Installment No. 1: Fun Facts About Ohio

Date June 29, 2007

Hey — if we’re going to move there, I probably ought to arm myself with anecdotes. ’tis so easy with the Internet:

  1. There are lots of claims that Cleveland boasted the first traffic signal in the United States, which seemed interesting, since I spent 2.5 years working for Automatic Signal/Eagle Signal (acquired by Siemens after I started there and renamed Eagle Traffic Control Systems, a Business Unit of Siemens Energy & Automation, Inc…and renamed ITS Siemens several years after I left and after another traffic-related Siemens acquisition); apparently…this claim to fame is a myth, unfortunately
  2. A fun one that I ran into when interviewing in Columbus was “50% of the United States population lives within a 500 mile radius of Columbus.” That sounds suspiciously like, “Columbus can get to lots of big cities…but you have to go a ways to do so!”
  3. Akron (Julie’s hometown) was the first city to use police cars; let’s run with “Akron” for a bit:
    - Home of the All American Soap Box Derby
    - The city where Alcoholics Anonymous was founded
    - The “meth capital of the US, with over 200 busts ‘last’ year” (I don’t know when that was written — meth is becoming a bigger and bigger problem in the rural areas surrounding Austin, actually)
  4. The American Federation of Labor (AFL) was founded in Columbus (cool!)
  5. Birthplace of SEVEN U.S. presidents: Ulysses S. Grant, Rutherford B. Hayes, James A. Garfield, Benjamin Harrison, William McKinley, William H. Taft, and Warren G. Harding; if memory serves, Harding is generally considered the worst President in U.S. history (by golly! Maybe THAT’S what Dubya is shooting for with his legacy?!); and, two of the four Presidents who were assassinated are on this list (McKinley and Garfield)

I wasn’t really starting out to make this a list of dubious distinctions. I’ll try to correct that with future installments. I mean, heck, we’re moving from Texas of all places, which has GOT to top most lists of dubious distinctions (Dubya, Jasper, executions…off the top of my head)!

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