ohio weird facts

Washington-Lincoln day

Today is not Presidents Day in Ohio. It is Washington-Lincoln day. The day was official named in 2001. This was codified to clarify the days on which laws can and can not take effect.

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50 facts, of a random nature, about Ohio

50 random fact

As we start a new school year here are 50 more facts for you to annoy your teachers, friends, family, or coworkers with.

  1. The Great Seal of the State of Ohio was adopted in 1803.
  2. The seal was said to be inspired by the view from Adena mansion in Chillicothe. This is up for debate however.
  3. The river is the Scioto river.
  4. The arrows on the seal represent the American Indians that inhabited the area and Ohio as the 17th state in the union.
  5. The Sheaf of wheat represents the large value agriculture plays in the state.
  6. Thirteen rays of the sun represent the original 13 colonies.
  7. At one point it had a canal boat on the river.
  8. At one point the seal had the motto Imperium in Imperio (an empire with in an empire)
  9. Cheez-it‘s were invented in Dayton in 1921
  10. William Mckay, creator of Little Nemo, got started in the newspaper industry at The Cincinnati Enquirer.
  11. Wilbur and Orville, Dayton’s most famous sons, are related to the first woman to set foot in Dayton.
  12. Piqua had the first municipal owned nuclear power plant.
  13. Dum Dums, the most popular lollipop, were created by the Akron Candy Company in Bellevue, Ohio
  14. Clarence Darrow opened his first law office in Andover.
  15. Clarence Darrow’s childhood home is on the National Registry of Historic places and has an Ohio Historical Marker outside it.
  16. Darrow is best known for his role in the Scopes Monkey Trial made famous in the play “Inherit the Wind” written by Ohioans  Jerome Lawrence and Robert Edwin Lee
  17. The Cincinnati Reds held the first night game on May 24, 1935.
  18. The lights to the First night game were switched on by President Roosevelt from the White House in Washington, D.C.
  19. The second night game was on May 16,1938 in Brooklyn against the Cincinnati Reds.
  20. The first American league night game was June 15, 1939. The visiting team was the Cleveland Indians.
  21. The first federal radio license was given to G.H. Lewis
  22. Quaker Oats Company was founded in Ravenna
  23. Jerrie Mock in 1964 in her “Spirit of Columbus” Cessna 180 became the first woman to fly solo around the world.
  24. 1858 The first Kindergarten was opened in Columbus
  25. Cleveland’s Winton Company produced the first motorized mail truck.
  26. When opened in 1979 the Beast at Kings Island was the fastest, tallest, longest coaster made of wood.
  27. As of 2017 the beast is still the longest wooden coaster at 7,359 ft (2,243 m).
  28. The Son of The Beast was the first wooden hypercoaster. It was the second wooden coaster to feature a loop.
  29. Flip Flap Railway (NY) was the first wooden coaster to feature a loop. It was tested in Toledo.
  30. Corkscrew at Cedar Point was the first Coaster to have 3 inversions. It opened 7 days late to be the first modern day vertical loop.
  31. Kenner Products was started in Cincinnati.
  32. Kenner created and popularized the 3.75 inch action figure for it’s famous Star Wars line of toys.
  33. Kenner once owned many, many, popular toys including the Easy Bake Oven, Spirograph, and Play-doh.
  34. Play-Doh was invented in Cincinnati as a wallpaper Cleaner.
  35. Play-Doh was developed at the request of Ohio Based Kroger Grocery Company.
  36. Kroger started in 1883 in Cincinnati and has become the 3rd largest retailer in the world.
  37. The U.S.S Cod is the most intact WWII submarine in the US.
  38. J.F.K was the last president to win without Ohio
  39. Beer Barrel Saloon in Put-in-Bay on South Bass Island has the world’s longest permanent continuous bar at over 420 feet.
  40. Baby Swiss cheese was invented by Guggisberg Cheese Company in Charm.
  41. Ohio is still one of the leaders in swiss cheese production.
  42. Ohio is the leading producer of greenhouse plants.
  43. The Ruby-Throated Hummingbird is Ohio’s smallest bird.
  44. The Black Rat snake is the largest snake in Ohio. It can get up to 72 inches.
  45. The smallest county by population is Vinton with about 13,000 residents.
  46. The Highest Point in Ohio Campbell Hill is in Bellefontaine.
  47. The 1913 flood was the worst natural disaster to hit Ohio. It is the second deadliest flood in the US.
  48. 428 people died in Ohio during the 1913 flood.
  49. The oldest existing American-built locomotive is the John Quincy Adams. It is on display at Carillon Historical Park in Dayton
  50. Ohio’s official state groundhog is Buckeye Chuck

When Did Ohio Become a State?

Happy Statehood Day Ohio!

But why is today Statehood Day? Why is it not on February 19? On that day in 1803 Thomas Jefferson signed a resolution approving the constitution and the state’s borders. The General Assembly did not meet until March 1st however and that is why that date is set as Statehood Day. Well, yes, and no. That was the first day the assembly met, and that is why it is is Statehood Day. However it was not set in 1803. It was set in 1953. It took 150 to officially set a date .

Before 1812 and the admittance of Louisiana no formal process was established for states entering the union. The first 13 were granted statehood as soon as the country was established. The next few, Ohio included, entered quite fast after the US constitution was approved. Because the formal process was not needed, and it had been 9 years since Ohio had become a state, nobody thought about it. In 1953 when the state was gearing up for it’s Sesquicentennial the error was noticed. George H Bender introduced a bill before the U.S. Congress to admit Ohio as a state. To make sure that everything was legal, and for the pomp, the Ohio General Assembly meet in its first headquarters in Chillicothe and forged a new petition for statehood. This petition , for even more pomp, was delivered to the U.S. Capitol on horseback as it would have been done in 1803. To finally set everything right, and not have Ohio be thought of as the 50th state, the formal date of Ohio’s statehood was set to March 1st, 1803. On August 7th Eisenhower signed the papers and the whole matter was finally finished.

That is why in 1953 Ohio was given statehood in 1803 and today we celebrate that great and powerful statehood.

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Random Facts About Ohio: 50 more than before

  1. Ohio has 88 counties
  2. Scripps of the National Spelling Bee fame is headquartered in Cincinnati.
  3. Only 2 presidents never gave a State of The Union address. W.H. Harrison and James Garfield. Both die before they needed to.
  4. OCLC from Dublin is in charge of the Dewey Decimal System
  5. Joint Systems Manufacturing Center in Lima built all of the Tanks for the United States Army.
  6. 1865 the steamboat Sultana exploded, killing over 1,700 including 791 Ohioans.
  7. Ted Turner of CNN fame was born in Cincinnati
  8. Ohio has 146 miles of border shared with Canada (or Canada has 235 km of shared border)
  9. Middle Island, the southernmost point in Canada, is 150 meters from the Ohio Border
  10. Grand Lake St Marys was built as a supply feed for the Miami and Erie Canal
  11. It was the high point of the canal, supplying water in both directions.
  12. Grand Lake St Marys is the largest inland lake entirely with in Ohio’s borders
  13. Grand Lake St Marys was the site of the first offshore oil wells.
  14. The 2016 Republican Convention is the 3rd time it has been held in the state of Ohio. The first one was in 1876, the second one in 1936.
  15. The only Democratic convention to be held in Ohio was in 1880.
  16. The only Democrat to be nominated for office from Ohio was James M. Cox. He lost to an Ohioan.
  17. Every Republican from Ohio nominated for president has won the office.
  18. Ohio has had four capitals since 1803. 1. Chillicothe: 1803 – 18092. Zanesville: 1809 – 18123. Chillicothe: 1812 – 18164. Columbus: 1816 – present
  19. The first State Fair was held in Cincinnati.
  20. The fair moved to its current location for the 1874 fair.
  21. the 1896 fair was the first state fair to be electrically lit.
  22. The first Butter cow was in 1903
  23. The Newark Earthworks are the states Prehistoric Monument
  24. State Wildflower: White Trillium
  25. The first Motion Picture projector was invented by Dayton, Ohio native Charles Francis Jenkins
  26. Israel Ludlow help to plan out both Cincinnati, Hamilton, and Dayton
  27. Cincinnati, Hamilton, and Dayton all have a Ludlow Street
  28. The first automobile insurance was purchased in Dayton.  In 1897, resident Gilbert J. Loomis purchased a liability insurance policy from the Travelers Insurance Company.
  29. The first doctor to use an automobile was Dr. Carlos C. Booth from Youngstown in 1897.
  30. On October 19, 1874, the first aerial wedding took place over Cincinnati.
  31. The Vermont, the car Horatio Nelson Jackson took the first drove across the nation in, was Winton Motor Car.
  32. Daytonian Walter Richard Brookins, in 1910, made the first night flight.
  33. The same year he flew to 6,175 feet, making him the first to fly over 1 mile high.
  34. Goodyear built 104 blimps at WingFoot Lake in Akron for the military during WWII.
  35. 1953, Harold Moore, of Cincinnati, and Harry C. Jeffers, of Newark, made the first Alantic Crossing in a Helicopter.
  36. Elektro, the famous robot from the 1939 World’s Fair, was built by Westinghouse in Mansfield.
  37. He is currently on display at the Mansfield Memorial Museum.
  38. John Smith was Ohio’s first senator.
  39. Jeremiah Morrow was the states first Congressperson.
  40. Ohio only had one seat in The United States House of Representatives until 1813. After the it’s first national census in 1810 it gained five more seats for a total of 6.
  41. In 1935 Alcoholics Anonymous was founded in Akron.
  42. The site of the first meeting is now a part of Stan Hywet Hall and Gardens.
  43. William Henry Harrison was the first major party candidate from Ohio. He lost the 1836 election to Martin Van Buren. He defeated him in 1840.
  44. The American Society of Materials is housed under a giant Geodesic Dome in  Russell Township,Geauga County.
  45. Between the 1964 Browns’ NFL Championship and the historic 2016 Cavaliers’ NBA Title over 146 different sports seasons had passed with out a win.
  46. That was over 12,660 games with played between titles.
  47. Made a National Monument in 1923, Hopewell Culture National Historical Park is the oldest national park in the state.
  48. Designated on March 25, 2013, Charles Young Buffalo Solider National Monument is the newest.
  49. Miami University is 87 years older than the city in Florida.
  50. The city in Florida was conceived by Cleveland Native Julia Tuttle.

Cryptozohio: Stories of the Stage

Photo by J. Ellwood

Theaters have a long-standing history of ghosts and strange things that go bump in the night. It has become a practice to leave a single light burning on stage when the theater is empty. Some say this is for safety, but the name, ghost light, says otherwise.

From former actors to patrons who never wanted to leave Ohio’s theaters have some stories of their own.

Victoria Theater: It is said that the private box on the left is haunted by a former patron who was attacked there. People have reported feeling uneasy and even been attacked by the woman. Another ghost is that of a man who committed suicide by stabbing himself with a knife fastened to the back of a seat. It is said that his face can be seen in the curtains back stage from time to time. One night an actress vanished from her dressing room. She is said to have never left the building however. Her perfume can be smelled, her petticoats heard as she crosses the stage, and she has even been reported in the 3rd floor restroom.

Playhouse Square: Made up of many theaters, Playhouse is a destination for Cleveland’s patrons of the arts, both living and not. The Hanna Theatre is one of the most haunted of the bunch. Over 70 different entities have been said to reside there. Patrons have been seen in the balcony dressed for a show. Most of the mischief is said to happen backstage with props, paint, and tools seeming to move around on their own.

Ohio Theatre (Columbus): An old stage manager is said to haunt this theater in Columbus. He is reported opening elevators and playing pranks on the crew. A child is said to haunt the basement. As with most other old theaters the balcony is houses patrons who never wanted to leave.

Music Hall: One of the most haunted theaters in Ohio, but not because of the people working in it. The theater was built on top of the Cincinnati Orphan Asylum, an orphanage for children of the insane asylum. Ghosts were reported before the theater even opened.  The sounds of the ghost making mischief or going about a normal routine are heard throughout the building. They are patrons, cast, and crew who should not be. The Travel Channel even named it one of The Most Terrifying Places in America. If you want to experience the Ghost of Music Hall, take a tour. (yeah they sell out early so check back next year)

Is this all of them, no. This is just a small portion of the haunts from the stages of Ohio. Stay tuned for more Stories from the Stage.

If you go to one of the theaters listed above go for a show. Do not harass the theaters. They do too much good for that.

Celluloid Ohio – Haunting the Screen

Ohio is no Hollywood, but it has had it fair share of films set in Ohio, filmed in Ohio, or about Ohioans. This month we look at the films that gave us a good scare.

A Nightmare on Elm Street – The classic film is set in Springwood, Ohio. It stars the dream killer Freddy Krueger. The franchise spawned 9 films, a tv series, comic books, and one of the most speculated crossovers of all time, Freddy Vs Jason.

Some other Horror films set in Ohio:

  • The Faculty
  • Finale
  • Heathers
  • I am Number Four
  • Meet the Applegates
  • Phantom of the Paradise
  • Salvage
  • Scorned
  • Silence of the Lambs
  • Super 8
  • Take Shelter
  • Thankskilling
  • Trick ‘r’ Treat

Local Filmmakers: Many local filmmakers are also making films about the great state. If you are a filmmaker and want to know more about the opportunities in Ohio visit: http://development.ohio.gov/filmoffice/UsefulLinks.html 

Random Facts about Ohio: The next 50

Part 1: Random facts about Ohio
Part 2: More random facts about Ohio
More facts from Ohio:

  1. The first car accident occurred in Ohio City, Ohio
  2. The first commercially successful winery was Nicholas Longworth’s in Cincinnati.
  3. The last wild passenger pigeon killed was in Sargents, Pike County, Ohio, in 1900.
  4. The last wild passenger pigeon is on display at The Ohio Historical Center.
  5. The last passenger pigeon died at the Cincinnati Zoo in 1914
  6. James Henry Salisbury, M.D the inventor of Salisbury steak is buried in Lakeview Cemetery in Cleveland.
  7. The baseball’s seventh inning stretch is said to come from either President Taft getting tired at a baseball game, or from the Cincinnati Reds around 1869
  8. The Warners (of Warner’s Bros Fame) started by exhibiting The Great Train Robbery at carnivals across Ohio.
  9. Both the Avengers and Captain America: Winter Soldier were filmed in Cleveland.
  10. Marvel has made over 2 billion dollars off of the movies it filmed in Cleveland.
  11. Ohio sent over 320,000 men to the Civil War.
  12. 35,475 Ohioans died during the Civil War.
  13. The only equestrian Civil War statue in Ohio honors  Gen. Philip Sheridan.
  14. The youngest person to serve in the Civil War from Ohio was Joseph Fissell from Circleville. He was 11. (John Clem was a few weeks older)
  15. Procter and Gamble (headquartered in Cincinnati) Supplied most of the soap to the Union Army.
  16. The fighting McCooks of Ohio were the largest family group to become officers in the US Army.
  17. Major General James McPherson from Sandusky Countywas the highest ranking officer killed during the Civil War.
  18. Murphy’s Law was named after Capt. Ed Murphy, a development engineer from Wright Field Aircraft Lab.
  19. The largest City in Ohio is Columbus with around 822,553. it is the 15th largest in the nation (in 2013).
  20. Columbus is also the largest city by area with 223.11 sq mi (about 26th largest nationwide)
  21. At 43 residents Miltonsburg is one of the smallest.
  22. Yahtzee was first marketed by National Association Service of Toledo, Ohio.
  23. The rock group Buffalo Springfield is named after Springfield Ohio. They got the name off the side of a Buffalo – Springfield steamroller.
  24. Cleveland was named after General Moses Cleaveland of the Connecticut Land Company.
  25. Columbus is the largest city named for Christopher Columbus.
  26. Centerburg is so named because it is the geographical center of Ohio.
  27. Rose Selfridge, wife of the famous Henry Selfridge, is the daughter of Benjamin Hale Buckingham of Putnam, Ohio.
  28. Hoover, and its parent company,  the largest floor care company in the world, are headquartered in Glenwillow.
  29. A slang term for vacuuming in Britain is “hoover”, named after the Ohio companies product.
  30. The state with the most Ohioans on its quarter is North Carolina? (Both Wright Brothers)
  31. Rana catesbeiana, or common bullfrog is the state frog
  32. The state gemstone is Ohio Flint.
  33. The Blaine Hill bridge in Belmont county is the oldest bridge in the state.
  34. Ohio state reformatory is the official state penal museum.
  35. Rascal Flats started in Columbus. February 21 is Rascal Flats day in honor of this.
  36. Dino Paul Crocetti (Dean Martin) is celebrated on June 7th, Dean Martian Day.
  37. Beautiful Ohio is the state song.
  38. NCR of Dayton used microencapsulation to create the first carbon-less copy paper.
  39. DP&L was made the first scratch and sniff to tell customers what a gas leak smells like.
  40. Haven and Hettrich of Cincinnati patented the first Yo Yo in America.
  41. Rockefeller Center in New York is named after Ohioan John Davison Rockefeller Jr
  42. Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York city was founded by Charles Kettering
  43. Con Edison which powers NYC was founded by an Ohioan (Thomas Edison)
  44. The cat was not named after the President. It was named after the comics creator’s grandfather, James A Garfield Davis. He was however named after the President from Ohio.
  45. The northeast portion of Ohio was once part of Connecticut.
  46. Ohio was once a neighbor to Virgina, after being part of it’s military district.
  47. Ohio is the only state name the ends with the same letter it starts, with and is not an A
  48. At 42%, Holmes County has the largest percentage of Amish population of US county.
  49. The SkyCycle, was built in 1907. The pedal-powered blimp was built by Cromwell Dixon and flown at Driving Park.
  50. Elm Street, the one with all the Nightmares, is set in a fictional town of Springwood, Ohio

50 more random facts about Ohio

After the popularity of the Original 50 Random Facts About Ohio

  1. Largest County:  Ashtabula County(711 square miles)
  2. Smallest County:  Lake County (232 square miles)
  3. America’s first hot dog came from Ohio, in the early 1900s.
  4. Oberlin College, founded in 1833, was the first college in the United States to admit women.
  5. First trapshoot was in Cincinnati in 1831
  6. Clay target pigeon invented by  George Ligowsky of Cincinnati, Ohio
  7. First Soap box derby held in Dayton, Ohio
  8. World Championships still held in Akron
  9. East 105th Street and Euclid Avenue in Cleveland was the site of the first pedestrian button for the control of a traffic light
  10. Dresden is the home of the world’s largest basket. It is located at Basket Village USA
  11. Cleveland became the world’s first city to be lit electrically in 1879
  12. John Mercer Langston is believed to have been the first African American elected to public office. He was elected clerk of Brownhelm in 1854
  13. The world’s first speeding ticket was issued in Dayton, Ohio in 1904
  14. Josephine Cochran invented the dishwasher, and turned her company into Kitchen-aid
  15. James Spangler, of Canton, invented the Electric Vacuum Cleaner and started the Hoover Vacuum Cleaning Company
  16. The modern parachute was tested and improved at Dayton’s McCook aeronautical research and development center. (later called Wright Patterson Air Force Base)
  17. Only 2 zoo’s outside of Florida have manatees, Columbus and Cincinnati.
  18. The term “Rock and Roll” was coined in Cleveland, Ohio by Al Freed
  19. The Ohio Statehouse was completed before the expansion of the Us capitol and does not contain the same dome style. It instead has a low conical roof.
  20. There are 88 bicentennial barns, One in every county.
  21. Manufacturing and Financial services are the major industries by GDP, but trade, utilities, and transportation implore more people.
  22. Ohio once had 8 working canals
  23. Only 8 presidents have lost in Ohio and gone on to the White House.
  24. Many major restaurant chains have started in Ohio including Max and Ermas, Wendy’s, BW3’s, Bob Evans, Arby’s, Perkins, Sonics, and Skyline.
  25. At 44,825 sq mi Ohio is the 34 largest state
  26. Ohio’s lowest point, 455 ft, is higher than any point in both Florida and Delaware.
  27. The ladybug is the state insect.
  28. State bird, the cardinal
  29. The state animal is the White Tail deer.
  30. The tomato is the state fruit
  31. Tomato juice is the state drink
  32. Union Terminal, home of the Cincinnati Museum Center, is the basis for the DC Comic’s Hall of Justice.
  33. Cedar Point is the second oldest continually running amusement park.
  34. Lowest record temperature: −39 °F (−39 °C), at Milligan on February 10, 1899.
  35. Highest: 113 °F (45 °C), near Gallipolis on July 21, 1934.
  36. Marietta, Ohio is the first settlement of the Northwest Territories.
  37. Both Pro Football (Canton) and Major League Baseball (Cincinnati) started in Ohio.
  38.  Dayton Triangles won what some consider the first NFL game.
  39. Thomas Selfridge was the first person to die in a plane crash. He was passenger aboard a Wright Model A built in Dayton Ohio.
  40. Signal Corps No. 1, a Wright Military Flyer modified from the fatal crash of A Wright  Model A, was the first heavy than air vehicle bought by the US military.
  41. First Plane crash survived by use of parachute was Lieutenant Harold R. Harris.  On October 20, 1922, flying a  Loening monoplane, he bailed out 2,000 feet over North Dayton.
  42. First Mormon Temple built in Kirkland, Ohio.
  43. Warren G. Harding was the first President to give a speech over the radio.
  44. William Howard Taft is the only president to serve on the Supreme Court.
  45. Samuel Ramsey of Jacobsburg purchased the first Hybrid Corn shipment.
  46. First matchbooks were produced by Diamond Match Company at the Barberton, Ohio factory in 1896
  47. Indianola Junior High School in Columbus, Ohio, opened on September 7, 1909. It was the first junior high school.
  48.  The Y Bridge in Zanesville was first built in 1814 to span the confluence of the Licking and Muskingum Rivers. “Ripley’s Believe It or Not” proclaimed it the only bridge in the world which you can cross and still be on the same side of the river.
  49. 1850: First company in the U.S. to publish greeting cards – Gibson Greeting Card Company.
  50. 1793: Cincinnati was the first Ohio city to publish a newspaper.