Dr. Goodwin believed that he had solved this problem and
copyrighted his solution in 1889. His
solution was even published in the American Mathematical Monthly in 1894. Evidently Dr. Goodwin saw that his discovery
could make him some money, thus the copyright.
He had a plan to have the State of Indiana pass legislation to use his mathematical
findings in public schools as well as other state institutes free of charge so
that he could charge a royalty to others.
He would profit form others using his methods. This is America, so why not discover
something or develop a method to solve a problem and license that method. Here is a link to a PDF of the text of the
bill:

In Section 2 of the bill it says “The ratio of the diameter
and circumference is as five-fourths to four”.
This is a ratio of 4 to 1.25 or 4 divided by 1.25 which equals 3.2. This means that Pi would be equal to 3.2
because the number Pi is a ratio between the diameter of a circle and that
circle’s circumference.

The bill had verbiage in it proposing “new mathematical truth”
and wanted to make it state law. The
bill never mentioned the word or number “Pi” but it does say that the accepted
value of what would be Pi as ”wholly wanting and misleading in its practical
applications.” The bill, as well as Dr.
Goodwin, said that Pi is wrong. Pi is
3.2 now make it state law. Anyone else
that wants to use 3.2 or his method of Squaring the Circle will now have to pay
Dr. Goodwin to do so. Nice try Doc!

The proposed bill passed the Indiana State House and went on
the State Senate. In fact, the house
passed it with a unanimous vote (all in favor.)
Eventually the news that Indiana was trying to legislate a new value of
Pi got out. News agencies across the
country were mocking the state and its bill to change Pi. Rightfully so.

Luckily for the state, Professor C.A. Waldo of Purdue University
was in town while the Pi events were going on and sat in on part of the debate
for the bill. He couldn't believe it and
decided to help out the government officials.
Professor Waldo discussed matter with some members of the state senate
and helped them understand the errors in the bill. Evidently the members of the legislator didn't fully understand the contents of the bill (a problem many legislators today
have as well) and were only concerned that the state would be able to use this
information free of charge. Senator
Orrin Hubbel moved that a vote on the bill be postponed indefinitely. It turns out that the bill died and has never
been brought back to the state legislator.
Thank goodness.

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