Introduction - Indiana FactsThe state of Indiana is located in the Midwest Region of the United States. It is one of eight U.S. states that are in the Great Lakes Region. What comes to many people's minds when they think of Indiana is the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the largest spectator sporting arena in the world, where the famous Indianapolis 500 auto race is held annually. There is, however, much more to this Midwest state than the amazing speedway. On this page you will find a list of interesting facts about Indiana including quick facts such as the population and the capital, interesting facts such as what famous people where born there, and historical facts such as the one American Civil War battle fought there. This information is written for kids and adults.
Click here for a great selection of Amazon.com books about Indiana.
Indiana Quick Facts
- On December 11th of 1816 Indiana became the 19th U.S. state.
- Indiana's name means "Indian Land" or "Land of the Indians".
- The total area of Indiana is 36,418 square miles (94,321 square kilometers) which makes it the 38th largest state.
- The capital of Indiana is Indianapolis which is also the state's largest city.
- The population of this state is 6,596,855 (United States Census Bureau estimate July 1, 2014) which ranks it 16th among U.S. states.
- The state motto of Indiana is "Crossroads of America". This motto began as the nickname for the Indiana city of Indianapolis in which several major Interstate highways criss-cross.
- The Ohio River runs along the southern border of Indiana forming its border with Kentucky. Other major rivers in this state are the Whitewater, White, Blue, Wabash, Maumee, and the St. Joseph.
- Indiana borders Lake Michigan to the north; the major lakes within Michigan are Lake Monroe Reservoir (the largest lake in Indiana), Lake Wawasee (the largest natural lake in Indiana), and Tippecanoe Lake (the deepest lake in Indiana).
- Hoosier Hill, located in Wayne County, is the highest point in Indiana. It is 1,257 feet (383 meters) above sea level.
- The state flower of Indian is the peony.
Indiana Interesting Facts
- Residents of Indiana are often referred to as Hoosiers. This term originated in the southern U.S. and is used to refer to a backwoodsman.
- This Midwestern state is bordered on the east by Ohio, to the north by Michigan, by Illinois to the west, Lake Michigan to the northwest, and Kentucky (separated by the Ohio River) to the south.
- Indiana is home to several great universities including the University of Notre Dame which was ranked in the top 20 best U.S. universities by the U.S. News and World Report in 2013.
- Every Memorial Day weekend the Indianapolis 500 auto race (Indy 500) is held at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. It is the most famous auto race held in the U.S.
- This state is within the U.S. Corn Belt and Grain Belt.
- Famous people born in Indiana include singer Michael Jackson, TV host David Letterman, and basketball legend Larry Bird.
- On May 4th of 1871 the first professional baseball game was played in Fort Wayne, Indiana.
- Indiana has one of the richest deposits of high quality limestone found anywhere on earth. This beautiful limestone has been used in the construction of numerous famous American landmarks including the U.S. Pentagon, the Empire State Building, and Rockefeller Center in New York.
Indiana History Facts
- The first Europeans to enter the area which is now Indiana were French fur traders. In 1673 these traders established their first outpost Tassinong near the Kankakee River.
- Upon winning the American Revolution the U.S. was ceded a huge land area from the British known as the Northwest Territory; several future states, including Indiana, would be carved out of this territory.
- After America's victory in the American Revolutionary War the region that is now Indiana saw an influx of white settlers. This created tensions with the indigenous native American Indians living there. Numerous conflicts between the white settlers and the Indians occurred up until General William Henry Harrison, a future U.S. President, defeated the Indians at the Battle of Tippecanoe on November 7th of 1811 near present-day Lafayette, Indiana.
- Abraham Lincoln's parents moved to Spencer County Indiana when he was 7 years old, and this is where he spent most of his boyhood.
- During the American Civil War Indiana fought for the Union. The only Civil War battle that took place in Indiana was the Battle of Corydon which was a minor engagement that took place July 9, 1863. This battle was part of Morgan's Raid which was an incursion of Confederate cavalry into the Union states of Indiana and Ohio.
- In the early 1880s Indiana experienced what has been dubbed the Indiana Gas Boom. This was a period where a lot of activity involving the drilling for natural gas took place. This took place in the huge Trenton Gas Field located in east central Indiana. This boom lasted up until the early 1900s.
- On May 30th of 1911 the first Indianapolis 500 race was held at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.