I highly recommend Petr Beckmann's book A History of pi, which tells the story with a bit more context.

The legislators, obviously, were utterly oblivious to the mathematics involved. The preamble pretty much states why the bill passed the Indiana House (67-0): to have the rights to publish this "truth" in school textbooks without having to pay a royalty.

It's amazing what idiocy people will stoop to if they think they're getting a good deal on it.

Professor C.A.Waldo, visiting Indianapolis from Purdue University to lobby for the University's budget, just happened to walk into the Indiana House during the debate of this bill, where his objections were pooh-poohed.

However, Professor Waldo was able to get the Senate to remove the bill from its agenda before voting on it, and it has never been put back on.