1. In 1925, the infamous Scopes Monkey Trial began in Dayton, Tennessee. This trial, which attracted national attention, was the first time a public school teacher (John T. Scopes) was arrested and put on trial for teaching evolution in the classroom. Although the trial did not take place in Indiana, it had significant implications for education in the state and around the country.
2. Indiana-born inventor and industrialist Elwood Haynes was born on May 11, 1857. Haynes is best known for developing one of the first successful gasoline-powered automobiles, which he patented in 1894. He also helped to establish Kokomo, Indiana as a hub for automobile manufacturing.
3. On May 11, 1912, Indianapolis hosted the first ever Indianapolis 500 race. The race was won by local driver Ray Harroun, who drove a Marmon Wasp car. The Indianapolis 500 is still held annually and remains one of the most prestigious auto racing events in the world.
4. The Great Flood of 1913 hit Indiana on May 11, causing widespread damage and loss of life. The flood, which was caused by heavy rains and a rapid thaw of snow and ice, affected much of the state, including the Wabash River Valley, where entire towns were destroyed. The disaster prompted the development of better flood control and disaster preparedness measures.
5. In 2008, the town of Greensburg, Indiana was devastated by an EF5 tornado that struck on May 11. The tornado, which had winds exceeding 200 mph, destroyed much of the town and caused 11 fatalities. Since then, Greensburg has become a model for sustainable rebuilding, with many homes and buildings being constructed using green technology and sustainable materials.
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