history thursday

History Thursday: The Ohio Statehouse squirrels’ 150-year legacy

BY: - July 29, 2021

When people thought of the Ohio Statehouse, a reporter wrote in the early 1960s, one defining image came to mind: Not the important policy debates inside or the many famous figures that have traversed its halls. No, the reporter wrote. People thought of the squirrels. Since its completion in 1861, the Ohio Statehouse grounds have […]

History Thursday: Ohio played pivotal role in ending MLB color barrier

BY: - July 15, 2021

Drivers on Route 23 north of Columbus may be surprised to learn the highway is named after a University of Michigan graduate. But Wesley Branch Rickey was much more than a Wolverine. The native of southern Ohio played and coached baseball at Ohio Wesleyan University before reaching the big leagues as a catcher. It was […]

History Thursday: Budget debate led lawmakers to mow Statehouse lawn

BY: - July 8, 2021

By the fall of 1971, having tried just about everything else to get the state budget passed, Ohio lawmakers turned to their next great negotiating tool: Lawnmowers. The tardy budget meant state funding cuts. Lawmakers protested by cutting the grass on the Statehouse grounds themselves. Fifty years later, the Ohio General Assembly would pass a […]

History Thursday: ’70s lawmaker gave docs a taste of their own medicine

BY: - May 27, 2021

When Ohio lawmakers proposed raising medical school tuition back in 1971, a group of medical students took to the Statehouse to oppose the plan. They came ready to testify against the bill, but as is often the case in Columbus, the hearing was delayed. The students sat waiting for 90 minutes until Committee Chairman Robert […]

History Thursday: 1955 rollout of polio vaccine resembles COVID-19 era

BY: - May 20, 2021

The thousands of “Polio Pioneers” in Ohio, one official said, were short in stature but giants went it came to being medical trailblazers. These were children in Richland and Montgomery counties who participated in a polio vaccine trial in 1954, with a nation desperate for a breakthrough against a disease that killed thousands and left […]

History Thursday: ‘Death car’ shown at Ohio Statehouse after ’48 trial

BY: - May 6, 2021

On Sept. 1, 1950 came this front page headline in The Newark Advocate: Will Bring Death Car To Statehouse. Emile Reiss wanted the governor to see the old Chevrolet in person. Only then, the Columbus attorney reasoned, would Gov. Frank Lausche understand that a murder had not taken place inside of it.  Reiss told reporters […]

History Thursday: The vindication and downfall of Col. John P. Slough

BY: - April 8, 2021

Note: This is the second of a two-part history series about one of Ohio’s most controversial lawmakers. You can read Part 1 here. Two weeks after Rep. John P. Slough planted a sockdolager between a colleague’s peepers, as one newspaper put it, lawmakers gathered at the brand-new Ohio Statehouse for an expulsion vote. The Republican […]

History Thursday: The Statehouse punch heard ’round Ohio

BY: - April 1, 2021

As lawmakers gathered inside their new legislative chamber for the first time in January 1857, Gov. Salmon Chase stood at the rostrum to offer a message of dignified government. The new Ohio Statehouse, he hoped, would long stand as a symbol of “well-ordered institutions, and the enduring greatness of the people whose house it is.” […]

Nation honored Ohio native John Glenn after his famous flight

BY: - February 25, 2021

John Glenn’s “biggest boosters” in his orbit of the Earth were not on his rocket, one newspaper reporter wrote, but those from his hometown of New Concord. It was 59 years ago this week that Glenn piloted the NASA spacecraft Friendship 7 and orbited the planet three times before safely returning to Earth. The historic […]


Liberals in Congress and the White House have faced a conservative Supreme Court before

BY: - February 18, 2021

With control of the White House and both houses of Congress, Democrats are looking to make major changes in government initiatives – including on climate change, immigration and education. But many of those ideas may end up in court – where they will face a Supreme Court dominated by conservatives. Donald Trump’s appointments of Justices […]

History Thursday: Pugnacious Ohio senator was unafraid to insult critics

BY: - January 28, 2021

To some, he was an old curmudgeon. To others, he was a wise truth teller who told it like it is. Either way, U.S. Sen. Stephen Young of Ohio was one politician not afraid to speak his mind. The Norwalk Democrat retired from Congress in 1971 as the oldest senator at age 81, deciding against […]

History Thursday: Inauguration of first Ohio-born president was controversial

BY: - January 21, 2021

A controversial transfer of power. Traditions going by the wayside. A divided country on edge.  Much about the 1869 inauguration of Ulysses S. Grant, the first Ohio-born politician to become president, resembles the year 2021. Americans closely followed the melodrama surrounding the transition from President Andrew Johnson to President-elect Grant, with newspapers around the country […]