Twenty Indiana Facts

  1. The State of Indiana is a U.S. state, the 19th admitted to the Union.
  2. Its capital and largest city is Indianapolis, the largest of any state capital east of the Mississippi River.
  3. Indiana is ranked 38th in land area, and is the smallest state in the continental US west of the Appalachian Mountains.
  4. James Dean, a popular movie star of the 1950s was born February 8, 1931, in Marion.
  5. It is located in the Great Lakes Region, and with approximately 6.3 million residents, is ranked 16th in population and 17th in population density.
  6. In a typical year, almost half of all cropland in Indiana is planted in corn.
  7. Indiana has several metropolitan areas with populations greater than 100,000 as well as a number of smaller industrial cities and small towns.
  8. David Letterman, host of television's "Late Show with David Letterman," was born April 12, 1947, in Indianapolis.
  9. North of Lafayette is the site of the Battle of Tippecanoe, where on November 7, 1811, William Henry Harrison's forces defeated the Native American confederacy formed by the famous Shawnee chief Tecumseh.
  10. It is home to several major sports teams and athletic events including the NFL's Indianapolis Colts, the NBA's Indiana Pacers, the Indianapolis 500 motorsports race (which is the largest single-day sporting event in the world).
  11. Crown Hill Cemetery in Indianapolis is the burial place for many famous figures in Indiana History. Benjamin Harrison, Oliver P. Morton, Kin Hubbard, James Whitcomb Riley and John Dillinger are among those buried here.
  12. Residents of Indiana are known as Hoosiers, but the origin of the term is unknown.
  13. Indiana has earned the nickname "Mother of Vice-Presidents". There have been five men from Indiana elected as vice-presidents: Schuyler Colfax, Thomas A. Hendricks, Charles W. Fairbanks, Thomas Marshall and Dan Quayle.
  14. The state's name means "Land of the Indians", or simply "Indian Land".
  15. Many Mennonite and Amish live on the farmland of Northwestern Indiana.
  16. Indiana had been inhabited by varying cultures of indigenous peoples and historic Native Americans for thousands of years.
  17. Santa Claus, Indiana receives over one half million letters and requests at Christmas time.
  18. Corydon was the scene of the only Civil War battle on Indiana ground. The battle was fought July 9, 1863 when General John Hunt Morgan attacked the city.
  19. In 1880, Wabash became the first city in the United States to have electric streetlights.
  20. Angel Mounds State Historic Site, one of the best preserved ancient earthwork mounds sites in the United States, can be found in Southwestern Indiana near Evansville.