News From Terre Haute, Indiana

September 1, 2013

Looking Back: 1963: Rally for city election one of biggest in Vigo

Barbara Carney
Special to the Tribune-Star

TERRE HAUTE — Dorothy Jerse looks back at local history from 10, 25 and 50 years ago as reported in the Tribune and Tribune-Star.


• Heavy rains hampered but did not cause the cancellation of the Labor Day parade, nor the bean dinner which followed at Fairbanks Park. The Wabash Valley Central Labor Council honored these recipients with awards: Mayor Judy Anderson, Dave Grandidier, United Steelworkers of America Local 103, Charlene Fleener, WTWO-TV and Bill Mansard.

• Terre Haute North Vigo High School retained the Victory Bell with a 28-7 football victory over Terre Haute South Vigo. More than 3,000 fans cheered for their teams at Memorial Stadium.

• Webtag Corp., owner of the historic Indiana Theater since 1996, put the theater up for sale at an asking price of $226,000. Local owners included Earl and Tina Elliott, Robert and Debbie Gurman and Mark and Gayla Thiemann.

• After “roughly 49 years,” WTHI-TV had eliminated regular sports segments from its nightly Action 10 newscasts.

• Catholic Charities of Terre Haute was celebrating its 30th anniversary. John Etling, the director since the beginning, had expanded services to include the Food Bank, Bethany House, Household Exchange, Ryves Hall Youth Center, Simeon House and Christmas House.


• The Sunday Tribune-Star headline read: “Environmental questions cloud BASF enthusiasm.” At the same time, the General Services Administration accepted Vigo County’s offer for 31.64 acres of land in the industrial park south of Terre Haute “to help lure BASF to the area.”

• “Labor, Yes” was the theme of the 1988 Terre Haute Labor Day Parade. The three top float awards were given to Plumbers and Steamfitters Local 157, Laborers International Local 204 and United Mine Workers Local 1658.

• Deno and Edith Vignocchi reigned as Re and Regina at the 23rd Little Italy Festival in Clinton.

• The Head Start program was to be moved from the former Lange School to the former Greenwood Elementary School on Voorhees Street. Paul J. Kelley, VCSC school services and curriculum consultant, reported approximately 120 to 135 children were served by the program.

• John Gartland joined the Indiana State University track coaching staff. John McNichols, men’s coach since 1983, was promoted to track coordinator.

• James E. Ames, Hulman Regional Airport director, resigned. Shortly after, Terry Barnes, assistant director, also resigned.


• Dale Whitlock, grand marshal and a member of Aluminum Workers International Union Local 103, and Kay Davis, Wiley High School graduate and Labor Day Queen, followed the color guard in the parade down Wabash Avenue.

• Vigo County School Superintendent Max Gabbert welcomed 99 new teachers into the corporation. Fifty had taught previously; 49 were starting their careers. Bachelor’s  degrees were held by 75 and master’s degrees by 24. Sixteen colleges and universities throughout the nation were represented in their training.

• The Green Valley Mine, with about 300 workers, was closed permanently “because of safety hazards.”

• The Kick-Off Rally for the November 1963 city election was one of the biggest rallies ever staged in Vigo County. An overflow crowd of 750 packed the Terre Haute House, where U.S. Senators Vance Hartke and Birch Bayh were the keynote speakers.

• The Garfield, Gerstmeyer, Honey Creek, Schulte, West Vigo and Wiley teams played before 6,000 fans at Memorial Stadium in the sixth annual Vigo County High School Football Jamboree.