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Look forward on Statehood Day


Statehood Day is a day we relish with genuine Hoosier pride.

On Dec. 11, 1816, Indiana, once part of the vast Northwest Territory, was officially recognized as a burgeoning new state comprised of great resources and the promise of a better future.

The Indiana Bicentennial Commission is delighted to commemorate this historic day along with Hoosiers across the state, and we look forward to the celebratory 200th year of the birth of our state in 2016.

With the formation of the Indiana Bicentennial Commission in 2011, all involved were confident that communities statewide were up to the challenge of creating events that honor our shared history, celebrate our progress and spark great expectations for our future.

Indiana was shaped by adventurous, forward-thinking pioneers who forged their way to build new lives in the frontier. Activists such as Dennis Pennington and Jonathan Jennings worked to end slavery, while visionaries strove to create better opportunities for Hoosiers through public education.

At the dawn of this new era, we are all modern-day pioneers charting our way into new territory utilizing innovative strategies and technologies, while honoring our strong Midwestern values and fostering the Hoosier spirit.

The approaching Bicentennial is an exciting time to come together and embrace our dynamic Hoosier heritage, while looking ahead to help ignite Indiana’s future.

As we travel the state promoting the Bicentennial, we are inspired by the ongoing collaborative efforts of leaders, statewide associations, businesses, faith-based groups, and individuals that epitomize the principles Indiana is known for – unity in working together and caring for each other.

We encourage Hoosiers to continue to look for creative opportunities to help communities celebrate our Bicentennial and help to shape our next chapters making Indiana an even better place to live.

The Indiana Bicentennial Commission is focusing on the four key areas of nature conservation, youth and education, community involvement, and historical celebration.

We invite your input, ideas, and involvement at

Together, we will show the world what the Hoosier spirit is all about.

Karen Pence is Indiana’s first lady and Bicentennial Ambassador. Former Lt. Gov. Becky Skillman and former Congressman Lee Hamilton are co-chairs of the 2016 Indiana Bicentennial Commission. They wrote this for Indiana newspapers.