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5 Fun Facts About December 31 In Indiana History

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1. Indiana became a state on December 11, 1816, but it wasn't until December 31 of that year that Governor Jonathan Jennings was inaugurated as the state's first governor. He served two terms and helped establish Indiana's state government.

2. On December 31, 1862, the Emancipation Proclamation went into effect, declaring all slaves in states that rebelled against the Union to be free. Indiana played a major role in the Civil War, and many of its citizens celebrated the Proclamation's announcement.

3. December 31, 1888 saw the completion of the Wabash Railroad's Indiana line, connecting the town of Montpelier with the state capital of Indianapolis. This allowed for easier transportation of goods and people between the two areas, boosting the economy of the state.

4. In 1979, the Indiana Hoosiers basketball team defeated the Michigan Wolverines 69-68 on New Year's Eve. This victory was part of Indiana's undefeated season, which culminated in the team winning the NCAA championship.

5. Finally, on December 31, 2008, Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels signed a bill that would make texting while driving illegal in the state. This was a major step in promoting safe driving practices and reducing distracted driving accidents.
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