(BLOOMINGTON) – A new documentary from WTIU Public Television examines the arc of Terre Haute’s story – from the rise and fall of its status as the “Crossroads of America” to how it has persevered in the face of challenges.
Terre Haute: Rise & Resilience premieres March 7 at 8 p.m. on WTIU and Facebook Live (facebook.com/wtiupublictv). The program takes viewers through the history of Terre Haute, starting with its French colonial origin as high ground along the banks of the Wabash River. Post-revolutionary Terre Haute played host to some of the key players in the War of 1812, including William Henry Harrison, Zachary Taylor, and the Native American Chief Tecumseh.
The documentary also shows how Terre Haute flourished as a boomtown during the nation’s Westward expansion. The city gained national standing during the Industrial Age due to its status as a major transportation hub, bringing great prosperity and establishing it as a key player in the industrial revolution. It set the stage for many classic American immigrant success stories and was the birthplace of the famous labor movement activist and head of the Socialist Party Eugene V. Debs, composer Paul Dresser, writer Theodore Dreiser, and poet Max Ehrmann.
The program also takes a more contemporary look at the one-time boomtown. The city struggled with the advent of the interstate road system and faced bouts of political corruption, labor unrest, and hard-hitting economic setbacks. Yet despite these obstacles, Terre Haute has survived and even thrived. The documentary reveals that the revitalization of the downtown business and cultural districts and the strength of the community give hope for the future of Terre Haute.
Watch a trailer and learn more about the program at wtiu.org/terrehaute. Following the premiere on WTIU and Facebook Live, Terre Haute: Rise & Resilience will be available to watch on this website from March 8 through April 8.
DVD and BluRay copies of the program will be available for the public to purchase starting in September 2019 from shopwtiu.org.