Who ever knew that Indianapolis had such great secrets?
What got me to Indianapolis was a blog conference. What will keep me coming back are the cool facts I learned about the capital city of Indiana.
I found out about these cool facts during a terrific tour I took of the city from Carrie Savage-Zimmerman, owner of Circle City Tours. When I booked the tour, Carrie told me there were no other clients who wanted to go on the same day. Instead of canceling, she offered to pick my friend and I up at our hotel in her personal SUV and give us the same tour at the same price for the same amount of time as a regular bus tour. Now, that’s service!!
Not only did Carrie take us to interesting sites in Indianapolis, she provided great commentary on cool facts along the way. She even let me hop out of the car to take pictures (safely, of course).
- Indianapolis is the state capital of Indiana. Indiana was the 19th state in the Union. It will be celebrating 200 years of statehood on December 11, 2016. Limestone quarried in Indiana can be found in important landmarks throughout Indianapolis and around the country. The limestone has been used to build 14 state capitals, the Washington Monument and the Pentagon when it was rebuilt after 9/11.
- The biggest children’s museum in the world is located in Indianapolis. In 2013, it was awarded one of 34 chestnut tree saplings from Anne Frank’s house. Only 11 of the 34 saplings are found in the United States.
- A canal traverses through the city. It is just over 1-1/2 miles in length so a round trip around the canal is a perfect 5K. Along the canal there is access to authentic gondolas from Venice, paddle boats, bikes, and segways.
- On April 4, 1968, then New York Senator Robert F. Kennedy announced in Indianapolis that Martin Luther King had been assassinated.
- Along Monument Circle in the center of Indianapolis, no building is taller than 8 stories so to allow the sunlight to enter from the east as soon as possible.
- Companies that have their headquarters in Indianapolis: Eli Lilly and Company (pharmaceutical company that provided the financial backing for the discovery of penicillin), Angie’s List and , mall developer Simon Property Group.
- Indianapolis is home to more memorials, statues, and monuments honoring the military outside of Washington, D.C.. There are a total of 33 memorials.
- The first casualty of the Civil War was a free black man from Indianapolis named Crispus Atticks. A segregated high school was built in his honor and won the state basketball championship in 1954 and in 1956, when they beat an all-white high school. NBA legend, Oscar Robertson, played on those winning teams.
- Other sports that have been made famous in Indianapolis include Harness Horse Racing (the winningest horse was Dan Patch who never lost a race); Soapbox Derby (the city has the longest track in the country), and Marshall “Major” Taylor, a cyclist from 1880 – 1904 who still has unbroken records, has a velodrome track named after him. Taylor retired before the first Tour de France.
- Three movies, Hoosiers (at Baylor University), A League of Their Own (at the original Busch Stadium), and “A Fault in the Stars,” were filmed in Indianapolis. The city also was home to Nellie Simmons Meier, the psychic to the stars in the 1930’s and 40’s. Nellie read the palms of Walt Disney, Eleanor Roosevelt, and was a consultant to J. Edgar Hoover of the FBI with fingerprint identification. The book, Lions Paws, tells her story.