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Hoosier history lesson with Steve Barnett

Delving into the historical treasures of Indianapolis, Marion County Historian Steve Barnett takes us on a captivating journey through the city’s past. One notable event in the 1930s was the exhumation and reinterment of Confederate prisoners of war from the old Greenlawn Cemetery.

While these remains received a solemn ceremony, the same honor was not extended to the bones of an unknown pioneer settler that tumbled down the White River embankment during levee construction. With the current plans for a soccer stadium, Barnett emphasizes the importance of conducting a thorough archaeological survey to properly handle any human remains, particularly those of African Americans, and ensure respectful reinterment.

Amelia Earhart, the renowned aviator, made her mark on Indianapolis during the Great Depression years. Her daring feats, including the first solo flight by a woman across the United States and flying an autogyro over the city, captivated the imaginations of Hoosiers. Earhart even served as the official race referee at the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race, becoming the first woman to hold this prestigious position.

Additionally, the town of Speedway played a role in aviation history as Allison Engine Co, a division of General Motors, manufactured airplane engines that powered the iconic Lockheed P-38 Lightning during World War II. Decades later, an Allison-designed fuel tank gained fame as the container of energy that powered the engine of the 1969 Apollo Mission Lunar Excursion Module.