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.” […]

Columbus stayed peaceful because it prepared for war

BY: - January 19, 2021

Armed law enforcement officers stood watch at the foot of a statue in memory of President McKinley, each as still as the monument. Behind them, these words are etched into Vermont granite: “Let us remember that our interest is in concord, not conflict, and that our real eminence rests in the victories of peace, not […]


How do pandemics end? History suggests diseases fade but are almost never truly gone

BY: - October 15, 2020

When will the pandemic end? All these months in, with over 37 million COVID-19 cases and more than 1 million deaths globally, you may be wondering, with increasing exasperation, how long this will continue. Since the beginning of the pandemic, epidemiologists and public health specialists have been using mathematical models to forecast the future in […]

History Thursday: A surprising 1920 discovery at the Statehouse

BY: - October 8, 2020

In recent years, The Washington Post newspaper has leaned on a catchy slogan: “Democracy Dies in Darkness.” That was almost literal a century ago in the Ohio Statehouse. In March 1920, Senate custodian E.S. Bryant directed a few workers to inspect the dark ceiling of the legislative chamber. “(W)orkmen found that the ceiling of the […]

History Thursday: How did Ohio get its unique flag shape?

BY: - September 17, 2020

There’s no doubt about it: Ohio is a unique place. It’s a place where the city of Upper Sandusky is south of the city of Sandusky, and where people gobble up cheese and chili atop a plate of spaghetti. It only makes sense that the Buckeye State, home to such luminaries as Thomas Edison and […]

History Thursday: When the 1912 presidential election ran through one Ohio town

BY: - August 13, 2020

The travelers came into town on horse-drawn wagons, each person elegantly dressed for a stately presidential campaign stop. Then the barrels of hard cider were brought out, and the whole town got drunk. Indeed, nobody threw a party like the campaign of William Henry Harrison. The year was 1840, and hundreds of Bellevue residents reveled […]


Mask resistance during a pandemic isn’t new – in 1918 many Americans were ‘slackers’

BY: - July 16, 2020

We have all seen the alarming headlines: Coronavirus cases are surging in 40 states, with new cases and hospitalization rates climbing at an alarming rate. Health officials have warned that the U.S. must act quickly to halt the spread – or we risk losing control over the pandemic. There’s a clear consensus that Americans should […]


Black Americans, crucial workers in crises, emerge worse off – not better

BY: - June 22, 2020

On June 19, 1865 – 155 years ago – Black Americans celebrating the day of Jubilee, later known as Juneteenth, may have expected a shot at real opportunity. Freedom from slavery should have been freedom to climb up the economic ladder, helped – or at least not hindered – by a nation newly rededicated to […]


How the rich reacted to the bubonic plague has eerie similarities to today’s pandemic

BY: - April 23, 2020

The coronavirus can infect anyone, but recent reporting has shown your socioeconomic status can play a big role, with a combination of job security, access to health care and mobility widening the gap in infection and mortality rates between rich and poor. The wealthy work remotely and flee to resorts or pastoral second homes, while […]

League of Women Voters celebrates 100 years: A look back

BY: - March 5, 2020

It took nearly 150 years after the Declaration of Independence was signed for women to fully achieve the right to vote. Once they got it, though, it took no time at all for the male-dominated political establishment to seek to capitalize.  Nowhere was that more true than in Ohio. The 19th Amendment giving equal voting […]


Civil rights in Columbus: The Vanguard League

BY: - February 27, 2020

Most of us have heard the national story of civil rights. But did you know that many cities and towns across Ohio had (and still have) incredibly active local civil rights organizations? The Ohio History Connection holds the papers of one of these local organizations: the Vanguard League. In May 1940, in the home of […]