Ohio: The 17th State

Today is Admission Day for Ohio, our 17th State, admitted to the union on March 1st, 1803. 

The date of admission was actually determined retroactively, because no formal date of statehood was set by the original legislation.  It wasn’t until 1953 that the date of admission was set as March 1st, 1803, the date that Ohio’s first legislature convened.  (Photo above of Ohio Statehouse)

Back in 1835, Ohio fought a war with Michigan, known as the Toledo War.  Somehow, my US History class missed this important battle, but as a result of it, Michigan got the western part of its Upper Peninsula as part of its state boundaries, and Ohio got the Toledo Strip. 

Located in the Midwestern United States, and part of the Great Lakes region, Ohio is a heavily populated state (ranked 7th in population).  Its largest city is its capital, Columbus.  The largest metropolitan area is Cleveland.  Other major cities include:  Akron, Canton, Cincinnati, Dayton, Toledo, and Youngstown.  These cities are home to many popular tourist attraction, including the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton (see photo above).

Ohio’s geographic location, well-developed highway system, and proximity to numerous seaports, has made it a hub for cargo and business traffic.  In fact, 50% of the North American population is within a one-day drive of Ohio.

Ohio is frequently called the “Mother of Presidents,” with seven U.S. presidents having been born there.  Only Virginia has more, boasting eight.

Hitting on a theme a little closer to my heart, Ohio is the birthplace of the airplane, a result of numerous experiments by Orville and Wilbur Wright.   A large experimental and design facility is still located near Dayton, and the entire state still has many ties to the aviation industry, both civil and military.

I spent ten days in Ohio a few years back.  I was traveling with a good friend, and we spent the time driving around, visiting many of the small cities and communities.  It was my first trip to Ohio (other than making a flight connection ““ which doesn’t count).  Little did I realize that a visit to Ohio actually meant a visit to three additional states — the Cincinnati metropolitan area extends into Kentucky and Indiana (this counted as my first visit to both of those states), and the Youngstown metropolitan area extends into Pennsylvania.

Photo credit:  Ohio Division of Travel and Tourism, www.DiscoverOhio.com.

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Mary Jo Manzanares is a traveler, travel blogger, and podcaster. In addition to her blog, Traveling with MJ, she hosts the Where Else to Go podcast, and is the founder and the editor-in-chief of The Traveler’s Way, an online travel magazine. Her travel ethos is value luxury - luxury for real people - and her goal is to help travelers know when to splurge and when to save. Mary Jo has been a speaker at various industry events around the world. When she’s not traveling, Mary Jo likes lingering over a cup of coffee, wandering in a museum, sipping wine at a cafe, and sharing it all with friends and readers. Her most recent travels were to Stockholm, a Baltic cruise, and Universal Orlando Resort.

2 Responses to “Ohio: The 17th State”

  1. June 7, 2011 at 6:11 pm #

    Hi Mary Jo,

    I’d like to if possible use the picture of the ohio state capital for a documentary film project. Please let me know if that would be possible.

    Thank you,


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