The Hoosier state turns 198 today. On Thursday, Dec. 11, 1816, Indiana became the 19th state to join the Union.
“Indiana has a remarkable history that illustrates for the world the strength, inventiveness, and compassion of the Hoosier spirit,” said Governor Pence. Yesterday, Pence signed a declaration proclaiming Dec. 11 Statehood Day.
To celebrate Gov. Pence and First Lady Karen Pence are welcoming fourth graders from all over Indiana to the Statehouse Rotunda today. The governor and first lady will each have booths set up with activities for the students.
Those who visit the governor’s booth will have a chance to play governor and learn interesting facts about the Hoosier state through an interactive display. Students who visit the first lady’s booth will get to see the Pence family pets Marlon Bundo, a rabbit, and Saphira, a snake.
“I look forward to joining Hoosier fourth graders, who are in the midst of studying our state’s storied past, and celebrating another tremendous year for Indiana,” Pence said.
In honor of Indiana’s birthday, here’s a few fun facts courtesy of the Indiana Historical Society:
- No one really knows where the term “Hoosier” came from, but its use has been documented as far back 1827 and the word entered into widespread use by the 1830s.
- The state flag was designed by Paul Hadley of Mooresville as part of Indiana’s centennial celebration flag design contest. It was adopted by the Indiana General Assembly in 1917. The torch represents liberty and enlightenment, the outer ring of stars represent the original 13 colonies, the five-star semi-circle below the torch represent the states admitted to the Union prior to Indiana and the star above the torch represents the Hoosier state.
- The design of the Indiana state seal is based on designs that have been used since Indiana was just a territory, but the current seal was adopted by the Indiana General Assembly in 1963.
- Indiana has had two state constitutions. The first was adopted in 1816 when Indiana became a state. After a rough start, the citizens of the new state voted for an amended constitution that was adopted in 1851. Though it has been amended many times, the second constitution still stands today.
- Currently the state flower is the peony. From 1931 to 1957 the zinnia was the state flower.
- The state bird of Indiana is the cardinal, which is also the state bird of Illinois, Ohio, North Carolina, Kentucky, Virginia and West Virginia.
In just two years, Indiana will celebrate is bicentennial. Planning for a celebration is already underway. Happy Birthday, Indiana!