Haunting Danger

The editorial cartoon from the August 23, 1909, Indianapolis News depicts the anxious wife of an unnamed driver clinging to her child as she stares at the clock and wonders if her "speed mad" husband will come home in one piece. After the disastrous August 1909 first race meet at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway where five men died the newspapers had a perfect opportunity to appeal to the fears and morbid curiosity of readers. This image reflects the angst and controversy generated by the accidents of the track's first auto races - so much so that Lieutenant Governor Frank Hall called for a special session of the state legislature and pass laws to ban the sport.

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