Hoosier History: On This Day, January 5


Aerial View of the Indiana State Capitol Building Looking West from the Top of Monument Circle, 1896. (Photo credit: Indiana Historical Society)

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Today is Saturday, Jan. 5, the fifth day of 2019 with 360 days to follow.

Today’s Hoosier Highlights in History:

On Jan. 5, 1887, the Indiana General Assembly begins the session in the new Statehouse in Indianapolis. The building, under construction since 1878, had not officially opened. However, the chambers for the Senate and House of Representatives were ready for use. (Source: Hoosier History Highlights from the Indiana Department of Administration)

George Taliaferro, 1949 NFL Rookie of The Year. (Photo by Keystone/Getty Images)

On Jan. 5, 1911, Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity is founded on the campus of Indiana University, Bloomington. It is the first African-American fraternity to be founded at a predominantly white institution of higher education. George Taliaferro, who would become the first African-American player drafted by a National Football League team, was among the membership.

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

On Jan. 5, 1937, water levels begin to rise in the Ohio River Flood of 1937. Southern Indiana would be devastated. The flood left two-thirds of Evansville under water, with martial law being declared for a couple of days and 90,000 people being forced from their homes. Flooding along the river turned the waterway into a 25-mile-wide lake stretching from Illinois to Pennsylvania, and a total of 385 people would die. (Watch video below of Evansville flooding.)

Ice Covered Trees in Muncie on Jan. 5, 2005. (Photo: NOAA)

On Jan. 5, 2005, a major ice storm hits Central Indiana north of Indianapolis from Lafayette to Kokomo and Tipton to Muncie, Anderson and Winchester. The storm leaves most of Muncie, roughly 180,000 people, without power as high winds combined with the weight of the ice caused numerous trees to fall down and transformers to explode; parts of the city would not have power for several days. (See more images below from the Muncie ice storm.)

On this date elsewhere:

In 1066, Edward the Confessor, King of England, died after a reign of nearly 24 years.

In 1589, Catherine de Medici (MEHD’-uh-chee) of France died at age 69.

In 1781, a British naval expedition led by Benedict Arnold burned Richmond, Virginia.

In 1895, French Capt. Alfred Dreyfus, convicted of treason, was publicly stripped of his rank. (He was ultimately vindicated.)

In 1925, Democrat Nellie Tayloe Ross of Wyoming took office as America’s first female governor, succeeding her late husband, William, following a special election.

In 1933, the 30th president of the United States, Calvin Coolidge, died in Northampton, Massachusetts, at age 60. Construction began on the Golden Gate Bridge. (Work was completed four years later.)

In 1943, educator and scientist George Washington Carver died in Tuskegee, Alabama, at about age 80.

In 1953, Samuel Beckett’s two-act tragicomedy “Waiting for Godot,” considered a classic of the Theater of the Absurd, premiered in Paris.

In 1957, President Dwight D. Eisenhower proposed assistance to countries to help them resist Communist aggression in what became known as the Eisenhower Doctrine.

In 1983, President Ronald Reagan announced he was nominating Elizabeth Dole to succeed Drew Lewis as secretary of transportation; Dole became the first woman to head a Cabinet department in Reagan’s administration, and the first to head the DOT.

In 1993, the state of Washington executed Westley Allan Dodd, an admitted child sex killer, in America’s first legal hanging since 1965

In 1994, Thomas P. “Tip” O’Neill, former speaker of the House of Representatives, died in Boston at age 81.

In 1998, Sonny Bono, the 1960s pop star-turned-politician, was killed when he struck a tree while skiing at the Heavenly Ski Resort on the Nevada-California state line; he was 62.

Ten years ago: President-elect Barack Obama met with congressional leaders, declaring the national economy was “bad and getting worse” and predicting lawmakers would approve a mammoth revitalization package within two weeks of his taking office. Former Attorney General Griffin B. Bell died in Atlanta at age 90. Retired Lt. Gen. Harry W.O. Kinnard, a paratroop officer who’d suggested the famously defiant answer “Nuts!” to a German demand for surrender during the World War II Battle of the Bulge, died in Arlington, Va., at age 93.

Five years ago: The Iraqi military tried to dislodge al-Qaida militants in Sunni-dominated Anbar province, unleashing airstrikes and besieging the regional capital. Acting with a court order, the family of Jahi (juh-HY’) McMath, a 13-year-old California girl declared brain dead after a tonsillectomy, removed her from a California hospital to be cared for elsewhere. (Following several years of being on life support, Jahi died June 22, 2018, following surgery.)

One year ago: “Fire and Fury” by Michael Wolff, a book in which former aide Steve Bannon was quoted as expressing doubts about President Donald Trump’s competence, was released; Trump had said on the eve of publication that the book was full of “lies, misrepresentations and sources that don’t exist.” New York City officials said the city had ended 2017 with 290 murders, the fewest on record in the modern era; the number of shootings and overall crimes had also declined. Actor Jerry Van Dyke died in Arkansas at the age of 86. Astronaut John Young, who walked on the moon and later commanded the first space shuttle flight, died at his Houston home; he was 7.

Today’s Birthdays: Former Vice President Walter F. Mondale is 91. Actor Robert Duvall is 88. Juan Carlos, former King of Spain, is 81. Singer-musician Athol Guy (The Seekers) is 79. Former talk show host Charlie Rose is 77. Actress-director Diane Keaton is 73. Actor Ted Lange (lanj) is 71. Rhythm-and-blues musician George “Funky” Brown (Kool and the Gang) is 70. Rock musician Chris Stein (Blondie) is 69. Former CIA Director George Tenet is 66. Actress Pamela Sue Martin is 66. Actor Clancy Brown is 60. Singer Iris Dement is 58. Actress Suzy Amis is 57. Actor Ricky Paull (correct) Goldin is 54. Actor Vinnie Jones is 54. Rock musician Kate Schellenbach (Luscious Jackson) is 53. Actor Joe Flanigan is 52. Dancer-choreographer Carrie Ann Inaba is 51. Rock musician Troy Van Leeuwen (Queens of the Stone Age) is 51. Actress Heather Paige Kent is 50. Rock singer Marilyn Manson is 50. Actor Shea Whigham is 50. Actor Derek Cecil is 46. Actress-comedian Jessica Chaffin is 45. Actor Bradley Cooper is 44. Actress January Jones is 41. Actress Brooklyn Sudano is 38. Actor Franz Drameh is 26.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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