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52 Interesting Facts About Ohio

Ohio is the 7th most populous and the 34th most extensive of the 50 states of the United States. It is a Midwestern state in the Great Lakes region of the United States. The state attained statehood on March 1, 1803, becoming the 17th state to join the union. Its five bordering states are Michigan, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Indiana, Kentucky. Ohio (nicknamed: the Buckeye State) has 88 counties. The state’s capital is Columbus. The abbreviation for Ohio is OH. Ohio also has the status of a swing state because it can be either won by a Democratic or Republican presidential candidate. With these facts about Ohio, let us learn about its history, geography, people, economy and more.

By Sriram NadarajanPublished about a year ago 10 min read
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The Ohio Turnpike (Interstate 80) crosses the Cuyahoga Valley south of Cleveland.

Interesting facts about Ohio

1. The name of the state originated from the name of the river “Ohio”. The word “Ohio” in Seneca language means “the Great River.”[1]

2. Around 1670, French explorer Robert de La Salle was the first non-native person to reach the area. Interestingly, most people from Ohio fought for the Union during the Civil War and those that did not support the Union were called Copperheads (also called Peace Democrats). Copperheads were thought of as poisonous snakes lying in wait to attack in favor of the south.

3. The Ohio River empties its water into the Mississippi River. Without the Ohio River, therefore, the great Mississippi River would not be what it is today. It is important to note that the Ohio River is formed in western Pennsylvania when Monongahela and Allegheny Rivers meet.[32]

4. The Ohio River is 1,579 km long. This is approximately 981 miles. It starts in Pittsburgh, PA, when Allegheny and Monongahela Rivers converge. It flows in a south westerly direction to its mouth in the Mississippi in Cairo, IL.[32]

5. The average depth of the Ohio River is 24 feet. The deepest point, however, is 134 feet. That is in Louisville, KY.[33]

6. Ohio’s flag is the only non-rectangular U.S. state flag.

7. Chris Antes is a guy from Ohio, who has this remarkable and unique ability to sculpt with his mouth. Also known as the “Gum Man”, Chris can mold chewing gums into different shapes including those resembling humans, articles, vegetables, fruits, animals, human body parts and more. And he does this quickly in less than a minute’s time. He claims that he is the only person in the United States to do so.

8. Did you know that between 1913 and 1915, at least 7 children were shipped in mail in the United States? And the first instance of this weird act was recorded when, the Beagles, a couple from Ohio, after paying for postage stamps and insurance money, handed over their 8 month infant son to the mailman, to be delivered at his grandmother’s place which was just a mile away. The news broke and other parents also started making use of the cheap service; a six year old girl was even sent from her home in Florida to her father’s house in Virginia. And that’s a lot of mileage to cover!

9. On August 05, 1914, the world’s first electric signal was put in the street in Cleveland, Ohio.[9]

10. In Dayton, Ohio, the Wright Brothers built their first controlled machine that would allow them to fly in the air and come back safely to the ground when need be. They built the world’s first practical airplane, the Wright Flyer, in 1905.[10]

11. Did you know that the Wright Brothers before taking flight dealt in bicycles? They repaired, rented, built and sold bikes in Dayton, Ohio. They eventually used the profits from their bicycle business to fuel their aviation experiments.[28]

12. Thomas Edison, the legendary inventor, and businessman was born in Milan, Ohio.

13. Michael Reid, Sigridur YR Unnarsdottir, and Chris Fabre broke the world record for the longest journey on a pocket bike in a journey that started in Ohio, USA and ended in New Mexico, USA. The 2,504.77 km journey started on September 5th and ended on September 17th 2016.

14. Garrett Morgan, a resident of Cleveland, Ohio, invented the gas mask and traffic light. He patented the Morgan safety hood in 1914. In 1916, he made headlines when his gas mask was used to rescue 32 men trapped during an explosion in an underground tunnel 250 feet beneath Lake Erie. He was the first African-American to own a car in Cleveland. In 1923, he patented an electric automatic traffic signal. He eventually sold the rights to his invention (traffic signal) to General Electric for $40,000.[29,30]

15. Columbus became the capital of Ohio in 1816. Before this, the state’s capital was Chillicothe (the first capital), and then it was moved to Zanesville in 1810 and then one more time back to Chillicothe in 1812.[19]

16. Did you know that twenty-one thousand soldiers at Camp Sherman, Ohio, were meticulously ordered to form the profile of the sitting president, Woodrow Wilson?

17. Seven U.S. Presidents were born in Ohio. They are Ulysses Grant, Rutherford Hayes, James Garfield, Benjamin Harrison, William McKinley, William Taft, and Warren Harding. The state is also nicknamed as the “Mother of Modern Presidents”. Benjamin Harrison was the only President whose grandfather (William Henry Harrison) was also a President. List of the U.S. Presidents since George Washington to Joe Biden.[4]

18. Ohio has the country’s 10th largest highway network, and because of its geographical location, it serves for the economic growth of the region. In the 1800s, the state was also known as the “Gateway State” because it connected the Eastern and the Western part of the United States. The connection facilitated the movement of goods and other resources.[1,3]

19. The nickname “Buckeye State” comes from the buckeye tree, which grew abundantly on the state’s plains and hills. The tree’s seeds resemble a buck’s eye and hence the name of the tree.[3]

20. Goodyear (The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company) which is among the top four tire manufacturing companies in the world was founded in 1899 in Akron, Ohio. Akron was also nicknamed as the “Rubber Capital of the World.”[5,6]

21. Majority of the population of Ohio is of white European ancestry.[8]

22. Ohio is among the top three manufacturing employment providers in the United States. It is known for the manufacture of tires, jet engines, machine tools, auto assembly, office machines, refrigeration, and heating equipment among many others. Tourism is also a major industry in the state.[8]

23. According to Isure.com, Ohio State has the second cheapest cost of car insurance per year ($919) in the United States followed by Maine ($868). Michigan has the highest cost of all at 2,394 per year. The national average for car insurance is $1,318 per year.[11]

24. After Pennsylvania, Ohio has the second largest concentration of Amish living in the United State. After Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, Holmes County is the second largest Amish community in the world. About 70 miles south of Cleveland is relatively rural Holmes County. Known affectionately as Amish Country, the area has a population of around 35,000 Amish people. It has become a regional tourist destination for shopping, food and more.[22,36]

25. With 31.5% of the adult population of Ohio suffering from Obesity in 2016, Ohio was ranked at the 19th spot by Adult Obesity Rate by State, 2016.[12]

26. Based in Cincinnati, Ohio also has the world’s oldest builder of ambulances, the Hess and Eisenhardt Company. Also, the first known hospital-based ambulance service was based out of Commercial Hospital, Cincinnati, Ohio, by 1865.[13,14]

27. Vinto is Ohio’s smallest county by population.[20]

28. Born in Ohio, William Henry Harrison, the 9th President of the United States, delivered the longest inaugural speech in the U.S. presidential history. Unfortunately, he died one month after the speech, thus, holding the office for the shortest tenure of any U.S. presidents. He was the first president to die in the office.[15]

29. DeHart Hubbard from Cincinnati is the first African American athlete to win a gold medal in an individual event in the Olympics. In 1924, in Paris, he won the medal for the long jump.[16]

30. The Shape of the state resembles that of a heart. The slogan “The Heart of It All“ was widely used to promote professional, educational and recreational opportunities in the state.[17,21]

31. About half of the United States population is within 500 miles. One of Ohio’s state slogans is “The Heart of it All,” so it makes sense for Columbus to be a drivable distance to and from major cities like New York, Washington, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Chicago, St. Louis and Detroit. All those cities and many more in between can be reached in a day trip (eight hours or less) by car. A robust highway system makes it very easy to get around and see many different parts of the country.[31]

32. The highest point in Ohio is Campbell Hill near Bellefontaine (it rises 1,549 feet above sea level) and the lowest point in the state is at the Ohio River near Cincinnati, 455 feet above sea level.[17]

33. Because of the movement of glaciers in the state thousands of years ago, the state is blessed with some of the most fertile agricultural land in the U.S.[17]

34. Ohio has nearly 75,000 farms and more than 14 million acres. Farming being Ohio’s number one industry contributes more than $100 billion to the state’s economy.[37]

35. The fire in a coal mine set by its workers in 1884 near New Straitsville, southeast of Columbus, is still burning. The workers had a dispute with the mining company regarding their wages. The workers used coal and timber to set fire in the cars and then pushed the cars into the mine. It is estimated that more than two hundred square miles of coal has burned. In 2003, smoke began to emerge from the soil of the Wayne National Forest, 119 years after the fire began.[23]

36. The world’s largest annual gathering of twins is organized in Twinsburg, Ohio.

37. Here is a interesting fact about the twins, Jim Lewis and Jim Springer, who got separated after three weeks of their birth, lived apart for 39 years; and when they met, they were surprised to learn that they led almost similar lives while living just 45 miles apart. Lewis and Springer were born Aug. 19, 1939, at Piqua Memorial Hospital to an unwed 15-year-old immigrant, who immediately put them up for adoption. During their childhood they both enjoyed math and carpentry in school; in adulthood they married a woman named Linda, got divorced, and then got re-married to a woman named Betty, and they each had a son named Alan who worked as a security guard and was an avid chain smoker. Jim Lewis lived in Lima, Ohio and Jim Springer in Piqua, Ohio. The University of Minnesota researchers invited the duo to collect data for their ongoing study.

38. The Cincinnati Reds were the first professional baseball team.[24]

39. According to NASA, 25 astronauts are Ohio natives, having made nearly 80 space flights, with three of those flights being trips to the Moon. These astronauts include; Neil Armstrong – the first man to set foot on the moon and John Glenn – the first American to orbit the Earth in 1962.[25]

40. Did you know that in 1995, some woodpeckers punched some 200 holes in the foam insulation of the Discovery’s fuel tank? Hence, the launch was delayed. Bird specialists say that these birds usually hammer into tree limbs or tin roofs to attract female attention. Four of the shuttle’s crewmembers – Nancy Currie, Tom Henricks, Don Thomas, and Mary Ellen Weber – were from Ohio.[34,35]

41. Avon, Ohio is the “Duct Tape Capital” of the world and to honor the heritage and history of the city, a duct tape festival is held every year in the city. The city is home of Duck® brand duct tape. The festival showcases duct tapes in all form including sculptures, art, fashion etc.

42. Did you know that Asa A. Long born in Antwerp, Ohio, is a checkers player, who has the world records as both youngest and oldest national champion? He first won the US national championship at the age of 18 and then again in 1984 (becoming the oldest person to win).

43. Did you know that the Vietnam Veterans Memorial was designed by a 21-year-old Maya Lin from Ohio? An undergraduate at Yale University, she beat out over 1,400 competitors in a competition to design the memorial. Interestingly, her professor was also among her competition.[39]

44. Columbus is the home of Wendy’s. The very first Wendy’s was located on the corner of 5th and Broad in downtown Columbus in 1969. Dave Thomas named the restaurant after his daughter, Melinda “Wendy” Thomas. Wendy’s has grown into the third largest hamburger chain in the world with over 6700 locations.[38]

45. In 1862, after graduating from the Oberlin College (Lorain County, Ohio), Mary Jane Patterson, became the first African-American woman to gain a bachelor’s degree.[40]

46. Did you know that the Great Serpent Mound in rural, southwestern Ohio is the largest serpent effigy in the world? It measures approximately 1,300 feet in length and ranges from one to three feet in height.[41]

47. On March 14th, 2015, Rick Smith Jr, broke the world record for making the highest throw of a playing card. He threw the card 21.41 metres (70 ft 3 in) into the air at Great Lakes Science Centre in Cleveland, Ohio, USA.

48. Curtis Buddie broke the world record on January 17th, 2018 for having the longest milk tooth that was removed on that day in Columbus, Ohio. The boy was 10 years old when the 2.4 cm (0.94 in) tooth was removed.

49. Eric Walter broke the world record for the fastest joggle (Joggling = Jogging plus Juggling) with three objects by a male. He joggled for a distance of 400 m and in a time of 55.81 seconds. He broke this record at the Bowling Green State University track in Bowling Green, Ohio, USA.

50. The state is the birthplace of the cash register. It was invented by James Jacob Ritty. The design was patented on November 4th, 1879. The cash register was named a “mechanical money drawer” by its inventor.[18,27]

51. The world record for the fastest time a grave was dug is held by Jose Luis Rivera. Jose dug the grave in 2 hours on October 20th, 2018 in Cleveland, Ohio. According to Jose, he has been digging water mains and sewers for 29 years and when the challenge presented itself, he couldn’t resist it.

52. Oldest woman to give birth to her grandchildren: Jacklyn broke this record because she volunteered to be her daughter’s surrogate mother. She did this at the age of 56 years and carried, and delivered her grandchildren who were born as triplets on October 11, 2008 at Hillcrest Hospital in Cleveland, Ohio.

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About the Creator

Sriram Nadarajan

I don't know what to write here.

Writing gives me a freedom that I do not find anywhere else!

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