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IHS Brings Historical Night to Life with You Are There 1968: Robert F. Kennedy Speaks

Feb. 15, 2011

Indianapolis—The Indiana Historical Society invites guests to experience a night that changed history with its newest offering, You Are There 1968: Robert F. Kennedy Speaks, which opens Feb. 22, 2011. The Eugene and Marilyn Glick Indiana History Center, home of the IHS and its Indiana Experience, is located at 450 W. Ohio St. in downtown Indianapolis.

On April 4, 1968, a crowd gathered in Indianapolis at the corner of 17th and Broadway streets to hear Robert F. Kennedy speak during a campaign rally. Most of the people, who were both black and white, had no idea that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. had been assassinated earlier that evening in Memphis.

Against the advice of many on his team, Kennedy chose to attend the rally and to deliver the devastating news. The impromptu words Kennedy spoke called for peace. Visitors to the History Center will experience what it was like to be in the stunned crowd that night. The location of the speech is now part of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Park.

Revolutionary hologram technology is a crucial factor in allowing visitors to be swept up in that historic moment, and the History Center is the first museum in the country to use it. Produced by Dimensional Studios in London, the Musion Eyeliner system is a high-definition video projection system which allows three-dimensional moving images to appear within a live stage setting – with no props and no 3D glasses.

An actor portraying Robert F. Kennedy and three actors playing the supporters who surrounded him on that night “appear” on the back of a flatbed truck in the You Are There experience. Historical interpreters playing real people who were at the campaign rally will be there to interact with visitors.

To complement the experience of the park-like scene, the stories of that night are told through the King/Kennedy Legacy Room, which features information on many of the individuals who were eye witnesses to the speech and puts Kennedy’s speech into the context of the racial climate and political atmosphere of the time. The space features an ever-growing visitor-created art piece conceptualized in partnership with Big Car, and clips from the documentary film A Ripple of Hope by Donald Boggs at Covenant Productions are sprinkled throughout the space. An interactive touchscreen computer program about the power of words was developed with the Peace Learning Center and the International Interfaith Initiative.

You Are There 1968: Robert F. Kennedy Speaks will be open through April 14, 2012 and is presented by the Joseph F. Miller Foundation and Kroger, with additional support from Diane Meyer Simon. The Indiana Rail Road Company is the 2011 official sponsor of the Indiana Historical Society. For more information, call (317) 232-1882 or visit www.indianahistory.org.

About the Indiana Historical Society

Since 1830, the Indiana Historical Society has been Indiana’s Storyteller, connecting people to the past by collecting, preserving, interpreting and sharing the state’s history. A private, nonprofit membership organization, IHS maintains the nation’s premier research library and archives on the history of Indiana and the Old Northwest and presents a unique set of visitor exhibitions called the Indiana Experience. IHS also provides support and assistance to local museums and historical groups, publishes books and periodicals; sponsors teacher workshops; and provides youth, adult and family programming. The Eugene and Marilyn Glick Indiana History Center, home of the IHS and the Indiana Experience, is located at 450 W. Ohio St. in downtown Indianapolis. Normal operating hours for the History Center and the Indiana Experience are Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

About the Indiana Experience

The Indiana Experience brings both the people of the state and visitors from around the world a uniquely Indiana experience. Interactive and high-technology experiences allow the IHS to share the tremendous archival holdings of the IHS, including 1.6 million photographs, in easy and enjoyable ways. For more information, call (317) 232-1882 or visit www.indianahistory.org.

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Images of You Are There 1968: Robert F. Kennedy Speaks, including the hologram, are available upon request. Photography is not normally allowed in the space during public hours, but special arrangements can be made with advance notice—please contact Amy Lamb, IHS Media Relations Manager, at (317) 232-1878 or alamb@indianahistory.org for details.