IU History

Real democracy means that society at its best comes to the children of all the people and sets lessons for them, makes paths for them to all the occupations which history has proved good. This is the ideal of Indiana University.

President William Lowe Bryan, 1902

Moments in IU History

a field crowded with trailer homes and large groups of people standing around them

GI Trailer Towns


After World War II, the federal government passed the GI Bill to help veterans pay for college. The bill was effective as 5,961 veterans registered for classes at IU in 1946. To provide sufficient housing for these new students, IU created “GI trailer towns.” This blog post and podcast trace the history of IU’s housing for veterans after WWII. Indiana University Archives

Read the history of the trailer towns
A black and white photo of a woman riding a tricycle as three other women stand by.

Mini 500


Beginning in 1955, the Mini 500 was a tricycle race for female students that took place on the Friday before the men’s Little 500 race. This event developed into a popular staple of the Little 500 weekend and by the 1970s, news coverage conveyed its status as a high-profile event. This blog traces the beginning of the Mini 500 and its place in student life. Indiana University Archives

See the Mini 500 history