At one time, the South Bend Studebaker Company was the largest producer of horse-drawn carriages. It later evolved into a multi-million dollar automobile
In Fort Wayne, Syvanus F. Bower designed the world's first practical gasoline pump.
Indianapolis grocer Gilbert Van Camp discovered that his customers enjoyed an old family recipe for pork and beans in tomato sauce. He opened a cannery and
Van Camp's pork and beans became an American staple food.
Muncies Ball State University was built largely through donations from the founders of Ball Corporation, a glass canning company.
Thomas Hendricks, a Democrat from Shelbyville, served Indiana as US Senator, US Representative, Governor and Vice President under Grover Cleveland. Indiana was home to five vice presidents and one president.
Peru Indiana was once known as the "Circus Capital of America".
The largest swimmer of Indiana University was Mark Spitz, who won seven gold medals at the 1972 Olympic Games. No other athlete has won so many gold medals in a year.
In 1934, Chicago gangster John Dillinger escaped from the Lake Country Prison at Crown Point with a "pistol" carved from a block of wood.
Before Indianapolis served Corydon 1816-1825 as the capital of the state. Vincennes was the capital when Indiana was a territory.
South Bend's East Race Waterway is the only man-made white water channel in North America.
In 1862, Richard Gatling of Indianapolis invented the rapid-fire machine gun.
The American Federation of Labor (AFL) was organized in 1881 in Terre Haute.
Sarah Walker, Madame J.C. Walker was named one of the nation's first female millionaires. In 1905, Sarah Breedlove McWilliams Walker developed a condition treatment for hair straightening. Starting with the sale of her cosmetics from house to house, Madame C. J. Walker acquired a fortune.
From 1900 to 1920, more than 200 different car brands were produced in Hoosier State. Duesenbergs, Auburns, Stutzes and Maxwells are today award-winning antiques.
The constitution of 1816 ordered the legislature to establish public schools, but only in the 1850s was the state government able to establish a public school system.
Before public schools hired families to build a schoolhouse, each student family paid a few dollars for teachers' salaries.
At one time, 12 different stagecoach lines drove through Indiana on the National Road. (Now US Interstate 40)
In the 1830s, channels were dug that connected the Great Lakes with the Indiana rivers. The canals proved a financial disaster. Railways made the
canal system obsolete even before its completion.
Indiana's first major railroad connected Madison and Indianapolis and was completed in 1847.
The farming community of Fountain City in Wayne County was known as the "Grand Central Station of the Underground Railroad". In the years before the Civil War, Levi and Katie Coffin were famous agents of the Underground Railroad. They estimated that they provided overnight accommodation for more than 2,000 runaway slaves heading to Canada and to freedom.
During the Great Depression of the 1930s, one in four Hoosier factory workers was unemployed, the peasants sank lower, and in the south of Indiana, unemployment was at 50%.
In the summer of 1987, 4,453 athletes from 38 nations met in Indianapolis for the Pan American Games.
The Saturday Evening Post appears in Indianapolis.
Comedian Red Skelton, who created characters like Clem Kadiddlehopper and Freddie the Freeloader, was born in Vincennes.
The poet Laureate of Indiana, James Whitcomb Riley was born in a two-bedroom log cabin in Greenfield. He glorified his rural Indiana childhood in poems such as "The Old Swimmin Hole" "Little Orphant Annie" and "When the Frost Is on the Pumpkin".
Albert Beveridge won the Pulitzer Prize in Biography in 1920 for The Life of John Marshall. In 1934 Harold Urey won the Nobel Prize for Chemistry for his discovery of Deuterium. Ernie Pyle won the 1944 Pulitzer Prize in foreign correspondence. Paul Samuelson won the Nobel Prize for Economics in 1970.
The first long-distance car race in the United States took place on May 30, 1911 at the
Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The winner averaged 75 miles per hour and won a 1st place prize of $ 14,000. Today, the average speed is over 167 miles per hour and the price is more than $ 1.2 million. The Indianapolis 500 is the venue for the biggest spectacle in the sport, the Indianapolis 500. The Indianapolis 500 is held every Memorial Day weekend in the Hoosier capital. The race is 200 laps or 500 miles long.
Abraham Lincoln moved to Indiana when he was 7 years old. He lived most of his boyhood life in Spencer County with his parents Thomas and Nancy.
The researchers Lewis and Clark set out from Fort Vincennes to explore the Northwest Territory.
Crawfordsville is home to the only known working rotary jail in the United States. The prison with its rotating cell block was built in 1882 and served until 1972 as Montgomery County prison. It is now a museum.
Historic Parke County has 32 covered bridges and is the covered capital of the world.
True to its motto "Cross Roads of America," Indiana has more miles of interstate highway per square mile than any other state. The Indiana State motto can be traced back to the early 1100%. In the early years, river traffic, especially along the Ohio, was a major means of transportation. The National Road, an important western route, and the north-south Michigan Road intersected in Indianapolis. Today, more major roads intersect in Indiana than in any other state.
Most of the state's rivers flow south and west and eventually flow into the Mississippi. The Maumee, however, flows north and east into Lake Erie. Lake Wawasee is the largest natural lake in the United States.
Indiana's coastline with Lake Michigan is only 40 miles long, but Indiana is still considered a Great Lakes state.
More than 100 tree species are native to Indiana. Before the pioneer came, more than 80% of Indiana was covered in forest. Today, only 17% of the state is forested.
Deep underground in Southern Indiana is a sea of limestone, one of the richest deposits of high quality limestone found anywhere on earth. The New York Empire State Building and Rockefeller Center, as well as the Pentagon, the US Treasury, a dozen more government buildings in Washington D.C. and 14 state capitals around the nation are built from this rugged, beautiful Indiana limestone.
Although Indiana means "land of the Indians," less than 8,000 Indians live in the country today.
The first European to visit Indiana was the French explorer Rene-Robert Cavalier sierur de La Salle in 1679. After LaSalle and others explored the Great Lakes region, the country was claimed for New France, a nation based in Canada.
In the 1700s, the first 3 non-American settlements in Indiana were the 3 French forts of Ouiatenon, Ft. Miami and Ft. Vincennes. Although they had few settlers in the area, the French presence in Indiana lasted almost 100 years. After the British won the French and Indian wars and 1763 signed the Treaty of Paris, the French gave their claims to the lower region of the Great Lakes.
Indiana was part of the vast Northwest Territory, which included Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, and Wisconsin, ceded by the British to the United States at the end of the War of Independence.
Ft. Wayne, the second largest city of Indiana, had its beginnings in 1794 after the Battle of Fallen Timbers, when General "Mad Anthony" Wayne Ft. Wayne on the grounds of an Indian village in Miami.
Many Mennonites and Amish live on the farmland of northeast Indiana. One of the largest Mennonite communities in the United States is in Bern. Amish rules prohibit driving a car, using electricity, or visiting public amusement parks.
Indiana Fast Facts & TriviaGene Wright
Indiana Fast Facts & Trivia