Here are 5 interesting facts about March 15 in Indiana history:
1. In 1894, Indiana's first state park was established on March 15. McCormick's Creek State Park, located near Spencer, is named after John McCormick, an early settler in the area. Today, it is Indiana's oldest state park and features hiking trails, waterfalls, and a limestone canyon.
2. In 1963, the Indiana House of Representatives passed a resolution on March 15 commemorating the achievements of Hoosier astronaut Gus Grissom. Grissom, who was born in Mitchell, was one of the original Mercury Seven astronauts and flew on both the Mercury and Gemini missions. He died in 1967 in a tragic accident during a pre-launch test of the Apollo 1 spacecraft.
3. On March 15, 1820, the Indiana General Assembly passed a law allowing African American men to vote. This law was seen as a progressive move towards supporting the rights of African Americans in Indiana, but it ultimately did little to challenge the systemic racism and discrimination that existed throughout the state.
4. March 15, 1911, marked the first day of operation for the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Originally built as a test track for automotive manufacturers, the Speedway soon became the home of the legendary Indianapolis 500, which was first held in 1911. Today, the Speedway is one of the most iconic racing venues in the world.
5. In 1871, Purdue University was founded on March 15 with a $150,000 grant from John Purdue, a wealthy businessman and philanthropist. Today, Purdue is one of the largest and most prestigious universities in the country, with over 40,000 undergraduate and graduate students enrolled in a variety of programs.
- Tags: IN