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Local resident leads Indiana’s birthday celebrations
Start Date: 12/4/2013Start Time: 12:00 AM
End Date: 12/4/2013End Time: 11:59 PM
Entry Description
Local resident leads Indiana’s birthday celebrations

A week from today, on December 11, Indiana turns 197 years old. We are only three years away from the state’s bicentennial celebration, which the state has been eagerly planning for some time. Leading the charge is Noblesville High School and Butler University graduate, Chris Jensen, who serves as the Executive Director for the Bicentennial Commission. Details are still forming on all the festivities he is putting into motion, but the signature event will be the 92 county torch relay. Five hundred and sixty-six cities and towns throughout the state will host celebrations, each highlighting different aspects of our great, Hoosier heritage. We are working to incorporate all 6.5 million residents in the celebration to be one for the ages. Stay tuned for more to come on this at www.indiana2016.org.

As the 19th state admitted to the Union on December 11, 1816, Indiana set forth on a path that has served as the home for presidents, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and industrial giants. Our state has a long, storied history that students continue to learn about each year. All Hoosier fourth grade students were invited to participate in a statewide essay competition to memorialize Indiana’s 2013 Statehood Day, specifically writing about who their “Hoosier Hero” is and why. One of our very own, Andrew Knight, a student at Our Lady of Grace School, won the competition and will be leading the Statehood Day celebrations at the Statehouse next Wednesday when he reads his essay. 
 
He wrote about Levi Coffin, who was an abolitionist, deeply involved in the Underground Railroad. His home was seen as the Grand Central Station of the Underground Railroad in Fountain City, Ind. Levi was born in North Carolina, but moved to Indiana and became a successful businessman. His business success enabled him to fund anti-slavery endeavors that helped thousands of slaves reach freedom in Canada. 

Andrew wrote in his essay that he “liked Levi because he puts others first. That’s what makes him a great Hoosier… I will always remember him as a hero.” I couldn’t agree more – Levi was a hero. He faced death threats and was fearful for the well-being of his family, but he was a man of faith and felt no condemnation for helping slaves. Hoosiers have always been willing to help those in need, and Levi, as Andrew correctly points at, was someone who embodied this principle.

For Statehood Day, the Statehouse will be hosting a variety of events to celebrate our state’s founding. Beginning at 9am, there will be fun, interactive activities presented by the offices of the governor and lieutenant governor, the Legislature, Indiana Supreme Court, state museum, archives section of the state library, historical bureau, history center and other state agencies. Students will also have the opportunity to see original copies of Indiana’s state constitution. Every year, this event brings Indiana history to life for our youngest Hoosiers as they study our state’s government and heritage. I encourage anyone who is able to visit the Statehouse on Wednesday; it will be a great learning experience and a lot of fun.
 
If you cannot make it to the Statehouse, consider going to the Indiana State Museum or the Indiana Historical Society. You can learn how states are created and the rich history Indiana has as a member of the Union. Each of these places will be hosting celebrations and activities the whole family can enjoy. 
 
I love this time of year as there is so much going on and so much to celebrate with friends and family. The holiday season is jam packed with community activities. This past weekend the downtown Christmas lights were turned, and the jolly old guy arrived at the Santa house after the parade on Sunday afternoon. For those of us at the parade, I don’t think we could have asked for better weather. 

If you were brave enough, there were a lot of great deals after Thanksgiving with Black Friday and Small Business Saturday. I’ve always supported our local businesses, and Saturday was a great day to see what they all have to offer. Fortunately here in Noblesville, we have many small businesses in the downtown area, so there is no reason we can’t shop at small businesses every day!  

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Contact Information:
Name: Nicholas Goodwin
Phone: (317) 232-9831
Email: nicholas.goodwin@iga.in.gov
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