“In Indiana, we don’t have an official state religion, but if we did, it would be basketball.” ~Evan Bayh
When people think of Indiana, they would mostly think of its love for basketball and for soul music. So, what’s Indiana Day all about? Indiana Day celebrates the history of Indiana and how it helped grow the United States into the size and influence it is today. Indiana has been part of many historical events during its formation and Indiana Day is a day dedicated to celebrating this history and learning about how Indiana became the state it is today.
History of Indiana Day
Indiana Day celebrates the state’s admission into the Union during 1816. Indiana had originally been land that American settlers would fight over land with the Native American tribes. This would continue until 1811 at the Battle of Tippecanoe. The battle was fought between General, and future president, William Henry Harrison, and the Native American warriors led by the Shawnee chief Tecumseh. After the battle was won and Harrison’s soldiers burnt the Native territories to the ground, Indiana entered into the Union on December 11, 1816, as the 19th state of the union.
Indiana has since been a state steeped in American history. Because Indiana was part of the Union in the North, Indiana provided shelter for runaway slaves during the American Civil War. The community of Newport, Indiana was part of the Underground Railroad, as the community helped over 2,000 slaves make their way north to freedom. Indiana had also helped develop National Railroad during the 1830’s, earning its title of being the “Crossroads of America”. Since then, Indiana has been a staple part of America as it had helped lead the eastern colonies westward during the Great Expansion and the holiday itself celebrates this, as it was first instituted in 1925 by the Indiana General Assembly and is now celebrated throughout the state in schools and workplaces.
How to Celebrate Indiana Day
If you are proud of the state of Indiana, use this day as a way to learn about American history. Take a trip to civil war sites in the state of Indiana to learn about battles such as the Battle of Tippecanoe. Take the time to learn about the Native American tribes of the state of Indiana and learn of their culture. If this holiday excites you, then share this holiday on your favorite social media websites by using the hashtag #indianaday and let your friends know what an interesting holiday it is.