Hoosier History Highlights
August 9 – August 15
1889: Zerna Sharp was born in Clinton County. Beginning as an elementary teacher in Hillisburg, Kirklin, and La Porte, she went on to become a textbook consultant. In the 1930s, she created the Dick and Jane series of readers which gained major use in schools across the nation. The books helped millions of children learn how to read, as they followed the adventures of the two main characters, their sister Sally, and their dog Spot.
100 YEARS AGO, 1920: The Allen County School Board announced the new teacher salary scale. “Class A” teachers with 12 weeks of Normal School training and no experience would earn $100 a month. “Class B” teachers with 24 weeks of training and some experience would receive $120 per month. Teachers with three-year licenses would qualify for “Class C” wages of $135 each month. The top tier, “Class D,” would include those who have three-year licenses and at least two years’ experience. At the top of the scale, they would earn $150 per month.
1923: A family from Oregon was visiting relatives in Wolcott, Indiana, when their dog Bobbie was scared by other dogs and ran away. After searching for him for several days, the family was forced to move on. Six months later, Bobbie showed up at their home in Oregon, showing signs of having walked the entire 2,500 miles. The two-year-old Collie mix was mangy and scrawny with toenails completely worn down. He recovered and became a nationwide sensation, featured in newspapers everywhere. Known as “Bobbie the Wonder Dog,” he played himself as the star of the silent movie, “The Call of the West.” He lived until 1927 when he was buried with honors by the Oregon Humane Society. The German Shepherd film star Rin Tin Tin placed a wreath at his grave.
1949: A Greyhound bus burst into flames when it slammed into a bridge abutment on Indiana Highway 37 four miles south of Bloomington. Of the 29 passengers on board, 16 were killed and 11 injured. At the time, it was called the worst highway accident in Indiana history.
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