There is something about Ohio that you just don’t find anywhere else in the country. “Maybe it’s the high quality education, traditional mid-western values, or a little bit of both, but this state gives birth to some of the best and brightest talent in the nation in a range of disciplines,” noted Victor Bierman III, Ohio lawyer and business expert. Whether you live here or are planning a visit, here are four surprising facts about Ohio you probably didn’t know.
The birthplace of 7 U.S. Presidents
During a 54-year span from 1869 to 1923, 7 of our elected Presidents, all Republicans, were born in Ohio. That’s an astonishing fact! Ulysses S. Grant (18th) born in Pt. Pleasant was the first President that was born in Ohio. What you probably didn’t know is that he signed legislation that created Yellowstone National Park which is the nation’s first national park.
Then there was Rutherford B. Hayes (19th) Delaware, Ohio; James Garfield (20th) Moreland Hills, OH; Benjamin Harrison (23rd) North Bend, OH; William McKinley (25th) Niles, OH; William H. Taft (27th) Cincinnati, OH; and Warren G. Harding (29th) Blooming Grove, OH.
29 astronauts were born in Ohio
Ohio is not only the epicenter of American Politics; it is also a leading contributor to NASA’s space program with more than two dozen astronauts having been born in Ohio, including Neil Armstrong (Wapakoneta) and John Glenn, Jr. (Cambridge, OH). As you probably know, Armstrong was the first man to walk on the moon during the Apollo 11 mission in 1969. Meanwhile, Glenn was the first astronaut to orbit Earth. He also served as a U.S. Senator for 25 years from 1974 to 1999.
First professional sports team
In 1869, known as the Cincinnati Red Stockings, this baseball team of 9 players became the very first professional sports team in the U.S. According to the Reds website, the team won their first game against the Mutual’s of New York. The score was 17-8. In 1887, the team eventually changed its name to simply the Cincinnati Reds. The oldest franchise in Major League Baseball hosts home games at Great American Ballpark in downtown Cincinnati.
The NFL was founded in Ohio
Ohio has a long history of professional sports, but you probably didn’t know that the National Football League (NFL) was actually founded here. In the early 20th century, football was a young and growing sport. After all, it wasn’t until the late 1870’s when the rules of American football were first written. So you can imagine the chaos of different teams interpreting rules differently. To bring organization and unity to the new sport, the American Professional Football Association was founded in Canton in 1920. Two years later the league changed its name to the National Football League (NFL). You can learn more about its exciting history at the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio.
Image Credit: NASA Glenn Research Center, Cleveland, Ohio