Indiana is a state in the Great Lakes region of the United States. It is believed that the name "Indiana" means "land of the Indians." The state occupies an area of approximately 36,400 square miles. Indiana ranks 17th on the list of the most populated states in the US. It is home to more than 6.5 million residents. The capital of Indiana is Indianapolis, which is also the state’s largest city. Indiana had two other state capitals prior to Indianapolis.
History of Indiana’s State Capital
The state of Indiana was established in 1800 when the area known as Northwest Territory was divided to form two territories: Ohio and Indiana. Vincennes was picked as the state capital of the newly established territory of Indiana. Thirteen years later, the capital was moved from Vincennes to Corydon due to threats of Indian raids. Corydon became Indiana’s second capital and several government establishments were built in the city, including the Old Treasury Building, the Harrison County courthouse, and the governor’s mansion. The city of Corydon served as a vital political center for Indiana until 1825, when the capital was moved to Indianapolis. On January 10th 1825, Indianapolis became Indiana’s third state capital and has retained that position to this date.
The city of Indianapolis is ideally situated in the central region of Indiana. The city developed as a result of large pieces of land available to European immigrants and American settlers. Irish and German immigrants were the first inhabitants of the area. The construction of a highway through the city, as well as a railroad, propelled the city to economic prosperity. During the American Civil War, Indianapolis developed into a logistics hub due to its efficient transportation network. As a result of the economic success experienced in the city, its population sharply increased. Currently, the city is home to an estimated 850,000 residents. In addition to being Indiana’s capital, Indianapolis also serves as the administrative center of Marion County.
Cultural Significance of Indianapolis
The city hosts many festivals every year to celebrate the cultural heritage of Indiana. These include the Indiana State Fair, the historic Irvington Halloween Festival, Indiana Black Expo, and the world’s greatest one-day sporting event, popularly known as the Indianapolis 500. Additionally, Indianapolis has countless art centers where artists showcase paintings, sculptures, and other art pieces. The city has a wealth of literature, and has hosted several best-selling authors like John Green, Kurt Vonnegut, and Meredith Nicholson. Indianapolis is also popular for performing arts such as film, dance, and music.
Notable Sites in Indianapolis
The world’s largest children’s museum is found in Indianapolis, and occupies a massive 40,227 square meters of exhibition space and showcases more than 120,000 artifacts. The Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum is another popular site, particularly for motorsport enthusiasts. The museum displays automotive memorabilia and provides the history of automobiles. Lastly, the city of Indianapolis is dotted with several monuments that honor US veterans of war, such as the Medal of Honor Memorial, the Soldiers' and Sailors' Monument, and the Indiana World War Memorial Plaza.