Indiana Becomes 19th U.S. State
On December 11, 1816, Indiana was admitted to the Union.
In 1679, the French explorer René-Robert Cavelier, the Sieur de La Salle, became the first European to explore Indiana. La Salle came to the area from French colonies in Canada in an effort to find a water route to the Pacific Ocean, traveling down the St. Joseph and Kankakee rivers. He returned in 1680, and explored the northern region of Indiana.