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The city's philanthropic community has helped develop its cultural institutions and collections, including the world's largest children's museum, one of the nation's largest privately funded zoos, historic buildings and sites, and public art.Since the 1970 city-county consolidation, known as Unigov, local government administration operates under the direction of an elected 25-member city-county council headed by the mayor.From top to bottom, left to right: Downtown Indianapolis skyline, Indiana Statehouse, Soldiers' and Sailors' Monument, Indiana World War Memorial Plaza, Butler University, Lucas Oil Stadium, and Indianapolis Motor Speedway is the capital and most populous city of the U. Indianapolis covers 368 square miles (950 km), making it the 16th largest city by land area in the U. Indigenous peoples inhabited the area dating to approximately 2000 BC. As of 2017, Indianapolis is the third most populous city in the American Midwest and 16th most populous in the U. The Indianapolis metropolitan area is the 34th most populous metropolitan statistical area in the U. Its combined statistical area ranks 27th, with a population of 2,411,086.A combined county and town government continued until 1832 when Indianapolis incorporated as a town.Indianapolis became an incorporated city effective March 30, 1847.Following the Civil War—and in the wake of the Second Industrial Revolution—Indianapolis experienced tremendous growth and prosperity.In 1880, Indianapolis was the world's third largest pork packing city, after Chicago and Cincinnati, and the second largest railroad center in the United States by 1888.

Effective January 1, 1825, the seat of state government relocated to Indianapolis from Corydon, Indiana. During the American Civil War, Indianapolis was loyal to the Union cause. Morton, a major supporter of President Abraham Lincoln, quickly made Indianapolis a rallying place for Union army troops.Indianapolis was one of the hardest hit cities in the Great Flood of 1913, resulting in five known deaths Led by D. Stephenson, the Indiana Klan became the most powerful political and social organization in Indianapolis from 1921 through 1928, controlling City Council and the Board of School Commissioners, among others. cities during the Civil Rights Movement, the city experienced strained race relations.At its height, more than 40% of native-born white males in Indianapolis claimed membership in the Klan. Kennedy delivered one of the most lauded speeches in 20th century American history, following the assassination of civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. A 1971 federal court decision forcing Indianapolis Public Schools to implement desegregation busing proved controversial.Indianapolis has hosted international multi-sport events such as the 1987 Pan American Games and 2001 World Police and Fire Games.Indianapolis is home to two major sports clubs, the Indiana Pacers of the National Basketball Association and the Indianapolis Colts of the National Football League.

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