history

This illustration shows four white men on the banks of a river or creek, an empty horse-drawn wagon visible behind them. A wooden rowboat carrying two African American men
L.J. Bridgman / Ohio History Connection

Before the Civil War, thousands of people escaped slavery by traveling north through Ohio on the Underground Railroad, a loose system of safe "stations" where abolitionists and humanitarians gave aide and shelter to formerly enslaved people.

Whitewashing History

Jul 24, 2020
The head portion of the Christopher Columbus statue was taken off Friday morning and taken away on a flatbed truck.
Ryan Hitchcock / WOSU

This episode originally aired on July 21, 2020.

The truth about the once legal enslavement of humans in the U.S and the concurrent racism then that persists today is fraught with the worst kinds of violence and inhumanity.

How that history is taught in schools and how educators have at times soft-pedaled misery and injustice has come to the fore in the era of Black Lives Matter.

Whitewashing History

Jul 21, 2020
The head portion of the Christopher Columbus statue was taken off Friday morning and taken away on a flatbed truck.
Ryan Hitchcock / WOSU

The truth about the once legal enslavement of humans in the U.S and the concurrent racism then that persists today is fraught with the worst kinds of violence and inhumanity.

How that history is taught in schools and how educators have at times soft-pedaled misery and injustice has come to the fore in the era of Black Lives Matter.

The Ohio Prison Fire

Jul 8, 2020
Rescue workers aid fire victims at the Ohio State Penitentiary in Columbus, Ohio on April 21, 1930. More than 300 persons, mostly inmates, perished in the fire.
Associated Press

This episode originally aired on December 5, 2019.

On Easter Monday in 1930, a fire trapped hundreds of inmates in the aging Ohio Penitentiary just minutes after they returned to their cells after a holiday supper.

What remains the deadliest prison fire in American history claimed the lives of 320 men who hailed from every corner of the country and beyond.

This photo from the 1880s shows boats on the Columbus Feeder Canal right before its terminus at the Scioto River near West Main Street, formerly Friend Street.
Columbus Disptach / Ohio History Connection

Before highways or even railroads were the preferred means of transportation in Ohio, canals were considered the cutting edge of travel technology.

Black and white photo of Large angled roof on  home at 503 Evergreen Circle was part of Rush Creek villages application to the National Register of Historic Places.
National Park Service / archive.gov

Central Ohio is home to many historic neighborhoods with unique architectural identities. Most neighborhoods, such as German Village and Victorian Village, are heavily influenced by European architecture.

There is one neighborhood, however, that has a decidedly modern American influence. 

Remembering D-Day And World War II

May 25, 2020
 Soldiers in cargo vehicles move onto a beach in Normandy during the Allied Invasion of Europe, D-Day, June 6, 1944. After fierce fighting, the Allies established a foothold in northern France.
U.S Army / Flickr Creative Commons

This episode originally aired on June 5, 2019.

June 6 marks the anniversary of D-Day, when more than 150,000 Allied troops spilled onto five beach along the French coast in what is seen as the primary turning point, the beginning of the end of World War II. 

Illustration of the ancient earthworks of Circleville, Ohio.
Caleb Atwater / Description of the Antiquities Discovered in the State of Ohio and Other Western States

Circleville, Ohio was established over 200 years ago, but the land where it sits has a cultural history that goes back much further.

Archival photo of German Village street.
German Village Society

Columbus’s historic German Village neighborhood certainly has its fair share of stately mansions, but the area is better known for its small “cozy” brick cottages.

The 1.5 million-year-old fossils of human ancestors recently unearthed in Ethiopia show sophistication in behaviors and tool use, said the Case Western Reserve University (CWRU) researchers who found them, despite one example having the smallest cranium of any specimen found in Africa to date.

One Homo erectus female cranium found is a little less than half the size of our brains, said CWRU anatomy professor Scott Simpson, who worked with the team that discovered the fossils.

Sign for Riva Ridge Boulevard in Gahanna.
Debbie Holmes / WOSU

The names given to towns, buildings, and streets can often indicate a lot about a community's history. It can also reveal some unsettling connections.

Wikipedia is a well-known first stop on the internet when it comes to researching just about anything - except, perhaps, notable women. Not only are 84% to 92% of editors on the site male, but the vast majority of Wikipedia profiles are about men, with fewer than 20% of pages devoted to women.

Statue of aviator Geraldine "Jerrie" Mock at the John Glenn Columbus International Airport.
Broad & High / WOSU

Statues can be found all over Columbus. There’s Arnold Schwarzenegger in front of the Greater Columbus Convention Center, William Oxley Thompson by Ohio State University's main library, and of course the statue of Christopher Columbus himself in front of City Hall.

Slavery Reparations

Feb 18, 2020
A large woodcut image of an enslaved man appeared in an 1837 publication of an antislavery poem.
Library of Congress

The debate for reparations for African Americans and the descendants of slaves is one that has persisted since the official end of slavery with the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863.

The next time you make a pit stop along the Ohio Turnpike, you can also get a little history lesson.

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine unveiled Underground Railroad historical markers at two Ohio Turnpike rest areas Wednesday.

The first unveiling was at the Commodore Perry Service Plaza, an eastbound service stop in Clyde. The second was at the Portage Service Place, a westbound service stop in Mantua. Both locations were chosen because of ties to the Underground Railroad.

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