Ohio Trivia

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.
Best known for his great campaign slogan-- "Tippecanoe and Tyler, Too"-- commemorating his military victory at the Battle of Tippecanoe.

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.
Best known for being on the $50 bill. He really is buried in Grant's tomb in New York City.

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.
Best known for his teetotaling wife, "Lemonade Lucy", who banned alcohol from the White House. Hayes was not re-elected.

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.
Best known as the first ambidextrous President and the last sitting member of the House of Representatives elected to the Presidency.

Benjamin Harrison - Despite losing the popular vote, Harrison defeated incumbent Grover Cleveland. Four years later, Cleveland would return the favor.
Best known for causing the confusion about Grover Cleveland being both the 22nd and 24th Presidents. Also was the last President to wear a beard.

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.
Best known for selecting his vice president and successor, Theodore Roosevelt. The highest peak in North America named after him.

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.
Best known for weighing over 350 pounds.

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.
Best known for campaigning from his front porch, his laissez faire policies in office, and the subsequent corruption and scandals.

The Wright Stuff

Ohio maintains a running battle with North Carolina. On their state license plates and on their commemorative quarter dollar coins, both states lay claim to the same piece of history, the first airplane. Wilbur and Orville Wright of Dayton, Ohio, made the first flight near Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. So it's the "Birthplace of Aviation" for Ohio versus "First in Flight" for North Carolina.


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

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© 2005  Kermit Lancaster