India-no-place No More

The subject of a joke gains major league attention

Hardly anybody writes odes to Indianapolis. No Sandburg or Gershwin has ever praised the Midwestern city's hard American beauty. No bustling metropolis, that town; no seething cauldron of culture. Instead, folks mockingly called it "India-no-place." For almost a century, it was a city lacking a distinct identity. Sure, it was the state capital and could boast about being "the crossroads of America," what with U.S. Highways 31, 36, 40, 52 and 136 and Interstate Highways 65, 69, 70 and 74 all converging there. And since 1911, the city has hosted the Indy 500,...

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