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    Indianapolis ( / ˌɪndiəˈnæpəlɪs / ), colloquially known as Indy, is the state capital and most-populous city of the U.S. state of Indiana and the seat of Marion County. According to the United States Census Bureau, the consolidated population of Indianapolis and Marion County in 2020 was 977,642. The " balance " population, which ...

    • 718 ft (219 m)
    • Marion
    • Early Settlement
    • Site Selection and Town Plan
    • Early Development
    • Civil War Era
    • Growth and Transition
    • Industrial Era
    • Economic and Political Development
    • Racial History
    • Unigov
    • See Also

    Indianapolis was founded as the site for the new state capital in 1820 by an act of the Indiana General Assembly; however, the area where the city of Indianapolis now stands was once home to the Lenape (Delaware Nation), a native tribe who lived along the White River. The flat, heavily wooded area supplied them with ample food and wild game, although part of the area was swampy and poorly drained. The White River and Fall Creekalso offered water access and good fishing, but the Natives established no permanent settlement in the immediate area; however, they did set up temporary camps, especially along the waterways. Under the Northwest Ordinance (1787), the Northwest Territory was created from land within the boundaries of the United States lying west of the Appalachian Mountains and northwest of the Ohio River. This area included present-day Indiana and Indianapolis. In 1800 a large portion of land extending west from the Ohio border to the Mississippi River and north to the United...

    On January 11, 1820, the Indiana General Assembly authorized a committee of ten commissioners to select a site in central Indiana for the new state capital. The state legislature appointed Alexander Ralston and Elias Pym Fordham to survey and design a town plan for Indianapolis, which was platted in 1821. Ralston had been a surveyor for the French architect Pierre L'Enfant, and assisted him in laying out the plan for Washington, D.C. Ralston's original plan for Indianapolis called for a town of 1-square-mile (2.6 km2). Nicknamed the Mile Square, the town was bounded by North, East, South, and West Streets, although they were not named at that time, with Governor's Circle, a large circular commons, at the center of town. Governor's Circle later became known as Monument Circle, after the impressive 284-foot-tall (86.5-meter-tall) neoclassical limestone and bronze Soldiers' and Sailors' Monument, designed by German architect Bruno Schmitz, was completed on the site in 1901. Under Ralst...

    Indianapolis has been closely linked to politics since its selection as Indiana's seat of government in the 1820s, but early in its history the city became a railroad transportation hub for the region and a center for civic and cultural affairs.

    During the American Civil War, Indianapolis was loyal to the Union cause. After the Battle of Fort Sumter in South Carolina, Indianapolis citizens proclaimed, "We unite as one man to repel all treasonable assaults upon the Government, its people, and citizens in every department of the Union––peaceably, if we can, forcibly if we must." Governor Oliver P. Morton, a major supporter of President Abraham Lincoln, quickly made Indianapolis a rallying place for Union army troops as they prepared to enter Confederate lands. On April 16, 1861, the first orders were issued to form Indiana's first regiments and establish Indianapolis as a gathering point for the state's volunteer soldiers.Within a week, more than 12,000 recruits from Indiana had signed up to fight for the Union, nearly three times as many needed to meet the state's initial quota. Indianapolis became a major railroad hub and transportation center during the war, and therefore had military importance. Twenty-four military camps...

    In the last half of the nineteenth century, when the city's population soared from 8,091 in 1850 to 169,164 in 1900, urban development expanded in all directions as Indianapolis experienced a building boom and transitioned from an agricultural community to an industrial center. Some of the city's most iconic structures were built during this period, including several that have survived to the present day: the Soldiers' and Sailors' Monument (1888, dedicated 1902), the Indiana Statehouse (1888), Union Station (1888), and the Das Deutsche Haus(1898), among others. Construction of Indianapolis's belt railroad and stockyards in the late 1870s, the Indiana gas boom in the late 1880s, and increasing railroad traffic during the late nineteenth century helped transform Indianapolis into a Midwestern industrial center. Several major railroads such as the Pennsylvania, Monon, "Big Four," and the Lake Erie and Western lines passed through Indianapolis. The late nineteenth century was also a ti...

    The automobile, as in most American cities, caused a suburban explosion. With automobile companies as Duesenberg, Marmon, National, and Stutz, Indianapolis was a center of production rivaling Detroit, at least for a few years. The internationally renowned automobile races that take place at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway every year are a notable residual from that booming industry at the beginning of the 20th century. With roads as the spokes of a wheel, Indianapolis was on its way to becoming a major hub of regional transport connecting to Chicago, Louisville, Cincinnati, Columbus and St. Louis, as is befitting the capital of a state whose motto is "The Crossroads of America." Today, four interstate roads intersect in Indianapolis: routes 65, 69, 70, and 74. The city is a major trucking center, and the extensive network of highways has allowed Indianapolis to enjoy a relatively low amount of traffic congestion for a city its size. A strike by the street car workers in Indianapolis...

    Indianapolis entered a period of great prosperity at the beginning of the 20th century, and during this time the city witnessed great economic, social, and cultural progress. Much of this was due to the discovery in 1886 of a huge natural gas deposit in east-central Indiana, the celebrated Trenton Gas Field. A few years later, the discovery of oil in the area would follow and cause an increase in the population. The Trenton Field formed the western portion of what was at the time the world's largest oil field and natural gas deposit, the Lima-Indiana Field (stretching from northwestern Ohio to east-central Indiana). The state government offered a free supply of natural gas to factories that were built there. This led to a sharp increase in industries such as glass and automobile manufacturing. However, the natural gas deposits were largely depleted by 1912 and completely gone by 1920, and the end of the Indiana Gas Boom along with the coinciding rapid decline of oil production (whic...

    African Americans have played a vital role in the history of Indianapolis. The city served as one of the predominant stops on the Underground Railroad, and up to the time of the Great Migration in the early 20th century, Indianapolis had a higher black population (nearly 10%) than any other city in the Northern States. Today Indianapolis is the least segregated city in the northern United States, according to a University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee study, with 25% of the population living on a city block with both white and blackresidents. The African-American population originally thrived in the vibrant Indiana Avenue neighborhood, which served as a hub of black culture for the entire Midwest. Though officially founded as a specific community in 1869, Indiana Avenue was home to a black Christian church by 1836 and had a majority of black-owned businesses by 1865. A strong black middle class called this neighborhood home, as did jazz greats such as Freddie Hubbard, Jimmy Coe, Noble Siss...

    As the result of a 1970 consolidation of city and county governments (known as "Unigov"), the city of Indianapolis merged most government services with those of the county. For the most part, this resulted in a unification of Indianapolis with its immediate suburbs. Four communities within Marion County (Beech Grove, Lawrence, Southport and Speedway) are partially outside of the Unigov arrangement. Also, 11 other communities (called "included towns") are legally included in the Consolidated City of Indianapolis under Unigov, per Indiana Code 36-3-1-4 sec. 4(a)(2), which states that the Consolidated City of Indianapolis includes the entire area of Marion County, except the four previously mentioned "excluded" communities. The 11 "included towns" (there were originally 14, but 3 later dissolved) elected to retain their "town status" under Unigov as defined according to the Indiana Constitution, but the Indiana Constitution does not define "town status". Additionally, Cumberland stradd...

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  3. Under investigation. On April 15, 2021, a mass shooting occurred at a FedEx Ground facility in Indianapolis, Indiana, United States. Nine people were killed, including the gunman, 19-year-old former employee Brandon Scott Hole, who committed suicide. Seven others were injured, including four by gunfire.

    • History
    • Race Specifics
    • Race Sanctioning
    • NASCAR and The 500
    • Culture
    • Broadcasting
    • See Also
    • Further Reading
    • External Links

    Early years

    The Indianapolis Motor Speedway complex was built in 1909 as a gravel-and-tar track and hosted a smattering of small events, including ones for motorcycles. The first long-distance event, in "fearful conditions," was the 100-lap Prest-O-Lite Trophy in 1909, won by Bob Burman in a Buick.The breakup of the track surface led to two fatal accidents in the first two long-distance events (a 250 mi (400 km) and 300 mi (480 km), which was shortened to 235 mi (378 km) after two severe wrecks). That th...

    Miller and Offenhauser

    Following the European trends, engine sizes were limited to 183 cu in (3,000 cc) during 1920–1922, 122 cu in (2,000 cc) for 1923–1925, and 91 cu in (1,490 cc) in 1926–1929. The 1920 race was won by Gaston Chevrolet in a Frontenac, prepared by his brothers, powered by the first eight-cylinder engine to win the 500. For 1923, riding mechanics were no longer required. A supercharged car, ID, first won the race in 1924. In 1925, Pete DePaolowas the first to win at an average over 100 mph (160 km/...

    European incursions and links to Formula One

    Meanwhile, European manufacturers, gone from the Indianapolis 500 for nearly two decades, made a brief return just before World War II, with the competitive Maserati 8CTF allowing Wilbur Shaw to become the first driver to win consecutively at Indianapolis, in 1939 and 1940. With the 500 having been a part of the World Drivers' Championship between 1950 and 1960, Ferrari made a discreet appearance at the 1952 event with Alberto Ascari, but European entries were few and far between during those...

    The Indianapolis 500 is held annually at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, a 2.5-mile (4 km) oval circuit. The track is a rounded rectangle, with four distinct turns of identical dimensions, connected by four straightaways (two long straightaways and two "short chutes"). Traditionally, the field consists of 33 starters, aligned in a starting grid of eleven rows of three cars apiece. Drivers race 200 laps, counter-clockwise around the circuit, for a distance of 500 miles (800 km). Since its inception in 1911, the race has always been scheduled on or around Memorial Day. Since 1974, the race has been specifically scheduled for the Sunday of Memorial Day weekend. The Sunday of Memorial Day weekend is widely considered one of the most important days on the motorsports calendar, as it is the day of the Indianapolis 500, the Coca-Cola 600, and (until 2019) the Monaco Grand Prix. Practice and time trials are held in the two weeks leading up to the race, while miscellaneous preliminary testi...

    AAA and USAC

    From 1911 to 1955, the race was organized under the auspices of the AAA Contest Board. Following the 1955 Le Mans disaster, AAA dissolved the Contest Board to concentrate on its membership program aimed at the general motoring public. Speedway owner Tony Hulman founded USAC in 1956, which took over sanctioning of the race and the sport of Championship racing. From 1950 to 1960, the Indianapolis 500 also counted toward the FIA's World Championship of Drivers (now synonymous with Formula One),...

    IndyCar Series

    In 1994, Speedway owner Tony George announced plans for a new series, to be called the Indy Racing League, with Indy 500 as its centerpiece. George announced that he intended to reverse the tide of dramatic cost increases, the decreasing number of ovals in the CART series, and to allow for more opportunity for drivers from USAC sprint-car ranks. Detractors accused George of using the 500 as leverage to allow the Speedway to gain complete control of the sport of open-wheel racingin the United...

    In the 1960s and early 1970s, the Indy 500 and the World 600 (now known as the Coca-Cola 600) at Charlotte Motor Speedway were held on different days of the week. A handful of NASCAR regulars participated in both events in the same year, including Bobby Allison, Donnie Allison, Cale Yarborough, and Lee Roy Yarbrough. From 1974 to 1992, the two events were scheduled for the same day and same starting time, making participation in both impossible. A few stock car drivers during that time, namely Neil Bonnettin 1979, nevertheless still attempted to qualify at Indy, even if that meant skipping Charlotte altogether.


    Many people promote and share information about the Indianapolis 500 and its memorabilia collecting.The National Indy 500 Collectors Club is an independent active organization that has been dedicated to supporting such activities. The organization was established January 1, 1985, in Indianapolis by its founder John Blazier and includes an experienced membership available for discussion and advice on Indy 500 memorabilia trading and Indy 500 questions in general. The longest-running Indy racin...


    The Indianapolis 500 has been the subject of several films and has been referenced many times in television, movies, and other media.


    Louis Meyer requested a glass of buttermilkafter winning his second Indy 500 race in 1933. After winning his third title in 1936, he requested another glass but instead received a bottle. He was captured by a photographer in the act of swigging from the bottle while holding up three fingers to signify the third win. A local dairy company executive recognized the marketing opportunity in the image and, being unaware Meyer was drinking buttermilk, offered a bottle of milk to the winners of futu...

    Radio coverage of the race dates back to 1922. The race has been broadcast live on the radio in its entirety by the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Radio Networksince 1953. The Hulmans did not allow live television coverage of the 500 until 1986, largely to maximize gate attendance. The race was briefly televised live in 1949 and 1950 on WFBM-TV (today's WRTV), after which the practice was discontinued. From 1964 to 1970, the race was broadcast live on closed-circuit television in theaters around the country. From 1965 through 1970, a highlighted version of the race was shown on ABC's Wide World of Sports. From 1971 through 1985, an edited same-day, tape delaybroadcast of the race was shown in prime time. The race broadcast was edited down to either two or three hours in duration (including commercials). From 1986 through 2018, ABC televised the race live in its entirety. However, at the request of the Speedway, Indianapolis affiliate WRTV was required to blackout the live broadcast and...

    Terry Reed. Indy: The Race and Ritual of the Indianapolis 500. 2nd ed. Potomac Books, Inc.; 2005. ISBN 978-1-57488-907-9.

  4. In 1910 the Irish population in Indianapolis was 12,225, of which 3,255 were born in Ireland, composing 5% of the total population of Indianapolis, and 15% of its immigrant population. During World War I the Irish would side with the city's German population in denouncing the Allies, due to their hatred of Great Britain. Today

  5. Indianapolis (/ ˌɪndiəˈnæpəlɪs /), colloquially known as Indy, is the state capital and most-populous city of the U.S. state of Indiana and the seat of Marion County. According to 2019 estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau, the consolidated population of Indianapolis and Marion County was 886,220.

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