Hoosier History Live is an independently produced new media project about Indiana history, integrating podcasts, website www.HoosierHistoryLive.org, and social media. Its original content comes initially from a live with call in weekly talk radio show hosted by author and historian Nelson Price. You can hear the show live Saturdays from noon to 1 pm ET at WICR 88.7 fm or stream the show live at the WICR HD1 app on your phone (unless we have been pre-empted!)

Hoosier History Live is brought to you by:

Logo Lucas oil

Your contributions help keep Hoosier History Live on the air, on the web, in your inbox, and in our ARCHIVES!

Donate button.

Email newsletter

Check us out on social media!

Books by Nelson Price

Book cover of The Quiet Hero, A Life of Ryan White, by Nelson Price.

Indiana Legends book cover.Book cover of Indianapolis Then and Now, 2016 edition, by Nelson Price and Joan Hostetler, featuring photos by Garry Chilluffo.

Acknowledgments

Hoosier History Live thanks our partners who help the show to go on!

Monomedia
Website design, email marketing and PC consulting.

Fraizer Designs
Graphic design and illustration.

Visit Indy
Promoting Indy and providing us with wonderful prizes for our History Mystery contest, including museums, sporting venues and great places to dine.

WICR
Our anchor radio station, on the campus of University of Indianapolis.

Heritage Photo and Research Services

February 17, 2024

Black firefighters history in Indy

Way back in 1876, when firefighting equipment was transported by horse-drawn wagons, the first Black firefighters were hired by the Indianapolis Fire Department. The four African Americans included a firefighter who, in 1911, died in the line of duty.

Details about the story of the trail-blazing firefighters will be described on this show as Hoosier History Live salutes Black History Month. Our guest will be Corey Floyd, an IFD battalion chief and president of the Indianapolis Black Firefighters Association, which is in the midst of a major project.  A history museum about Black firefighters is being developed in a non-operational (shuttered) fire station on the north-eastside.

The museum in Old Station No. 31, 1201 E. 46th St., is expected to feature historic firefighting equipment, uniforms, helmets, plaques and videos. Battalion Chief Floyd, who grew up near Old Fire Station No. 31, says he hopes the museum will open in two or three months.

Black firefighters were needed early on in the department's history (IFD had been established in 1859) because many of their white colleagues did not want to venture into Black neighborhoods to put out fires, according to Battalion Chief Floyd. The first Black firefighters in the city were Thomas Smith, Robert Braxton, James Graves and Thomas Howard. In 1911, Thomas Smith (by then an IFD veteran known for his skills in handling horses) was killed when his vehicle was stuck on a cobblestone street by a streetcar. For several decades, IFD was segregated, with most African American firefighters serving on an all-Black crew at a station on Indiana Avenue.

Today, IFD is about 16.7 percent Black, according to Battalion Chief Floyd, who also is a recruitment officer. "Joining the department was one of the best things that ever happened to me", he told the Indianapolis Star last September for a story about the museum that's underway.

A milestone in the modern history of Black firefighters in the Hoosier capital occurred in 1987. Then-Mayor William Hudnut appointed Joseph Kimbrew (1929-2015) as the first Black fire chief in IFD history. An Indianapolis native, Kimbrew was a graduate of Attucks High School and an Army veteran who had joined the IFD in 1955. About one year after Kimbrew's death at age 86, Fire Station 1 at 1903 W. 10th Street was renamed in his honor.

The current IFD chief, Ernest Malone, is Black; he was appointed to the department's top post in 2014 by former Mayor Greg Ballard.


 

New show podcasts are up! 

January 27, 2024- Movie and TV directors who aren't household names now Click here for podcast.

For a complete list of show podcasts and show enewsletters, please go to ARCHIVES on our website. 

 

 

Hoosier History Live looks back . .

. . . at the very lively Hoosier History Live party held in the summer of 2022 at the Vonnegut Museum and Library. Who came? Nancy Hanks Lincoln, Johnny Appleseed, Mayor Joe Hogsett, May Wright Sewall, and lots of former show guests, fans, and supporters.

And did you know that Indiana had a famous woman serial killer about a hundred years ago? Her name was Belle Gunness, and she advertised as a "lonely widow" looking for a husband to come work on her northern Indiana farm. At our party, guest Sally Spiers came portrayed as Belle Gunness looking for a husband! Although she did not secure one at our party. Hey, you can listen to the podcast of the Belle Gunnessshow we did with guest Jane Ammeson here: Click here to listen to the podcast

 

 

Trivia prizes sought

Our "History Mystery" on air contest continues to be very popular!  If you are an organization or business that would like to contribute tickets or admissions, please contact our host Nelson at nelson@hoosierhistorylive.org or our producer Molly at molly@hoosierhistorylive.org for instructions.

Prizes must fit in a standard business envelope. Hoosier History Live prefers to "snail mail" prizes to our trivia winners. And If prizes are time sensitive, they need to be offered well in advance of the event so that we can get them out in time.


 

Who can you see in this “Hoosier History Live Photo Album” . . .

Swipe through these photos gleaned from the last fourteen years of Hoosier History Live production!

And would you believe that radio technology has completely changed tech wise since we first went on the air in 2008 at WICR?  Can you find Bobby Plump, Chris Gahl, Connie Zeigler, Tom Ridley, Bonnie Britton, Tiffany Benedict Browne, Eunice Trotter, David Baker, Lefty Huntzinger, Keira Amstutz, Cowboy Bob, Janie of “Popeye and Janie”, K.P. Singh, Pam Fraizer, and Dark Rain Thom? The voices of so many Hoosiers blended together over the years to make Hoosier History Live such a unique archive.

And thanks to Richard Sullivan of Monomedia for creating this group of images.


What people are saying about Hoosier History Live

 

"...Are fulfilling a valuable role..."

"Hoosier History Live is a haven of trustworthy knowledge. Molly Head and Nelson Price are fulfilling a valuable role in making quality scholarship about our state readily available to on-the-go listeners, expanding how we engage with the history and culture of Indiana."

-Wayne Hastings, Bloomington listener and library science student

 

"...A great service with the creation of independent media..."

"Both Nelson Price and Molly Head do the public a great service with the creation of independent media project Hoosier History Live. The program adds considerably to the public IQ, at a time when intelligence is much needed."

- Tom Cochrun, former news anchor, WTHR-TV Channel 13 Indianapolis

 

"... an intelligent, well-researched program..."

"I’ve loved listening to Hoosier History Live during the pandemic as an intelligent, well-researched program to escape the news for an hour."

-Lee Little, JD, MLS, Research Librarian, Indiana University

 

"...'Live' - and 'Lively' as well..." 

"Hoosier History really is 'Live' - and 'Lively' as well. The program brings to new audiences the delight and wisdom that comes with knowing more of our past and our connections as Hoosiers."

- James H. Madison, Emeritus History Professor, Indiana University

 

"...interactive, more entertaining and more 'relevant'..."

"As museums and educational institutions scramble to make their offerings more interactive, more entertaining and more 'relevant', Hoosier History Live seems to have mastered that formula."

- Glynis Worley, rural Bartholomew County listener

 

"...a great way to learn more about history..."

"The links on the Friday Hoosier History Live enewsletter are a great way to learn more about history, and from a variety of sources."

- Jill Ditmire, Omni Media Specialist

 

"I love the podcasts..."

"I love the podcasts! I work on Saturdays and cannot always hear the live broadcasts. Sometimes I also like to listen a second time."

- Terri Gorney, Fort Wayne listener

 

"...infuses joy into the pursuit of history..."

"Nelson Price, more than anyone I know, infuses joy into the pursuit of history. And that joy rings out loud and clear on the radio show, Hoosier History Live."

- Marsh Davis, President, Indiana Landmarks

 

"... a compelling and engaging project..." 

"Molly Head and Nelson Price are Indiana-based visionaries who have created a compelling and engaging media project with Hoosier History Live. Podcasts, website, enewsletter, and live call-in radio show; it’s all there!"

- Keira Amstutz, President and CEO, Indiana Humanities

 

"...does more to promote Indiana history..."

"Hoosier History Live does more to promote Indiana history than does any single source."

- Andrea Neal, Indianapolis author and educator

 

"...always a great show"

“Hoosier History Live is always a great show.  We did a small  sponsorship as a gesture of support, and I didn’t think a little history show would have much impact. But many people mentioned to me that they had heard our credit on the radio.”

- G.B. Landrigan, Realtor, Certified Residential Specialist

 

"...a great way to represent what I do..."

"I have thoroughly enjoyed my experiences with Nelson Price and the Hoosier History Live team. I feel being on the show was a great way to represent what I do with motorsports history. I am particularly excited by the show's new distribution through a podcast and making it accessible live through the Web.”

-Mark Dill, owner, FirstSuperSpeedway.com


"...great value to sponsors..."

"Hoosier History Live has amassed a vast library of content over the years, both with the show audio and newsletter material. I believe that the Hoosier History Live content has great value to sponsors and advertisers via widespread online distribution. Nowhere else do you find the fresh new material each week, the depth of stories, the richness of detail, and the long-term consistency."

- John McDonald, CEO, ClearObject in Fishers, Indiana, Inc. Magazine’s fastest-growing IT company in Indiana for 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017.

"...enthusiastic, curious and knowledgeable..."

 "Hoosier History Live is a perfect place to consider and reconsider history ... not just what happened in the past, but what it may mean in the present. Nelson Price is the perfect host: enthusiastic, curious and knowledgeable. Tune in to Hoosier History Live and be prepared to be surprised."

- James Still, playwright in residence, Indiana Repertory Theatre

"...I want to call in!..

"No, I haven't heard of another call-in talk radio show about history. Our airwaves are now full of the worst vitriol! Give me the phone number for the show. I want to call in!"

- Ken Burns, speaking at a preview of his film "The War" at Indianapolis Hebrew Congregation, April 18, 2007

"Another Hoosier History Live endorsement from a Hoosier in California ..."

"Hoosier History Live is a bright spot in my media constellation. I also frequently forward your weekly enewsletters to friends around the globe. I may now be a Californian, but my Hoosier interest is endless. The podcasts and streaming are good tools. By all means, persevere!"

- Tom Cochrun, former news anchor, WTHR-TV Channel 13 Indianapolis

 

"From a Hoosier who knows her books..."

"Fills a niche for the lover of Indiana history."

- Kathleen Madinger Angelone, retired bookstore owner

 

Podcast listening, and Hoosier History Live copyright policies

We still do a live radio show every Saturday from noon to one broadcasting on WICR 88.7, but more and more of our listeners are listening to our podcasts, which are basically audio copies of our live shows. Our website is www.hoosierhistorylive.org, and you can sign up at our website to get our free weekly newsletter.

At the top of our newsletter and website we put notice, and links, to our newly published podcasts. We also provide a link to ARCHIVES, which is a list of our past enewsletters and published podcasts.

If you have a preferred podcast provider like Apple Podcasts or Spotify, you can use their search function to call up Hoosier History Live as well. Look for the yellow Hoosier History Live logo.

We copyright our work, and we have a crew of very talented people putting it together. But we WANT you to share it! We believe that learning should be accessible to everyone! You are welcome to copy, link to, or forward any of our Hoosier History Live material. Just please do not edit it! Our underwriter logos and voiced credits are on our material; and these underwriters make our work possible. 


Home | About us | Support the show | Contact us | Archives

© 2008 Hoosier History Live. All rights reserved.