Primary Source: February News from Indiana Historical Bureau

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Anti-slavery or Abolition?

Antislavery chart

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From our Research Files: Spotlight on Froebel School

     Staff at the Indiana Historical Bureau have been busy working on an historical marker to commemorate Froebel School in Gary, Indiana. Located in the heart of Gary’s immigrant community, Froebel opened in September 1912 and was regarded as the great “melting pot” of the city, welcoming students of many diverse backgrounds. At a time when most African-American students were forced to attend separate schools in the city, Froebel stood out as one of Gary’s earliest “integrated” schools. Despite “integration,” however, the K-12 school remained internally segregated. Black students at Froebel were often placed in separate classes from whites. They were welcomed on athletic teams, but were barred from the band, discriminated against in other extracurricular activities, and could not even use the swimming pool on the same days as white students.

     In September 1945, Froebel made national headlines when it was the scene of a prolonged series of “hate strikes” in which several hundred white students boycotted classes to protest the presence of black students at the school. The strikes drew attention to the racial tension present in Gary and other northern cities in the post-World War II period. Striking students urged that Froebel be reserved for whites only, but the Gary School Board held firm and rejected their demands. Students finally returned to their classes for good on November 12, but racial tension continued. Due in large part to the “hate strikes” at Froebel, the Gary Board of Education adopted a policy on August 27, 1946 to end segregation and discrimination in the city’s public schools. Three years later, the Indiana General Assembly passed a law to abolish segregation in the state’s public schools.

Clark Marker

Don't Miss Mary Bateman Clark, Woman of Colour and Courage

On Feb. 21, WTIU will become the first PBS station to broadcast the recently-completed documentary, Mary Bateman Clark, A Woman of Colour and Courage. The documentary is the story of Mary Bateman Clark, an African American woman living in Knox County, Ind., who in 1821 successfully sued to be freed from an indentured servitude contract.  View the trailer and learn more about the documentary, click here.

See it first!

IHB is co-sponsoring a preview of Mary Bateman Clark, A Woman of Colour and CourageThe viewing is scheduled for 2:30 p.m., Feb. 17 at Indiana Landmarks, 1201 Central Ave., Indianapolis, Indiana.

Don't get WTIU?

PBS stations throughout Indiana and beyond will televise this documentary beginning March 1.  Check your local listings.

Middle West Project

Shop @ IHB

Each year, the ASALH declares a theme for Black History Month.  This year's theme is "At the Crossroads of Freedom and Equality: The Emancipation Proclamation and the March on Washington." 

National museums' African American History Month theme for 2013 is "Black Women in American Culture and History." Check out The Black Women in the Middle West Project: A Comprehensive Resource Guide, Illinois and Indiana or read the autobiographies of African American women in Written by Herself or Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl.

Click here to shop African American History books.


Is your community ready for the Bicentennial?  

Cities, counties and regions across Indiana are encouraged to apply for a facilitated workshop in their community that could help them better understand their past and prepare for a monumental event in their future - Indiana's Bicentennial. The Community Conversation program works with community foundations, nonprofits, universities and other organizations to help regions tackle challenging issues. The focus of the series for the next three years will be "Bicentennial 2016: The Next Indiana."  The goal of the series is to help communities prepare for the next 200 years. The 2013 deadline to apply is March 15


Get Involved - Historic Preservation Month

May is National Historic Preservation Month. Throughout the month, the Indiana DNR Division of Historic Preservation and Archaeology (DHPA) along with other local historical organizations will highlight historic preservation in Indiana. This celebration includes a myriad of tours of historic sites, lectures and exhibits, award banquets, and a variety of other preservation-related functions and events.

If you have a preservation-related event or exhibit that you would like to include on the DHPA’s Preservation Month calendar of events, please write to by April 19, 2013 with the following information:  date, time, and location of event; title of your event; brief description of event; cost ; and your organization’s contact information.

DHPA also sponsors a photo contest (entry details in the attached PDF).


"Bicentennial Biographies" Workshops

The Carnegie Center for Art and History is presenting a series of monthly workshops for children in grades 1 through 4 in commemoration of New Albany’s bicentennial in 2013. The “Bicentennial Biographies” workshops will be offered the third Saturday of each month during 2013 and will teach participants about a local historical figure or significant local event. For more information or to reserve your space, please call 812-944-7336 or email Delesha Thomas (