A few years ago, our Photographs Curator, Brad Cook, purchased this street sign at a local auction. The sellers had no information about it. Brad recalls seeing a short article *somewhere* about the sign and seemed to remember that it had been mounted at 7th Street at one point but once Chancellor Wells spotted it, he didn’t like it and it was removed.
In doing some recent digging in response to a query about the sign, Brad did find this image that looks to be from the late 70s or 1980s. Obviously, it was up at the corner of 7th and Fess. And this photo is clearly marked on the back for publication (even tells us page 2). But despite searching our records, the newspapers, the Alumni magazine, and contacting administrators who were active at the time, this is the only documentation we have been able to find. I thought it might have been part of Wells’ 90th birthday gala but that would have been in June and you can tell by the trees that it was definitely not summer.
So what’s the story behind it? Did any of you by chance clip the article he remembers reading? He said from his recollection, it was very short, maybe just a paragraph or two.
If you have any information, please contact Brad at 812-855-4495 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Let’s figure this out!
The fourth in a five-part series highlighting Indiana University’s role in the first World War.
In the fall of 1918 Indiana University had 1,935 students, which was the largest enrollment to date. This record number, however, corresponded with the outbreak of the Spanish Flu epidemic, and, that fall, numerous students fell ill. President Bryan and the administration were forced to make the decision on October 10, 1918, to close the University for ten days — until October 20th. All students not in the Student Army Training Corps were asked to go home until the university reopened.
Sixty percent of the school’s population however were members of the S.A.T.C. and were required by army regulations to remain on campus. Thus, to fight the outbreak effectively, hospital beds were set up in Assembly Hall (the old Assembly Hall) and the auditorium of the Student Building. The peak of the epidemic at IU hit on October 16th, with 174 cases of influenza. In light of the continued prevalence of influenza on campus, the administration extended the closure of the university until November 4th.
S.A.T.C. member and IU student, William Ringer, contracted the flu and wrote about his experience illness in his diary on October 18, 1918:
I felt rotten, and could scarcely hold up my head while Rawles rambled away. . . . I felt worse all day, ate only a little dinner. The next morning I felt rotten, and did not get up until 7:30. There were four of us stumbled down to the infirmary where there was the sickest looking bunch of fellows I ever saw. He ordered us to the hospital, so we walked back to the barracks and lay there all day until a taxi came for us. I was put on a cot on the lower floor after some delay, and there I settled down for 6 days’ sickness. And I was pretty sick for three or four days. My temperature got only as high as 102.6 but it stayed up north stubbornly. They took good care of us, gave us plenty of very good food. . . . Horace [his brother] was brought in Saturday, and put on the stage. He was more sick than I, had a slight congestion in one lung, and had to wear a pneumonia jacket.
Even after classes resumed, people were still being cared for at the University Hospital. In total, 350 people were hospitalized at IU during the fall influenza outbreak. Thanks to the nursing staff and warm hospital quarters only three people died, a mortality rate of less than one percent. That is much less than the estimated global mortality rate of 10%.
Flu cases continued to crop up into the spring 1919 semester. As a result, a late winter basketball game against the University of Iowa was supposed to be closed to the public to prevent the flu’s spread. Despite the risk, five hundred students made it past security in order to watch the game. According to IU basketball player Ardith Phillips, they were “500 of the most enthusiastic spectators you ever saw.”
The Archives are pleased to announce that the Alfred Diamant papers are now processed!
Alfred “Freddy” Diamant was born into a Slovakian Jewish merchant family on September 25, 1917 in Vienna, Austria. He was the only child of Ignatz Diamant and Julia Herzog Diamant. As a child, Diamant dreamed of teaching history but due to the rise of Nazism in Vienna such a dream was forbidden and he instead entered the family textile business and managed a mill in Beška, Yugoslavia. Though he attempted to study business administration, due to the annexation of Austria into Nazi Germany (Anschluss) in 1938, Jews were expelled from universities. A year later, he escaped the escalating persecution practices of the Nazis and immigrated to the United States in 1940.
In the U.S., Diamant found work in a textile mill in Massachusetts, but in 1941 he was drafted into the United States military to fight for the cause of the Allies. After volunteering to speed up his service, he started basic training at Fort Knox, Kentucky and was later transferred to Fort Benjamin Harrison in Indianapolis, Indiana. There, he met his future wife Ann Redmon. They were married March 18, 1943 at Irvington Methodist Church in Indianapolis. This happy period in his life was cut short when he was selected for Officers Graduate School and transferred to Maryland. There, his commanders learned of his German speaking skills and he was trained as an interrogator of prisoners of war for three months. Before being sent to England in 1944, Diamant became an American citizen.
On D-Day, June 6, 1944, Diamant served as part of the 82nd Airborne Division. His team was dropped eighteen miles off course. He was fortunate to survive, but was captured and taken as a prisoner of war. After attempting to escape, Diamant was shot in the back by his pursuers and survived a potentially fatal shot. He sustained a lumbar fracture from a bullet that remained in his body the rest of his life. He and the other prisoners were rescued in the following days. His wound was enough to send him home where he finally pursued his dream of an academic career studying political science.
Diamant received his A.B. and Master’s in Political Science at Indiana University and later obtained his Ph.D. from Yale in 1957. He taught at the University of Florida (1950-1960), Haverford College (1960-1967), and finally, Indiana University, from which he retired in 1988. At I.U. he served as the Chair of Political Science and the Chair of West European Studies. During his career he earned various awards including the Guggenheim in 1973 and Fulbright Senior Research Fellowship. He is described by his colleagues and students as a tenacious, courteous, and intellectual person who had a keen interest in both his students and colleagues. He was devoted to helping others understand the world they lived in and desired a more just and peaceful world. He had a passion for classical music and fine literature and passed that love of culture to his children Alice and Steve. Towards the end of his life, he suffered from failing vision, but continued to stay informed by book recordings and volunteer readers. Alfred Diamant passed away on May 11, 2012.
We are pleased to announce that there is now a finding aid available for IU’s renowned Russian and East European Studies Institute! A major research institute on the Bloomington campus, the REEI was proposed in 1957 based on a need to restructure and combine the existing departments of Slavic Studies, the East European Institute and Uralic/Asian Studies. The proposal indicated that the undergraduate programs would be discontinued and the institute would only award graduate certificates.
The Institute was officially established in 1958 and quickly became one of the top ranking international studies centers in the world. The Russian and East European Institute was the first area studies program at Indiana University and the first within the state of Indiana. At its inception, four departments formed the basis of the institute: Government, History, Slavics and Sociology.
In 1974, an undergraduate certificate program was initiated and in the 1980s, a Master of Arts program was approved for Russian and East European Studies. Students enrolled in the master’s program were required to complete courses in four related disciplines and have proficiency in a relevant language.
The Russian and East European Institute is a Title VI National Resource/FLAS Center and as a result the U.S. Department of Education is a major source of funding. In the 1980s, the Institute faced severe budget cuts from federal funding and was thus forced to pursue other sources of funding. The Ford, Mellon and Rockefeller foundations all provided substantial support for projects initiated through the institute.
An active institute on the Bloomington campus, the REEI has hosted many conferences, lectures and workshops. The institute still remains a leading Russian and East European area studies center in the United States. Over the decades the institute has grown and as of 2014, eighteen departments were affiliated with the institute.