82 Interesting Facts about Ohio, The Buckeye State

Ohio, often referred to as the “Heart of it All,” is a state located in the Great Lakes region of the United States. It is a state known for its diverse geography, encompassing everything from bustling cities to picturesque rural landscapes. Its cities are vibrant hubs of culture, education, and industry. Cleveland, Cincinnati, Columbus, and Toledo are major cities, each contributing significantly to Ohio’s economic and cultural vitality.

The state played a pivotal role in the development of the United States. It was the first state to be carved out of the Northwest Territory and became a state in 1803. Ohio is steeped in American history; it’s the birthplace of seven U.S. presidents, earning it the moniker “Mother of Presidents.” The Wright brothers, pioneers of aviation, hailed from Dayton, Ohio, and their innovative spirit is deeply ingrained in the state’s identity.

Ohio’s natural beauty is diverse, featuring the shores of Lake Erie, the Appalachian Plateau in the east, and the central plains. It has a strong agricultural tradition, with corn and soybeans being major crops. The state is also renowned for its industrial might, historically being a manufacturing powerhouse in sectors such as steel, automotive, and aerospace.

Education is a cornerstone of Ohio, boasting prestigious institutions such as Ohio State University, Case Western Reserve University, and the University of Cincinnati. The state supports a flourishing arts scene, with theaters, museums, and galleries enriching its cultural landscape. Ohioans also have a passion for sports, particularly football, with legendary teams like the Ohio State Buckeyes commanding a massive following.

Ohio State Capitol in Columbus

Ohio State House (Capitol) in Columbus

If you are interested in Ohio, let’s take a look at these 82 interesting facts about Ohio.

  1. NASA Glenn Research Center: Located in Cleveland, it’s one of NASA’s major research facilities.
  2. Birthplace of Aviation: The Wright brothers, Orville and Wilbur Wright, were from Dayton, Ohio, and conducted their first powered flight in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina.
  3. Pro Football Hall of Fame: Located in Canton, Ohio, it honors the legends of professional football.
  4. Rock and Roll Hall of Fame: Located in Cleveland, it’s a museum dedicated to the history of rock and roll.
  5. Lake Erie: The state’s northern border is formed by Lake Erie, one of the Great Lakes.
  6. Ohio’s Only National Park: Cuyahoga Valley National Park is the only national park in the state of Ohio, showcasing the region’s natural beauty and cultural heritage.
  7. Underground Railroad: Ohio played a significant role in the Underground Railroad, helping slaves escape to freedom.
  8. First Traffic Light: The first electric traffic light was installed in Cleveland in 1914.
  9. Nation’s First Ambulance Service: It was established in Cincinnati in 1865.
  10. Longest Horseshoe-Shaped Dam: Hoover Dam in Westerville holds this title.
  11. Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company: Founded in Akron, it’s one of the world’s largest tire companies.
  12. Hall of Fame City: Canton, Ohio, is known as the “Hall of Fame City” due to its pro football Hall of Fame.
  13. Marion Steam Shovel: The first powered mechanical shovel was invented in Marion, Ohio.
  14. Largest Amish Community: Ohio hosts the largest Amish population in the U.S.
  15. First Professional Baseball Team: The Cincinnati Red Stockings (now Cincinnati Reds) was the first professional baseball team.
  16. Cincinnati Reds’ First Night Game: They hosted the first night game in Major League Baseball history on May 24, 1935.
  17. First Fire Department: Cincinnati had the nation’s first full-time, professional fire department.
  18. Mound Builders: Ohio has ancient earthworks created by the Adena and Hopewell cultures.
  19. State Flag: Ohio’s flag is the only state flag that is not rectangular in shape.
  20. Hopewell Culture National Historical Park: It preserves mounds built by the Hopewell people.
  21. Serpent Mound: A famous effigy mound representing a snake or serpent in Adams County.
  22. James A. Garfield: The 20th President of the U.S., James A. Garfield, was born in a log cabin in Orange Township, Cuyahoga County, Ohio.
  23. William Howard Taft: The 27th President of the U.S. was born in Cincinnati.
  24. Ulysses S. Grant’s Birthplace: Point Pleasant is the birthplace of the 18th President of the U.S., Ulysses S. Grant.
  25. First Full-Time Automobile Service Station: The first service station for automobiles, employing mechanics, was opened in 1899 in Ohio.
  26. Eight Presidents from Ohio: Ohio is the birthplace of eight U.S. presidents, earning it the nickname “Mother of Presidents.”
  27. Seven Nobel Prize Winners: Ohio has been home to seven Nobel Prize winners.
  28. Largest Amusement Park: Cedar Point in Sandusky is known as the “Roller Coaster Capital of the World.”
  29. National Football League (NFL): The NFL was founded in Canton in 1920.
  30. First Traffic Ticket: The first speeding ticket in the U.S. was issued in Ohio in 1904.
  31. First Ambulance in America: The first documented ambulance service in America was established in Cincinnati in 1865.
  32. Chocolate Buckeye: The chocolate buckeye is named after Ohio’s state tree, the buckeye tree.
  33. Ice Cream Cone: The first known written record of an ice cream cone comes from Ohio.
  34. First Police Car: Akron, Ohio, had the first police car in 1899.
  35. Invention of Superman: Superman was created by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster, who both lived in Cleveland, Ohio.
  36. First Women’s Rights Convention: The first national women’s rights convention was held in Seneca Falls, New York, but its declaration of sentiments was modeled after Ohio’s 1850 Women’s Rights Convention.
  37. First American Gladiator: Wesley “Nathan” Jones, an American Gladiator known as “Toa,” hailed from Cincinnati, Ohio.
  38. First Professional Baseball Team to Pay Players: The Cincinnati Red Stockings were the first to pay their players in 1869.
  39. Miami Whitewater Forest: It’s one of the largest park systems in the U.S.
  40. Tallest Roller Coaster: The “Top Thrill Dragster” at Cedar Point was the world’s tallest and fastest roller coaster when it opened.
  41. Christmas Ales: Ohioans celebrate the holiday season with spiced Christmas ales.
  42. Goat Cheese Capital: Ohio is known for its goat cheese production.
  43. Home of Wendy’s: The first Wendy’s restaurant opened in Columbus, Ohio.
  44. LeBron James: The NBA superstar LeBron James is from Akron, Ohio.
  45. First Open-Heart Surgery: The first successful open-heart surgery was performed at the Cleveland Clinic.
  46. First Traffic Light: The first electric traffic light was installed in Cleveland in 1914.
  47. First Aviator’s License: The Wright brothers received the first aviator’s licenses from the Aero Club of America in 1909.
  48. First White Castle: White Castle, the first fast-food chain in the U.S., started in Wichita, Kansas, but its founders were from Wichita, Kansas.
  49. The World’s Largest Basket: Newark, Ohio, is home to the world’s largest basket building, the Longaberger Basket Building.
  50. Birthplace of Popcorn: Marion, Ohio, claims to be the birthplace of popcorn.
  51. First Successful Organ Transplant: The first successful organ transplant, a kidney, was performed at Ohio’s Little Company of Mary Hospital in Evergreen Park.
  52. Kent State Shootings: The infamous Kent State shootings occurred during a Vietnam War protest at Kent State University.
  53. Bowling Green Massacre: There was no actual Bowling Green Massacre; it was a fictional event erroneously referenced by Kellyanne Conway in 2017.
  54. Ohio Bobcats: Ohio University’s mascot is Rufus the Bobcat.
  55. OU’s Halloween Celebration: Ohio University’s Halloween celebration is one of the biggest college Halloween parties in the U.S.
  56. Urban Meyer: The Ohio State University’s former football coach, Urban Meyer, won three national championships.
  57. Script Ohio: The Ohio State University Marching Band’s famous “Script Ohio” formation is a college football tradition.
  58. Ohio Stadium: Ohio Stadium, also known as “The Horseshoe,” is one of the largest stadiums in the U.S.
  59. Archie Griffin: Ohio State University’s Archie Griffin is the only two-time Heisman Trophy winner.
  60. Ohio State Football Rivalries: Ohio State has fierce football rivalries with Michigan (The Game) and Penn State.
  61. Miami University: One of the oldest public universities in the U.S., Miami University, is often called the “Mother of Fraternities” for its role in founding several national fraternities.
  62. Athens, Ohio: Athens, home to Ohio University, is known for its vibrant arts and music scene.
  63. Ohio University Research: Ohio University is recognized for its significant research contributions, particularly in the field of avian biology.
  64. UC’s Cooperative Education Program: University of Cincinnati pioneered cooperative education, combining classroom studies with paid work experience.
  65. Nippert Stadium: University of Cincinnati’s Nippert Stadium is one of the oldest stadiums in college football.
  66. Bowling Green’s Historic Campus: Bowling Green State University’s campus is noted for its stunning Georgian architectural style.
  67. BGSU Ice Arena: Bowling Green State University has one of the few Olympic-sized ice rinks in the Midwest.
  68. Kent State Shootings Memorial: Kent State University has a powerful memorial to commemorate the tragic events of the Kent State shootings.
  69. Creative Excellence: Columbus College of Art and Design (CCAD) is consistently recognized for its creative excellence and has been named in the “Top 10 Animation Schools and Colleges Around the World” by Animation Career Review.
  70. Black Squirrel: Kent State University is famous for its black squirrel population.
  71. Campus Security Innovations: Kent State University was the first university in the U.S. to create a campus police force.
  72. McGuffey House and Museum: The childhood home of William Holmes McGuffey, author of the McGuffey Readers, is in Oxford, Ohio.
  73. “Hang On Sloopy”: Ohio’s official rock song is “Hang On Sloopy” by The McCoys.
  74. Jerry Siegel’s House: The childhood home of Superman’s co-creator, Jerry Siegel, is in Cleveland.
  75. Charles F. Kettering: The inventor of the first practical electric starter for automobiles was from Ohio.
  76. Ohio University College Green: Ohio University’s College Green is a designated historic district and is often considered one of the most beautiful college campuses in the nation.
  77. Hocking Hills State Park: Ohio’s Hocking Hills State Park features stunning waterfalls, cliffs, and gorges.
  78. Annual Pumpkin Show: Circleville, Ohio, hosts an annual Pumpkin Show that’s been held since 1903.
  79. Ohio’s Amusement Parks: Ohio has several renowned amusement parks, including Cedar Point, Kings Island, and Zoombezi Bay.
  80. Invention of the Cash Register: The cash register was invented in Dayton, Ohio, by James Ritty.
  81. Music Legends from Ohio: Many famous musicians hail from Ohio, including The Isley Brothers, Dean Martin, and John Legend.
  82. National Museum of the United States Air Force: Located in Dayton, Ohio, it’s the world’s largest military aviation museum.

Ohio, at the heart of the American Midwest, stands as a vibrant tapestry of history, innovation, and enduring community. Its landscapes, ranging from the tranquil shores of Lake Erie to the rolling hills of the Appalachian Plateau, showcase the state’s diverse natural beauty. Yet, beyond its physical attributes, Ohio’s true allure lies in its people—the Buckeyes, a term of endearment for Ohioans, embodying a spirit of resilience, hard work, and perseverance. From the bustling cityscapes of Cincinnati, Columbus, and Cleveland to the serene villages dotted across the state, Ohioans find unity in their shared love for the state and its enduring values.

As the sun sets over the Ohio River, casting hues of orange and red across the horizon, one can reflect on Ohio’s storied past and its promising future. It’s a state that has played a pivotal role in shaping the nation, nurturing inventors, presidents, and cultural icons. Ohio is a testament to the American dream, where opportunities abound, and where the collective heartbeat of its people continues to write a story of progress and growth. With its deep-rooted traditions, an embrace of innovation, and a welcoming spirit, Ohio invites all to discover the remarkable essence of the heartland.

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