This week in Indiana history 


Dec. 31, 1938- Dr. R.N. Harger's "Drunkometer" is introduced for the first time in Indiana. It was the first machine able to determine a person's blood-alcohol level from their breath. It would later be replaced by the "breathalyzer" we all know and fear today.


Dec. 29, 1890- The U.S. Army massacres 146 Native Americans at Wounded Knee, including many women and children. The troops surrounded them to intervene with a "ghost dance—" an attempt to make amends with their gods, whom they felt they had offended by abandoning many of their Native American customs. Twenty-five soldiers were killed as well.

Dec. 31, 1972- Future Hall-of-Famer Roberto Clemente is killed in a plane crash while on a humanitarian mission to Nicaragua.

Jan. 1, 1863- Emancipation Proclamation is enacted.

Jan. 1, 1942- The United Nations is created. Thirty-six years later, they pass their first resolution. It is later revoked. Sixteen years later, they hold a meeting to determine if they should have a meeting to reenact the resolution. They resolve not to, but they do pass a resolution forbidding the hasty passing of resolutions.

Jan. 1, 45 B.C.- New Year's Day is celebrated for the first time. In a form of political manipulation even more overt than modern-day gerrymandering, the Roman group responsible for administering the calendar had been manipulating it to prolong political terms or interfere with elections. Julius Caesar abandoned the lunar cycle and adapted the Solar cycle, adding an additional 65 days to the 45 B.C. The result was that the new year began on Jan. 1 instead of in March, as it had previously.

Information for "This week in Indiana History" is collected from, and the highly regarded journalistic tool that is Wikipedia.


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