In the Midwestern United States
Indiana has always been a land of diversity, even before becoming the 19th state in the union on December 11, 1816. The word Indiana, which was coined by congress in the 1800s, was chosen in honor of the diverse native population that lived in the area at the time of its discovery. The meaning of the word Indiana, according to prominent leaders of the time, is "Land of the Indians."
After achieving statehood Indiana became a state known for it firsts. There were several new ideologies found in early Indiana, the most notable of which was the town of New Harmony, Indiana. The town was built by German Lutheran separatists that believed that hard work and prayer where the keys to success. The town thrived on this philosophy for ten years. At that time the townspeople sold the town and moved to another state to begin their third and final community. The town of New Harmony then became the utopian society dream of Robert Owen. Owen turned New Harmony, Indiana into a gathering place of scientists, educators, and writers. It was the birth place to such community focused ideas as kindergarten, free public schools that allowed both girls and boys to attend and free public libraries.
Indiana was also the first state to hold a 500 mile motor vehicle race, now know as the Indy500. The first race was held in 1911 and was won by Ray Harround. He completed the race in six hours, 42 minutes and eight seconds. Today's times are much faster.
Indiana is home to world famous "Fighting Irish" football team of the University of Notre Dame. They are without doubt, everyone's favorite team to beat on the football field.
Indiana has the honor of being the birth place of the Studebaker. The Studebaker Company began as a wagon building business. It was the first and only business to successfully move from wagons to automobiles. The company's first vehicles were electric powered. The company designed and built many cars and army vehicles until its closure sometime after WWII.
Other interesting tidbits about Indiana include the fact that Santa Claus's post office is found in Indiana; the first place to serve tomato juice was in French Lick Indiana; the first diesel power tracker was created in Columbus Indiana; "Chuck Tayor All-Stars" otherwise knows Converser athletic shoes where designed by a Indiana High School basketball star and the world's first transistor radio was made in Indianapolis.
With so many fascinating things to do and see in this great state, a trip to Indiana needs to be on everyone's vacation wish list.