Tuesday, March 17, 2015

March Ohio History Madness!

March is rich in Ohio history goodness. 
OK, not all of it is good. Some of it is bad and downright shameful. It is interesting nonetheless and makes us who we are. Are we learning yet?


I've written up some things on most of the following items. The link will take you to that post.

Tecumseh was born in 1768 somewhere in SW Ohio. Historians don't agree on the exact day or place (probably Xenia) but the date is likely sometime in March based on conversations with a white man named Stephen Ruddell who grew up as his adopted brother.

The month also marks Ohio Statehood Day when Ohio became the 17th state March 1st 1803. So happy belated birthday.

Adopted son of Ohio, war hero, Tecumseh adversary and shortest term President William Henry Harrison gave that long speech on March 4th 1841. It contributed to his early demise one month later. March really sucked for him. You can follow him on Twitter.

A terrible scar...
"Adopt our religion and our ways, be farmers and everything will be fine"...that's basically what the Americans said to the Indians.
It made little difference when they complied.
The Gnadenhutten Massacre took place March 8 1782. Ninety farming Christianized Delaware Indians were slain by militiamen in Ohio as revenge for raids carried out by other Indians. They were even praying as men, women and children were executed en masse. This escalated tensions greatly in the area and led to years of bloody conflict and distrust.

Onto something more positive...
Ohio produced 24 astronauts including Neil Armstrong. March 16th 1962 marks his first trip to space aboard Gemini 8. He would later of course be the first man to walk on the Moon.

Back to bummersville...
Many Wyandot, like Leatherlips and Tarhe, sided with Americans in the 18th and 19th centuries but it didn't matter. Their reward? They were the last Indians get booted from Ohio to "Indian Country" upon the signing of the Treaty with the Wyandot on March 17th 1842. The last sentence of the treaty may as well have been "Thanks for the help with the British and other Indians, we'll take all the land now."

Time for some music!
March 21st 1951 was the first rock concert, Allan Freed's Moondog Coronation Ball in Cleveland OH. 20,000 people showed up to a venue that held half that. Pandemonium ensued. Headlining was Paul Williams and his Hucklebuckers. Tickets cost $1.50. The fact that it was interracial was a big big deal too.

Ah well back to terrible good old days...
On March 27th 1884 a mob in Cincinnati, Ohio, attacked members of a jury who had returned a verdict of manslaughter in a clear case of murder, and then over the next few days would riot and destroy the Hamilton County Courthouse. This would become known as the Cincinnati Courthouse Riots. One of the worst riots in American history. 50 people died and many important historical documents and court records were lost in that melee.

Arthur St Clair, governor of the Northwest Territories was born in Scotland on March 27 1737. He was infamous for his major Indian defeat as well as naming Cincinnati.

March 31st 1933 marks the completion of Union Terminal which now houses the Cincinnati Museum Center. The citizens just passed a levy to save this fantastic building that needs plenty of work. Thanks for that! I no longer volunteer but my heart is there.

And last but not least, I acknowledge March 21st 2010 as my Ohio History Epiphany Day. This is when the local history lightbulb went off for me. Read all about it here if you like.