed martial artist Ronda Rousey is 32. Rock singer Harry Styles (One Direction) is 25.

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

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