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5 Fun Facts About December 12 In Indiana History

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1. Indiana became the 19th state of the United States on December 11, 1816. This makes December 12 the first full day Indiana was officially a state.

2. The first-ever successful artificial heart transplant was performed in Indianapolis on December 12, 1985, by Dr. William C. DeVries. The patient, Barney Clark, survived for 112 days with the artificial heart before passing away due to complications.

3. On December 12, 1835, the first officially recorded train robbery in the world occurred in Jeffersonville, Indiana. The robbers stole over $6,000 in cash and gold from the Madison and Indianapolis Railroad.

4. Indianapolis native Bob Knight became the winningest coach in Division I men's basketball history on December 12, 1993, with his 880th career victory. Knight, who coached at Indiana University for 29 years, finished his career with 902 wins.

5. On December 12, 1901, Indiana Governor Winfield T. Durbin signed a bill making Indiana the first state to enact a eugenics law. This law allowed the state to forcibly sterilize individuals considered "unfit," a practice that continued in Indiana and other states until the 1970s.
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