There are a ton of reasons to be proud of being an Ohioan. Here are a few of our favorites. If you live in Ohio, see if you know all these wonderful little factoids.
- Rock ‘n’ roll! Do you know that Ohio is the birthplace of rock ‘n’ roll? Sure it is where the rock ‘n’ roll hall of fame is. But do you know that the phrase was first coined by Cleveland DJ Alan Freed, when he tried to describe the new music he was playing on the radio, back in 1951?
- Famous bands. Have you heard of Roxy Music, Rush, David Bowie and Bruce Springsteen? They got their break on WMMS in Cleveland. How about the Isley Brothers, Devo, Black Keys, Kid Cudi and John Legend? You can credit the great state of Ohio for giving these bands their start. All of these success stories had similar humble beginnings, like how Mark Mothersbaugh and Gerald Casale of Devo met at Kent State University, while they were attending school.
- Birthplace of pro ball. The American Professional Football Association got its start in Canton, Ohio in 1920, and was later renamed the national Football League. Before the NFL, pro ball was a hot mess. Teams weren’t regulated enough and players would jump from team to team whenever a better salary offer came in. After a meeting in a showroom in Canton, the league was established. It is now an unstoppable force, worth billions of dollars.
- Birthplace of great athletes. Are you familiar with LeBron James? You should. LeBron got his start in Ohio. Two-time World Series champion Roger Clemens was born in Ohio. Brady Quinn began gaining notoriety when he played ball as a student in Dublin, Ohio. Jack Nicklaus, one of the most famous golfers to ever live, was born in Columbus.
- Space. Have you heard of John Glenn, the first American to orbit the earth? How about Neil Armstrong? He was the first person to walk on the moon. Kathryn D. Sullivan, another Ohioan, made history as the first American woman to walk in space. Not bad, Ohio.
- Slavery. Do you think Slavery is bad? Ohio has always stood against it. In fact, in 1802, 63 years before the 13th Amendment, slavery was outlawed in Ohio’s Constitution.
- Ohio is home to presidents. Seven presidents call Ohio their home state: William Henry Harrison, Ulysses S. Grant, Rutherford B. Hayes, James A. Garfield, William McKinley, William Howard Taft, and Warren G. Harding.
- Ohio picks presidents. Our state is often called a swing state because of the valuable role it plays in Electoral College votes. California and New York almost always go to the Democrats, and Texas always goes to the republicans. That puts 55 and 29 electoral votes in the Democrat’s pocket and 38 in the Republican’s pocket, making Florida with its 29 votes, and Ohio with its 18 votes important for any would-be president to grab.
- Home of the hot dog. If you’re a fan of this snack food, you’ll be glad to know that the hot dog, also known as the Red Hot Dachshund Sausage, got its start in Niles Ohio. Though its creator Harry Mosley Stevens moved to New York City before putting the dog in a bun, Ohio is credited with the origin of the dog. As a side note, they weren’t initially successful because residents thought there was real dog meat in the product.
- Home of Swensons. Are you a fan of the double cheeseburger with mayo and barbecue sauce, or those wonderfully tasty tater tot teasers with the cheese and jalapeno inside? Then you’ll be happy to know that this burger joint, voted best burger in America in 1999 by Forbes Magazine, is an Ohio original.
There you have it; 10 reasons we’re proud to live in Ohio. We hope you’ve enjoyed this little walk through history. We sure had fun making it.