Laura E. Smith

Associate Professor of Art History, Michigan State University

When the Culture Wars Hit Fort Wayne

Uncategorized / July 31, 2020 / No Comments /

My mother grew up in Ft. Wayne, IN. My grandparents moved there from Illinois in the 1940s (I think). I never heard or even thought about who the namesake of the city was in all the years I visited this place. I was grateful to lend my voice in a small way last year (2019), among that of many other regional scholars, to support the Miami Tribe’s historical perspective on “Mad Anthony” Wayne and the origins of the city. Read the article to find out why. I haven’t visited since grandma died. When I can travel again, I’d like to take a trip to this place with my renewed vision.

“The summer of 2020 has become a time of asking questions about what America commemorates and why. But these tensions usually flare around whether to take down existing things and retire established traditions. Such debates tend to be complicated by nostalgia and the impulse to preserve things as we are accustomed to them. Wayne Day was different: This was an attempt to create something new.” Read more by Charles Savage here:

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