1. In 1851, Henry Ward Beecher, the brother of author Harriet Beecher Stowe, spoke in Indianapolis about the topic of slavery. Beecher was a well-known abolitionist and his speech drew a large crowd, many of whom were sympathetic to his cause.
2. On June 11, 1903, the first ever motor race was held at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The race was won by driver Carl Fisher, who later went on to play a major role in the development of the Speedway.
3. The iconic Monument Circle in downtown Indianapolis was dedicated on June 11, 1902. The monument was built to honor Indiana soldiers who fought in the Civil War, and is topped by a statue of Victory.
4. In 1969, the state of Indiana adopted the nickname "The Hoosier State," which is now a well-known moniker for the state. There is much debate about the origins of the term "Hoosier," with different theories suggesting it comes from the shape of the state or a corruption of the phrase "who's here?"
5. Indianapolis native and basketball legend Larry Bird was born on June 11, 1956. Bird played for the Boston Celtics and is widely regarded as one of the greatest players in NBA history. He later went on to coach the Indiana Pacers and is now the president of the team.
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