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Looking for some delightful Midwestern hospitality and comfortable hometown feels? Then check out the state of Indiana, with its classic American appeal and a penchant for college sports. Of course, the best time to share in the excitement about this state would certainly be on National Indiana Day!

History of National Indiana Day

Before the European settlers arrived in the late 1600s, what is now modern-day Indiana can trace its foundations back to when many different Native American tribes lived off of the land. But when it comes to Indiana becoming a part of the United States, this happened in the early 1800s.

The forming of the Northwest Territory included what is now several states, such as Indiana, Ohio, and Illinois. In 1800, when Ohio became its own state, the Indiana Territory was established, poising Indiana toward becoming a state. By 1816, Congress finally approved and US President James Madison approved the state on December 11 of that year.

Separate from the day when the state of Indiana entered the Union, which is on December 11, National Indiana Day is part of a larger project where all of the states are celebrated throughout the year in the order in which they became a state, starting with the fourth of July. Since Indiana was the 19th US state, it is celebrated on November 11.

National Indiana Day is here to celebrate the particular history and culture that this state offers to the larger country, with its interesting landscapes, unique history, modern amenities and an incredible state fair.

Earning the nickname, “The Hoosier State”, Indiana has developed its own subculture and also boasts a wide range of wildlife and interesting plant species, including the cardinal, which is the state bird and the peony, the state flower. Show some love for the state of Indiana by enjoying and celebrating this day!

Another Indiana Day is also celebrated a few days later, on November 16, where museums, libraries and other organizations may hold events in honor of the state day.

National Indiana Day Timeline


First Europeans arrive in Indiana 

The area of modern-day Indiana had been settled by Native Americans for many centuries but now French explorer, Robert La Salle arrives.


Indiana becomes a territory 

Congress splits the Northwest Territory into two, including the Indiana Territory, and a mayor is appointed.[1]


Indiana first petitions for statehood 

Congress opposes the petition because the population and financial status are too small.

December 11, 1816

Indiana becomes a state 

US President James Madison approves the addition of Indiana as the 19th state.[2]


Indiana State Capital moves 

Starting out in Vincennes and then moving to Corydon, by this time the state capital moves to Indianapolis.[3]

How to Celebrate National Indiana Day

State days are super interesting and fun for people who live in the state or just those who want to know more about it! National Indiana Day is a great time to celebrate and enjoy some unique activities, including some of these:

Visit Indiana

At one point in the 1980s, the state of Indiana had the marketing tagline “There’s more than corn in Indiana”. Which is a funny way to say that they knew people had underappreciated their state by assuming it was only filled with corn fields. Even today, residents of the state could name a number of different reasons why their state is pretty amazing.

From three major universities (Indiana University, Purdue University and Notre Dame University) to the Indianapolis 500 Motor Speedway, from excellent museums to fascinating nature, there truly is more than corn in Indiana!

Stop by the capital in Indianapolis and discover an amazingly re-vamped downtown area, fun on the circle in the city center, cool sporting events, a cool night life in places like Broad Ripple village, and other amazing options. Head down to Brown County in the autumn to see the incredible foliage and changing leaves. Or go north to the Indiana sand dunes which are located on the freshwater Lake Michigan.

Consider Some Fun Facts About Indiana

When celebrating the 9th state, the 19th state, or the 49th state to enter the Union, it’s fun to learn a little bit more about each one to get some perspective. And, of course, it’s even more fun to share it!

Check out some of these unique facts about the state in honor of National Indiana Day:

  • Adopted in 1937, the state motto of Indiana is “The Crossroads of America”.

  • In 2018, the Indiana General Assembly adopted the firefly as the state insect.

  • Among all of the US states, Indiana ranks as 17th in population with approximately 6.8 million residents, according to a 2020 census.

  • The city of Santa Claus, located in the southern portion of the state, receives more than a half million letters to Santa every year around Christmas.

Learn About Some Indiana Celebrities

Wondering if Indiana has contributed anything interesting to American culture besides basketball and car racing? In fact, a number of famous people have roots that go back to the Hoosier State. Perform an internet search for a full list, but here are a few names to get started with:

  • Michael Jackson. This world-famous pop star was born and raised in Gary, Indiana, near Chicago, Illinois.
  • David Letterman. This late night talk show host often would refer to his history in the state’s capital, Indianapolis, and his alma mater, Ball State University, in Muncie.
  • James Dean. The Rebel Without a Cause and East of Eden film star, who died tragically in a car accident at the young age of 24, spent many of his formative years in Fairmount, where there is still a gallery in his honor.
  • Larry Bird. Indiana has some serious basketball love, and this guy of NBA fame is from the city of French Lick.

National Indiana Day FAQs

What time is it in Indiana? 

Indiana is in the Eastern time zone in the United States, except for a few counties on the border near Chicago and Evansville, which are on the Central time zone.[1]

Where is Purdue University?

Purdue University is located in West Lafayette, in the northwestern part of Indiana.[2]

Does Indiana have state income tax?

Yes, Indiana has a flat percentage (over 3%) individual income tax per person.[3]

Can Indiana get hurricanes?

Hurricanes can only happen on the coast, but it may still send high winds and rain to inland states like Indiana.[4]

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