Ohio, a state in the Midwestern United States, encapsulates a diverse blend of natural beauty, industrial prowess, and vibrant culture. Nestled between the Great Lakes and the Appalachian Mountains, Ohio offers a captivating mix of urban centers, picturesque landscapes, and a rich historical heritage. Renowned for its pivotal role in American history, thriving economy, and friendly communities, Ohio stands as a captivating destination that embodies the essence of the American heartland. Here is a list of some interesting facts about Ohio that just might catch you by surprise.1. The Buckeye State!
Ohio is popularly known as the Buckeye State. Reason….? The buckeye trees, which are spread throughout the Ohio River Valley. These trees produce small brown nuts resembling the eye of a deer, hence the name Buckeye. Bonus fact: carrying one in your pocket brings good luck.
2. One and only Presidential Museum!
Ohio is home to the “One and Only Presidential Museum” which honors John Hanson and eight others; they were elected and served one-year terms before the Constitution was written. John Hanson thus technically becomes the first president of the United States.
3. Mother of Modern Presidents
Ohio State has been nicknamed the “Mother of Modern Presidents” as Ohio is the birthplace of seven U.S. presidents: Ulysses S. Grant, Rutherford B. Hayes, James Garfield, Benjamin Harrison, William McKinley, William H. Taft, and Warren G. Harding. Two Ohio presidents: Grant and McKinley have been portrayed on the US Currency, which is kind of a big deal, don’t you think?
4. River on Fire!
No! This isn’t a joke. The Cuyahoga River has caught fire at least 13 times and is therefore nicknamed “The River That Caught Fire.” It was one of the most polluted rivers in the country and would easily catch fire when sparks from the train would fall into the water. Only after elaborate media coverage, it was cleaned up in 1969.
5. Glacial Grooves!
The Glacial Grooves on Kelleys Island are a National Natural Landmark. It is considered to be the largest and most easily reachable groove on this planet. It is quite amazing to see scratches and grooves on the bedrock left behind by the great ice sheet that covered part of North America 18,000 years ago as it dragged over the surface.
6. The birthplace of aviation
Ohio is considered the “Birthplace of Aviation.” The Wright Brothers, credited as inventors of the first airplane, hailed from Dayton.
7. Astronaut’s hub!
Ohio is home to 24 astronauts. Role models such as Senator John Glenn, the oldest man to travel into outer space (“the first all-Ohio crew”), and not to forget, Neil Armstrong, the first human ever to walk on the Moon, has been inspirational for the Buckeyes.
8. Home sweet Trash…?
Sounds gross right…? But it actually is pretty cool. A couple from Philo, Ohio, has made a house completely out of trash, and it turned out to be amazing. The idea was to show how much can be made out of recycled material, and the couple nailed it. The house has now been opened up for tours.
9. Company in a basket
Longaberger Company takes the cake when it comes to being unique. Longaberger Company, a manufacturer of wood baskets and lifestyle products, in Newark, has its corporate office in the world’s largest basket. Today, it not only functions as the headquarters of the company but is a tourist attraction too. Thousands of people flock to Newark every year to get a glimpse of the basket.
10. The Y Bridge!
Would you believe it if I say that there’s a bridge which you can cross and still be on the same side of the river? Well, believe it or not, the Y Bridge in Zanesville is one such bridge. It was opened in 1814 to span the confluence of the Licking and Muskingum Rivers and has been reconstructed four times at the same place.
11. Elecktro, the Robot
I am sure you guys must have seen the movie- Real Steel… remember the robot Atom or Zeus. Yes! Elecktro is somewhat like them only a little old school. Elecktro was originally built by Westinghouse Electric Corporation in the 1930s and could move, speak, and smoke cigarettes. He ended up as an attraction at the World’s Fair and is now owned by the Mansfield Memorial Museum in Mansfield, Ohio.
12. Food wonders from Ohio
Ohio gave America its first chewing gum in 1869, hot dog in 1900, and Life Savers candy in 1912.
13. Monster alert!
There is a serpent-type monster living in Lake Erie named “Bessie.” Encounters with Bessie date back to 1817. The New York Times even ran a story on it in 1931. Currently, there’s no evidence to support its existence.
14. The infamous wall of gum!
Yes! It’s weirder than you can anticipate. The real reason behind people flocking to the Maid-Rite Sandwich Shop in Greenville is not to be found inside on the shop menu but outside on the walls in a gooey display of gum. People have been sticking their gum on the walls of the building, creating the infamous ‘Wall of Gum.’
15. Attention all the sports buffs!
The Cincinnati Red Stockings of 1869 were the first-ever professional baseball team. The Pro Football Hall of Fame is located in Canton, Ohio. Jesse Owens, the Olympics gold medalist, grew up in Cleveland. Long jumper DeHart Hubbard became the first African American to earn an Olympic Gold Medal, and he too hailed from Ohio. The state certainly has a lot of talent.
16. Progressive Ohio!
Oberlin College, founded in 1833 became the first interracial and coeducational college in the United States. Ohio was also the first state to enact laws protecting working women in 1852. Way to go Ohio.
17. Yes! Rock ’n’ Roll started in Cleveland!
Though Cleveland seems like the last place to start one of the most revolutionizing movements in the history of music, surprisingly it did give birth to rock ‘n’ roll when a local DJ Alan Freed promoted the very first rock show at Cleveland Arena on March 21, 1952. This is the reason why the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is based in Ohio.
18. Home of Superman
Besides Thomas Edison’s various inventions and rubber production, there are some other everyday things we have the Buckeye state to thank for like the non-stick cookware, ambulance service, electric traffic signals, cash registers, pop-top cans, and yes! Not to forget Superman.
19. Land of famous persons!
Neil Armstrong, John Glenn (astronauts), Thomas A. Edison (inventor), Bill Boyd “Hopalong Cassidy,” Doris Day, Clark Gable, Paul Newman, Roy Rogers (actors), James A. Garfield, Ulysses S. Grant, Warren G. Harding, Rutherford Hayes, Benjamin Harrison, William McKinley, William H. Taft (U.S. Presidents), Dean Martin (singer, actor), Jack Nicklaus (golfer), Annie Oakley (Markswoman), Orville Wright (airplane pioneer), Cy Young (baseball) are some of the Ohioans who made it big.
20. Weird laws
Fishing for Whales on Sundays is illegal. You can’t get a fish drunk. Women are not allowed to wear patent leather shoes in public, and it is illegal for more than five women to live in a house. Lastly, even after breaking the laws mentioned above, you can’t be arrested on Sundays or on the fourth of July.
21. Roller Coaster Capital
Ohio is home to Cedar Point amusement park, known as the “Roller Coaster Capital of the World,” featuring numerous thrilling rides.
22. Underground Railroad
Ohio played a significant role in the Underground Railroad, a network of secret routes and safe houses that aided enslaved African Americans in escaping to freedom.
23. World’s largest effigy mound
Serpent Mound, located in Adams County, is the largest effigy mound in the world and was built by the indigenous people of Ohio.
24. Football Rivalries
Ohio State University and the University of Michigan have one of the most intense rivalries in college football, known as “The Game.”
GIF: Eleven Warriors
25. Amish Country
Ohio has the largest Amish population in the United States, particularly concentrated in the eastern part of the state, where visitors can experience Amish culture and traditions.
26. Largest Brick Road
The town of Canton, Ohio, boasts the world’s largest brick road, spanning more than 20 miles.
27. Largest Outdoor Chandelier
The Playhouse Square in Cleveland is home to the world’s largest outdoor chandelier, measuring 20 feet tall and weighing 4,200 pounds.
28. Rubber Capital of the World
Akron, Ohio, was once known as the “Rubber Capital of the World” due to its prominent rubber industry.
29. Serendipity Stone
The state gemstone of Ohio is flint, also known as “Ohio flint,” which can be found in various colors and is often used in jewelry.
30. Oldest Concrete Street
Court Avenue in Bellefontaine, Ohio, is recognized as the oldest concrete street in the United States, laid in 1891.
31. Popcorn Capital
Marion, Ohio, is known as the “Popcorn Capital of the World” due to its significant popcorn production and the annual Marion Popcorn Festival.
32. Largest Swiss Festival
Sugarcreek, Ohio, hosts the Ohio Swiss Festival, the largest Swiss festival in the United States, celebrating the area’s Swiss heritage.
33. Chocolate Capital
The city of Cambridge, Ohio, is recognized as the “Chocolate Capital of Ohio” due to its rich history of chocolate manufacturing.
34. Second-oldest zoo
The Cincinnati Zoo is the second-oldest zoo in the United States and is renowned for its efforts in wildlife conservation and breeding endangered species.
35. Ice Cream Innovations
Ohio is the birthplace of many ice cream innovations, including the invention of the ice cream cone at the 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair.
36. Antique Capital
The village of Waynesville, Ohio, is known as the “Antique Capital of the Midwest” and is home to numerous antique shops and annual antique shows.
37. Longest Covered Bridge
The Smolen-Gulf Bridge in Ashtabula County is the longest covered bridge in the United States, spanning 613 feet.
38. The Shawshank Redemption prison
The Ohio State Reformatory, located in Mansfield, is a historic prison that is now a popular tourist attraction and has been featured in films such as “The Shawshank Redemption.”
39. First Professional Fire Department
Cincinnati established the first fully paid and professional fire department in the United States in 1853.
40. Largest Single-Building Chocolate Factory
The Anthony-Thomas Candy Company in Columbus, Ohio, is the largest single-building chocolate factory in the United States.
41. First Traffic Light
The city of Cleveland installed the country’s first electric traffic light system in 1914 to regulate traffic flow.
42. Largest Oktoberfest Celebration
Cincinnati’s Oktoberfest Zinzinnati is the largest Oktoberfest celebration in the United States, drawing hundreds of thousands of people each year.
43. Only non-rectangular state flag
Ohio’s state flag is the only non-rectangular state flag in the United States, featuring a burgee shape.
44. Haunted Tunnel
The Moonville Tunnel, located in Vinton County, is an abandoned railway tunnel rumored to be haunted, attracting ghost hunters and curious visitors.
45. World’s Largest Rubber Stamp
Cleveland is home to the “Free Stamp,” a massive sculpture that resembles a rubber stamp and is recognized as the world’s largest of its kind.
Image: Wiki Voyage
46. Largest Single-Chamber State Legislature
Ohio’s General Assembly, consisting of the House of Representatives and the Senate, is the largest single-chamber state legislature in the country.
47. World’s Largest Cuckoo Clock
Located in Sugarcreek, the World’s Largest Cuckoo Clock stands over 23 feet tall and delights visitors with its hourly performances.
48. World’s oldest military aviation museum
Located in Dayton, the National Museum of the United States Air Force is the largest and oldest military aviation museum in the world.