George Taliaferro

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Off-Track Bets: Attucks Museum's Charlie Wiggins Tribute

If you haven’t caught the documentary For Gold and Glory on WFYI 1 Public Television, you might be unfamiliar with the story of Charlie Wiggins, the mechanic whom Indy 500 champ Bill Cummings credited for his 1934 win. In the early 20th century, Wiggins, an Indianapolis resident, came to be known as the “Negro Speed King” in African-American newspapers for his prowess on racetracks, and he was widely considered the nation’s best African-American racecar driver of the early 20th century. (He might have been the best overall, though he was barred from competing in segregated events, including the Indianapolis 500, because of his race.)