In 1815, a petition for statehood was approved by the territorial general assembly and sent to the United States Congress. On June 1, 1816, delegates assembled at Corydon to write the state’s constitution, which took 19 days. President James Madison approved Indiana’s admission into the union later that year on December 11th.
Indiana has changed quite a bit since then. Our new capital was moved to Indianapolis, and a second constitution was adopted. Our state has transformed with a thriving economy and developed new traditions. Indiana is known to most people as where Lewis and Clark set out on their exploration of the Northwest Territory, where Abraham Lincoln grew up with his parents and of course for the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Each year, Hoosiers take an opportunity to reflect on our rich history and traditions. This year, the 197th birthday celebration will take place on December 11th starting 12pm. If you will be in the Indianapolis area on Wednesday, I encourage you to visit the Statehouse and take part in the celebrations. However, if you are unable to make it you can still view it on the web live at www.webinar.in.gov/Indiana.
Students were encouraged to take part in Indiana Statehood Day essay contest again this year. Fourth grade students were asked to write about their “Hoosier Hero,” and four essays were chosen to be read during the Statehood Day celebrations. It gives me pride to see students understand what it means to be a Hoosier.
We are now only three years away from the state’s bicentennial celebration in 2016, which the state has been busy planning. To learn more about the planning celebrations, or to get involved visit www.indiana2016.org.
I am proud to be a Hoosier and be a part of a history that is remembered and celebrated. Indiana is a place where we look to the future but still celebrate our traditions. Take a moment this Statehood Day and reflect on our great state and everything Indiana means to you.