August 9, 1987
On this day, the Pan-American games, a major international sports competition, commenced on the IUPUI campus.
The Pan Am Games began as an idea raised at the 1932 Los Angeles Olympics, when officials from North, Central, and South America discussed having a hemispheric competition. The first competition occurred in 1937 to little fanfare. World War Two postponed the next competition, which was only held in Buenos Aires in 1951. Over the years the competition has grown in size and scope, attracting teams from most countries in the Americas.
The 1987 Pan-Am Games in Indianapolis were the culmination of years of planning and effort by city leaders eager to position Indianapolis as a "major-league" sports town. IUPUI was fully on board, with Chancellor Jerry Bepko issuing a proclamation declaring the August 9-23 period of the games "Pan American Games Days, during which we will offer our visitors full portions of Hoosier hospitality. We want to welcome our guests with warmth, make sure that they enjoy their stay with us, and send them home with bright memories of their time at our campus and in our community."
By all accounts, the Pan-American Games at IUPUI and Indianapolis were a resounding success, which brought worldwide attention to both the city and IUPUI.
To learn more about the Pan-Am Games of 1987, contact IUPUI Special Collections and Archives firstname.lastname@example.org.