Firefly Party in New Harmony Celebrates Indiana’s New State Insect!

*Post written by Meagan Patterson, collections assistant for New Harmony Historic Site, (812) 682-3702 or mpatterson2@indianamuseum.org.

Check out New Harmony’s Cool Historic Ties to Fireflies

Logo of Say's Firefly: Indiana's Official State Insect, 2018.

Logo of Say’s Firefly: Indiana’s Official State Insect, 2018.

New Harmony, Ind.—Say’s Firefly Party is a town-wide celebration honoring Indiana’s official state insect and the New Harmony entomologist it was named for, Thomas Say. The public is invited to celebrate in New Harmony, Monday, July 2, 2018 from 5:00 – 9:00 p.m. Festivities begin at Thrall’s Opera House (612 Church St.).

Thomas Say, considered the Father of North American Entomology, moved to New Harmony in 1826. Among the various projects Say worked on here, he named approximately 1,500 insects including Say’s Firefly (pyractomena angulate), an Indiana native species.

The firefly celebration in New Harmony caps off a four-year mission to finally give Indiana its own official state insect. That successful mission was led, in great part, by a group of seven-year-old Hoosiers.

In 2014, West Lafayette teacher Maggie Samudio was asked by her 2nd-grade students at Cumberland Elementary why Indiana was one of three states with no state insect. That discussion sparked a serious mission among those students, with leadership from second-grade student Kayla Xu, to help give Indiana an official state insect.

Governor Eric Holcomb (center) at Cumberland Elementary School in West Lafayette, Indiana to present Indiana's state insect, 2018.

Governor Eric Holcomb (center) at Cumberland Elementary School in West Lafayette, Indiana to present Indiana’s state insect, 2018.

Over the four-year letter-writing project, students collected 768 petition signatures and generated more than 800 letters of support, which helped motivate the introduction of six bills in the Indiana General Assembly. The West Lafayette second-grade class finally achieved their goal March 23, 2018, when Governor Eric Holcomb signed the bill designating Say’s Firefly as Indiana’s Official State Insect. The law goes into effect July 1. Say’s Firefly Party in New Harmony, July 2, will celebrate the occasion and honor Thomas Say where he lived and worked.

The party begins at 5:00 p.m. at Thrall’s Opera House with firefly-themed snacks, merchandise, crafts, and complimentary firefly-catching kits. From there, firefly fans can get decked out in glow accessories before they venture out on foot or catch a golf cart shuttle to other locations in town.

 

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Sara’s Harmony Way will offer a firefly-themed craft beer. Pick up your official firefly cup at the Opera House for 10% off your firefly-themed beer. Party-goers can also participate in kite flying around town or stay at the Opera House for a glow yoga session hosted by Patty Beagle at 5:30 p.m. (bring your own mat).

As the sun sets, everyone is invited to check out favorite firefly viewing spots around town.

This event is free to the public (craft beer available for a charge for patrons over 21). All ages are welcome, and the party will happen rain or shine.

For more information call 812.682.3702 or visit https://saysfireflyparty.wordpress.com/.

Posted in animals, Entomology, New Harmony | Leave a comment

Passing the Torch: Dr. Linda Bennett

Inauguration ceremony of Dr. Linda Bennett (left) alongside Dr. David L. Rice (middle) and Dr. H. Ray Hoops (right), 2009. Source: Photography and Multimedia.

Inauguration ceremony of Dr. Linda Bennett (left) alongside Dr. David L. Rice (middle) and Dr. H. Ray Hoops (right), 2009. Source: Photography and Multimedia.

*Post written by James Wethington, senior library assistant of the University Archives and Special Collections.

In our blog series finale of “Passing the Torch”, upon the retirement of USI’s second president, Dr. H. Ray Hoops, the naming of USI’s third president was in order. Finally, after an intense search for the next president, the USI Board of Trustees named then-Provost Dr. Linda Bennett became the first women to serve as president of USI (Grundhoeffer, 2008).

Dr. Bennett started her academic career at the University of Cincinnati, receiving her bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees from the University of Cincinnati. Her career began at Wittenburg University (1983-1996) as a professor in political science, then at Northern Kentucky University (1996-1999) as chair and professor of political science, and Appalachian State University (1999-2003) as a college dean. Dr. Bennett arrived at USI in 2003 and served as provost and vice-president of Academic Affairs (Office of the President, 2018).

Dr. Bennett (center) at the Founder's Day celebration, 2017. Source: Photography and Multimedia.

Dr. Bennett (center) at the Founder’s Day celebration, 2017. Source: Photography and Multimedia.

Dr. Bennett’s inauguration occurred on October 15, 2009. With former presidents, Dr. David L. Rice and Dr. H. Ray Hoops in attendance (Palmer, 2009). During her tenure, Bennett established USI’s first strategic plan, creation of new academic programs, celebrated USI’s 50th anniversary, and many more accomplishments. Dr. Bennett announced her retirement in August 2017 stating, “… I believe it is a good time to think about the next chapter of my life. The University of Southern Indiana is well-positioned for a transition, and this is the right time” (Farless, 2017).

Dr. Rice, Dr. Hoops, and Dr. Bennett have left their mark on USI through creation of new academic programs, buildings, and so many more achievements. They have done an incredible job of shaping and leading USI. If USI had a version of “Mt. Rushmore”, they all would be on it.

Available at the University Archives and Special Collections, the President’s Office collection (UA 001) is available. If you are interested in viewing the collection, contact the University Archives and Special Collections via email at archives.rice@usi.edu.

References

Farless, J. (2017). USI president Linda L. M. Bennett announces retirement. Retrieved from https://www.usi.edu/news/releases/2017/08/usi-president-linda-l-m-bennett-announces-retirement/

Grundhoeffer, S. (2009, February 9). Bennett named USI’s third president. The Shield, p. 1.

Office of the president, USI. (2018). Former presidents. Retrieved from https://www.usi.edu/president/former-presidents/

Palmer, D. (2009, October 9). USI will celebrate presidential inauguration with week full of events. The Shield, p. 1, 3.

Posted in Education, history, USI | Leave a comment

Cults of the World: Aum Shinrikyo

*Post written by James Wethington, senior library assistant of the University Archives and Special Collections.

Prophet of Poison After the Tokyo suffers a nerve-gas attack, suspicion focuses on the leader of an apocalyptic cult. By David Van Biema The Canaries went first. Policemen in protective suits, ridiculous looking things with gas detectors hanging out in front, bore the cages before them as they made their way grimly through the country road in the Mount Fuji foothills toward what looked to be a factory compound. It was 7 AM. There were more than a thousand police; those who didn’t wear protective suits watched the canaries closely. If the compound doors opened and the birds died, they would flee for their lives. The bird lives. And day after day investigators raided the headquarters and hideaways of the suspect religious cult. Day after day they emerged with ton after ton of chemicals – sodium cyanide, sodium fluoride, phosphorus trichloride, isopropyl alcohol, acetonitrile – some benign, but others deadly, and still others that if mixed together might create something deadlier still.

Time Magazine article relating to Aum Shinrikyo, 1995. Source: CS 042-1, Aum Shinrikyo collection.

Welcome to part two of “Cults of the World”. Inside of the communal studies collection at the University Archives and Special Collections, there is information on several cult groups. Cults are not just in the United States but they can pop up everywhere. The next communal group in the series, Aum Shinrikyo, started in Japan, morphed radically, and caused harm on innocent bystanders.

Aum Shinrikyo, Japanese for “supreme truth”, began in 1987 by Matsumoto Chizuo, known as Master Asahara Shoko to community members. The community started due to disagreement about “… traditional Japanese Buddhism” (Melton, 2017). Shoko combined numerous apocalyptic prophesies from Hindu, Buddhist, and Christian religions and the prediction of World War III with the impact for Japan; moreover, they believed after World War III, they would be the only ones to survive (BBC.com, 2018; Melton, 2017). The majority of community members were college students because “… of the group’s promise of a more meaningful life to young people from academically pressured backgrounds who had to look forward to similarly pressured careers” (BBC.com, 2018).

In Japan, the Aum Shinrikyo cult released the chemical agent sarin in a terrorist attack on the Tokyo subway. About five thousand people became sick and a dozen were killed, 1995. Source: https://www.opcw.org/news/article/the-sarin-gas-attack-in-japan-and-the-related-forensic-investigation/

Authorities cleaning Tokyo subway cars to get harmful and deadly chemicals, 1995. Source: OPCW.org.

On March 20, 1995, Aum Shinrikyo did the unthinkable in Tokyo. BBC.com (2018) stated, “… during rush hour, cult members punctured bags filled with a liquid form of the nerve agent sarin, using sharpened umbrellas, on train lines that went through Tokyo’s political district. The attack killed 13 people and injured thousands more. In subsequent months, cult members carried out several failed attempts at releasing hydrogen cyanide in various stations.” Because of the attack, thirteen members were sentenced to death, including Shoko; moreover, the community disbanded after the Japanese government took a large amount of their property and they changed their name to Aleph (Melton, 2017).

After the 1995 attack, the group went into hiding. By 2007, there were fifteen hundred members and a new leader and successor, Joyu Fumihiro; however, Fumihiro decided to create his own organization, Hikari no Wa. Some remaining members left Japan and went over to Europe. Some officials investigated some former members because of fear the group would harm citizens similar to the 1995 attack. There are some former members in Japan but they are nowhere as powerful when they first started (BBC.com, 2018; Melton, 2017).

In the University Archives and Special Collections, Aum Shinrikyo is located in our Communal Studies collections. Aum Shinrikyo is one of nine collections containing information on cults. All materials are available at the University Archives and Special Collections: if you are interested in more materials, please email to archives.rice@usi.edu.

References

BBC.com. (2018). Aum Shinrikyo: the Japanese cult surfacing in Europe. Retrieved from http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-35975069

Melton, J. G. (2017, November 20). Aleph. Retrieved from https://www.britannica.com/topic/Aleph

Posted in Communal Studies, Cult, Japan, Murder | Leave a comment

Cults of the World: Order of the Solar Temple

*Post written by James Wethington, senior library assistant of the University Archives and Special Collections.

Over the next couple of weeks, the communal studies collection touches on various types of communes such as eco-villages, religious life, collective settlements, and many more. Some groups in the collection were cults. According to Merriam-Webster (2018), a cult is “… a great devotion to a person, idea, object, movement, or work (such as a film or book)”. Followers of the Order of the Solar Temple definitely showed their “undying” devotion to their leaders.

Established in 1984 in Geneva, Switzerland, by Luc Jouret and Joseph Di Mambro. Solar Temple traced their lineage back as a revival of the Knights Templar. The order had a strict structure with a thirty-three member council with regional lodges located throughout the world such as Australia, Switzerland, Canada, and France (‘Joseph Di Mambro’, 2014; Melton, 2015).

The Sunburst Sacrifaces A murder-suicide ritual in the French Alps revives European alarm about a shadowy, well-heeled group. Geneva was brimming with holiday cheer as a small convoy of cars set out for France. The travelers looked more respectable than any ordinary party of vacationers. In their four cars, the 16 French and Swiss nationals included three little girls, two policemen, a Geneva psychotherapist and the son of a famed European former skiing champion. But as they arrived in the vicinity of Grenoble in southeastern France, a furtive air crept in to the seasonal image. Near the village of St. Pierre-de-Cherennes, the party halted in the thick of an Alpine forest and walked about half a mile to a clearing. There, 14 members were dosed with sedatives and lay down in a sunburst pattern, most of them with plastic bags over their head. The remaining two then shot the others dead, set the bodies ablaze and killed themselves with pistol shots under the chin. One of the executioners was a policeman, Jean-Pierre Lardanchet. Two of the three girls shot through the forehead with a .357 magnum were his own daughters, ages 2 and 4, investigators disclosed last week. When the ghastly scene was discovered, the day before Christmas Eve, much of appalled Western Europe was compelled to ask again-Why? The winter solstice ritual enacted about an hour's drive from the site of the glittering 1992 Winter Olympics reprised similar cult sacrifices that took place 14 months earlier. And among the victims were some of the most privileged, responsible members of society. Besides the police officers, the woman psychotherapist and an architect, the dead included Patrick Vuarnet, the 27-year-old son of l960 Winter Olympics gold medalist Jean Vuarnet, best known today for his line of chic sunglasses. For Vuarnet fils-whose mother Edith, his woman companion Ute Verona and their daughter Tania, 6, accompanied him in death-the prerogatives of status had melted under the mystical thrall of a sect known as the Order of the Solar Temple. Founded by a Belgian homeopath named Luc Jouret, the cult at first seemed to be a harmless New Age mishmash of astrology and health regimens professing to trace some of its ideas back to the Knights Templar, an order of Crusaders. By late 1994, the directions his sect was taking became horribly clear when Jouret and 52 fellow Templars were found dead as part of mass immolations in Switzerland and Quebec. Police pursued complaints of manipulation of wealthy cultists for their money by shadowy Solar Temple survivors. With the guru's demise, though, the decapitated order seemed likely to wither away. Vuarnet's family knew better. Recalling his brother's guilt at not having been "called" in 1994, Alain Vuarnet says Patrick "looked me straight in the eye and said, 'Alain, you are the one deluding yourself. You just don't understand.' "In view of the cult's still extensive assets and international following, authorities are trying harder than ever now to understand. - By James Walsh. Reported by Bruce Crumley/Paris, January 8, 1996. Source: CS 538-2 (Time Magazine).

Article from Time Magazine about the Order of the Solar Temple’s suicides, 1998. Source: CS 538, Order of the Solar Temple.

This was not Joseph De Mambro’s first time dealing with cults. In 1978, he established Golden Way in Switzerland, where he met Jouret. They worked together to establish the Order of the Solar Temple using their talents and abilities: Jouret held lectures while De Mambro took control of finances and ran the order. Their beliefs included “… astrology, medieval legends, and Christianity”: by the late 1980’s, the Order had over four hundred members (‘Joseph Di Mambro’, 2014).

The order started to unravel in the early 1990’s under Jouret and Di Mambro’s leadership. Word began to spread the apocalypse was upon them. Just before the world ending event, Jouret and Di Mambro “… orchestrated a dramatic exit for themselves and their followers. Believing in the transformative powers of fire, they thought that they could be reborn on Sirius, another planet in another universe” (‘Joseph Di Mambro’, 2014). Sadly, their plan went into effect on October 4 and 5: fires were set to their compounds and their members committed suicide. From 1994 to 1997, seventy-four members committed suicide or died in the set fires (‘Joseph Di Mambro’, 2014; Melton, 2015).

At the University Archives and Special Collections, there are over six hundred and fifty communities available in our communal studies collection. On our online digital gallery, the Order of the Solar Temple have a finding aid available and materials can be requested at archives.rice@usi.edu or in-person. Stay tuned for our next blog in “Cults of the World”.

References

Joseph Di Mambro biography. (2014, April 2). Retrieved from https://www.biography.com/people/joseph-di-mambro-235990

Melton, J. G. (2015, January 9). Order of the Solar Temple. Retrieved from https://www.britannica.com/topic/Order-of-the-Solar-Temple

Merriam-Webster. (2018). Cult. Retrieved from https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/cult

Posted in Communal Studies, Cult, European History, Murder | Leave a comment

Passing the Torch: Dr. H. Ray Hoops

Left to Right: Dr. David L. Rice and Dr. H. Ray Hoops, n.d. Source: University Archives and Special Collections, UP 26092.

Left to Right: Dr. David L. Rice and Dr. H. Ray Hoops, n.d. Source: University Archives and Special Collections, UP 26092.

*Post written by James Wethington, senior library assistant of the University Archives and Special Collections.

As we continue the series, “Passing the Torch”, we focus on USI’s second president, Dr. H. Ray Hoops. After the retirement of the first president, there were some big shoes to fill. This was a prominent theme as Dr. Hoops started his presidency at USI. Just like Dr. David L. Rice left his footprint, Dr. Hoops filled the shoes and pushed USI into the next millennium.

Dr. Hoops graduated from Eastern Illinois University in 1962 with a B.S. in speech communication; however, he went to Purdue University and graduated with his M.S. (1962) and Ph.D. (1964) in audiology and speech sciences. His academic career began in 1966 at Wayne State University as a professor until 1975. He worked for the U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare and was a research scholar at the University of the Philippines (Harris, 1994a).

(Left to Right): Dr. H. Ray Hoops and Archibald Eagle at Recreation and Fitness Center, 1997. Source: University Archives and Special Collections, UP 02520.

(Left to Right): Dr. H. Ray Hoops and Archibald Eagle at Recreation and Fitness Center, 1997. Source: University Archives and Special Collections, UP 02520.

After working overseas, Hoops served numerous administration positions at the University of Northern Iowa (1975-1980), North Dakota State University (1980-1985), Oregon State System of Higher Education (1985-1988), and University of Mississippi (1988-1994). During his tenure at Ole Miss, Hoops had a proven record of accomplishment for “… racial diversity and cultural diversity [such as] a 50 percent increase in the number of minority faculty and appointment of the first female dean at the institution” (Harris, 1994b).

(Left to Right): Dr. H. Ray Hoops, Sherrianne Standley, and USI cheerleaders introducing Screaming Eagles soda, 1995. Source : University Archives and Special Collections, UP 05305.

Introduction of Screaming Eagles soda following the USI’s Men’s Basketball winning the Division II Championship, 1995. Source : University Archives and Special Collections, UP 05305.

During the Hoops presidency at USI, the student body increased by 25 percent and numerous building expansions and additions occurred, such as the UC expansion, new David L. Rice Library, Liberal Arts Center, creation of the Quad, and many more. Dr. Hoops announced his retirement would occur on June 30, 2009, after a forty-year career in education (Weyer, 2008).  On February 9, 2009, Linda Bennett became USI’s third president (Grundhoeffer, 2009).

At the University Archives and Special Collections, all of the past Shield newspapers are available upon request. The department is hour Monday through Friday, 8 AM to 6 PM and digital content is available at http://digitalarchives.usi.edu/.

References

Grundhoeffer, S. (2009, February 9). Bennett named USI’s third president. The Shield, p. 1.

Harris, B. (1994, September 1). Midwest values taught president to appreciate hard work. The Shield, p. 1.

Harris, B. (1994, September 8). Diversity was hallmark of Hoops’ time at Ole Miss. The Shield, p. 1.

Weyer, B. (17, Janaury 17). President Hoops retires. The Shield, p. 1.

Posted in Education, history, USI | Leave a comment