OHIO

With God All Things are Possible

    In many ways Ohio is typical of the United States as a whole. Its earliest settlers came from both the North and the South, and the great diversity of European immigrants attracted to Ohio has helped create an ethnically mixed culture. A state in which agriculture was typically paramount 150 years ago, it now represents the urbanized, industrialized America of the late 20th century. A true bellwether state, Ohio is often used to test products and poll trends.

   The modern big-city movement to elect African American leaders was established in Cleveland, where Carl B. Stokes was elected mayor in 1967. But the predominantly black ghettos of that city were also the scenes of extensive rioting and shoot-outs--in Hough, in 1966, and Glenville, in 1968. During the long summer of racial disturbances across the United States in 1967, Cincinnati was the second major city to be hit by random violence. In 1970 members of the National Guard killed four student Vietnam War protesters on the campus of Kent State University.

   The state is sometimes called the Mother of Modern Presidents because seven presidents of the United States were born there--Ulysses S. Grant, Rutherford B. Hayes, James A. Garfield, Benjamin Harrison, William McKinley, William H. Taft, and Warren G. Harding. Another president, William H. Harrison, was a resident of Ohio at the time of his election. One of President Taft's sons, Senator Robert A. Taft of Ohio, was known as "Mr. Republican," but his bids for a presidential nomination failed in 1948 and 1952.

   The first state to be built up entirely outside the original 13 colonies was Ohio. It became a state in 1803, just 15 years after the establishment of its first permanent white settlement. By 1820 Ohio had become the nation's fifth largest state in population, and by 1850 it was the third largest. Ohio's rapid rise was due largely to its rich supply of natural resources and accessibility to water transportation. The continuous development of Ohio's many natural resources fulfills its motto--"With God, All Things Are Possible."

   The popular nickname Buckeye State comes from the tree that grew so abundantly in the territory before European settlers used it for building. Native Americans supposedly gave the tree this name because the light spot in its brown seed resembled the iris in the dark eye of a buck deer. During the presidential election campaign of 1840 the name was also applied to the people of Ohio.

Survey of the Buckeye State

    Ohio is the easternmost of the North-Central group of states. It is shaped roughly like a shield. It is bordered by Lake Erie and the state of Michigan on the north. Pennsylvania borders it on the northeast. Indiana is to the west. The Ohio River on the south and southeast separates the state from Kentucky and West Virginia. The state's name comes from an Iroquois word that means "beautiful river" or "large river."

   Ranking 35th among the states in land area, Ohio is smaller than any mainland state west of it except Indiana. Its total area is 41,222 square miles (106,764 square kilometers), including 247 square miles (640 square kilometers) of inland water and 3,457 square miles (8,954 kilometers) of Lake Erie. The state extends 225 miles (362 kilometers) from east to west and 215 miles (346 kilometers) from north to south.

   In earliest times northern and western Ohio was covered by a network of river gorges and hills. During the Ice Age, a huge glacier spanned most of the present state. The ice ground down hills and littered the landscape with vast deposits of glacial mud and gravel. These deposits choked up the ancient river valleys, and today the rivers flow in channels that are sometimes 100 feet (30 meters) or more above their first beds. A completely buried river channel, more than 500 feet (150 meters) deep, exists near St. Paris.

   The glacial deposits and the grinding off of hills formed a relatively level plain. Glacial soil covers all but the southeastern rim of the state, including Ohio's best farmlands. The unglaciated soil is fertile where it has a limestone base or where it lies in the floodplain of a river. Otherwise, this type of soil is more suitable for grazing than for farming. The state's valuable clay deposits are also partly of glacial origin.

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