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What are some interesting facts about Indiana?

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Quick Answer

The first professional baseball game was played at Fort Wayne on May 4, 1871. David Letterman was born in Indiana, and Abraham Lincoln spent most of his childhood in Indiana. Mark Spitz, Indiana's greatest swimmer, won seven gold medals in the 1972 Olympics, breaking the record for number of gold medals won in a single year.

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Full Answer

Indiana's state bird is the cardinal, and its state flower is the peony. The state song is "On the Banks of the Wabash" by Paul Dresser, written in 1913. Indiana's motto is "The crossroads of America," which makes sense considering it has more miles of highway per square mile than any other state.

The first ever long-distance auto race was held in Indiana on May 30, 1911, and the winner averaged a sedate 75 mph. As of 2014, Indiana remains famous for its long-distance races.

Lewis and Clark started their journey from Fort Vincennes. James Dean, a popular movie star from films like "A Rebel Without a Cause" was born in Indiana. He died in a car crash at the age of 24.

Before Indiana was inhabited by colonists, it was 80 percent forest. As of 2014, it's only around 18 percent forest, but over 100 different species of tree inhabit these forests.

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