Indiana is a state in the Midwest of the United States. It was admitted to the Union in 1816 and is bordered by Illinois on the west, Ohio on the east, and Kentucky to the south. The northern border is the south shore of Lake Michigan, placing Indiana within the Great Lakes region. The state has a population of about six and a half million. Over eight hundred thousand live in the capital city, Indianapolis.
The northern two-thirds of the state are flat plains, with hillier country in the southern third. Located in the center of the continent, it has a typical Midwestern climate with bitterly cold winters and hot and humid summers. Tornadoes are common in the spring. Lake effect snow has a significant impact on the winter weather along the coast of Lake Michigan and just south of it. Because of its climate, Indiana is a good agricultural state, with the key crops being corn, soybeans, and wheat. In fact, almost half of Indiana's cropland is planted with corn in any given year. The state is also known for its hog production. One thing Indiana is known for is not observing Daylight Savings Time. However, this ceased to be true in 2005, leaving Arizona as the only state that does not change the clocks.
Indianapolis itself is best known as the host of the oldest long distance auto race in the United States, the Indianapolis 500. The Indianapolis Motor Speedway is colloquially known as the Brickyard because of the yard of its original brick surface that is preserved at the start-finish line. It may well not be a coincidence that Indiana also has more miles of highway than any other state. Indianapolis is, in addition, home to an NFL team, the Colts, and the well-known NBA team, the Pacers. The first European to enter what is now Indiana was a French explorer by the name of Rene-Robert Cavalier. It was formed into a territory, with the capital at Vincennes, in 1800. The capital was later moved to Corydon and finally to Indianapolis. Although significant for corn, Indiana became an important manufacturing state in the early twentieth century, especially for the auto industry. As a result, the state suffered after the oil crisis of 1973, entering a downturn from which it did not escape until the 1980s. Today, the state has a diverse economy including coal and transportation equipment.
Written by Lyndsey Morgan