This is the true story of a young boy from Posey County, Indiana, who had a dream to fly. The outbreak of World War II enabled him to fulfill that dream. Cheerio and Best Wishes is told entirely through the letters he wrote to his family and friends. Detailed narrative and commentary provide explanation and background information. One hundred thirty-eight letters are presented in this book. It is highly unusual to find this many letters from one person, curated by his family and recently rediscovered by his son, along with carefully created photograph albums. The story starts in rural southern Indiana and follows the young volunteer as he goes westward to California and New Mexico to be trained to fly bombers. From the United States, he travels via South America and North Africa to England and deploys with the Eighth Air Force. The accounts of his journeys and experiences are detailed, ranging from entertaining to spine-tingling. Moments of high drama intermingle with the mundane nature of war. Together the letters and pictures in this book (the originals are now preserved for posterity in the Purdue University Flight Archives) offer a comprehensive and cohesive story of how US airmen were prepared and trained for war, and detail the daily experience of a bomber pilot flying missions over Germany. The letters of one young flyer reflect the experience of thousands of Americans who volunteered to go to war in the 1940s. His experiences were those of a generation.
With air travel a regular part of daily life in North America, we tend to take the infrastructure that makes it possible for granted. However, the systems, regulations, and technologies of civil aviation are in fact the product of decades of experimentation and political negotiation, much of it connected to the development of the airmail as the first commercially sustainable use of airplanes. From the lighted airways of the 1920s through the radio navigation system in place by the time of World War II, this book explores the conceptualization and ultimate construction of the initial US airways systems. The daring exploits of the earliest airmail pilots are well documented, but the underlying story of just how brick-and-mortar construction, radio research and improvement, chart and map preparation, and other less glamorous aspects of aviation contributed to the system we have today has been understudied. Flying the Beam traces the development of aeronautical navigation of the US airmail airways from 1917 to 1941. Chronologically organized, the book draws on period documents, pilot memoirs, and firsthand investigation of surviving material remains in the landscape to trace the development of the system. The author shows how visual cross-country navigation, only possible in good weather, was developed into all-weather “blind flying.” The daytime techniques of “following railroads and rivers” were supplemented by a series of lighted beacons (later replaced by radio towers) crisscrossing the country to allow nighttime transit of long-distance routes, such as the one between New York and San Francisco. Although today’s airway system extends far beyond the continental US and is based on digital technologies, the way pilots navigate from place to place basically uses the same infrastructure and procedures that were pioneered almost a century earlier. While navigational electronics have changed greatly over the years, actually “flying the beam” has changed very little.
The key role that farming plays in the economy of Indiana today owes much to the work of John Harrison Skinner (1874–1942). Skinner was a pioneering educator and administrator who transformed the study of agriculture at Purdue University during the first decades of the twentieth century. From humble origins, occupying one building and 150 acres at the start of his career, the agriculture program grew to spread over ten buildings and 1,000 acres by the end of his tenure as its first dean. A focused, single-minded man, Skinner understood from his own background as a grain and stock farmer that growers could no longer rely on traditional methods in adapting to a rapidly changing technological and economic environment, in which tractors were replacing horses and new crops such as alfalfa and soy were transforming the arable landscape. Farmers needed education, and only by hiring the best and brightest faculty could Purdue give them the competitive edge that they needed. While he excelled as a manager and advocate for Indiana agriculture, Skinner never lost touch with his own farming roots, taking especial interest in animal husbandry. During the course of his career as dean (1907–1939), the number of livestock on Purdue farms increased fourfold, and Skinner showed his knowledge of breeding by winning many times at the International Livestock Exposition. Today, the scale of Purdue’s College of Agriculture has increased to offer almost fifty programs to hundreds of students from all over the globe. However, at its base, the agricultural program in place today remains largely as John Harrison Skinner built it, responsive to Indiana but with its focus always on scientific innovation in the larger world.
Knights of the Quill offers a unique assessment of war correspondence in Southern newspapers during the American Civil War. The men and women who covered the battles and political developments for Southern newspapers were of a different breed than those who reported the war for the North. They were doctors, lawyers, teachers, editors, and businessmen, nearly all of them with college and professional degrees. Sleeping on beds of snow, dining on raw corn and burned bread, they exhibited a dedication that laid the groundwork for news gathering in the twenty-first century. Objectivity and accuracy became important news values, as shows that Southern war correspondence easily equaled in quality the work produced by reporters for Northern newspapers. With its emphasis on primary sources, the book offers an important and enduring historical perspective on the Civil War and also meets the highest standards of historical scholarship.
Clarence “Cap” Cornish was an Indiana pilot whose life spanned all but five years of the Century of Flight. Born in Canada in 1898, Cornish grew up in Fort Wayne, Indiana. He began flying at the age of nineteen, piloting a “Jenny” aircraft during World War I, and continued to fly for the next seventy-eight years. In 1995, at the age of ninety-seven, he was recognized by Guinness World Records as the world’s oldest actively flying pilot. The mid-1920s to the mid-1950s were Cornish’s most active years in aviation. During that period, sod runways gave way to asphalt and concrete; navigation evolved from the iron rail compass to radar; runways that once had been outlined at night with cans of oil topped off with flaming gasoline now shimmered with multicolored electric lights; instead of being crammed next to mailbags in open-air cockpits, passengers sat comfortably in streamlined, pressurized cabins. In the early phase of that era, Cornish performed aerobatics and won air races. He went on to run a full-service flying business, served as chief pilot for the Fort Wayne News-Sentinel, managed the city’s municipal airport, helped monitor and maintain safe skies above the continental United States during World War II, and directed Indiana’s first Aeronautics Commission. Dedicating his life to flight and its many ramifications, Cornish helped guide the sensible development of aviation as it grew from infancy to maturity. Through his many personal experiences, the story of flight nationally is played out.
This study focuses on the transformation of the U.S. agricultural economy in the middle of the nineteenth center and its impact on farm famalies. In the first detailed case study of th etransition of subsistence to commercial agriculture, te author examines call formation, migration, and household structure in the context of emerging agricultural markets and the growing availability of cheap consumer goods.
R. Douglas Hurt's brief history of American agriculture, from the prehistoric period through the twentieth century, is written for anyone coming to this subject for the first time. It also provides a ready reference to the economic, social, political, scientific, and technological changes that have most affected farming in America. American Agriculture is a story of considerable achievement and success, but it is also a story of greed, racism, and violence. Hurt offers a provocative look at a history that has been shaped by the best and worst of human nature. Here is the background essential for understanding the complexity of American agricultural history, from the transition to commercial agriculture during the colonial period to the failure of government policy following World War II. Hurt includes the contributions of African Americans, Native Americans, and women. This revised edition closes with an examination of the troubled landscape at the turn of the twenty-first century. This survey will serve as a text for courses in the history of American agriculture and rural studies as well as a supplementary text for economic history and rural sociology courses. It is illustrated with maps, drawings, and over seventy splendid photographs.
Indiana's pioneers came to southern Indiana to turn the dream of an America based on family farming into a reality. The golden age prior to the Civil War led to a post-War preserving of the independent family farmer. Salstrom examines this "independence" and finds the label to be less than adequate. Hoosier farming was an inter-dependent activity leading to a society of borrowing and loaning. When people talk about supporting family farming, as Salstrom notes, the issue is a societal one with a greater population involved than just the farmers themselves.
The Ku Klux Klan reached its height in the 1920s, and nowhere was it as large and politically powerful as in Indiana, where about 30 percent of the native-born white male population were Klansmen. This book explores the career of D. C. Stephenson, grand dragon of the Indiana Klan, his rise to power, and his eventual conviction for second-degree murder in 1925. Grand Dragon traces Stephenson's background, still shrouded in mystery due to Stephenson's own colorful but imaginary accounts of his early years. A political opportunist, Stephenson's rise to power in the loan was startlingly swift, but so was his fall from grace. Tried in Klan country for the rape and murder of a young government worker, Stephenson was convicted and imprisoned for a crime of which some still consider him innocent.
Author of six earlier books about United States railroads, John F. Stover packs this narrative history with careful scholarship and colorful description which will appeal to the railroad buff and the professional historian, as well as to any reader who wishes to travel with the "Mother of Railroads" through an exciting period in United States history.
Based on extensive interviews and archival research, this book traces the career of Orville Redenbacher, the “popcorn king,” from his agricultural studies at Purdue University to his emergence as an American advertising icon. Born in Brazil, Indiana, in 1907, Orville began his lifelong obsession with the development of new strains of seed at Purdue where he earned a degree in agronomy while also playing in the All-American Marching Band. After experimenting with thousands of varieties, Orville and his business partner Charlie Bowman launched Orville Redenbacher’s gourmet popping corn in 1970. Through a combination of shrewd marketing and a notably superior product, the partners controlled a third of the market for popping corn by 1976, when their “Chester Hybrids” business was sold to Hunt Wesson Foods. Orville Redenbacher continued to prosper as a larger-than-life brand spokesperson and a symbol of wholesomeness and fun until his death in 1995. Based on interviews conducted in the last few years of Orville’s life, this book paints a fascinating picture of a deeply serious agricultural pioneer and marketing genius, whose image can still be found in almost every North American home. Here more about this book in an interview broadcast on WBAA, Indiana's oldest radio station, on July 14, 2011.
The Political Pulpit Revisited examines a set of arguments originally made in 1975 about church-state relations in the U.S. Scholars have long wondered how a nation of some two thousand different religious denominations has been able to remain relatively calm about such matters. Controversial issues like abortion rights, war-time pacifism, sanctuary for illegal aliens, clerical abuse of children, non-taxation of church property, and other matters continually roil the political waters. The first edition describes how church and state tensions are worked out symbolically rather than coercively, legally, or economically. The Political Pulpit Revisited updates church/state arguments and then offers reflections by eight distinguished scholars who re-examine the relationship in light of recent events. The result is a fresh look at the American experiment in those relations and what it portends for the U.S. in the years ahead.
In this book, the author gives an edited version of the actual events of two nineteenth century pioneers, Overton Johnson and William H. Winter, exploring westward expansion. The book provides a colorful tale of the men's journey, as well as the two years spent in the West. The book also demonstrates the diversity among territories by describing Indian, American, English, and California settlements
Anselm Verener Lee Guise was a young British mining engineer ap pointed to the post of assistant manager of a tin mine in the first d cades of the twentieth century in Bolivia. Six Years in Bolivia: The Adventures of a Mining Engineer (1922) was the result of his experiences and contact with the Bolivian landscape and people. His travel book underlines Guise's concerns with cultural, economic, and gender differences while presenting a personal transformation forced by his adaptation to new ways of life, which compelled him to perform activities far beyond his knowledge.
From yesterday’s gingham girls to today’s Farmer Janes, The Midwest Farmer’s Daughter unearths the untold history and renewed cultural currency of an American icon at a time when fully 30 percent of new farms in the US are woman-owned. From farm women bloggers, to “back-to-the-land” homesteaders and seed-savers, to rural graphic novelists and, ultimately, to the seven generations of farm daughters who have animated his own family since before the Civil War, the author travels across the region to shine new documentary light on this seedbed for American virtue, energy, and ingenuity. Packed with many memorable interviews, print artifacts, and historic images, this groundbreaking documentary history describes the centuries-long reiteration and reinterpretation of agrarian daughters in the field, over the airwaves, on the printed page, and in the court of public opinion. Offering a sweeping cultural and social history, it ranges widely and well from Jane Smiley’s Pulitzer Prize-winning A Thousand Acres to Laura Ingalls Wilder’s proto-feminist commentaries for the Missouri Ruralist; from the critical importance of rural girls and young women to time-honored organizations such as the Farm Bureau, 4-H, and FFA to the entrepreneurial role today’s female agriculturalists and sustainable farm advocates play in farmers’ markets, urban farms, and community-supported agriculture. For all those whose lives have been graced by the enduring strength of this regional and national touchstone, The Midwest Farmer’s Daughter offers a one-of-a-kind scholarly examination and contemporary appreciation. Listen to an interview with the author by clicking here. The interview with WBAA, Indiana's oldest operating radio station and an NPR affiliate, was first broadcast on August 23, 2012.
Examines the economic development of the United States from colonial times through the mid-Twentieth Century and uses elementary economic analysis as a tool for illuminating historical events and their economic origins and consequences. It will consider how the economy has grown over time as well as how and why the structure of the American economy has changed over time. Throughout American economic history various public and private policies have at times been successful and at other times failed. Accordingly the prevailing theme of economic history can be expressed as the idea that any particular policy is not destined to succeed or fail but rather that there are always viable choices. Indeed, economic history is a record of those choices and their effects. The aim of this course is not to provide you with conventional and one-dimensional interpretations but rather to offer you alternative economic views of historical events. Ideally this course will help you understand and apply economic analysis to historical events as well as to ascertain probable implications for current and future policies.
Back in print for the first time in over a century, the real heart and soul of the eldest Henry Wallace is revealed in his open letters to America's farm families. These homespun, secular epistles show that Wallace never lost sight of his roots even as he hobnobbed with U.S. Presidents from Teddy Roosevelt to Woodrow Wilson, anchored the prestigious Country Life Commission, and edited the most famous agricultural magazine of its day, Wallaces' Farmer. Who better to yoke the sacred, agrarian arts of stewardship, husbandry, and parenting than writer-philosopher-farmer-conservationist-minister-educator-public benefactor extraordinaire Uncle Henry Wallace, the man who planted the seeds of honorable public service in his own world-famous son and grandson, Secretary of Agriculture Henry C. Wallace and Vice President and Presidential candidate Henry A. Wallace, respectively.