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5 Fun Facts About August 19 In Indiana History

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1. On August 19, 1903, the first automobile was registered in Indiana. The vehicle, owned by Carl G. Fisher, co-founder of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, was a Winton touring car.

2. In 1954, on August 19, the Indiana State Police began using helicopters as part of their law enforcement efforts. The helicopter, a Bell 47, was used for traffic control, aerial photography, and search and rescue operations.

3. One of the deadliest natural disasters to ever hit Indiana occurred on August 19, 1875. A tornado with winds estimated at up to 300 miles per hour tore through the town of Vernon in Jennings County, killing approximately 30 people and leaving hundreds homeless.

4. August 19, 1939, was the opening day of the 1940 Republican National Convention, held at the Indiana Convention Center in Indianapolis. The convention nominated Wendell Willkie as the Republican candidate for president, but he lost the election to incumbent Franklin D. Roosevelt.

5. On August 19, 1977, the first Indiana State Fair Queen was crowned. The winner, Lisa Jo Gentry, represented Monroe County and won a $1,000 scholarship. Today, the State Fair Queen competition is a popular annual event, with contestants from all over the state vying for the crown.
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