Dawn Bakken’s “On This Day in Indianapolis History delights from the collage of pictures on the front cover to the last page.
The introduction gives a brief overview of Indianapolis history. Then comes the substance of the book. Each day of the year is featured in bold print. The years, however, vary immensely. After each listed date there is a paragraph full of history related to that date.
The first entry is Jan. 1, 1970, the day Unigov took effect. The next is Jan. 2, 1910, when a newspaper headline highlighted an interurban accident. Bakken uses the headline as a segue way to discuss the story of interurbans in Indianapolis.
Many of the entries start by referencing a headline or advertisement from a central Indiana newspaper. Even the names of all the papers are interesting. After the headline, Bakken writes a couple of hundred words that gives the historical background of the subject.
I looked up my birthday and learned that on Dec. 21, 1928, Hinkle Fieldhouse was dedicated. Then there is a short history of the fieldhouse, including high school basketball tourney games played there.
By reading another date I learned that Indianapolis’ first mayor sought gold in the California Gold Rush after completing his term of service. Bakken doesn’t say whether he found gold.
Another entry tells about the Soldiers and Sailors Monument.
Everyone will learn new and interesting facts about our city by reading this exceptionally readable book. Meet Bakken and discuss Indianapolis history with her at Bookmamas, 9 Johnson Ave., at 2 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 6.