Ohio State Facts - Ohio History Firsts

Catch up on your state trivia with these Ohio history firsts and interesting fun facts about the state.

Official Name Ohio
Capital Columbus
39.98893 N, 082.98738 W
Constitution Ratified 1851
Statehood March 01, 1803
17th state
Number of Counties 88 Counties in Ohio
Largest County
(by population)
Cuyahoga County
358 sq. mi.

Ohio History Firsts & State Facts

  • 1785 - East Liverpool was the beginning point of the United States Public Land Survey. The location was the area from which a rectangular-grid land survey system was established under the Ordinance of 1785. The survey provided for administration and subdivision of land in the Old Northwest. Territory. The Ordinance stipulated that all public lands were to be divided into townships six miles square.
  • 1788 - Marietta was Ohio's first permanent settlement. Founded in 1788 by General Rufus Putnam and named in honor of Marie Antoinette, then queen of France.
  • 1803 - Ohio became the 17th state on March 1, 1803.
  • 1804 - Ohio University was founded in 1804 at Athens and is recognized as the first university in Ohio and in the Northwest Territory.
  • 1814 - The Y Bridge in Zanesville was first built in 1814 to span the confluence of the Licking and Muskingum Rivers. The current bridge is the fifth construction at the same location. "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.
  • 1832 - Cleveland is spelled differently than its founder's name Moses Cleaveland. In 1832, the editor of the Cleaveland Gazette newspaper dropped the first "a" to fit the title on one line. The new spelling caught on.
  • 1839 - Charles Goodyear of Akron developed the process of vulcanizing rubber.
  • 1833 - Oberlin College was founded in 1833.It was the first interracial and coeducational college in the United States.
  • 1852 - Ohio was the first state to enact laws protecting working women.
  • 1854 - John Mercer Langston is believed to have been the first African American elected to public office. He was elected clerk of Brownhelm.
  • 1865 - The first ambulance service was established in Cincinnati in 1865.
  • 1869 - The Cincinnati Red Stockings became the first professional baseball team.
  • 1869 - Ohio claims the first chewing gum. W.F. Semple of Mount Vernon patented chewing gum.
  • 1879 - James J. Ritty, of Dayton, invented the cash register in 1879 to stop his patrons from pilfering house profits.
  • 1879 - Cleveland became the first city to be lighted by electricity.
  • 1891 - John Lambert of Ohio City made America's first automobile in 1891.
  • 1899 - First full time automobile service station was opened in 1899 in Ohio.
  • 1900 - Ohio gave America its first hot dog in 1900. Harry M. Stevens created the popular dining dog.
  • 1902 - Find our more about the Ohio State Flag. Ohio's state flag is a pennant design. It is the only state flag of that design in the United States.
  • 1904 - The Scarlet Carnation (Dianthus caryophyllus) was designated as the Ohio State Flower
  • 1911 - Charles Kettering of Loundonville invented the automobile self-starter.
  • 1912 - Clarence Crane in Cleveland invented Life Savers.
  • 1914 - Cleveland boasts America's first traffic light. It began on Aug. 5, 1914.
  • 1924 - Long jumper DeHart Hubbard was the first African American to earn an Olympic Gold Medal. The award occurred during the 1924 Olympics games held in Paris. He set the record for long jumping.
  • 1933 - The Cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis) aka Winter Redbird was selected as the Ohio State Bird
  • 1936 - Jesse Owens grew up in Cleveland. He won four gold medals Olympics in Berlin.
  • 1938 - Roy J. Plunkett of New Carlisle invented Teflon.
  • 1948 - East 105th Street and Euclid Avenue in Cleveland was the site of the first pedestrian button for the control of a traffic light. The boy chosen for the 1948 newsreel to demonstrate its operation was Louis Spronze.
  • 1953 - The Ohio Buckeye (Aesculus glabra) was designated as the Ohio State Tree
  • 1959 - Alliance is designated as the Ohio State Carnation city
  • 1962 - On February 20, 1962 John Glenn was the first American to orbit the earth.
  • 1965 -
  • 1967 - Find out more about the Ohio State Great Seal
  • 1969 - "Beautiful Ohio" is the Ohio State Song
  • 1972 - Gahanna is the State Herb capital of Ohio
  • 1975 - The Ladybug was selected as the Ohio State Insect
  • 1985 -
  • 1987 - The Large White Trillium (Trillium grandiflorum) was selected as the Ohio State Wildflower
  • 1988 - The White-tailed Deer (Odocoileus virginianus) was designated as the Ohio State Animal
  • 1995 - The Black Racer Snake (Coluber constrictor constrictor) becomes the Ohio State Reptile
  • 1998 - Ohio senator John Glenn became the oldest man to venture into outer space. In October of 1998 at age 77 he returned to the space program and traveled back into space.
  • 2002 - The Blaine Hill bridge in Belmont county, constructed in 1828 as part of the national road was designated as the Ohio State Bicentennial bridge
  • 2006 - The Newark earthworks in Licking county was selected as Ohio State Prehistoric monument
  • 2009 -
  • 2010 -
    • The Spotted Salamander (Ambystoma maculatum) is the Ohio State Amphibian
    • The Bullfrog (Rana catesbeiana) is picked as the Ohio State Frog
  • 2013 - Adena pipe is selected as the Ohio State Artifact

More Ohio History Firsts & State Facts

  • Akron was the first city to use police cars.
  • In Zanesville is the only Y-bridge in the world. The bridge is built at the intersection of the Muskingum and Licking Rivers, one part built to the middle of the river and the others forking to the left and right.
  • The Pro Football Hall of Fame is located in Canton and in Cleveland is the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
  • Ermal Fraze invented the pop-top can in Kettering.
  • Cincinnati Reds were the first professional baseball team.
  • Akron was the first city to use police cars.
  • Cincinnati had the first professional city fire department.
  • Akron is the rubber capital of the world.
  • The American Federation of Labor was founded in Columbus.
  • Cincinnati had the fist professional city fire department and the first ambulance service.
  • Ohio was the birthplace of many US presidents, including Ulysses S. Grant, Rutherford B. Hayes, James A. Garfield, Benjamin Harrison, William McKinley, William Howard Taft, and Warren G. Harding.
  • Serpent Mound State Memorial, a famous earthen mound in the shape of a serpent, winds for a length of 411 m (1348 ft) near Peebles.
  • Cleveland is home to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
  • Ohio is the leading producer of greenhouse and nursery plants.
  • The Pro Football Hall of Fame is located in Canton.
  • Neil Armstrong became the first man to walk on the moon. He was from Wapakoneta
  • The Wright Brothers are acknowledged as inventors of the first airplane they were from Dayton.
  • The popular television sit-com, "The Drew Cary Show" is set in Cleveland.
  • Seven United States presidents were born in Ohio. They are: Ulysses S. Grant, Rutherford B. Hayes, James A. Garfield, Benjamin Harrison, William McKinley, William H. Taft, and Warren G. Harding.
  • Some well-known personalities were born in Ohio. Among them Steven Spielberg, Paul Newman, Annie Oakley, Arsenio Hall and Clark Gable.
  • Ohio has an area of 116,103 sq miles. It ranks 34th in state size.
  • Columbus is the state capital and Ohio's largest city.
  • 50% of the United States population lives within a 500 mile radius of Columbus.
  • Dresden is the home of the world's largest basket. It is located at Basket Village USA.
  • Fostoria is the only city to be situated in three counties (Seneca, Hancock & Wood).
  • The Glacial Grooves on the north side of Kelleys Island are the largest easily accessible such grooves in the world. They were scoured into solid limestone bedrock about 18,000 years ago by the great ice sheet that covered part of North America.
  • Chillicothe was Ohio's first capital city.
  • Ohio is known as the Buckeye State.
  • Thomas A. Edison from Milan developed the incandescent light bulb, phonograph, and early motion picture camera.
  • Paul Laurence Dunbar of Dayton is known as the poet laureate of African Americans.
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State Facts & History Firsts
State Fun Facts - History Firsts