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USS INDIANAPOLIS Educational Programs & Resources

An objective of the USS Indianapolis Survivors' Organization and the USS Indianapolis CA-35 Legacy Organization has been to get the story of Indy,  into schools and programs that can help educate future generations. 
Here are just a few ways our community is working
together to make that happen.

Remembering USS Indianapolis

by Sam Leigers, Age 12

At age 12, Sam Leiger created this video as a National History Day project, honoring the history of USS Indianapolis (CA-35). In 2019, Sam then attended the Indianapolis Reunion to interview survivors and lost-at-sea families. His National History Day project Sam went on to win awards in Kentucky and in Washington DC. We thank Sam for his efforts to honor the final sailing crew of Indianapolis.

Indiana War Memorial Exhibit

Autumn Leigers

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Each year the National Historical Society sponsors National History Day events for students. The 2019 theme was “Triumph and Tragedy”.  Students enter projects at school or their home-school association. If they win, their project is presented in the district contest. From there winners are invited to bring their projects to the state capital to compete against hundreds of other projects.  First and second place winners in each category travel to Washington DC for the National Historical Society contest.  Over 3,000 students participated this summer at the National contest.


As a home schooler, Autumn entered a display telling story of USS Indianapolis CA-35 from her first voyage to the tragedy of the sinking, and of the heroic behavior of the survivors. Autumn also focused on the exoneration of Captain McVay.  Autumns’ display won third in the state Kentucky Historical Society in the display category, qualifying the exhibit as a backup in the national competition if either the first or second place exhibitors in her category were not able to attend.


Having followed Autumn for one year as she researched and developed her project, Earl Henry, son of LAS Lt. Cmdr. Earl Henry, secured an invite for Autumn to display her project at the Survivors’ Reunion in July 2019, in Indianapolis. Reunion attendees who know the Indy story well, were very impressed with the thoroughness of Autumn’s research and accuracy.


Autumn’s biggest win came when General Goodwin, Executive Director of the Indiana War Memorial (IWM) asked her to display her project in the USS Indianapolis Gallery in the IWM. In September Autumn was met at the IWM by General Goodwin who accepted her Indy Project. So, Autumn has won first place in the hearts of the family and friends of the crew of the USS Indianapolis.


For Information on National History Day projects go to  The 2020 theme is “Breaking Barriers”. 


Click HERE to find out more about the webinar series.


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Click HERE to find out more about the scholarship program




Documentary, 2016. Run Time 98 min.

The story of the greatest sea disaster in U.S. Navy History, told for the first time by only the men who lived it. In the most top secret Navy mission of World War II, the crew of the heavy cruiser USS Indianapolis delivers components of the atomic bomb to Tinian island. Four days later, two Japanese torpedoes sink the ship in the Challenger Deep, triggering an epic tale of survival. For 5 days.

Please contact if you would like to screen the film for educational programming. The award winning film has been shown in hundreds of classrooms throughout the world, ranging from 5th grade through college level classes.  All fees are waved for educational screenings.

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