Indianapolis 500 Souvenir and Winner Edition Newspapers

When the Indianapolis Motor Speedway officially opened in 1909, there were three major local daily newspapers in Indianapolis: the Star, News and Sun. The Indianapolis Star, the morning paper in Indianapolis, began publication in 1903 and is still being published. The Indianapolis News was the afternoon/evening paper that began publication in 1869 and ceased publication on October 1, 1999. The Sun was a daily newspaper that began publication in 1888. The Sun became the Indiana Daily Times in July of 1914 and then The Indianapolis Times in 1922. The Times ceased publication on Oct. 11, 1965.

Newspapers prior to 193 are much larger than today measuring 19” x 24” when unfolded. After 193 through 196 the width shrinks to 16 3/4 but the length stays the same at 24”. After 196 through 198 the overall size shrinks to x . After 198 the overall size shrinks again to 11 1/4” x 21 1/2”and is so through the present.


Indianapolis 500 Winner Editions - 1911 through today

Banner headlines at this time (1909-1910) were usually reserved for major news stories so races at the Speedway may have had a column on the front page, but more than likely were found in the sports section.

The inaugural 500 in 1911 did make the front page but not as a banner headline as seen from the Indianapolis Star the next day. Note there is no rear view mirror on Harroun’s car which indicates it was probably taken in 1910.

The 1912 ‘500’ dominated the front page of the Indianapolis News, but still no banner headline.

The first known** year for the Indianapolis 500 to be the banner headline is from 1913 and would’ve looked similar to the 1915 below. From this date* to the present day, the Indianapolis 500 has been a banner headline.


Indianapolis 500 Souvenir Editions - 1933 through the present.

Souvenir editions were a special separate section to the newspaper which was usually issued within a few days of the race. The words “Souvenir Edition” will appear on these sections for the most part but not always however, one can tell it is a Souvenir Edition because it will have a special theme, pictures etc., relating to the ‘500’.

The first known* souvenir edition which was a separate section to the newspaper is the Indianapolis Times from 1933. In 1935 both the Indianapolis Star and News followed suit and issued their own souvenir editions where a separate section of the newspaper but were a smaller magazine format.


* This information is to the best of our knowledge. If anyone has more information, please contact: NI500CC@NI500CC.COM

** Seen on microfilm at the Indiana State library.