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You Are There 1968: Robert F. Kennedy Speaks Also Tells Stories of Hoosiers

Feb. 15, 2011

Indianapolis—While the title subject of the Indiana Historical Society’s newest offering is front and center, the stories of Hoosiers can be found at the heart of You Are There 1968: Robert F. Kennedy Speaks, which will open to public 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.

Revolutionary hologram technology is a crucial factor in bringing to life the night of April 4, 1968, but guests are also swept up in the moment alongside costumed interpreters who portray some of the real-life people who gathered in Indianapolis at the corner of 17th and Broadway Streets. Planning to hear Robert F. Kennedy give a campaign speech, they instead heard him deliver news that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. had been assassinated earlier that evening in Memphis—as well as a message of peace and unity.

Through extensive research and interviewing, 12 members of the IHS’s interpretive staff will depict 10 of the people who were in the crowd that night, each of whom had a very personal experience in a collective setting. Three of those interpreters will inhabit the space each day. Facilitators are also available to assist guests in both the briefing area and the King/Kennedy Legacy Room.

Most of the crowd that night, made up of both black and white individuals, had no idea that Dr. King had been assassinated. Others had heard the news but still attended to hear what Kennedy would have to say. Robert Jackson, an Indianapolis Police Department detective who is being portrayed by an interpreter, was stuck between a rock and a hard place—he was working undercover and could not talk to anyone about what he knew.

Some of the witnesses to this historic evening cite it as a life-changing experience. Theodore Boehm, a 29-year-old lawyer and campaign volunteer at the time, went on to serve as CEO for the 1987 Pan American Games planning committee and recently retired after a 14-year term on the Indiana Supreme Court. He recalled the campaign as “a pivotal event for me that rededicated a career towards public service.”

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.