Facts about Ohio that you don't normally hear
The Home of Mediocre Presidents
Ohio was the home of eight US Presidents, more than any other state. But you'd be hard pressed to pick a less distinguished collection of chief executives.
William Henry Harrison -
Set the most records in the shortest period while accomplishing nothing. Fell sick on inauguration day and spent his entire term in his deathbed. First President to die in office, and shortest term in office (31 days). Was the oldest president until Reagan.
Ulysses S. Grant -
The whiskey loving general presided over a scandal ridden administration (Sanborn Incident, Whiskey Ring). After retiring, Grant was swindled out of his life's savings.
Rutherford B. Hayes -
The 1876 election had eerie parallels to election of 2000. Hayes lost the popular vote but the Republican Party contested the electoral results. A special commission, voting along party lines, awarded all disputed electoral votes to Hayes giving him a one vote victory over Samuel Tilden.
James Garfield -
Shot by an assassin after less than four months, Garfield languished for nearly another three months. Enthusiastic doctors succeeded in puncturing his liver and creating more infections by their unsterilized hands. Garfield died after 200 days in office.
Benjamin Harrison -
Despite losing the popular vote, Harrison defeated incumbent Grover Cleveland. Four years later, Cleveland would return the favor.
William McKinley -
The best of the Ohio Presidents. After serving one good term in office, McKinley was shot by anarchist and died two weeks later.
William H. Taft -
Taft disappointed his predecessor and mentor, Theodore Roosevelt. Roosevelt challenged Taft's re-election and gatheredmore votes than Taft in the general election. Taft came in a distant third, the worst showing by the Republican Party since 1852.
Warren G. Harding -
The worst of the Ohio Presidents. Died of food poisoning, though rumors persist that his wife poisoned him as punishment for his frequent infidelities.
The Wright Stuff
The Cleveland Browns were the most popular NFL team in Ohio from 1996 to 1998. This is notable only because the team didn't actually exist at the time. In 1996, owner Art Modell moved the Browns to Baltimore where they became the Ravens and won Super Bowl XXV. (No Cleveland team has played in the Super Bowl.) The Browns remain the only NFL team without a helmet decoration.
The Cincinnati Bengals were the last team in the old American Football League. They started playing in 1968, after the AFL agreed to merge into the NFL. The Bengals are 0-2 in Super Bowls (XVI and XXIII).
Paul Brown was the first coach for both the Browns and the Bengals.
Where can you admire a statue of OJ Simpson? The Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio.
Ohio is the Buckeye State, and the buckeye is the mascot of the Ohio State University. Yet many people outside the the Midwest do not know what a buckeye is.
Also known as a "horse chestnut" or "conker", the buckeye is the acorn-life fruit of trees and shrubs belonging to the genus Aesculus. The plants and their fruits are poisonous. In short, a buckeye is a dangerous nut. So there.
How to become famous after you're born in Ohio
First, change your name. Then leave. These native Ohioans did. Can you identify them?
Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
© 2005 Kermit Lancaster