Indy in The 50’s

FULL EPISODE

Indy in The 50's

Indy in the ’50s, hosted by WISH-TV news anchor and Indianapolis native Mike Ahern, takes an entertaining stroll through the decade to look at what was popular in fashion, movies, meeting places and leisure activities.

AIRED: December 03, 1998 | 1:22:33
ABOUT THE PROGRAM
TRANSCRIPT

INDIANAPOLIS,

IS A GREAT CITY.

IT SEEMED LIKE

YOU BOUGHT THE NECESSITIES,

AND THERE WAS MONEY

WE COULD HARDLY BELIEVE

THE HOUSES WERE JUST BEING

RIGHT DOWN THE ROAD.

WE HAD A BANK AND

AND WE HAD SEARS AND KRESGE'S.

I ALWAYS THOUGHT OF DOWNTOWN,

I REALLY KIND OF

AS THE CENTER OF THE UNIVERSE.

EVEN IF YOU COULD GO DOWNTOWN,

IN A LOT OF THE RESTAURANTS

WHAT A TRAVESTY IT WOULD BE TO

FOR A MEETING TO WHICH

¶ 9 RAH'S FOR SHORTRIDGE AND

¶ OH, SHORTRIDGE MAY BE TOUGH,

¶ THEY CAN BEAT EVERYBODY,

INDIANAPOLIS WINS ITS FIRST STATE BASKETBALL CHAMPIONSHIP!

THE GAME WAS OVER.

SO YOU WATCHED

YOU COULD NOT REALLY BE

AND THIS THING RUBBED OFF.

INTO RHYTHM AND BLUES,

¶ W.I.B.C. IN INDIANAPOLIS,

THIS IS YOUR CITY.

STAY TUNED FOR

Narrator: IT JUST SAT THERE, IDLE.

THE ROAR COMING FROM THE INDIANAPOLIS MOTOR SPEEDWAY

HAD PUT THIS CITY ON THE MAP.

BUT A WORLD WAR SILENCED THE FAMOUS OVAL.

Donald Davidson:

WEEDS BEGAN TO GROW UP ON

IN FACT, ALL AROUND

BECAUSE THE MAIN STRAIGHT-AWAY

THE LOCALS JUST

THAT THE TRACK WAS

Narrator: LIKE THE SPEEDWAY,

INDIANAPOLIS IS DORMANT DURING THE 4 YEARS ...

THE UNITED STATES IS INVOLVED IN WORLD WAR II.

AND WHAT ACTIVITY THERE IS ...

CENTERS AROUND THE WAR EFFORT.

NOT FAR FROM THE SPEEDWAY,

ALLISONS SWINGS IN TO FULL-TIME WAR PRODUCTION,

BUILDING AIRCRAFT ENGINES.

PEOPLE ARE ENCOURAGED TO PLANT "VICTORY" GARDENS,

AND THEY WATCH THE INDIANS PLAY AT "VICTORY FIELD."

THESE ARE SCARCE TIMES. FOOD IS RATIONED.

STILL REELING FROM A MAJOR DEPRESSION,

INDIANAPOLIS RESIDENTS SALVAGE SCRAP METAL AND RUBBER.

THEY ATTEND "BOND RALLIES."

[Sound of atomic blast]

[Crowds cheering]

WHEN PEACE BREAKS OUT,

THOUSANDS RUSH TO MONUMENT CIRCLE.

MANY OF THEM JUMP INTO THE FOUNTAINS ...

DURING A CELEBRATION THAT LASTS WELL INTO THE NIGHT.

THE GIANT "V" HUNG OUTSIDE L.S. AYRES DEPARTMENT STORE ...

SYMBOLIZES "VICTORY."

IT'S ALSO A SIGNAL TO WAR-WEARY CUSTOMERS ...

TO START BUYING AGAIN.

Mike Ahern:

ON 'VJ' DAY ALSO RAN

THEY BOUGHT SUBURBAN HOMES

THEY HOPPED ON

AND DROVE STRAIGHT INTO --

A DECADE THAT WOULD PRODUCE THE

BUT MADE QUITE

HI, I'M MIKE AHERN,

INVITING YOU TO JOIN ME AS WE

DO YOU REMEMBER DRIVING

DO YOU REMEMBER A

OR WHEN SHORTRIDGE WAS

DO YOU REMEMBER WHEN THE CIRCLE

DO YOU REMEMBER

"INDY IN THE '50s" IS MADE

AND BY STEWART-RICHARDSON

PROVIDING COURT

TO THE LEGAL

HI! COME ON IN.

WE HAVE SOMETHING WE

SOMETHING OF WHICH WE

INDIANAPOLIS,

IS A GREAT CITY,

George Geib:

IN THE MINDS OF MANY PEOPLE ...

WHAT I CALL

A BELIEF THAT VETERANS WHO HAD

WERE ENTITLED TO COME BACK

AND TO LIVE IN A WORLD

THE DARK, GRAY, WORLD

WOULDN'T BE THE DARK

AND RATIONING DURING THE WAR.

THERE WOULD BE A NEW,

WITH THE THINGS THAT THE

Dan Wakefield:

WE HAD PASSED THE TEST.

AND NOW WE DESERVED

Narrator: IT SEEMED AS IF INDIANAPOLIS WASN'T GOOD ENOUGH ...

OR BIG ENOUGH FOR THE RETURNING VETERAN.

Vale Harless:

THEY'D BEEN IN APARTMENTS.

THEY'D BEEN IN ROOMS.

THEY NEEDED A HOME

THEY NEEDED A YARD

THEY NEEDED A PLACE FOR

Peggy Hickman:

WE PULLED FROM NEW

Narrator: AIR FORCE VETERAN BILL HICKMAN,

AND HIS WIFE, PEGGY,

CAME TO INDIANAPOLIS LOOKING TO BUY INTO THE AMERICAN DREAM;

AND BILL JENNINGS WAS LOOKING TO FULFILL IT.

Bill Jennings:

AS FAR AS PEOPLE BEING

BUY HOMES THAT THEY

SO WE TRIED TO MEET

AND IT WORKED OUT REAL WELL.

Narrator: BILL JENNINGS MOVED INDIANAPOLIS ...

OUT TO THE 'BURBS!

SEEING A NEED FOR LOW-COST HOUSING -- AND LOTS OF IT --

JENNINGS, ALONG WITH PARTNER JOHN LOOKABILL ...

AND A HANDFUL OF OTHER DEVELOPERS,

TOOK FARMLAND ON WHAT WAS THEN ...

THE FAR WEST SIDE OF INDIANAPOLIS,

AND CARVED OUT A WHOLE NEW WAY OF LIFE -- "SUBURBIA."

JENNINGS FIRST WENT OUT TO SEE ...

NEW YORK BUSINESSMAN BILL LEVITT AND TO STUDY ...

HIS FABLED "LEVITTOWN" HOUSING DEVELOPMENT ON LONG ISLAND.

BACK IN INDIANAPOLIS,

JENNINGS AND LOOKABILL HEADQUARTERED THEIR ...

J&L; REALTY IN A FARMHOUSE ALONG RURAL WEST 30TH STREET ...

AND PROCEEDED TO SELL WHAT THEY CALLED "SUB-DIVIDED LOTS."

THE EAGLEDALE SUBDIVISION WAS TO BECOME ...

INDIANAPOLIS' LARGEST AND AMONG THE FIRST OF ITS KIND.

J&L; AND THE OTHER DEVELOPERS ...

PLANNED TO BUILD AS MANY AS 500 ...

PRE-FABRICATED ALUMINUM-SIDED HOMES.

VALE HARLESS WAS ONE OF THE SALES MANAGERS.

Vale Harless:

ON THE AVERAGE HOME --

AND FROM ABOUT 900 TO

Narrator: AT EAGLEDALE, THE ENGINEERS DIDN'T SIMPLY ...

EXTEND THE CITY'S EXISTING GRID SYSTEM.

INSTEAD, THE STREETS CURVED AND MEANDERED ...

OR PERHAPS ENDED IN WHAT DEVELOPERS CALLED ...

A "CUL-DE-SAC."

ALTHOUGH, THERE WASN'T MUCH NOVELTY WHEN IT CAME TO DESIGN,

PEOPLE JUST DIDN'T SEEM TO CARE THAT THEY LIVED IN ...

THE SAME TYPE OF HOUSE AS THEIR NEXT DOOR NEIGHBOR ...

AND THEIR NEXT DOOR NEIGHBOR.

Bill Jennings:

WE'D COMPLETE THE

Narrator: THEY BUILT HOMES AT A FURIOUS PACE,

ONE AFTER ANOTHER, IN AN ASSEMBLY-LINE FASHION.

Vale Harless:

YOU KNOW, THE HOUSES WERE

JUST BOOM! BOOM! BOOM!

Narrator: YOUNG COUPLES WERE LITERALLY LINING UP ...

TO GET INTO A NEW EAGLEDALE HOME.

Vale Harless:

SAW THIS HORDE OF

WITH THEIR LITTLE CHILDREN.

AND WE HAD GAMES AND

AND STUFF FOR THE KIDS.

AND HE LAUGHED AND YELLED,

AND LOOKERS OVER HERE!'

HE DIDN'T WANT TO

WITH SOMEONE WHO

Narrator: THE HICKMAN'S WERE AMONG THOSE WHO LINED UP ...

TO TOUR A MODEL HOME AT EAGLEDALE.

Peggy Hickman:

A ONE-BEDROOM TRAILER.

IT JUST LOOKED SO BIG.

AND ALL THE FINE FURNITURE

Narrator: AND HICKMAN, A RETURNING VET,

WAS ARMED WITH SOMETHING THAT MADE HIS "MANSION" AFFORDABLE,

THE G.I. BILL OF RIGHTS.

Vale Harless:

ALLOWED A VETERAN TO GET

WITH NO DOWN PAYMENT. NONE!

Narrator: AFFORDABLE HOUSING WAS PART OF ...

THE "VETERAN'S UTOPIA."

Peggy Hickman:

Bill Hickman:

AND DON'T ASK ME HOW MUCH

Peggy Hickman: $350

Narrator: ALL THE HICKMANS NEEDED WAS

900 SQUARE FEET TO CALL "HOME."

Peggy Hickman:

THERE WAS SO MUCH ROOM, AND WE

THIS IS OUR LIVING ROOM.

THIS IS MY CHAIR AND

George Geib:

THE RECENT MEMORY

WAS CLAD IN THOSE

AND SUDDENLY,

IT LOOKED GREEN.

IT HAD ALL THE COLORS OF THE

Peggy Hickman:

AND WHEN WE TOLD OUR PEOPLE

THEY THOUGHT WE WERE

BECAUSE WE COULD

WE DIDN'T TELL 'EM WE JUST

BUT EVERYBODY OUT HERE WAS

ALL OF US HAD CHILDREN,

AND SO WE HAD CHILDREN

AND THAT IS WHAT

TO MAKE EAGLEDALE

Narrator: BILL HICKMAN HAD SOMETHING ELSE ...

THAT NEARLY EVERY OTHER SUBURBANITE HAD, A STABLE JOB.

BILL, LIKE MANY OF HIS EAGLEDALE NEIGHBORS,

WORKED OVER AT NEARBY ALLISON'S,

A DIVISION OF THE WORLD'S LARGEST CORPORATION,

GENERAL MOTORS.

ALLISON TRANSMISSIONS WERE SENT UP TO DETROIT ...

AND FIT INTO BIG G.M. CARS.

IN THE EARLY '50s,

ANOTHER OF THE WORLD'S LARGEST COMPANIES, AT&T;,

CHOSE INDIANAPOLIS TO BASE ITS WESTERN ELECTRIC DIVISION.

W.E. Film Reel:

BECAUSE OF ITS STRATEGIC,

ITS FRIENDLY, ENERGETIC PEOPLE,

WHO IN 50 YEARS HAVE CREATED

IN THE MIDWESTERN FARM BELT.

Narrator: INDUSTRY AND JOBS WERE CREATED ...

OUT OF MIDWESTERN FARMLAND ALONG RURAL SHADELAND AVENUE.

W.E. Film Reel:

WERE TRANSFORMING

Narrator: JUST ACROSS THE STREET FROM WESTERN ELECTRIC,

ANOTHER DETROIT AUTO GIANT, CHRYSLER,

BUILT A HUGE FACTORY,

AND EMPLOYED THOUSANDS TO MAKE AUTO PARTS.

FOLLOWING CHRYSLER'S LEAD,

FORD BUILT A GIGANTIC PARTS FACTORY IN INDIANAPOLIS.

AND EVEN UNCLE SAM ...

TAPPED IN TO THE LARGE INDIANAPOLIS WORK FORCE.

THE U.S. ARMY DEDICATED ITS FINANCE CENTER ...

AT FORT BENJAMIN HARRISON.

OCCUPYING 1.5 MILLION SQUARE FEET,

IT WAS THIS CITY'S THIRD LARGEST EMPLOYER,

NOT TO MENTION ONE OF ...

THE WORLD'S LARGEST OFFICE BUILDINGS.

AND WHAT WESTERN ELECTRIC BUILT ON THAT FARMLAND ...

WAS NO SMALLER THAN THE WORLD'S LARGEST TELEPHONE FACTORY.

W.E. Film Reel:

THE NATION'S TELEPHONES,

HELPING TO GIVE THIS

THE BEST TELEPHONE

STAMPING,

PUNCHING,

ASSEMBLING,

TESTING,

MAKING TELEPHONES!

Narrator: THERE WERE PLENTY OF JOBS ...

TO GO AROUND INDIANAPOLIS IN THE 1950s.

THOUSANDS WOULD STAY EMPLOYED AT THE DETROIT AUTO DIVISIONS;

THAT IS, AS LONG AS AMERICA MAINTAINED ...

ITS LOVE AFFAIR WITH BIG CARS.

THOUSANDS MORE WOULD KEEP JOBS AT FORT BEN;

THAT IS, AS LONG AS THIS COUNTRY MAINTAINED ...

A LARGE MILITARY DEFENSE.

AND 8,000 WORKERS WOULD HAVE JOBS AT WESTERN ELECTRIC;

THAT IS, AS LONG AS AT&T; MAINTAINED ...

ITS MONOPOLY ON PHONE SERVICE.

IT SEEMED AS IF INDIANAPOLIS WORKERS WOULD ALWAYS HAVE JOBS.

Joe Farah:

WE HAVE TREMENDOUS GROWTH

JOBS, WEALTH, INCOME INCREASES,

NEW HOMES, TWO-CAR FAMILIES

ALL THE TECHNOLOGY STARTS TO

Phil Brandt:

IT SEEMED LIKE

FIRST YOU BOUGHT A CAR.

YOU BOUGHT THE NECESSITIES,

AND THERE WAS MONEY LEFT OVER.

Peggy Hickman:

BECAUSE I HAD A

AND I HAD A LOT OF FRIENDS

Phil Brandt:

WITH WHAT I CALL THE EARLY

Bill Hickman:

YOU COULD BUY JUST ABOUT WHAT

Peggy:

Bill: OR GOOD-ENOUGH

Phil Brandt:

WELL, THAT'S A WARING BLENDER,

MAKES COCKTAILS,

Narrator: WITH STEADY JOBS, DISPOSABLE INCOME ...

AND NEW HOMES, SUBURBANITES WENT ABOUT ...

BUYING STUFF TO PUT IN THOSE HOMES.

Phil Brandt:

PRETTY MUCH LOOKS

Narrator: WHEN SHOPPERS MOVED OUT TO THE SUBURBS,

SO DID THE SHOPS.

SUBURBAN "STRIP MALLS" MADE THEIR INTRODUCTION ...

TO INDIANAPOLIS IN 1956 WHEN THE MEADOWS SHOPPING CENTER ...

OPENED ON EAST 38TH STREET.

AND OUT ON EAST WASHINGTON STREET,

THE EASTGATE SHOPPING CENTER ...

OFFERED CONVENIENT "ONE-STOP SHOPPING."

INTERESTINGLY, ONE YOUNG ENTREPRENEUR ...

RECENTLY STATIONED AT FORT BENJAMIN HARRISON ...

ACCEPTED A CIVILIAN JOB LEASING STORE SPACE AT EASTGATE.

HIS NAME? MELVIN SIMON.

IN TIME, HE WOULD GO ON TO OWN EASTGATE ...

AS WELL AS MANY OTHER MALLS.

NOT SURPRISINGLY, ONE OF THE FIRST STRIP MALLS ...

WAS DEVELOPED RIGHT NEXT TO ONE OF THE LARGEST ...

SUBURBAN DEVELOPMENTS.

THE EAGLEDALE SHOPPING CENTER ...

OFFERED BRANCHES OF DOWNTOWN STORES, A SUPER MARKET,

AND, OF COURSE, PLENTY OF PARKING.

Peggy Hickman:

I MEAN, WE HAD ALL KINDS OF

IT JUST SEEMED LIKE,

I THINK WE SHOPPED MORE

BECAUSE IT WAS SO CLOSE

Narrator: AND IN THE MID-50s ...

THERE WERE RUMORS OF AN EVEN LARGER MALL NEAR BROADRIPPLE.

GLENDALE, THEY SAID, WOULD HAVE BIG DEPARTMENT STORES,

LIKE L.S. AYRES AND BLOCKS ...

COMPARABLE TO THE DOWNTOWN STORES.

IT WAS ALL PART OF A GRAND SCHEME,

A NEW WAY OF LIVING CALLED "SUBURBIA."

AND ALL IT TOOK WAS 900 SQUARE FEET -- A PLACE TO CALL "HOME.

Peggy Hickman:

IT'S COMFORTABLE,

AND IT'S GONNA DO UNTIL

BECAUSE JESUS HAS GONE TO

AND HE'LL COME BACK AND

WE DON'T HAVE IT NOW.

BUT ONE DAY WE EXPECT A

YES.

Mike Ahern:

FOR TENS OF THOUSANDS OF

MANY HAD WELL-PAYING JOBS.

THEY WERE ABLE TO BUY ALL

AND INSTALL THOSE

INTO HOMES OF THEIR VERY OWN.

EVERYTHING SEEMED TO BE

BUT NOT EVERYONE WAS ALLOWED TO

AND THE DECADE CERTAINLY

David Baker:

VIRTUALLY EVERY

EVERY LEVEL OF

EVERY LEVEL OF EDUCATION,

EVERY LEVEL OF

WAS VIRTUALLY AND

Oscar Robertson:

YOU COULDN'T DO

EVEN IF YOU COULD GO DOWNTOWN,

YOU WERE NOT WELCOME ...

IN A LOT OF THE RESTAURANTS

WE DIDN'T ANY ENOUGH MONEY.

I THINK IN ORDER

AND TO GO AROUND THE CITY,

Narrator: FEW AFRICAN-AMERICANS HELD THE KINDS OF JOBS ...

AT THE KINDS OF WAGES ...

WHERE THEY MIGHT BE ABLE TO AFFORD ...

A NEW HOME IN THE SUBURBS.

IN SOME CASES, "COLORED-PEOPLE" --

AS THEY WERE REFERRED TO IN THE 1950s --

WERE DELIBERATELY BLOCKED FROM BUYING HOMES ...

IN WHITE NEIGHBORHOODS.

AFRICAN-AMERICANS, FOR THE MOST PART,

LIVED IN THE INNER CITY ...

IN PLACES LIKE LOCKEFIELD GARDENS AROUND INDIANA AVENUE.

HOWEVER, A RICH CULTURE FLOURISHED ...

AND FLANNER HOUSE, A SOCIAL SERVICE AGENCY,

WAS ABLE TO BUILD NEW HOMES FOR SOME AFRICAN-AMERICANS.

A STRANGE SICKNESS VISITED INDIANAPOLIS ...

IN THE EARLY 1950s.

POLIO, A CONTAGIOUS DISEASE, PROMISED PARALYSIS,

BUT NO CURE.

WHEN A VACCINE WAS FINALLY DISCOVERED,

THE U.S. GOVERNMENT CALLED UPON ...

ONE OF THIS COUNTRY'S LARGEST PHARMACEUTICAL FIRMS,

INDIANAPOLIS' ELI LILLY AND COMPANY,

TO "RUSH" THE PRECIOUS TREATMENT ALL OVER THE WORLD.

Mike Ahern:

COULD NOT EVEN STAND BETWEEN

THE 1950s WERE

EVEN THE SPEEDWAY WAS

THAT THREATENED TO CRUMBLE

TERRE HAUTE BUSINESSMAN

BOUGHT THE INDIANAPOLIS

FROM EDDIE RICKENBACKER

HULMAN ACTED QUICKLY TO PREPARE

FOR A PLANNED 500 MILE RACE

THE FIRST ONE IN 4 YEARS.

ACCORDING TO HISTORIAN

THE SPEEDWAY'S PROPERTY

RIGHT AFTER THE WAR.

HE SAYS THAT HAD

NOT BEEN ABLE TO FIND A

THE CITY'S MOST FAMOUS

COULD HAVE BEEN A VICTIM OF

AND SUBURBANIZATION.

THAT IS, THE INDIANAPOLIS

COULD VERY WELL HAVE BECOME

WHICH, IF YOU LOOK AT THIS

CAME RIGHT UP TO THE

T.V. Announcer:

NEW GENERAL MOTORS

CHEVROLET BELAIRE SPORT COUPE!

Narrator: THE RETURNING VET HAD TO FIND A WAY ...

TO GET FROM HIS NEW SUBURBAN HOME ...

AND OVER TO HIS STABLE JOB.

SO, NATURALLY HE BOUGHT HIMSELF A NEW CAR.

AND THOSE CARS WERE NOT ONLY FUNCTIONAL, THEY HAD STYLE.

CAR MAKERS WERE PROMISING MORE THAN JUST A DEPENDABLE RIDE.

THEY WERE PROMISING A NEW PERSONALITY,

A DIFFERENT ATTITUDE.

SUDDENLY, BRIGHT COLORS, AND TWO-TONE PAINT JOBS ...

BEGAN TO ROLL OFF THE ASSEMBLY LINES.

T.V. Announcer:

COME UP WITH IMPROVEMENTS,

SO PLENTY OF PEOPLE WILL TURN

Narrator: GENERAL MOTORS DESIGNER HARLEY EARLE ...

LITERALLY CHANGED THE WAY WE LOOKED AT CARS ...

WHEN HE ADDED FINS ...

AND MORE CHROME THAN WAS STRUCTURALLY NECESSARY.

THE OTHER CAR COMPANIES FOLLOWED SUIT.

Dale Mortenbeck:

JUST SITTING AT THE CURB.

THEY WERE BUILT TO LOOK

TODAY THEY'RE BUILT TO BE

AND TO SLIP THROUGH THE AIR

SO THEY'RE ALL THE SAME SHAPE.

Narrator: IN THE '50s, MOST EVERYONE WENT TO A DOWNTOWN DEALERSHIP

TO BUY A CAR.

YOU COULD HAVE DRIVEN A CAR ...

JUST LIKE DALE MORTENBECK'S 1955 FORD "SUNLINER" --

STRAIGHT OFF FOXWORTHY FORD'S DOWNTOWN SHOWROOM FLOOR --

FOR $2,375.

ALSO IN 1955, OVER AT SUPERIOR CHEVROLET,

YOU COULD HAVE PICKED UP HARLEY EARLE'S ...

LATEST WORK OF ART --

THE "CHEVY BELAIRE" -- FOR $2,166.

G.M. Film Reel:

IT'S DARN PATRIOTIC

Mike Ahern:

COULD AFFORD TO PARK ONE OF

IN THEIR GARAGE.

IN FACT, SOME FAMILIES WERE

THAT SECOND CAR.

AND SOMETIMES THAT FIRST

TO ANOTHER MEMBER OF

TO A YOUNGER MAN OR WOMAN WHO

TO THE TEE PEE OR THE

THAT YOUNG MAN OR WOMAN ...

WAS ANOTHER PRODUCT OF THE

TODAY WE KNOW THEM AS

BACK THEN, WE JUST

HIGH SCHOOL TEENAGERS.

Susanne Mitten Owen:

RAH, RAH, RAH, RAH, RAH...

9 RAH'S FOR SHORTRIDGE AND

SEE WHY I WAS NEVER

Joe Farah:

THEY RESUMED THEIR

AND THE BIRTH RATE

SUDDENLY, WE HAD A

THAT RIPPLED THROUGH

SUDDENLY, WE FOUND WE NEEDED

SO THERE WERE BIG SCHOOL

Narrator: A NEW HIGH SCHOOL!

IT WAS A DREAM COME TRUE ...

FOR PEOPLE ON THE SOUTH SIDE OF INDIANAPOLIS.

MANUAL HIGH SCHOOL ...

HAD ORIGINALLY OPENED ITS DOORS IN 1895.

IN 1953, STUDENTS MOVED TO A BRAND NEW SCHOOL,

FARTHER SOUTH OF TOWN.

IN THE FALL OF '56,

SOME SHORTRIDGE AND BROADRIPPLE STUDENTS WERE TRANSFERRED TO

A BRAND NEW SCHOOL ON THE FAR NORTH SIDE OF MARION COUNTY.

NORTH CENTRAL HIGH SCHOOL WAS A SIGN OF THINGS TO COME ...

AS MORE AND MORE FAMILIES WERE MOVING TO SUBURBS ...

OPENING UP TO THE NORTH OF THE CITY;

ALTHOUGH, SUBURBANIZATION HAD YET TO REACH ...

THE FARM COMMUNITIES OF CARMEL AND FISHERS.

IN INDIANAPOLIS, IF HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS TOOK A BUS,

IT WAS A CITY BUS, NOT A SCHOOL BUS.

MOST SCHOOLS WERE CLOSE ENOUGH ...

THAT STUDENTS WALKED OR CAUGHT A RIDE WITH A FRIEND.

HIGH SCHOOLS WERE NEIGHBORHOOD SCHOOLS.

Ray Schultz:

PRETTY MUCH EVERYBODY

IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD OR THE

SO WHEN YOU WENT TO

YOUR WHOLE GOAL IN LIFE WAS TO

SO YOU COULD GO TO

BECAUSE YOU HEARD SO MANY

WHAT IT WAS GOING TO BE LIKE.

Marci Clark Strader:

AND IN THE '50s SCHOOL WAS ...

A VERY IMPORTANT PART OF

Susanne Mitten Owen:

YOU THINK ABOUT GREAT

IN EACH SECTION OF

Lura Bennett Shannon:

THAN THE OTHER HIGH SCHOOLS.

YOU COULD SAY THAT IT WAS

BECAUSE WE WERE THE ONLY SOUTH

THERE WAS NO OTHER

SO WE HAD THE

THE SOUTH SIDE OF

Shirley Browning Sharp:

I MEAN, YOU WERE A WESTSIDER

I MEAN, YOU WERE

AND THEN YOU HAD SOUTHSIDERS,

AND THE NORTH SIDE REALLY

WE WERE QUITE UP

Susanne Mitten Owen:

OUR SPECIAL AFFECTION FOR

Narrator: INDIANAPOLIS' OLDEST HIGH SCHOOL, SHORTRIDGE,

WAS CONSIDERED BY SOME TO BE ...

A WHITE-COLLAR, COLLEGE-PREP SCHOOL.

Dan Wakefield:

THE WAY WE PERCEIVED IT,

Marci Clark Strader:

THE PEOPLE WERE, FOR THE MOST

SOME WHITE COLLAR WORKERS.

HOWE STUDENTS, I THINK,

AND MAYBE BROADRIPPLE WERE

Nancy Niblack Baxter:

PEOPLE COULD GO ON

AND WHEN I WENT THERE,

IT WAS GREAT TO BE

YOU COULD GO TO SHORTRIDGE,

Dan Wakefield:

SNOTTY ABOUT IT.

Narrator: ARSENAL TECHNICAL HIGH SCHOOL,

ON THE EAST SIDE, EMPHASIZED VOCATIONAL TRAINING

Adrena Nell:

Ginger Ozment:

Adrena Nell:

Narrator: DURING THE 1950s,

TECH'S ANNUAL ENROLLMENT OF OVER 4,000 STUDENTS ...

AND ITS 75-ACRE CAMPUS ...

MADE IT ONE OF THE LARGEST HIGH SCHOOLS IN THE COUNTRY.

Oscar Robertson:

AND WE ALL LIVED ALMOST IN

ON THE WEST SIDE OF TOWN

SO YOU KNEW EVERYBODY.

YOU GREW UP WITH THEM.

Narrator: CRISPUS ATTUCKS WAS ...

INDIANAPOLIS' ALL-BLACK HIGH SCHOOL --

THIS, DESPITE AN INDIANA STATUTE ...

WHICH OUTLAWED SEGREGATION ...

AND A 1954 U.S. SUPREME COURT DECISION ...

WHICH RULED THE PRACTICE UNCONSTITUTIONAL.

HOWEVER, STUDENTS ENJOYED A FIRST-RATE EDUCATION.

BECAUSE THEY WERE DENIED THE OPPORTUNITY TO TEACH ELSEWHERE,

MORE TEACHERS WITH DOCTORATE DEGREES TAUGHT AT ATTUCKS ...

THAN ALL THE OTHER INDIANAPOLIS HIGH SCHOOLS COMBINED.

AND THE FACULTY AND STUDENTS ...

SHARED AN IMMENSE PRIDE IN THEIR HIGH SCHOOL.

Glenn Howard:

TO HAVE PEOPLE COME FROM

TO ATTEND CRISPUS ATTUCKS

Female Voice:

Narrator: MOST OF THE PAROCHIAL SCHOOLS IN INDIANAPOLIS ...

WERE CATHOLIC AND SINGLE SEX.

TWO MET AT 14TH AND MERIDIAN STREETS.

CATHEDRAL, THE ALL-BOYS SCHOOL, WAS RIGHT NEXT DOOR ...

TO ST. AGNES ACADEMY, THE ALL-GIRLS HIGH SCHOOL.

Joe Farah:

BETWEEN CATHEDRAL

AND ST. AGNES

IT WAS CALLED 14TH STREET.

Gretchen Stipher Cain:

TALKING TO THE BOYS.

IT WAS SCHOOL-TIME

AND YOU JUST HAD TO BE ...

THINKING OF YOUR PURE THOUGHTS

AND BOYS WERE NOT INCLUDED.

Female Voice:

NOW AT THE HOUR OF OUR DEATH.

Narrator: TEENAGERS IN THE 1950s,

WERE PERHAPS THE FIRST YOUNG GENERATION ...

TO DEFINE THEMSELVES BY THEIR APPEARANCE.

YOU HAD TO FOLLOW A STYLE TO BE "COOL."

Adrena Nell:

Shirley Browning Sharp:

A GIRL COULD WEAR

YOU NEVER COULD WEAR

Ray Schultz:

WAS HOW MANY DIFFERENT PAIR

Glenn Howard:

ALL OF THE NEW IDEAS

Adrena Nell:

AND THEY WERE SADDLE

Patsy Klein:

AND THEN WE'D POLISH THEM WITH

BLACK ALONG HERE. WE'D

WE'D WASH THEM IN SOAP AND

Dan Wakefield:

BY WHAT THEY WORE.

Shirley Browning Sharp:

WE HAD THE SAUSAGE ROLL

WHICH YOU WOULD PUT LIKE,

MAYBE 2 PAIRS OF TOPS OF

ROLL THESE SOCKS

AND YOU WOULD HAVE A ROLL

I MEAN, THIS WAS THE

WHEREAS, THE NORTH SIDE LOOK,

Susanne Mitten Owen:

AND THE GIRLS ALL HAD THEIR

THAT WAS A WASHINGTON THING.

THERE WAS A DIFFERENT CLOTHING

Adrena & Ginger:

Dan Wakefield:

I THOUGHT THAT REALLY

AND WHEN I SAW GIRLS WHO HAD

I THOUGHT, 'EWWW!

NOW YOU WOULD SAY 'NERDY,'

Nancy Niblack Baxter:

Patsy Katz Stewart:

THAT WOULD, I MEAN, YOU

YOU WOULD HAVE BEEN NOT COOL.

Adrena Nell:

YOU HAD TO SEE YOUR

Gretchen Stipher Cain:

THAT WAS REALLY IMPORTANT.

AND THEN THE GIRLS WOULD

AS MANY AS YOU COULD GET IN.

Dan Wakefield:

LIKE LITTLE WOLF PACKS OF

Narrator: TODAY PEOPLE REFER TO IT AS "CRUISING."

IN THE '50s, IT WAS JUST "CHECKING THINGS OUT"

OR "BUZZING."

REALLY, IT WAS JUST GOING FROM ONE DRIVE-IN TO ANOTHER.

Gretchen Stipher Cain:

THE NORTH SIDE TEE PEE,

WHICH WAS AT 38TH

AND YOU'D SPIN AROUND THAT

AND LOOK FOR WHOEVER

Joe Farah:

TO KNOBBIES AND BACK AGAIN

BETWEEN, ROUGHLY

STOPPING, TALKING,

AND TALKING WITH PEOPLE

AND THAT WOULD BE AN EVENING'S

Narrator: KNOBBIES WAS EQUIPPED WITH SPEAKER-PHONES ...

WHICH ALLOWED PASSENGERS TO ORDER THEIR MEALS ...

WITHOUT EVER HAVING TO GET OUT OF THE CAR.

ACROSS FROM THE TEE PEE,

MERRILL'S HIGH DECKER FEATURED A RADIO D.J. UP ON THE ROOF.

UP IN ROCKY RIPPLE ON THE NORTH SIDE WAS THE RON-D-VU.

Dan Wakefield:

PASTIMES WAS CALLED

THIS MEANT YOU GOT IN A CAR,

AND JUST DROVE AROUND

LOOKING TO SEE OTHER PEOPLE

IT WAS VERY IMPORTANT TO

TO KNOW YOU WERE IN THE

AND YOU WERE ONE OF

Mike Ahern:

YOU JUST WENT TO THE DRIVE-IN.

AND I THINK MAYBE ONE

IT WAS KIND OF A MICROCOSM OF

OR HIGH SCHOOL LIFE.

ALL THE LITTLE

THE ATHLETES WOULD HANG OUT

EVEN IF IT WAS 98 DEGREES,

THE GIRLS WHO WERE THE

WOULD DRIVE AROUND RATHER

NOT PAYING ATTENTION.

AND THEN THE REST OF US,

THE KIDS YOU'D NEVER

Narrator: THERE WERE TWO TEE PEE'S.

THE NORTH SIDE TEE PEE WAS CONSIDERED A HANGOUT ...

FOR HIGH SCHOOL KIDS WHO WEN TO SHORTRIDGE OR BROADRIPPLE.

THE SOUTH SIDE TEE PEE WAS WHERE MANUAL KIDS HUNG OUT.

Susanne Mitten Owen:

IT TOOK A LOT OF COURAGE ...

TO GO TO THE SOUTH

YOU WERE ON FOREIGN TURF!

Dan Wakefield:

THE WEST SIDE, ALL THESE WERE

OR SOMETHING IN EUROPE.

IT WAS VERY DISCONNECTED.

Narrator: OUT ON THE WEST SIDE,

THE "POLE" DRIVE-IN WAS THE HUB OF TEEN ACTIVITY.

Joe Farah:

ON THE EAST SIDE YOU COULD

AND ALONG WITH THE MEAL,

HE HAD OLD MOVIES

IN A DRIVE-IN THEATER

SO YOU WENT THERE

Narrator: SOUTHSIDERS COULD ALSO BUZZ ...

THE SOUTHERN CIRCLE DRIVE-IN.

Lura Bennet Shannon:

TO THE SOUTHERN CIRCLE.

AND THEN AROUND AND AROUND.

Dan Wakefield:

Joe Farah:

GOING AROUND IN

YOU MIGHT STOP AND GET A

THE IDEA WAS IF YOU HAD

YOU WOULD PULL NEXT TO A

YOU'D ORDER SOMETHING ...

AND START A CONVERSATION

MAYBE GET PHONE NUMBERS

THAT'S HOW THOSE THINGS

RELATIVELY INNOCENT.

Lura Bennet Shannon:

ON MAKING OUR LAPS

AND JUMP IN A CAR AND TALK.

AND THAT'S JUST ABOUT

Mike Ahern: AND WE'D JUST KIND

ENDLESSLY, HOPING SOMETHING

OF COURSE,

Dan Wakefield:

AT THE TIME IT WAS A LOT ABOUT

RATHER THAN THINGS HAPPENING.

SO THAT WAS A PERFECT

DRIVING AROUND IN THAT CAR,

HOPING THAT SOMETHING

HOPING THAT YOU'D MEET

AND "WHATEVER" WOULD HAPPEN.

Mike Ahern:

OR WHICH DRIVE-IN YOU

THERE WAS ONE PLACE WHERE ALL

IT HAPPENED AT THE

A MAGICAL EVENT KNOWN SIMPLY

Oscar Robertson:

IT WAS WHERE EVERYONE IN

Adrena Nell:

THAT WAS THE EVENT OF

Nancy Niblack Baxter:

AT THE BUTLER FIELDHOUSE.

IT WAS A SOCIAL EXPERIENCE.

IT IS A CROSS-SECTION

Susanne Mitten Owen:

SECTIONAL WAS THE

WHEN YOU REALIZE HOW MANY

Narrator: 16 HIGH SCHOOL BASKETBALL TEAMS ...

FROM AROUND THE CITY AND COUNTY ...

MET AT WHAT WAS THEN BUTLER FIELDHOUSE TO BATTLE IT OUT.

PLAY WAS CONTINUOUS.

STUDENTS WERE ALLOWED OUT OF SCHOOL ALL DAY FRIDAY ...

TO WATCH THEIR TEAM PLAY.

Adrena Nell:

FOR GOING TO THE

Nancy Niblack Baxter:

A WHOLE ATMOSPHERE OF

AND YOUR VOICE COMPLETELY

AND TRAGEDY AND

ALL THE EMOTIONS YOU

VENTED AT THE SECTIONALS.

Adrena Nell:

IN NOVEMBER AND

WHAT WE WERE GOING

Narrator: COMPETITION WAS ALWAYS TOUGH.

BUT ONE TEAM IN 1955 MARCHED INTO THE BUTLER SECTIONAL ...

WITH ADDED MOMENTUM.

CRISPUS ATTUCKS HAD LOST JUST ONE GAME ...

DURING THE REGULAR SEASON.

EVEN MORE REMARKABLE WAS THAT, UP UNTIL THE EARLY '50s,

ATTUCKS WASN'T EVEN ALLOWED TO PLAY THE SAME CITY SCHOOLS ...

THAT ATTENDED THE BUTLER SECTIONAL.

Mary Oglesby:

IN ANY OF THE GAMES WITH THE

BECAUSE THEY DIDN'T

BECAUSE WE WERE AN

Ray Crowe:

AND THEY WERE NOT ONLY ...

THE BLACK SCHOOLS

WHICH WAS GARY ROOSEVELT,

WE WOULD GO TO LOUISVILLE,

ALL THE WAY TO TULSA, OKLAHOMA

Mary Oglesby:

THEY CAN BEAT EVERYBODY,

Narrator: THE "CRAZY SONG" WAS THE ATTUCKS PEP CHEER.

¶ OH, SKIP, BOP, BEAT 'EM.

Narrator: WHEN THE ATTUCKS TIGERS ...

FINALLY BEGAN PLAYING THE OTHER CITY SCHOOLS, THEY DOMINATED!

AND THE "CRAZY SONG" ...

BECAME A FAMILIAR CRY IN GYMS ALL OVER THE COUNTY.

Glenn Howard:

LEFT TO GO IN THE GAME,

AND WE WERE LEADING BY 5 OR 10

¶ HI-DI-HI-DI-HI-DI-HI,

Susanne Mitten Owen:

HI-DI-HI-DI-HI-DI-HI.

OH, SKIP, BOP, BEAT 'EM.

Narrator: IN 1955, CRISPUS ATTUCKS

WON THE COVETED BUTLER SECTIONAL --

THEIR THIRD STRAIGHT.

LED BY LEGENDARY #43, OSCAR ROBERTSON,

ATTUCKS WAS POISED TO GO EVEN FARTHER.

Oscar Robertson:

AND THERE WERE OTHER

IN THE CITY TOURNAMENT

BUT, YOU KNOW, IT WAS JUST

REALLY, FATE

BUT WE HAD A VERY GOOD

AND WE WERE NOT TO BE DENIED.

Narrator: IN THE FINAL GAME ATTUCKS PLAYED ...

ANOTHER ALL-BLACK SCHOOL, GARY ROOSEVELT,

FOR THE 1955 STATE TITLE.

INDIANAPOLIS RALLIED AROUND ITS BLACK HIGH SCHOOL.

Oscar Robertson:

IN THAT FINAL GAME.

IT WAS NOT CRISPUS ATTUCKS

IT WAS INDIANAPOLIS ATTUCKS.

Radio Announcer:

Mary Oglesby:

THEY DIDN'T EVEN HAVE

THEY HAD TO KEEP THE

BECAUSE THEY HAD NO PLACE

Radio Announcer:

STATE BASKETBALL CHAMPIONSHIP!

Narrator: ATTUCKS WON THE 1955 STATE CHAMPIONSHIP.

CITY TEAMS ONCE REFUSED TO PLAY ATTUCKS.

IRONICALLY, IT BECAME THE FIRST INDIANAPOLIS SCHOOL ...

TO WIN A STATE BASKETBALL TITLE.

Glenn Howard:

I SAID, "MY GOODNESS,

OH, IT FELT GREAT.

I KNEW THAT WHEN WE GOT OUR OF

LOOK WHAT WE OVERCAME!

Susanne Mitten Owen:

AND THERE WAS PRIDE IN

THAT HELPED BREAK DOWN A LOT

BECAUSE THOSE KIDS

Oscar Robertson:

REALLY GAVE PEOPLE A LOT

BECAUSE I DON'T THINK

FOR BLACKS TO LOOK FORWARD

WITH A DEAD-END DOOR THERE.

Mary Oglesby:

AND THROUGH THE YEARS WE HADN'T

BECAUSE NONE OF THE OTHER CITY

BECAUSE WE WERE BLACK.

Glenn Howard:

AND OLD MANUAL MAY BE ROUGH.

THEY CAN BEAT EVERYBODY,

AND WE KNEW IT!

8 ...

7 ...

6 ...

5 ...

4 ...

3 ...

2 ...

1 ...

[Atomic Blast]

Narrator: LIKE MOST OF AMERICA,

INDIANAPOLIS CITIZENS WERE "SCARED-RED" ABOUT THE BOMB ...

AND OF COMMUNIST RUSSIA WHICH HELD IT OVER THEIR HEADS.

¶ DUCK AND COVER,

Narrator: THE COLD WAR WAS ESPECIALLY CHILLY ...

FOR INDIANAPOLIS, AND THE EXTENDED FORECAST CALLED FOR

BELOW NORMAL TEMPERATURES.

T.V. Announcer:

CAN COME AT ANY TIME NO

Narrator: IT WAS COLD ENOUGH TO BUILD BOMB SHELTERS.

HOWEVER, A WARM RECEPTION GREETED VICE-PRESIDENT ...

AND FIERCE ANTI-COMMUNIST RICHARD NIXON ...

AT A 1956 CAMPAIGN RALLY.

"I WILL NOT POOH-POOH THE COMMUNIST MENACE ...

AT HOME OR ABROAD,"

NIXON TOLD A CHEERING AUDIENCE GATHERED ON MONUMENT CIRCLE.

IN THE 1950s,

INDIANAPOLIS WOULD MAKE A NAME FOR ITSELF ...

AS A CITY ON THE "HOME FRONT" OF THE COLD WAR.

Dan Wakefield:

A BIG POLITICAL UPROAR, WHEN

OF THE AMERICAN CIVIL

AND THAT WAS THOUGHT OF,

AS WHAT THEY WOULD HAVE CALLED

LEANING TOWARD

Narrator: PROFESSOR RALPH F. FUCHS ...

OF THE INDIANA UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF LAW ...

AND AT LEAST 60 OTHER INDIANAPOLIS CITIZENS ...

WISHED TO START AN INDIANA CHAPTER OF THE A.C.L.U.

THEY REQUESTED -- AND WERE GRANTED --

PERMISSION TO HOLD THEIR CHARTER MEETING ...

IN THE AUDITORIUM OF THE INDIANA WAR MEMORIAL.

BUT AT THE OTHER END OF THE MALL, THE AMERICAN LEGION,

A NATIONAL VETERANS GROUP, PROTESTED VEHEMENTLY.

American Legionnaire:

WITH DOCUMENTARY EVIDENCE

THAT THE SPEAKER FOR THE

HAS SUBSCRIBED TO AND

ORGANIZATIONS LISTED

Narrator: AMIDST CONTROVERSY,

THE MEMORIAL'S MANAGEMENT SUDDENLY CANCELED ...

THE A.C.L.U.'S REQUEST.

AFTER BEING DENIED ACCESS TO SEVERAL MEETING PLACES,

THE A.C.L.U. FINALLY ENDED UP HOLDING ITS FIRST MEETING ...

IN THE BASEMENT OF ST. MARY'S CATHOLIC CHURCH.

Dan Wakefield:

WHO WAS THE TOP TV

CAME TO INDIANAPOLIS

ON THAT WHOLE ISSUE.

T.V. Announcer:

THE DISTINGUISHED REPORTER

EDWARD R. MURROW IN

Narrator: THE CONTROVERSY AIRED ACROSS THE NATION.

Margerite Dice:

FOR A MEETING TO WHICH

Narrator: DAN WAKEFIELD WAS A STUDENT IN NEW YORK CITY THEN.

Dan Wakefield:

CALLED 'LIBERTY

SO I WROTE A LETTER TO THE

I'M A STUDENT AT COLUMBIA.

WHICH I LOVE, HAVING THIS IMAGE

AND SO ON AND SO FORTH.

SO I WROTE THE LETTER, AND

AND THEN IT WAS PRINTED

RIGHT WHEN I GOT HOME

AND, MAN, THE PHONE

PEOPLE WERE CALLING UP MY

YOU KNOW, IT'S REALLY TOO

HAS GONE TO COLUMBIA AND

AND THESE UN-AMERICAN VIEWS.

Narrator: THE CBS BROADCAST FEATURED MAGUERITE DICE,

ONE OF THE INDIANAPOLIS CITIZENS ...

WHO PROTESTED THE A.C.L.U. MEETING.

A FEW YEARS LATER, BOTH DICE, AND HER SIMPLE HOUSE ...

ON 3650 WASHINGTON BLVD. ...

WOULD PLAY A MAJOR ROLE IN THE COLD WAR AGAINST COMMUNISM.

ROBERT WELCH AN EAST COAST BUSINESSMAN ...

AND VOCAL ANTI-COMMUNIST CALLED FOR A NATIONAL ORGANIZATION ...

TO "PLAY A LEADING ROLE IN STOPPING AND ROUTING ...

THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNIST CONSPIRACY."

HE LOOKED FOR A PLACE TO MEET. DICE VOLUNTEERED HER HOME.

AND ON DECEMBER 8, 1958, 12 MEN FROM ALL OVER THE COUNTRY ...

GATHERED IN MARGUERITE DICE'S LIVING ROOM.

"GENTLEMEN," BEGAN WELCH,

"LET ME WELCOME YOU TO INDIANAPOLIS."

WHAT CAME OUT OF THAT TWO-DAY MEETING WAS THE BLUE BOOK,

THE CHARTER FOR A SEMI-SECRET ORGANIZATION ...

BENT ON QUASHING COMMUNISM ALL OVER THE WORLD.

NAMED IN HONOR OF A FALLEN WORLD WAR II ARMY CAPTAIN,

THE JOHN BIRCH SOCIETY WAS FOUNDED IN A HOME ...

ON THE NORTH SIDE OF INDIANAPOLIS.

THE COLD WAR GOT A LITTLE CHILLIER THAT DECEMBER.

Narrator: DURING A HOT INDIANAPOLIS SUMMER,

THOSE WITH A CLUB MEMBERSHIP MIGHT GO FOR A SWIM ...

AT "THE RIVI," THE RIVIERA CLUB NEAR BROADRIPPLE.

SOUTHSIDERS MIGHT COOL OFF IN THE GIANT POOL AT LONGARCE.

OTHERS MIGHT TAKE A DIP ...

OVER ON THE FAR WEST SIDE OF TOWN AT WESTLAKE.

AT NIGHT, WESTLAKE WAS A GOOD PLACE TO TAKE A DATE.

YOU COULD DANCE IN THE PAVILION,

WHICH HAD A ROLL-AWAY ROOF.

OR YOU COULD REALLY GET COZY AT THE WESTLAKE DRIVE-IN THEATER.

DURING THE SUMMER,

YOUNGER KIDS MIGHT HAVE ENJOYED TAKING A RUN DOWN ...

THE NEWLY-BUILT SOAPBOX DERBY HILL AT RIVERSIDE PARK.

AND NOT FAR FROM THERE, AT RIVERSIDE AMUSEMENT PARK,

THE DAY WASN'T OVER UNTIL YOU TOOK A RIDE ...

ON EACH OF THE TWO WOODEN ROLLER COASTERS,

"THE THRILLER," AND "THE FLASH."

OF COURSE, INDIANAPOLIS HAD ITS "BOYS OF SUMMER,"

THE MINOR-LEAGUE INDIANAPOLIS INDIANS.

IN 1956, WHEN THE TEAM CAME UNDER FINANCIAL DIFFICULTIES,

THE PEOPLE OF INDIANAPOLIS ...

LITERALLY BAILED THEM OUT OF DEBT.

6,672 FANS BECAME BONA FIDE SHAREHOLDERS ...

OF THE INDIANAPOLIS INDIANS ORGANIZATION.

AND HULA HOOPS WERE ALL THE RAGE IN INDIANAPOLIS.

Gregory Gooch:

BUT I REMEMBER PEOPLE

THEY HAD TO HAVE A BLUE

OR A YELLOW ONE OR A RED ONE.

Narrator: IN 1958, THEY HELD A HULA HOOP CONTEST ...

OVER AT THE NEW GLENDALE MALL.

AND 8-YEAR-OLD GREGORY GOOCH WON FIRST PLACE.

OF COURSE, THE ENTIRE WORLD LOOKED IN ON ...

A SUMMERTIME RITUAL HELD EACH MAY ...

ON THE FAR WEST SIDE OF INDIANAPOLIS.

John Ottie:

THAT THE INDIANAPOLIS

AND THE 500 ITSELF

IT WAS JUST SOMETHING

Narrator: THE OVAL HAS ALWAYS MEASURED ...

2 1/2 MILES IN CIRCUMFERENCE.

BUT THERE WERE SOME THINGS THAT LOOKED A LITTLE DIFFERENT ...

BACK IN THE '50s.

THE MAIN STRAIGHT-AWAY AT THE BRICKYARD ...

WAS STILL PAVED WITH THE ORIGINAL BRICKS.

AND RACE FANS WILL REMEMBER THE PAGODA ...

THAT STOOD AS THE SCORER'S TOWER ...

THROUGH THE BETTER HALF OF THE 1950s.

THE CARS SEEMED SIMPLER BACK THEN.

Donald Davidson:

INTO A COMPUTER AND THE

YOU JUST BUILT THE THING.

THEY DIDN'T HAVE

HOW FAST WAS IT GOING TO GO?

YOU'D BUILD IT, AND TRY IT,

AND THAT'S HOW YOU FOUND OUT.

Narrator: AND THE DRIVERS SEEMED JUST AS MODEST AS THEIR MACHINES.

Donald Davidson:

A LOT OF THE DRIVERS

MANY OF THEM CAME HERE

NOT VERY MUCH MONEY

Narrator: MANY OF THE DRIVERS COULDN'T AFFORD HOTEL ROOMS

SO THEY SIMPLY BOARDED WITH ONE OF THE LOCAL FAMILIES.

John Ottie:

IT WAS SET UP DORMITORY-STYLE

AND LITTLE END-TABLES BETWEEN

THE MOST PEOPLE WE HAD STAY

IN 1954 WE HAD 17 PEOPLE ...

BESIDES THE 4 OTTIE'S

MY MOTHER, DAD,

Narrator: JOHN OTTIE REMEMBERS BACK TO HIS CHILDHOOD ...

AND ONE PARTICULAR HOUSE GUEST ...

WHO WOULD COME AND STAY EACH SUMMER.

HE WAS RACE CAR DRIVER JIMMY BRYAN.

John Ottie:

IS THE BIGGEST BEDROOM

AND THAT WAS FOR JIMMY BRYAN.

AND HE'D SIT ON THE COUCH ...

AND WAS JUST A MEMBER

HE'D EAT BREAKFAST,

SOMETIMES HE'D TAKE US OUT

Narrator: WHEN JIMMY BRYAN WON THE INDIANAPOLIS 500 IN 1958,

HE SIMPLY DROVE THE PACE CAR BACK TO THE OTTIE'S.

John Ottie:

AND HE LAID DOWN

RIGHT HERE BEHIND ME

AND WRESTLED WITH ME AND MY

STILL IN HIS YELLOW UNIFORM.

THE RACE CROWD WAS LEAVING,

THEY PARKED, AS THEY DO EVERY

JUST LIKE THEY DO NOW --

THEY COMPLETELY IGNORED HIM

THE MAN LAYING HERE IN

HAD JUST WON THE 500

AND THEN HE GOT CALLED

TO GET READY TO GO

Race Announcer:

Narrator: IN THE 1950s, 500 MILES WAS A LOT LONGER.

Race Announcer:

A TREMENDOUS TOLL ON

SCARBOROUGH CAN'T GO ON!

Donald Davidson:

AND THE HEAT OF THE COCKPIT

16, 17 LAPS WAS ABOUT ALL

Narrator: UP THROUGH THE MIDDLE OF THE 1950s,

IT SOMETIMES TOOK MORE THAN ONE DRIVER TO COMPLETE A RACE.

Race Announcer:

Narrator: ROOKIE A.J. FOYT MADE HIS DEBUT ...

AT THE INDIANAPOLIS MOTOR SPEEDWAY IN 1958.

HE SPUN OUT ON LAP 148.

BILLY VUKOVITCH WAS ONE OF THE POPULAR DRIVERS IN THE 1950s.

HE WON THE '53 AND '54 RACES BACK-TO-BACK.

Donald Davidson:

3 YEARS IN A ROW

AND SO HE HAD AN EXCELLENT

AND LOST HIS LIFE.

Narrator: IN TIME, THE TRACK CHANGED.

THEY TORE DOWN THE PAGODA IN 1956.

AND AS MORE AND MORE DRIVERS STARTED TO RAISE ...

BIG TIME SPONSORSHIP MONEY,

FEWER AND FEWER CHOSE TO BUNK WITH LOCAL FAMILIES.

AND JOHN OTTIE RECEIVED SOME TERRIBLE NEWS IN 1960.

John Ottie:

THAT JIMMY HAD BEEN KILLED.

IT WAS LIKE LOSING

THAT WAS THE LAST DRIVER WE

IT JUST HURT TOO BAD.

T.V. Announcer:

THE INDIANAPOLIS

PROVING GROUND OF PROGRESS FOR

Narrator: FITTINGLY, THE CITY'S FIRST TELEVISION BROADCAST ...

CENTERED AROUND THE SPEEDWAY.

TV CAME INTO INDIANAPOLIS HOMES ON MAY 30TH, 1949.

AFTER AIRING TEST PATTERNS FOR WEEKS,

TELEVISION STATION W.F.B.M. BROADCAST "CRUCIBLE OF SPEED,"

A HALF-HOUR DOCUMENTARY ABOUT THE 500 MILE RACE.

CHANNEL 6 THEN AIRED LIVE COVERAGE OF THE 1949 500.

Mike Ahern:

NEW APPLIANCES THAT

EACH NIGHT, ENTIRE FAMILIES

IN FRONT OF THIS MAGICAL

WE'RE STILL TRYING TO

TV HAS HAD ON THE FAMILY

IN THE 1950s, THIS CITY

IN THE TELEVISION REVOLUTION,

INDIANAPOLIS MADE PARTS FOR

Narrator: AT ONE TIME,

THE R.C.A. PLANT OVER ON THE EAST SIDE OF INDIANAPOLIS,

EMPLOYED 8,200 WORKERS TO MAKE COMPONENTS FOR TELEVISION SETS

IT HELPED MASS PRODUCE TELEVISION RECEIVERS ...

THAT WERE AMONG THE FIRST TO SHOW UP IN LIVING ROOMS ...

ALL OVER THE UNITED STATES.

IRONICALLY, THEY WERE MAKING TV SETS OVER AT R.C.A. ...

EVEN BEFORE INDIANAPOLIS HAD A TV STATION.

AND WHEN STATIONS FINALLY DID GO UP ON THE AIRWAVES,

THERE STILL WASN'T MUCH TO WATCH,

NOT THAT THE DISCRIMINATING INDIANAPOLIS VIEWER MINDED MUCH!

David Smith:

AT 2:00 WITH OUR TEST PATTERN

AND WE WERE ON FOR

THE PROGRAMMING

WELL, AT THAT TIME, WE HAD

WHICH WAS THE HEAD OF

FULL HEAD DRESS.

AND ONE DAY, FOR SOME

THE ENGINEERS DECIDED TO CHANGE

THAT YOU'RE MOST

WHICH IS A CIRCULAR TYPE

ABOUT A DAY OR TWO DAYS LATER,

WE ALSO GOT PHONE CALLS

WHERE'S THE INDIAN?

BRING THE INDIAN BACK!

SO IN THOSE DAYS EVEN THE

Narrator: W.T.T.V. WAS THE SECOND STATION ...

TO SIGN ON THE AIR.

IN 1949, CHANNEL 10, LATER TO BECOME CHANNEL 4,

BEGAN OADCASTING OUT OF ITS BLOOMINGTON STUDIOS;

BUT DISTANT INDIANAPOLIS VIEWERS ...

WERE ABLE TO RECEIVE A SNOWY PICTURE.

BLOOMINGTON, INDIANA, BY THE WAY,

HELD THE DISTINCTION OF BEING ...

THE SMALLEST CITY IN THE WORLD ...

TO HAVE ITS OWN TV STATION.

FOR YEARS, W.F.B.M. AND W.T.T.V. ...

WERE THE ONLY STATIONS INDIANAPOLIS VIEWERS ...

COULD FIND IN THE LOCAL TV LISTINGS.

TOGETHER THE TWO STATIONS AIRED PROGRAMS ...

FROM ALL THREE TELEVISION NETWORKS...

UNTIL W.I.S.H. TV CAME ON THE DIAL AS CHANNEL 8 IN 1954.

Female Singers:

Narrator: CHANNEL 13, W.L.W.I.,

SIGNED ON THE AIR AS AN A.B.C. AFFILIATE IN 1957.

WHILE THE NETWORKS WERE CREATING PROGRAMS ...

DURING WHAT IS COMMONLY REFERRED TO AS ...

THE "GOLDEN AGE OF TELEVISION,"

INDIANAPOLIS STATIONS WERE PIONEERING LOCAL TV,

BUT THAT'S NOT TO SAY IT WAS ALWAYS GOLDEN.

W.I.S.H. TV'S DEBBIE DRAKE WAS PROBABLY ...

THE FIRST PERSON IN INDIANAPOLIS ...

TO ENCOURAGE "COUCH POTATOES" TO GET UP AND DO SOMETHING!

Debbie Drake:

OVER-INDULGING IN EXTRA

AND FATTENING FOODS.

WELL, RIGHT NOW,

AND OUR HANDS IN FRONT AND THEN

Narrator: NO DOUBT, SOME COUCH POTATOES WERE CONTENT TO ...

JUST SIT AND WATCH DEBBIE.

CHANNEL 13 BROADCASTED "KINDERGARTEN COLLEGE,"

A DAILY CHILDREN'S PROGRAM.

AND THE "CO-OP HAYLOFT FROLIC" CAME OUT OF ...

W.T.T.V.'S BLOOMINGTON STUDIOS FEATURING BOBBIE HELMS,

WHO WOULD LATER GO ON TO CUT THE HIT SINGLE,

"JINGLE BELL ROCK."

UNTIL CHANNEL 8 GOT A HOLD OF ...

ONE OF THE INDUSTRY'S FIRST VIDEOTAPE MACHINES IN 1958,

ALL LOCAL TELEVISION WAS "LIVE," EVEN THE COMMERCIALS.

BUT THERE WAS NEVER A LACK OF MATERIAL.

Howard Caldwell:

EVERY MUSICIAN,

WAS DYING TO GET ON

AND I'M SURE THEY WEREN'T

BUT IF THEY COULD

THEY COULD WALK IN

WE HAD PEOPLE

Narrator: KENNY JAGGER, A LOCAL LOUNGE ENTERTAINER,

HAD HIS OWN 15 MINUTE ORGAN SHOW ON W.F.B.M.

BUT W.F.B.M.'S CONTRIBUTION TO INDIANAPOLIS TELEVISION ...

WAS MORE THAN JUST ORGAN MUSIC.

HOLLYWOOD FILM ACTRESS FRANCIS FARMER SETTLED HERE ...

IN INDIANAPOLIS AND HOSTED ...

"FRANCIS FARMER PRESENTS" ON CHANNEL 6.

Francis Farmer:

WHAT A WONDERFUL DAY IT'S

Narrator: W.F.B.M. ALSO BROADCAST ...

THIS CITY'S FIRST TELEVISION NEWS.

GILBERT FORBES,

WHO FOR MANY YEARS WAS HEARD ON INDIANAPOLIS RADIO,

BECAME INDIANAPOLIS' FIRST TELEVISION NEWS ANCHOR.

LATE IN THE 1950s,

A YOUTHFUL HOWARD CALDWELL JOINED HIM AT THE NEWS DESK.

W.F.B.M. HIRED BILL CRAWFORD ...

AS THIS CITY'S FIRST TV METEOROLOGIST.

HE BECAME SO POPULAR,

THAT HE OFTEN LED THE NEWSCASTS.

INTERESTINGLY, WEATHER FORECASTING ...

WAS BILL'S PART-TIME JOB.

HE WAS A DENTIST.

Howard Caldwell:

THEN COME DOWN AND

GO HOME FOR DINNER,

THEN COME BACK AND

Narrator: IF YOU WEREN'T TUNED IN

TO ONE OF THE NEW TV STATIONS IN THE 1950s,

THEN YOU WERE LISTENING TO INDIANAPOLIS RADIO ...

AND DEEJAYS LIKE "EASY" GWYNN ON W.I.B.C.

¶ W.I.B.C. IN INDIANAPOLIS,

Narrator: MOST TEENAGERS DIALED IN TO HEAR THE ANTICS OF

W.I.B.C.'S BOUNCIN' BILL BAKER.

Bill Baker Radio:

Bill Baker:

I THINK WE WERE SOMEWHERE

ABOUT 47 1/2 PERCENT

I WAS SUPPOSED TO HAVE THE

IN THE COUNTRY.

Bill Baker Radio:

STAY TUNED TO 1070.

MUSIC IS CANNED AS

RECORDS AND TRANSCRIPTIONS OF

COMING ACROSS THE KILOCYCLES,

Narrator: BOUNCIN' BILL WAS ...

INDIANAPOLIS RADIO'S ORIGINAL MORNING TEAM ...

ALTHOUGH THERE WAS JUST ONE OF HIM.

Bill Baker:

THAN JUST AN

I DID ABOUT 20

Bill Baker Radio:

WITH A VOICE OF A SAINT --

Ronnie Haig:

Bill Baker:

AND THE WHOLE FLOW OF

THIS POOR JERK

AND NOBODY'S GONNA

Bill Baker Radio:

THE INTERCOLLEGIATE

FROM 1836 TO 1838 INCLUSIVELY.

YEAH, HE'S A VERY 'CUTICLE'

Ronnie Haig:

HE WAS A REBEL.

HE WAS, YOU KNOW, PEOPLE

Bill Baker Radio:

YOU SEE, HE WAS BORN

HIS MOTHER AND FATHER

Bill Baker:

THAT CRAZY NUT WILL DO

ONE NIGHT I ATE 22 PIECES

[Guitar music]

Ronnie Haig:

IF IT WAS A BALLAD,

Narrator: BEFORE HE WAS THE UNDISPUTED "KING" OF ROCK,

ELVIS PRESLEY PLAYED 4 SUCCESSIVE SHOWS IN 1955 ...

AT INDIANAPOLIS' LYRIC THEATER.

HE WAS ONE OF THE SIDE ACTS.

AND WHEN HE DID HIT IT BIG LATER ON IN THE '50s,

THE INDIANAPOLIS R.C.A. PLANT WAS BUSY ...

"PRESSING" MILLIONS OF PRESLEY ALBUMS.

THE RECORD EXEC'S ALWAYS MADE SURE ...

THAT ONE OF THE FIRST COPIES ...

WAS SENT OVER TO BOUNCIN' BILL AT W.I.B.C.,

WHO, AS ONE OF THE TOP DEEJAYS IN THE COUNTRY,

WOULD GET A CALL FROM THE "KING" HIMSELF.

Bill Baker:

'YOU GOT THE NEW RECORD?

AND I'D GIVE HIM AN OPINION.

MOST ALWAYS IT WAS GREAT 'CAUSE

George Geib:

COME THESE NEW PERFORMERS,

ELVIS BEING THE MOST

A VERY DIFFERENT

TALKING TO SOUTHERN ROOTS,

SUGGESTING ALTERNATIVE ORIGINS

FOR MANY, WHAT JAZZ HAD

TALKING TO A WHOLE

OR A WHOLE DIFFERENT

FROM THE ONES SEEN BEFORE.

Narrator: ROCK N' ROLL CERTAINLY WASN'T ...

THE ONLY BEAT HEARD AROUND INDIANAPOLIS IN THE 1950s.

THERE WAS JAZZ.

AND WHERE THERE WAS JAZZ,

THERE WAS INDIANA AVENUE, THE HUB OF THIS CITY'S ...

AFRICAN-AMERICAN CULTURE IN THE 1950s.

David Baker:

INDIANA AVENUE HAD

IT WAS TO INDIANAPOLIS --

IT WAS TO INDIANAPOLIS ...

WHAT 125th STREET IN HARLEM

OR WHAT 52nd STREET WAS IN

IT WAS WHAT BEALE STREET

Narrator: SOME LEGENDS CAME DOWN THE AVENUE --

WES MONTGOMERY,

LIONEL HAMPTON,

THE HAMPTON SISTERS, AMONG MANY OTHERS.

ACTS WOULD COME TO INDIANAPOLIS TO PLAY A SHOW,

AND THEN HEAD OVER TO INDIANA AVENUE ...

TO "JAM" WELL INTO THE NIGHT.

David Baker:

UP AND DOWN INDIANA AVENUE

OR SOME FORM OF POPULAR MUSIC,

Narrator: THE JAZZ AND THE BLUES ...

THAT WAFTED DOWN INDIANA AVENUE,

CAUGHT THE EAR OF VIRTUALLY ...

EVERY WHITE ROCK AND ROLL MUSICIAN IN TOWN.

David Baker:

BECAUSE THERE WAS A KIND OF

BETWEEN BLACKS AND WHITES.

I MEAN, YOU DIDN'T HAVE ...

THE SAME RIGID LINES BEING

AS WELL AS SHARING MUSICAL

THAT YOU DID, SAY,

Ronnie Haig:

THE BLACK MUSICIAN AND

KIND OF BEHIND CLOSED DOORS,

GOT TOGETHER AND

IT JELLED INTO

ROCK AND ROLL.

¶ NOW DON'T YOU HEAR ME

Narrator: ARSENAL TECHNICAL GRADUATE RONNIE HAIG ...

DREAMED OF BECOMING A TEEN IDOL IN THE 1950s.

HE WROTE A SINGLE CALLED "DON'T YOU HEAR ME CALLING, BABY?"

AND HE WENT DOWN TO INDIANA AVENUE ...

TO FIND HIS BACK-UP MUSICIANS.

Ronnie Haig:

FOR "DON'T YOU HEAR ME

WE USED AN ALL-BLACK BAND.

AND IT WAS REALLY MY FIRST

LEGENDS LIKE WES MONTGOMERY.

Narrator: NATURALLY, RONNIE TOOK HIS RECORD ...

OVER TO BOUNCIN' BILL BAKER.

Ronnie Haig:

AND HERE COMES THIS GUY

A T-SHIRT THAT LOOKED LIKE

HAIR ALL MESSED UP,

HEADPHONES SITTING

"HI, I'M BILL BAKER."

AND I SAID, "REALLY?"

Bill Baker:

HE SAID, "WOULD YOU

I SAID, "SURE, I'LL PLAY IT ON

Ronnie Haig:

WE MADE NUMBER ONE

TOP 10 IN 30 CITIES

AND BILLBOARD HAS ME DOWN

Narrator: NATIONALLY, BILLBOARD MAGAZINE TRACKED ...

"DON'T YOU HEAR ME CALLING, BABY?"

ALL THE WAY UP TO NUMBER 49 ON THE "HITS LIST."

NINE SPOTS STILL STAND BETWEEN RONNIE ...

AND "TOP 40" RECORD STATUS.

Ronnie Haig:

I COULDN'T GO OUT TO EAT.

I COULDN'T GO TO THE STORE.

'CAN I HAVE YOUR AUTOGRAPH?'

AND IT SCARED ME.

I DIDN'T KNOW WHAT WAS GOING

Mike Ahern:

HOW ROCK AND ROLL

FROM THE SOUNDS COMING

INDIANA AVENUE IS ONE OF FOUR

THAT RUN DIAGONALLY,

POINTING TOWARD THE VERY HEART

EVEN WITH THE LURE OF

THE CIRCLE WAS THE DESTINATION

A NIGHT AT THE MOVIES,

AND IT WAS AN INTEGRAL PART

MORE SO THAN ITS

THE CIRCLE WAS TRULY

Dan Wakefield:

I REALLY KIND OF

AS THE CENTER OF THE UNIVERSE.

I MEAN, I REALLY THOUGHT,

THAT MUST BE

AN THEN ALL THE WORLD RADIATES

Susanne Mitten Owen:

WITH A LOT OF ACTIVITIES

THAT WE WENT DOWN TO WATCH.

Narrator: THE CITY HOSTED THE FIRST 500 FESTIVAL PARADE IN 1957.

IN THE 1950s, GOING DOWNTOWN WAS AN "EVENT."

Susanne Mitten Owen:

YOU JUST DRESSED A LITTLE

Narrator: FOR MANY PEOPLE, THE WAY DOWNTOWN ...

WAS ON PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION.

UP UNTIL THE EARLY '50s,

STREETCARS TOOK PASSENGERS TO THE HEART OF THE CITY.

THE CITY'S LAST STREET CAR --

DUBBED THE "STREET CAR NAMED EXPIRE" --

MADE ITS FINAL RUN FROM BROADRIPPLE IN 1953.

WHEN THE STREETCAR EXPIRED,

MORE AND MORE "TROLLEY BUSES" ROLLED INTO DOWNTOWN TRAFFIC.

INDIANAPOLIS WAS ONE OF THE FIRST CITIES IN THE COUNTRY ...

TO EXPERIMENT WITH THIS UNIQUE FORM OF TRANSPORTATION.

THEY WERE BASICALLY BUSES ...

THAT RAN ON THE OLD ELECTRIC TROLLEY WIRES.

BY THE END OF THE '50s,

MORE AND MORE AUTOMOBILES WERE CROWDING DOWNTOWN STREETS,

AS WELL AS TROLLEY BUS DRIVERS WHO COULD ONLY SWERVE ...

AS FAR AS THEIR TROLLEY WIRES WOULD ALLOW THEM.

SO THE INDIANAPOLIS TRANSIT SYSTEM ...

DECIDED TO REEL IN ALL THOSE MILES OF TROLLEY WIRE.

BUSES BECAME INDIANAPOLIS' SOLE FORM OF PUBLIC TRANSIT IN 1957

PEOPLE ALSO CAME DOWNTOWN TO SEE MOVIES ...

ON GIANT SCREENS IN PALATIAL THEATERS ...

LIKE THE "CIRCLE" OR THE "LYRIC." ...

THE "INDIANA" WAS THE FIRST THEATER ...

TO BRING 3D VISION TO INDIANAPOLIS THEATER GOERS --

A GIMMICK TO LURE PEOPLE AWAY FROM THEIR NEW TELEVISION SETS

ALL THE DEPARTMENT STORES WERE CONCENTRATED DOWNTOWN.

IN THE 1950s, THERE WAS A DEPARTMENT STORE ...

RIGHT ON MONUMENT CIRCLE, J.C. PENNEY'S.

BLOCKS WAS ONE OF THE LARGER DEPARTMENT STORES DOWNTOWN.

BUT SMACK DAB IN THE CENTER OF INDIANAPOLIS,

AT THE CORNER OF WASHINGTON AND SOUTH MERIDIAN STREETS ...

WAS THE "GRAND DADDY" OF ALL INDIANAPOLIS DEPARTMENT STORES.

T.V. Announcer:

STANDS A FAMILIAR LANDMARK,

A SYMBOL OF THE STORE

TO BUY MERCHANDISE FROM

Dale Ogden:

MORE THAN JUST THE

AS MARSHALL FIELDS WOULD BE OR

AYRES WAS SORT OF THE DOWNTOWN

T.V. Announcer:

THESE FAMILIAR SCENES SHOW THE

WHICH ENCOURAGE PLEASANT,

THROUGHOUT THE ENTIRE STORE.

LEISURELY, ONE MAY VIEW

WHICH HAVE SATISFIED ELEGANT

Narrator: BY THE 1950s, INDIANAPOLIS' OLDEST DEPARTMENT STORE ...

OCCUPIED 8 FLOORS.

T.V. Announcer:

FROM THE DOWNSTAIRS STORE

AS THE CUSTOMER RIDES

EACH FLOOR PASSES IN

AS IN THIS RIDE DOWN TO

Susanne Mitten Owen:

WHAT WAS ON

T.V. Announcer:

THE "TRENDS SHOPPE"

HANDSOME ACCESSORIES

BOTH NEW AND ANTIQUE,

CONTINUES TO LURE SHOPPERS AND

Susanne Mitten Owen:

THE SHOE DEPARTMENT FROM

THERE WAS QUITE

Marion Osborne:

EVERY KIND OF SERVICE

T.V. Announcer:

IN THE DOWNSTAIRS STORE

WHERE UTILITIES BILLS AND

MAY BE PAID, CHECKS CASHED.

Marion Osborne:

THEY HAD JEWELRY REPAIR.

YOU COULD CASH CHECKS.

YOU COULD GET THINGS --

THERE WAS EVERY KIND

T.V. Announcer:

AND POST OFFICE SERVICES.

Susanne Mitten Owen:

THE KIND OF PEOPLE WHO WERE

AND HOW HELPFUL THEY WERE.

THEY HAD A RESPECT

THEY HAD A LOVE FOR THE STORE.

THEY HAD A RESPECT

AND IT WAS PART OF THE

THEN WHEN YOU'D GO UP TO

THE ESCALATOR AT THAT POINT,

YOU WERE HEADED BACK

Narrator: GOING TO AYRES MIGHT BE AN ALL-DAY EXCURSION,

WHICH WOULD END UP ON THE 8TH FLOOR...

IN THE "TEA ROOM."

Marion Osborne:

EVERYBODY LOOKED FORWARD

IN THE '50s,

A LADY DID NOT GO

WITHOUT HER HAT AND HER

Susanne Mitten Owen:

AND YOU WERE GOING

YOU WERE GOING TO BE

THE NICE HOSTESSES WHO

THE WAITRESSES WERE ALL

THEY WERE ALL PROPERLY DONE

AND THEN YOU SAT AND

IT WAS A QUITE A THING ...

WHEN PEOPLE WERE A MODEL

Marion Osborne:

LIKE I REMEMBER A CLOWN,

AND HIS CLOWN HAT WAS THE CONE.

Susanne Mitten Owen:

WITH THE LITTLE PARASOLS

THERE WERE ALL OF THOSE THINGS

Marion Osborne:

AND ALL THESE LITTLE

Susanne Mitten Owen:

YOU'D STOP AND

OUT OF THE TREASURE CHEST.

Narrator: AYRES WAS ALWAYS IN FIERCE COMPETITION WITH BLOCKS.

BUT EACH YEAR SOMETHING HAPPENED ...

WHICH PUT AYRES IN THE SPOTLIGHT.

THE CHERUB WOULD APPEAR ON THANKSGIVING EVE ...

HERALDING THE BEGINNING OF THE HOLIDAY SEASON.

Dan Wakefield:

YOU WENT DOWNTOWN TO LOOK IN

THAT WAS A VERY BIG RITUAL

AND THE STORE WINDOWS

AND THEY HAD MOVING PARTS AND

Narrator: BEGINNING IN THE '50s,

AYRES AND BLOCKS COMPETED ...

TO SEE WHICH HAD THE BEST ANIMATED WINDOW DISPLAYS.

Susanne Mitten Owen:

THERE WAS A CROWD OF PEOPLE.

YOU COULDN'T JUST DRIVE BY,

BECAUSE THERE WERE SO MANY

Marion Osborne:

BECAUSE OF THE ADULTS WHO WERE

BECAUSE IT WAS

Narrator: AND AS MOST HOLIDAY SHOPPING WAS DONE DOWNTOWN,

MUCH OF THE HOLIDAY CELEBRATION ...

CENTERED AROUND INDIANAPOLIS' LARGEST TOY STORE,

"TOYLAND" AT L.S. AYRES.

Dale Ogden:

SITTING IN A CHAIR.

THEY HAD PEOPLE,

THAT WORKED ON CREATING ...

A FANTASY ATMOSPHERE TO

THERE WAS A TOBOGGAN RUN ...

THAT PRESENTS SLID DOWN,

THERE WAS JUST A LOT OF

TO THE AYRES CHRISTMAS ...

THAT WENT BEYOND WHAT WE

WITH A RETAIL SETTING.

Narrator: AND ONE OF THIS CITY'S FIRST TELEVISION REMOTES ...

CENTERED AROUND CHRISTMAS AT AYRES.

W.F.B.M. BROADCAST "BREAKFAST WITH SANTA" LIVE FROM TOYLAND!

AND THE 1950s SAW THE BEGINNING OF ...

ANOTHER HOLIDAY TRADITION.

THE "SANTA LAND EXPRESS" MADE REGULAR STOPS ...

AROUND THE 8TH FLOOR AT AYRES.

IT WAS ONE OF THE MOST POPULAR RIDES IN INDIANAPOLIS.

FOR MANY, THE HOLIDAYS BEGAN AND ENDED ...

DOWNTOWN AT L.S. AYRES.

Dale Ogden:

IT WAS A SOCIAL EXPERIENCE FOR

FOR ABOUT 50 YEARS.

T.V. Announcer:

YET, ALWAYS UP TO THE MINUTE,

L.S. AYRES ALSO LOOKS

WHERE BEFORE LONG, YOU'LL BE

62nd AND KEYSTONE AVENUE,

WHERE THE FINEST IN AYRES

WILL CONTINUE TO FILL

Narrator: WHEN AYRES OPENED A BRANCH STORE ...

OUT AT THE NEW GLENDALE MALL IN 1958,

IT WAS THE BEGINNING OF THE END FOR DOWNTOWN.

GLENDALE WAS A QUANTUM LEAP FROM THE STRIP MALL.

NOW EVERYTHING WAS OUT IN THE 'BURBS.

SUDDENLY PEOPLE NO LONGER HAD TO GET DOWNTOWN ...

AS MUCH AS THEY HAD TO GET AROUND IT.

IN 1955 STATE HIGHWAY PLANNERS ...

SKETCHED A LOOP AROUND THE CITY.

BY THE BEGINNING OF THE NEXT DECADE,

I-465 WOULD BRING TRAFFIC NEAR THE SLEEPY TOWN OF CASTLETON,

POPULATION 258 IN 1950.

BY THE LATE '50s, INDIANAPOLIS RESIDENTS ...

WERE SPENDING INCREASING AMOUNTS OF TIME AND MONEY ...

AWAY FROM DOWNTOWN.

THE CITY BEGAN TO THINK OF WAYS TO BRING PEOPLE AND LIFE ...

BACK TO ITS CENTER.

IN 1958, CITY PLANNERS PROPOSED ...

A HUGE, DOWNTOWN PEDESTRIAN MALL,

LINKING MANY DEPARTMENT STORES.

THE CITY ALSO ENVISIONED A RECREATION AREA ...

ALONG THE WHITE RIVER.

THE POST-WAR GENERATION BEGAN THEIR RAUCOUS CELEBRATION ...

AT THE VERY CENTER OF TOWN.

BY THE END OF THE '50s,

THE SHOUTS WERE COMING FROM THE EDGES OF MARION COUNTY.

AN ARTICLE WHICH APPEARED

ON NEW YEARS EVE, 1959,

TRIED TO SUM UP THE DECADE.

"PROSPERITY ABOUNDED AND

"MATERIAL COMFORTS SURPASSED

THE ARTICLE ALSO

"PROBLEMS OF PEACE

THE HEADLINE FOR THAT

WAS SOMEWHAT PROPHETIC:

"FABULOUS '50s FADE INTO

I'M MIKE AHERN.

I'LL SEE YOU IN A

Mayor Alex Clark:

VISIT IT! KNOW IT!

BUT MOST OF ALL,

IT IS YOUR CITY!

STREAM INDY IN THE 50’S ON

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