1. Statehood: On December 11, 1816, President James Madison signed a bill admitting Indiana as the 19th state in the Union. On December 16 of that same year, Indiana officially became a state, marking the beginning of a new era in Hoosier history.
2. Steel Industry: In 1901, the United States Steel Corporation was founded by J.P. Morgan, Elbert H. Gary, and other industrialists. One of the largest steel manufacturers in the world, U.S. Steel had a significant presence in Indiana, where it owned several mills and employed thousands of workers.
3. Basketball: On December 16, 1955, the Indiana high school basketball game between Milan and South Bend Central inspired the movie “Hoosiers.” Milan, a small school with an enrollment of just 161 students, defeated the much larger South Bend Central team in a stunning upset, capturing the state championship.
4. Space Exploration: On December 16, 1965, NASA's Gemini 6 spacecraft successfully rendezvoused with Gemini 7 in orbit around Earth. The two spacecraft came within one foot of each other, marking the first time two vessels had ever docked in space.
5. Indianapolis Colts: On December 16, 1984, the Indianapolis Colts defeated the Houston Oilers 24-17 at the Hoosier Dome, their home stadium from 1984 to 2007. The victory clinched the Colts' first winning season since moving from Baltimore to Indianapolis in 1984, and ignited a passion for football in the city that endures to this day.
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