Uncovering America's Heritage... Coin by Coin
2002 Indiana State Quarter
Hi! It's me, Plinky, again, with a really neat quarter: Indiana! It's got a race car on it. Whee!
Indiana is the home of the Indianapolis 500, a world-famous car race they hold every year near the state's capital city, Indianapolis. But people call the race "the Indy 500" for short. They not only race cars in Indiana, they make them too. In fact, the Indy 500's track was built so car makers could test their new cars and race them against each other.
The track at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, where the Indy 500 takes place, is only two and a half miles long, so the cars have to go around and around it until they get to 500 miles. Whew! The race has taken place there since it started in 1911.
In 1961, another track called Indianapolis Raceway Park opened and began racing hot rods there every year. I'm not sure of the difference between a hot rod and a race car, but either way, it's good racing!
This state was named "Indiana" because of the many Native Americans who used to live there. Its motto, "Crossroads of America," tells you how important Indiana is for moving goods and people. It has some of the best waterways, railroads, airports, and highways in the nation.
There are 19 stars in the quarter's design, just like in the state flag, because Indiana was the 19th state to approve (ratify) the Constitution and become a state. The year was 1816. Guess which month.