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Indiana Bicentennial Celebration 2016

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Explore County Bicentennial Activities > Monroe County Monroe County

Monroe County by Rene Stanley
Q&A with County Coordinator Laura Newton

What do you consider the key accomplishment(s) of your county’s bicentennial celebration?

  • Torch Relay.

What Legacy Project do you most like to tell people about, and why?

  • Monroe County History Center- Cemetery Calendar.
    It highlighted those buried in Monroe County cemeteries that had an impact on our community and the state of Indiana.

Describe a highlight or most memorable moment related to your county's bicentennial celebration.

  • Torch Relay.  Having all carriers gather at our Courthouse in the center of downtown Bloomington at the end of the relay.  Remarks by Lee Hamilton and the celebratory feel for all our citizens.

How/where are you preserving information and artifacts related to your county's celebration?

  • Monroe County History Center.

Total number of volunteers who participated.

  • 50.

Estimated total attendance.

  • 1,000.

Estimated dollar amount spent (if applicable).

  • $5,000.

Monroe County Legacy Projects

Monroe County Facts

Monroe County was formed in 1818 from portions of Orange County. It was named for James Monroe, fifth President of the United States, who was serving at the time the county was organized.

Bloomington, the county seat is home to Indiana University. The university has a storied legacy as a Big Ten school known globally for its academic and research excellence.

Indiana University’s greatest swimmer was Mark Spitz, who won 7 gold medals in the 1972 Olympic games. No other athlete has won as many gold medals in a single year.

About the courthouse: Wing and Mahurin were the architects and the building was completed in 1908.

Hoagy Carmichael grew up in Bloomington and became a popular writer of songs, including “Stardust” and “Georgia on My Mind.”

Early growth of Indiana University was slow but already on a course for innovative education. In 1851 IU had nearly 100 students and seven professors.

IU admitted its first woman student, Sarah Parke Morrison, in 1867, making IU only the fourth public university to admit women on an equal basis with men. Morrison went on to become the first female professor at IU in 1873.

A number of former limestone quarries in the county are now naturally filled with water, as featured in the 1979 film Breaking Away.

County Seat: Bloomington
Year Organized: 1818
Square Miles: 394.51