7 interesting facts you should know about Ohio and its history

Ohio’s history is pretty unique.

Here are seven fun facts about the Buckeye State that you might not know:

1. Welcome aboard

While Ohio was declared a state in 1803 (its boundaries and constitution were approved by Thomas Jefferson), it didn’t get the presidential stamp of approval until 1953. Dwight D. Eisenhower signed and backdated Ohio's admittance to the union.

2. The great river

The state takes its name from the Ohio River. Ohio originated from the Iroquois word ohi-yo’, which means “great river.” Ohio has over 40,000 miles of waterways.

3. The Mother of Presidents

Of the eight U.S. Presidents to come from Ohio, only one (Ulysses S. Grant) served two full terms, and four died in office.

William Henry Harrison was born in Virginia but moved to Ohio after marrying his wife, who was from North Bend, and he later became an Ohio Senator. He held the shortest term of any president, dying of pneumonia one month after delivering the longest inauguration speech in U.S. presidential history.

The seven other presidents from Ohio — Grant, Rutherford B. Hayes, James Garfield (assassinated while in office), Benjamin Harrison, William McKinley (assassinated), William H. Taft and Warren G. Harding (died of a stroke in office) — were born here, making the state known as the “Mother of Modern Presidents.”

4. Swing state

It’s often said that Ohio is the decision state when it comes to presidential elections. That is because only eight presidents have lost in Ohio and gone on to the White House. The last U.S. President to be elected without winning Ohio was John F. Kennedy in 1960.

5. Mound builders

Ancient tribes of “Mound Builders” left more than 6,000 burial mounds and forts throughout the Ohio region. The Miamisburg Mound is the largest conical burial mound in the state and possibly in the eastern United States.

When European explorers first arrived in the 1600s, they found Delaware, Shawnee, Wyandot and Miami Indian tribes living here. Frenchman Rene’-Robert Cavelier explored the Ohio region in 1670 and is believed to be the first white man to visit the area.

6. All roads lead through here

“The Heart of It All” isn’t just a random slogan to promote tourism in Ohio. About 50 percent of the U.S. population is located within 500 miles of Ohio’s state capital of Columbus.

7. Unique flag

Ohio’s flag is not rectangular like all the other state flags. Its pennant design is one-of-a-kind. According to the Ohio State Flag Code, the flag is to be folded 17 times to represent Ohio as the 17th state to join the union.

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