It’s a Big State with a Long History
Ohio is a midwestern state with a population of almost 12 million people. And, Ohioans have played an important role in the history of America. But it’s important to realize that the history of Ohio began long before Europeans arrived there. In fact, people have lived in the place we know as Ohio for thousands of years.
The first known non-native person to reach Ohio was a French explorer named Robert de La Salle. LaSalle arrived in the Ohio region around 1670. French fur traders followed him there and began settling the area for France, but in 1763 the British took over after they won the French and Indian War. The British didn’t control Ohio for long because 20 years later, they lost the Revolutionary War, and Ohio became part of the American territory.
Ohio became the 17th state in 1803.
As America grew, so did Ohio. Its cities grew. Its industries grew, and eventually it became one of America’s most populous states. Today, it’s the seventh most populous state in America.
Ohio Has Several Big Cities
- Columbus is the biggest city in Ohio. It is also the state capital.
- Cleveland is the home of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, the Cleveland Indians baseball team and the Cleveland Browns football team.
- Cincinnati is the home of the Bengals football team and the Reds baseball team.
- Dayton was the hometown of the Wright Brothers, who invented the first powered airplane.
Seven U.S. Presidents Were Born in Ohio
- Ulysses S. Grant (pictured here on two United States Postal Service stamps; Grant was the 18th president)
- Rutherford B. Hayes (the 19th president)
- James Garfield (the 20th president)
- Benjamin Harrison (the 23rd president)
- William McKinley (the 25th president)
- William H. Taft (the 27th president)
- Warren G. Harding (the 29th president)
Fact #1: The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, which is located in Cleveland, Ohio, is filled with personal items and instruments that belonged to famous rock musicians like Elvis Presley, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, and Aretha Franklin.
Fact #2: Before the Wright Brothers invented the airplane, they operated a bicycle repair shop in Dayton Ohio.
Fact #3: In addition to the Wright brothers, there was another famous inventor who was born in Ohio. His name was Thomas Edison. With the help of his employees, he invented the phonograph, the movie camera, and the light bulb.
Fact #4: The Ohio River runs along the southern border of the state. It’s a huge river that that’s almost a thousand miles long. The Ohio River starts in Pennsylvania and empties into the Mississippi River at Cairo, Illinois.
Fact #5: The state got its name from the name that Native American’s gave to the Ohio River. In the Iroquois language, the word Ohio means “great river.”
Just for fun, see if you can answer these questions.
What is the capital of Ohio? Is it Cleveland, Columbus, Cincinnati, or Dayton?
Columbus is the capital of Ohio.
Where is the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame located? Is it in Cleveland, Cincinnati, Dayton, or Columbus?
Mexico shares a long border with Texas.
What kind of repair shop did the Wright Brothers operate before they invented the airplane?
They had a bicycle repair shop.
What is the huge river that flows along Ohio's southern border? Is it the Mississippi River, the Tennessee River, or the Ohio River?
The Ohio River.
If you have time, you can write a story of your own.
Here are a couple of story ideas you can choose from.
Idea #1: You can write a brief story about some of the cool things you learned about Ohio.
Idea #2: You can write a story about the Wright Brothers. If you could interview them before they invented the airplane, what question would you ask. How do you think they might answer your question.
To help you write a great story, we have some helpful hints and timely tips.
Check out “10 Tips for Writing Better Essays.”
Here's a riddle for you:
Who invented the first plane that wouldn't fly?
The Wrong Brothers.