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Happy Birthday Indiana

December 5, 1679 Robert LaSalle reaches the portage between St. Joseph and Kankakee Rivers. He is considered the first explorer to reach Indiana

May 19, 1681 French explorer Robert de La Salle held a peace council with Miami Indians at the area now known as South Bend

January 2, 1781 Virginia grants 150,000 acres of land to George Rogers Clark and his men. Included is all of present Clark County, Indiana, in addition to parts of surrounding counties

April 23, 1784 The Ordinance of 1784, primarily written by Thomas Jefferson, established government for the Northwest Territory and a system for the area to be divided into states. Indiana became a state 32 years later.

May 1, 1813 The capital of the Indiana Territory was moved from Vincennes to Corydon

April 19, 1816 President James Madison signed the Enabling Act which granted permission to Indiana to form a government and join the Union.

December 11, 1816 President James Madison signed a Congressional resolution admitting Indiana to the Union as the 19th state.

June 7, 1820 Commissioners of the Indiana Legislature selected a small village in dense woods by the east bank of the White River as the site of the future state capital.

January 10, 1825 The General Assembly holds its first meeting at the County Courthouse in Indianapolis, marking the transfer of the state capital

May 27, 1851 The Indiana State Board of Agriculture was organized with Governor Joseph Wright as President.

February 16, 1852 Henry and Clement Studebaker opened a blacksmith shop in South Bend. Their company became the world’s largest maker of wagons and carriages and later a major automobile manufacturer.

June 30, 1857 James Oliver of South Bend obtained a patent for the chilled steel plow which retained its sharp edge and was extremely smooth, alleviating the problem of sticking soil. Oliver plows were used worldwide.

September 10, 1913 The route of the Lincoln Highway was revealed. The idea of Indiana’s Carl Fisher, it was the first coast-to-coast paved road. In Indiana, the Lincoln Highway went through Elkhart, South Bend, and LaPorte.


The first Soil and Water Conservation District in Indiana is organized in Vanderburgh County.


The St Joseph County Soil and Water Conservation District was formed by referendum.

July 17, 1997 Space Shuttle Columbia landed at Kennedy Space Center. On board was Astronaut Janice E. Voss from South Bend. In five missions, she logged 18.8 million miles in space, circling the earth 779 times.

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