Entries by miket

Introduction

Steve Hannagan’s Blog will tell the story of a peer without peers among press agents in the first half of the twentieth century. Hannagan was a highly-successful pioneer of public relations who built ground-breaking publicity campaigns for the Indianapolis 500, Miami Beach, Sun Valley, Las Vegas, the 1940 Presidential Campaign, and Coca Cola. He developed, […]

Steve Leaves Bloody Plank Road

This issue talks about Steve Hannagan’s move to Indianapolis and how Dot Rice, his Lafayette girlfriend, facilitated the move. Steve Hannagan was born on Bloody Plank Road in Lafayette, Indiana in the Irish Ghetto. As a young lad in high school, he was the City and Sports Editor for the Lafayette Journal & Courier, the […]

Russel Seeds – Advertising Firm for Indy’s Famous Automobiles!

When Steve Hannagan left Lafayette, the Journal & Courier reported that he was going to Indianapolis to take a job at the Russel Seeds Advertising Agency. Russel Seeds ran a well-respected advertising firm in Indianapolis.   Russell Seedsi   Russell Seeds came into advertising by way of his political career in Indiana Republican politics in […]

Steve Takes Over Publicity for the Indianapolis 500

In this issue Carl Fisher hands publicity for the Indianapolis Motor Speedway to Steve Hannagan. By 1919, attendance at the Indianapolis 500 was flagging, and Carl Fisher needed a new publicity campaign to reinvigorate the Track. The existing campaign focused on cars, engines, and the technology of racing, and it was not drumming up enough […]

Hollywood and the Indianapolis 500

In this issue, Steve brings Hollywood producers and stars to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The Indianapolis 500 race was a magnet for celebrities from New York and Hollywood. Either they wanted to run in the race; or be seen at the race; or they were in a movie with the Speedway as a setting. Jack Warner’s […]

Steve Deals with Death and Destruction at the 500

In this issue, Steve deals with death and destruction at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Since the technology in the 1920s and 1930s of the cars and Speedway was primitive, death and severe injuries were real possibilities whenever drivers took to the track for a test drive, qualifying runs, or the race. For example, guardrails were […]

Steve Treasured Everything about the 500

In this issue get a feel for Steve’s love for his job at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Steve’s love of the race is readily apparent by his pictures in the 1926 Chrysler shown below and with his close friend Ralph DePalma, 1915 Speedway Champion. As a side note, the winner of the Indianapolis 500 in 1926 […]

Steve Befriends National Columnists

In this issue Steve Hannagan’s meets the Big Four journalists of the popular media. Early on while at Russel Seeds, Steve was assigned to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway to work with Pop Myers, General Manager of the Speedway. At the Speedway, Steve met four major figures in the popular press: Roy Howard, President and General Manager […]

Steve Takes Leave of the Indianapolis 500

In this issue, Steve turns over publicity at the Indianapolis 500 to his top assistant Joe Copps, and then at the end of World War II, says goodbye to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. By the mid-1930s, Steve’s public relations business was expanding far beyond his ability to serve his first love of the Indianapolis 500. […]

Hannagan & Baseball Centennial

Baseball Centennial In 1939, Major League Baseball (MLB) owners set aside $100,000 ($1.6 million in current dollars) to celebrate the game’s 100th anniversary (It was debatable at the time and is accepted now that 1939 was not the centennial of the game.The game did not start with Abner Doubleday but evolved over time with rules […]