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As the saying around here goes...

"There's More Than Corn In Indiana!"

Well, I would love to show you, that yes, there IS more than corn in Indiana.

So, let's learn as we journey through the highlights of this Hoosier State.

Let's learn a bit of it's background first....

"Hmm...What is a Hoosier you ask?"

Well there are many theories as to how the name came to be. Here are a few to ponder...

For well over a century and a half the people of Indiana have been called Hoosiers. It is one of the oldest of state nicknames and has had a wider acceptance than most.

True, there are Buckeyes of Ohio, the Fighting Illini of Illinois and the Tarheels of North Carolina --but none of these has had the popular usage accorded Hoosier.

But where did Hoosier come from? What is its origin?

As soon as the nickname came into general use, speculation began as to its origin.

Among the more popular theories:

When a visitor knocked upon a door of a pioneer cabin in Indiana, the settler would respond, "Who's yere?"

And from this frequent response Indiana became the
"Who's yere" or Hoosier state.

No one ever explained why this was more typical of Indiana than of Illinois or Ohio.

Indiana rivermen were so amazingly successful in trouncing or "hushing" their adversaries in a brawl
that they were commonly known as "hushers," and eventually Hoosiers.

There had been a contractor named Hoosier employed on the Louisville and Portland Canal who preferred to hire laborers from Indiana.

They were called "Hoosier's men" and eventually all Indianans were called Hoosiers.

Governor Joseph Wright theory derived Hoosier from an Indian word for corn, "hoosa."

Indiana flatboatmen taking corn or maize to New Orleans came to be known as "hoosa men" or Hoosiers.

Unfortunately for this theory, a search of Indian vocabularies by a careful student of linguistics failed to reveal any such word for corn.

Another just as possible is a facetious explanation offered by "The Hoosier Poet," James Whitcomb Riley. He claimed that the term Hoosier originated in the pugnacious habits of our early settlers.

They were enthusiastic and vicious fighters who gouged, scratched and bit off noses and ears.

This was such a common occurrence that when a settler came into a tavern the morning after a fight and saw an ear on the floor, He would touch it with his toe and casually ask, "Whose ear?"

Many have inquired into the origin of Hoosier. But the most serious student of the matter was Indiana historian and longtime secretary of the IHS, Jacob Piatt Dunn, Jr.

Dunn noted that "hoosier" was often used in many parts of the South in the 19th century for woodsmen or rough hill people.

He traced the word back to "hoozer," in the Cumberland dialect of England. This derives from the Anglo-Saxon word "hoo" meaning high or hill.

In the Cumberland dialect, the world "hoozer" meant anything unusually large, presumably like a hill.

Which seems fitting to see how this word was attached to a hill dweller or highlander.
Immigrants from Cumberland, England, settled in the southern mountains (Cumberland Mountains, Cumberland River, Cumberland Gap, etc.).

Their descendents brought the name with them when they settled in the hills of southern Indiana.

As Indiana writer Meredith Nicholson observed: "The origin of the term 'Hoosier' is not known with certainty.

But certain it is that . . .

Hoosiers bear their nickname proudly."

Indiana Our Nineteenth State, was Admitted in 1816.

The name "Indiana", was created by Congress when it created the Indiana Territory out of the Northwest Territory in 1800, it means "Land of the Indians".

Indiana's State Flag was Adopted in 1917.

This flag was designed by Paul Hadley as part of a contest to obtain a design for the states 100th birthday in 1916.

The torch stands for liberty and enlightenment. The rays mean that freedom and knowledge are available to everyone.

The large star represents Indiana and the eighteen smaller stars represents the eighteen states in the union before Indiana.

Thirteen outer stars are for the original thirteen states and the remaining five stars are for the five states added before Indiana.

Indiana's state motto and nickname is,

"The Crossroads of America"

"The Crossroads of America" refers to Indiana’s location within the United States: much of the east-west and north-south traffic east of the Mississippi River crosses some part of Indiana.

Indiana has 11,300 miles of state highways and interstates -- more than any other state of comparable size.

Indiana ranks seventh in the United States in air transportation volume.
Eleven carriers and several commuters provide service to ten Indiana cities.

Indiana's State Song:

"On the Banks of the Wabash, far away" (playing now)

The state song was written and composed by Paul Dresser, here are the words below...

'Round my Indiana homesteads wave the cornfields, In the distance loom the woodlands clear and cool.Often times my thoughts revert to scenes of childhood,

Where I first received my lessons, nature's school. But one thing there is missing in the picture, Without her face it seems so incomplete. I long to see my mother in the doorway, As she stood there years ago, her boy to greet.

{CHORUS} Oh, the moonlight's fair tonight along the Wabash, From the fields there comes the breath of newmown hay.

Through the sycamores the candle lights are gleaming, On the banks of the Wabash, far away. Many years have passed since I strolled by the river,

Arm in arm, with sweetheart Mary by my side, It was there I tried to tell her that I loved her, It was there I begged of her to be my bride. Long years have passed since I strolled thro' there churchyard.

She's sleeping there, my angel, Mary dear, I loved her, but she thought I didn't mean it, Still I'd give my future were she only here

Indiana's state flower is the Peony

"Beyond the Wei (River) It is very open and pleasant. That knight and lady, Merrily they sport. Then she gives him a peony".

(From the Book of Odes, 600 B.C. by an anonymous poet)

The peony is native to many parts of Europe and was first brought to England by the Roman legions about the year 1200. In England, the red-floweredpeony was said to glow in the dark (some varieties do have phosphorescent qualities) and was often planted beside doorways to ward off evil spirits.

The beauty of the single peonies, with only a few rows of petals, lies in their simplicity.Peonies are very pretty. They are named as the king of flower in China. They are very likely to become China's National flower.

There are the exhibitions of peonies every year in LuoYang of China.
It may have been a wild herbaceous peony root which a young Chinese woman presented to the young man.

Herbaceous peony in Chinese language is shaoyao (or shoyao) which means "medicinal herb plant".

The root of shaoyao was what interested the Chinese. When they had their spring festival of song and dance, presenting the root of a peony most probably was like giving a forget-me-not or a love-philter.

Indiana's state tree is theTulip Tree

Poets linked Indiana with the blossom of the tulip tree, or yellow poplar,as early as 1870. The tulip tree's blossom even served as Indiana's state flower from 1923 to 1931.

But, when Indianans lost the tulip tree as their state flower, they simply designated it their state tree on March 3, 1931. The tulip tree was much more common when forests covered most of Indiana.

The destruction of Indiana's forests seems to be represented on Indiana's state seal, which depicts a woodman felling a tree.

It also depicts a tulip tree leaf.

Indiana's state bird is the Cardinal

Many people find their favorite bird to be a,"Cardinal". This hardy red bird has a wonderful combination of color, friendly character, and song.

It has been said that Cardinals are named after the Cardinals of the Catholic Church who wear red robes. Cardinals, (Cardinalis cardinalis), are commonly seen in backyards in the eastern half of the United States.

Many states have adopted the Northern Cardinal as their state bird than any other bird.

These states are: Illinois, Kentucky, North Carolina, Ohio, Virginia, West Virginia, and Indiana, of course!.

The male is the one with the bright red plumage. The male has a black patch around his beak and a tufted crest. The female is a duller red with brown.

They both will sing all year-long, during warm spring mornings as well as cold snowy winter days, sometimes singing a duet.

Cardinals mate for life. If you see one, look closely into the trees, bushes, or brush for the other, they are never far away from each other.

"Ready to see the sites? Let's head to the Capitol...Indianapolis!!"

Here is the state capitol in Indianapolis.

The Indiana General Assembly still meets here beginning in early January each year for either a short or long session.

Before its centennial renovation in 1988, prison inmates had painted the Statehouse's interior walls a drab green, and gave little attention to its historic features.

The renovation, which cost five times the original $2 million, renewed the original hand-painted details, marble floors, and beautiful brass chandeliers.

The Supreme Court chambers with its original brass spittoons and the governor's office, featuring a desk made of teak decking from the USS Indiana, now evokes a feeling for the city's long history as a seat of government.

"Now, Let's see the rest of Indianapolis!!"


"On the banks of the Wabash, far away"