1. In 1803, the Indiana Territory was officially created by an act of Congress. The territory included not only what would eventually become the state of Indiana, but also parts of Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, and Wisconsin.
2. On February 19, 1861, Indiana Governor Oliver P. Morton addressed the state legislature and warned them of the impending threat of civil war. He urged them to take action and prepare for the possibility of conflict, which would eventually break out just two months later with the start of the American Civil War.
3. In 1945, Indiana Governor Ralph F. Gates signed the state's first anti-discrimination law. The law prohibited discrimination based on race, color, religion, or national origin in places of public accommodation, such as hotels, restaurants, and theaters.
4. On February 19, 1970, the first Black History Month was celebrated in Indiana. The idea had originated with historian Carter G. Woodson, who had advocated for a national celebration of African American history since the 1920s.
5. Indiana basketball legend Larry Bird was born on February 19, 1956 in West Baden Springs. Bird would go on to play for Indiana State University and later the Boston Celtics, winning three NBA championships and earning three MVP awards during his career. He also served as coach of the Indiana Pacers from 1997-2000.
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