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Celebration Days in May

May 22, 2024

From the Indy 500 to Mother’s Day and Memorial Day, May contains many celebratory days. In addition, the Tuesday of the first full week in May marks National Teacher Appreciation Day, or National Teacher Day. The National Education Association says that National Teacher Day is for honoring teachers and recognizing the lasting contributions they make to our lives.

We’ve all had a teacher, or teachers, who have had a profound impact on us and our education. From small schoolhouses to large universities, teachers have the ability to inspire us, motivate us, and show us how to achieve our goals and continue to grow and improve.

Teacher and Students at Possum Trot School, Clinton County, Indiana, circa 1910s, IHS, P0344. Alto School in Alto, Indiana, circa 1900, IHS.

Indiana University Edmonson Hall and Smith Hall, Bloomington, Indiana, 1940, Indiana Historical Society, P0115. Professor Robert A. Leflar gives a lecture at Indiana University, 1960. IHS, P0569.

In addition to celebrating teachers on National Teacher Day, many schools recognize an outstanding teacher each year with the ‘Teacher of the Year’ Award. Pictured below is Doris Downing, the winner of the Teacher of the Year Award at School 11 in 1985.

School 11 Teacher of the Year, Doris Downing (left), Indianapolis, Indiana, 1985. Indianapolis Recorder Collection, IHS.

Of course, not all teachers can be found in a classroom. These teachers and students reach for the sky!

Student (rear) and teacher (front) at Roscoe Turner Aeronautical Corp for Student Instruction, Indianapolis, Indiana, 1941, IHS, P0569. Teacher leads children in stretching at School No. 97, Indianapolis, Indiana, circa 1935, IHS, M0482.

Another celebration day in May is National Miniature Golf Day on May 11. Miniature golf, or as I’ve always called it, putt-putt, is a perfect family-friendly outing. From the fun competition to the yummy snacks, you really cannot not have a good time at the mini-golf course.

Miniature golf was particularly popular in the 1920s and 1930s. Indoor course at Indianapolis, 1930, Bass Photo Co. Collection, IHS; Jefferson Links in Fort Wayne, 1930, IHS, P0411; Course at Lassen’s, Cedar Lake, ca. 1925, IHS, P0562; Outdoor course at Indianapolis, 1930, Bass Photo Co. Collection, IHS

Regan Steimel is the Reference Librarian at the Indiana Historical Society and in her free time she enjoys reading and spending time with her family and friends.

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