History of Cleveland, Ohio

History of Cleveland, Ohio

This article chronicles the history of Cleveland, Ohio.


At the end of the last glacial period, which ended about 15000 years ago at the southern edge of Lake Erie, there was a tundra landscape. [Cp. [http://ech.case.edu/ech-cgi/article.pl?id=PI2 The Encyclopedia of Cleveland History] .] It took about two and a half millennia to turn this wet and cold landscape dryer and warmer, so that caribou, moose, deer, wolves, bears and cougars were prevalent.

The oldest human, paleo-Indian traces reach back as far as 10500 BC There was an early settlement in Medina County, dated between 9200 and 8850 BC Some tools consisted of flint from Indiana.

Increasing temperatures at about 7500 BC lead to a stable phase between 7000 and 4500 BC which had similar characteristics to today's climate. Population grew, and these members of the so called Early Archaic Culture lived in large families along the rivers and the shores of the lakes. During the warm seasons they met for hunting and gathering. The technology of tools improved but flint was still an important resource in that regard. Important archeological sites are old Lake Abraham bog as well as sites on Big Creek, Cahoon, Mill und Tinker's Creek. There was a larger settlement where Hilliard Boulevard crosses the Rocky River.

Population density further increased during the Middle Archaic period (4500-2000 BC). Ground and polished stone tools and ornaments, and a variety of specialized chipped-stone notched points and knives, scrapers and drills were found on sites at Cuyahoga, Rocky River, Chippewa Creek, Tinker's, and Griswold Creek.

The Late Archaic period (2000 to 500 BC) coincided with a much warmer climate than today. For the first time evidence for regionally specific territories occurs, as well as limited gardening of squash, which later became very important. A long distance trade of raw materials and finished artifacts with coastal areas, objects which were used in ceremonies and burials. The largest graveyard known is at the junction of the East and West branches of the Rocky River. Differences in status are revealed by the objects which accompanied the dead, like zoo- and anthropomorphic objects or atlatls.

The following Early Woodland (500 BC - AD 100) and Middle Woodland (AD 100 - 700) is a period of increased ceremonial exchange and sophisticated rituals. Crude but elaborately decorated pottery appears. Squash becomes more importan, maize occurs for ritual procedures. The first Mounds were erected, buildings for which Ohio is world-famoous. The mound at Eagle St. Cemetery belongs to the Adena culture. Further mounds were found in the east of Tinker's Creek. Horticulture becomes even more important, the same with maize. The huge mounds concentrate much more in southern Ohio, but they were also found in northern Summit County. Some Hopewellian projectile points, flint-blade knives, and ceramics were found in the area of Cleveland itself. One mound, south of Brecksville, contained a cache of trade goods within a 6-sided stone crypt. A smaller mound between Willowick and Eastlake contained several ceremonial spear points of chert from Illinois - altogether signs of a wide range of trade. At Cleveland's W. 54th St. Division waterworks there was probably a mound and a Hopewellian spear tip was found there.

After AD 400 maize dominated. Mounds were built no more, but the number of different groups increased, with winter villages at the Cuyhagoga, Rocky and Lower Chagrin Rivers. Small, circular houses contained one or two fire hearths and storage pits. Tools and ornaments made of antler and bone were found. During the spring, people lived camps along the lakeshore ridges, along ponds and bogs, or headwaters of creeks, where they collected plants and fished.

Between AD 1000 and 1200 oval houses with single-post constructions dominated the summer villages, the emphasis on burial ceremony declined, but became more personal and consisted of ornaments, or personal tools.

From 1200 to 1600 Meso-American influence mediated by the Mississippian culture could be traced, in Cleveland in new ceramic and house styles, new crops (common beans), and the presence of materials traded from southern centers. This influence was even stronger within the Fr. Ancient group, probably ancestors of later Shawnees. At this time, there was an obvious difference in archeological findings from the areas of Black River, Sandusky River and Lake Erie Islands westwards on the one hand and Greater Cleveland eastwards on the other.

This late Woodland or Mississippian culture is called Whittlesey Tradition - after Colonel Charles Whittlesey, who was the first to relate about these sites. The early Whittlesey Tradition (1200 t0 1350) reveals an equilibrium between hunters, fishers and gatherers. Three or four families lived in winter villages.

Between 1300 and 1500 gardening became pre-dominant, especially beans and new varieties of maize. Larger villages were inhabited in summer and fall. Small camps diminished and the villages became larger as well as the houses, which became rectangular. Some of the villages became real fortresses. During the later Whittlesey Tradition burial grounds were placed outside the villages, but still close to them. These villages were in use all year round.

The final Whittlesey Tradition, beginning at about 1500, shows long-houses, fortified villages, and sweat lodges can be traced. But the villages in and around Cleveland reported by Whittlesey, are gone. It was likely a warlike time, as the villages were even stronger fortified than before. Cases of traumatic injury, nutritional deficiency, and disease were also found. It is obvious that the population declined until about 1640. One reason is probably the little ice-age beginning at about 1500. The other reason is probably permanent warfare. It seems that the region of Cleveland was uninhabited between 1640 and 1740.

At about 1740 some Wyandot and Ottawa (from Detroit) reached the area. The Erie have been historically assumed to be the precontact inhabitants of the entire south shore of Lake Erie. But Erie villages are only located between Erie, Pennsylvania, and Buffalo, New York, but never farther west than the present New York/Pennsylvania state line.

Early years: 1796–1860

As one of thirty-six founders of the Connecticut Land Company, General Moses Cleaveland was selected as one of its seven directors and was subsequently sent out as the company's agent to map and survey the company's holdings. On July 22, 1796, Cleaveland and his surveyors arrived at the mouth of the Cuyahoga River. Cleaveland quickly saw the land, which had previously belonged to Native Americans, as an ideal location for the "capital city" of the Connecticut Western Reserve. Cleaveland and his surveyors quickly began making plans for the new city. He paced out a nine-and-a-half-acre Public Square, similar to those in New England. His surveyors decided upon the name, Cleaveland, after their leader. In October, Cleaveland and his staff returned to Connecticut where he pursued his ambition in political, military, and law affairs, never once returning to the settlement he established. The village of Cleaveland was incorporated on December 23, 1814 and its first citizen of European extract was Lorenzo Carter, who made Cleveland a solid source for trade. He also built a large log cabin for newcomers to settle in. The spelling of the city's name was changed in 1831 by "The Cleveland Advertiser", an early city newspaper. In order for the name to fit on newspaper's masthead,Fact|date=March 2007 the first "a" was dropped, reducing the city's name to "Cleveland". Another account is that the spelling changes came from an error on a surveyor's map.Fact|date=March 2007 The new spelling stuck, and long outlasted the "Advertiser" itself.

Though not initially apparent — the city was adjacent to swampy lowlands and the harsh winters did not encourage settlement — the location proved providential. The city began to grow rapidly after the completion of the Ohio and Erie Canal in 1832, turning the city into a key link between the Ohio River and the Great Lakes, particularly once the city railroad links were added. In 1822, a young, charismatic lawyer and politician, John W. Willey came to Cleveland and quickly established himself within the city. He became a popular figure in local politics and wrote the Cleveland Municipal Charter as well as several of the city's original laws and ordinances. Willey was then elected the first mayor of Cleveland for two terms.

With James Clark and several others, Willey bought a section of the Flats with plans to transform it into Cleveland Centre, a business and residential district. Willey then bought a piece of land from the southeast section of Ohio City across from Columbus Street in Cleveland. Willey named the new territory Willeyville and subsequently built a bridge connecting the two sections, calling it Columbus Street Bridge. The bridge siphoned off commercial traffic to Cleveland before it could reach Ohio City's mercantile district. This action aggravated citizens of Ohio City, and brought to the surface a fierce rivalry between the small city and Cleveland. Ohio City citizens rallied for "Two Bridges or None!". In October 1836, they violently sought to stop the use of Cleveland's new bridge by bombing the western end of it. However, the explosion caused little damage. A group of 1,000 Ohio City volunteers began digging deep ditches at both ends of the bridge, making it impossible for horses and wagons to reach the structure. Some citizens were still unsatisfied with this and took to using guns, crowbars, axes, and other weapons to finish off the bridge. They were then met by Willey and a group of armed Cleveland militiamen. A battle ensued on the bridge, with two men seriously wounded before the county sheriff arrived to end the violence and arrest many. A court injunction prevented further confrontations which may have led to an all out war between Cleveland and Ohio City. The two cities eventually made amends and Ohio City was annexed by Cleveland in 1854.

The Columbus bridge became an important asset for Cleveland, permitting produce to enter the city from the surrounding hinterlands and build the city's mercantile base. This was greatly increased with the coming of the Ohio & Erie Canal, which realized the city's potential as a major Great Lakes port. Later, as a halfway point for iron ore coming from Minnesota across the Great Lakes and for coal and other raw materials coming by rail from the south, the site flourished. Cleveland became one of the major manufacturing and population centers of the United States, and was home to numerous major steel firms.

The Civil War years and the dawn of the Industrial Age: 1861–1900

Civil War

Prior to the American Civil War, Clevelanders viewed the slaveholding South based on political affiliation. While a majority of Clevelanders tended to side with the abolitionist North, not all of them loathed slavery, nor were they all convinced that a civil war would resolve ideological differences between North and South. As election year approached and impending clouds of war loomed, rhetoric of Cleveland's local newspapers became increasingly divided. For example, "The Cleveland Herald and Gazette" and "The Cleveland Leader", both largely Republican papers argued that southern actions had driven John Brown to raid Harpers Ferry on October 1859. "The Plain Dealer", a largely Democratic publication blamed Brown and abolitionist Republicans for the raid.

When Abraham Lincoln won 58% of the vote in 9 of 11 wards for the presidency and as the secession crisis loomed closer, the partisan rhetoric of Cleveland newspapers became more and more aggressive. The "Herald" celebrated Lincoln's victory as one of right over wrong, of Unionists over secession-minded southern Democrats, while the "Leader" dismissed threats of the South's secession. "The Plain Dealer", meanwhile argued that secession was imminent. When war finally did break out on April 1861, Cleveland Democrats and Republicans decided to end their dispute and united to form the Union party to support Lincoln's war effort. However, this coalition did not go untested.

The Civil War years brought an economic boom to Cleveland. The city was making the transition from a small town to an industrial giant. Railroad iron and gun-carriage axles were manufactured for military use. Due to the cutoff of Southern trade, Cleveland opened its first tobacco factory, T. Maxfield & Co., in 1862. The city's garment industry also began to prosper. The German Woolen Factory (also in 1862) became the first company to manufacture wool cloth in Cleveland. By 1865, its banks held $2.25 million in capital and $3.7 million in deposits. In 1863, 22% of all U.S. Naval crafts built for use on the Great Lakes were built in Cleveland. That figure increased by 1865 to 44%.

Civilian aid to the military centered around establishment and maintenance of the Soldiers' Aid Society of Northern Ohio (1861), the U.S. General Hospital (1862), Camp Taylor (1861), and Camp Cleveland (1862). Food, blankets, and reading material were provided by citizens to recruits at both military camps until government stores and equipment could be distributed.

When the war ended, Cleveland welcomed home troops after service in the field, treating them to a meal and a short welcoming ceremony on Public Square before they marched to Camp Cleveland for payment and discharge from the army. Those Clevelanders who died in the war were honored at Woodland Cemetery with the memorials commemorating the 7th Ohio Volunteer Infantry Regiment and the 23rd Ohio Volunteer Infantry Regiment.

The issue of full emancipation still lingered about. The Harold and the Leader supported the proposed Emancipation Proclamation of January 1, 1863, commending Lincoln for the "for the stalwart blow he struck for freedom and for the peace and future tranquility of the Union." The Plain Dealer, on the other hand, argued that the only purpose of the war was to preserve the union and that making "citizens of the entire black population" would ultimately tarnished the white race.

Cleveland during the Gilded Age: 1865-1900

Cleveland experienced unprecedented growth during the postbellum era and the Gilded Age. By 1870, the city's population shot up to 92,829, more than double its 1860 population of 43,417. Overgrowth in population brought forth several urban issues, such as the need for efficient police and fire protection, decent housing, public education, health services, transportation, and an improved network of roads and streets. Such issues continued to concern city planners into the 20th century. However, by 1870, Cleveland had a population of 92,829 and made a successful entry into the Industrial Revolution. This was all the result of the prosperity experienced during the Civil War. Cleveland was now a manufacturing giant and spawned many technological innovations.

As industry was growing, so was the city's political climate. Since the conclusion of the Civil War, the political climate shifted from Democrat to Republican. The main architect of this conversion was nonother than Mark Hanna. An industrialist and powerful politician, Hanna entered politics when he was elected to the Cleveland Board of Education ca. 1869. His great influence over elections in Cleveland made him a political kingmaker. As a result, Republicans won elections just as frequently, if not more than Democrats.

This began to change when Republican Robert E. McKisson came to office in 1895. As mayor, McKisson began construction on a new city water and sewer system. However, he was also vehemently anti-Hanna. With his powers, McKisson created a powerful political machine, perhaps one of the most centralized in the city's history, in order to challenge Hanna for power of the local Republican party. He padded the payroll with his political cronies, expanded the activities of government, and called for city ownership of all utilities. Although elected for two terms, he was resoundly defeated by an alliance of Democrats and Hanna Republicans. It was clear that the city's government needed reform.

In 1897, Eliza Bryant founded the Cleveland Home of Aged Colored People (now Eliza Bryant Village), the oldest non-religious black institution in Ohio. [cite web
title=Eliza Bryant Center
publisher=African American Heritage Trail of Cleveland

The Roaring Twenties: 1901–1929

Early in the 20th century, Cleveland was home to pioneer carmakers, including steam car builders White and Gaeth and electric car company Baker.

After a succession of lax Democrats, Hanna Republicans and McKisson's corrupt political machine, Cleveland voters felt that the city government needed a change. Democrat Tom L. Johnson was elected as the city's new mayor in 1901. Johnson brought Cleveland into the 20th century with reforms for "home rule, three-cent fare, and just taxation". He initiated the Group Plan of 1903 as well as the Mall, the earliest and most complete civic-center plan for a major city outside of Washington, D.C. With cabinet members Newton D. Baker and Harris R. Cooley, Johnson also reformed and professionalized city hall.

Despite the efforts of Johnson and his Republican successor Herman C. Baehr, the city still needed freedom from most state-imposed restrictions of the management of its affairs. Then Johnson progressive Newton D. Baker was elected in 1911 and successfully picked up where the former, late mayor left off. Baker, like Johnson was an active supporter of home rule and even helped write the 1912, Ohio constitutional amendment giving municipalities the right to govern themselves. By campaigning for its passage in 1913, Baker became largely influential in selecting the commission to write Cleveland's first home rule charter. In 1916, Baker declined to run for a third term and instead returned to private practice of law. Baker was succeeded by Harry L. Davis for the mayorship. Davis established the Mayor's Advisory War Committee, formed 1917 to increase efficiency of money, time, and effort. He appointed the committee to plan ways in which Cleveland could assist with aiding the American effort in World War I. The effort gained national recognition. After the war ended in 1918, during the time of the Russian Revolution, there began a new threat – the First Red Scare. One of the great dilemmas faced by Davis was trying to restore order during the violent Cleveland May Day Riots of 1919. Faced with the issue of the riots and his own ambitions to become governor of Ohio, Davis resigned in May 1920 (he would later serve as a mayor again in 1933).

In 1920, Cleveland reached nationwide recognition as the fifth largest city in the United States. In that same year, the Cleveland Indians successfully defeated the Brooklyn Robins in the World Series. The 1920s in general became one of the most prosperous in the city's history. It was during this decade that the new music form of jazz began to reach prominence. Cleveland's greatest influx of jazz began when New Orleans musicians moved to urban areas in the North. New jazz talent also rose from Cleveland Central High School, whose music program produced more jazz artists than any other school in Cleveland – or possibly the entire country.

Aside from music, immigrants, particularly from Eastern Europe began entering Cleveland. With more people, more jobs were needed, and the city's industry also began to see rapid growth. New and better structures began to arise in the city. William R. Hopkins, who became the city manager in 1924 oversaw the development of parks, the Cleveland Municipal Airport (later renamed Hopkins International Airport), and improved welfare institutions. In 1926, the Van Sweringen brothers, who had previously worked to improve Cleveland's trolley and rapid program, began construction of the great Terminal Tower in 1927, one of Cleveland's most significant landmarks. Until 1967, the tower was the tallest building in the world outside of New York City.

The Eighteenth Amendment prohibiting the sale and consumption of alcohol first took effect in Cleveland on May 27, 1919. However, it was not well-enforced. One policeman even stated "Hell, I'm not going to arrest nobody for doing what I like to do myself." Cleveland alcohol stocks declined when the Prohibition Bureau sent an administrator and federal agents as the amendment and the Volstead Act became law in January 1920. With prohibition, Cleveland, like other major American cities saw the development of organized crime. Little Italy's Mayfield Road Mob was notorious for smuggling bootleg alcohol out of Canada to Cleveland. The mob's members included Joe Tonardo, Nathan Weisenburg, the seven Porello brothers (four of whom were killed), Moses Donley, Paul Hackett, and J.J. Schleimer. These names and Milano, Furgus, and O'Boyle held the same connotation as Al Capone in Chicago. Speakeasies began appearing all over the city. An anti-Prohibition group found 2,545 such locations throughout Cleveland.

The Great Depression and revitalization: 1929–1961

On October 24, 1929, the stock market crashed, plunging the entire nation into Depression. If prohibition had been unpopular in Cleveland in its early days, it was even more unpopular now. Tired of gang wars in Cleveland and Chicago, Fred G. Clark founded an anti-gang, anti-Prohibition group called the Crusaders. The group formed "battalions" of "militant young men" into chapters nationwide. Cleveland became their national headquarters and by 1932, the Crusaders claimed one million members. The Women's Organization for National Prohibition Reform was another group formed in Cleveland that also rose to prominence.

When Franklin D. Roosevelt became President, Prohibition appeared to be near an end. Together, the Crusaders, the Association Against the Prohibition Amendment, and the Women's Organization for National Prohibition Reform formed the Ohio Repeal Council, and Prohibition was finally repealed in Cleveland on December 23, 1933.

However, this solved the least of Cleveland's problems. Harry L. Davis, who had previously served as mayor, returned and was elected again. Davis exhibited increasing incompetence in office and the city became a haven for criminal activity. The police department was corrupt, prostitution and illegal gambling were rampant, and organized crime was still abundant.

In the next election, Davis was ousted from office and Harold H. Burton became the city's new mayor. Burton, a lawyer from New England, enjoyed Cleveland and wanted to see the city get back on its feet. He accomplished this with the help of his newly-appointed Safety Director, Eliot Ness, who previously served as Chief Investigator of the Prohibition Bureau for Chicago and Ohio and played an important role in putting Al Capone behind bars. Ness made a name for himself in Cleveland by first and foremost cleaning up the city's police department. He fired corrupt, incompetent and crooked cops from the force and replaced them with talented rookies and unrecognized veterans. He also orchestrated raids on such notorious gambling spots as The Harvard Club and The BlackHawk Inn. In addition, Ness instituted on-the-spot drunk-driving tests. Those failing the test would be arrested immediately. With Ness at the head of the city's Safety Directorate, crime plummeted 38% in a single year.

Despite these impressive achievements, Ness could not end the terror that came about due to the activities of the Cleveland Torso Murderer, who committed a series of murders in which victims were brutally dismembered, as if by a surgeon. Dr. Francis E. Sweeney, who Ness strongly suspected of being the murderer, committed himself to a psychiatric ward and the official series of murders ceased just as they had mysteriously begun. The actual culprit was never identified and some have referred to Ness as the 14th victim of the Torso Murderer for his failure to apprehend him.

Cleveland made a steady recovery during the Depression years and even served as a national attraction for the Republican National Convention. The June 1936 Great Lakes Exposition also attracted great attention. During its first season, it drew 4 million visitors; there were 7 million attendees by the end of the second, final season in September 1937. The exposition was housed on grounds that are now used by the Great Lakes Science Center, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and Burke Lakefront Airport, among others.

In 1942, Frank J. Lausche became the city's next mayor. Lausche succeeded Edward Blythin, who became mayor shortly after Burton resigned to assume a seat in the United States Senate. Lausche, Cleveland's first mayor of Eastern European descent, was notable for organizing the Cleveland Transit System as well as overseeing the city's development during World War II and making plans for after the war with his Post War Planning Council.

Lausche went on to become the governor of Ohio, and the time came for a new mayor to take the reins of the city. Thomas A. Burke successfully won a first term in office in the 1945 mayoral election. In the 1947 election, Burke found himself running against Eliot Ness, who left Cleveland during the war to become director of the Division of Social Protection of the Federal Security Agency. Burke defeated Ness in the election, but some historians believe that Ness would have won, had he run six years earlier against Frank Lausche. At that time, Ness was at the peak of his popularity in Cleveland.

Cleveland's post-war period saw the city's greatest successes in sports with the Cleveland Indians winning the World Series in 1948 and the Cleveland Browns dominating the NFL from 1950 to 1956. In 1949, Cleveland was named an All-America City for the first time. In 1950, the city's population had grown to 914,808, the largest in its history. Cleveland was also advertised as the "best location in the nation" by many businessmen who felt the city's new growth brought more potential. (The slogan originated from the Cleveland Electric Illuminating Company, today part of FirstEnergy. [http://clevelandmemory.org/SpecColl/porter/Chapt09.html] )

Burke's greatest achievement as mayor was his large capital-improvement program that included the establishment of the Cleveland Burke Lakefront Airport. In 1954, progressive Democrat Anthony J. Celebrezze succeeded Burke. Celebrezze wanted to promote the city as a world trade center and did so by establishing the Cleveland Seaport Foundation. This was just one of Celebrezze's many achievements as mayor. He was so popular with the voters that he served an unprecedented five terms before retiring to work as the U.S. Secretary for Health, Education, and Welfare under John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson.

Recent history: 1962–present

Turbulent era

Ralph S. Locher became Celebrezze's successor in 1962. Although Locher made some progress such as helping expand Hopkins Airport, his tenure was strained by the racial turmoil the city faced during the decade. It was the Hough Riots of 1966 that culminated the city's racial unrest. Four were killed; several injured and about 240 fires were reported. This and other city problems led to the gradual suburbanization of Cleveland residents. Locher was becoming less and less popular and lost the 1967 mayoral primary to Democrat Carl B. Stokes. Stokes went on to face Republican Seth Taft and successfully won the election, becoming the first African American mayor of a major U.S. city, attracting national attention.

As mayor, Stokes began initating reforms to boost the city's economy and aid its poverty-stricken areas. He first persuaded the Department of Housing and Urban Development to release urban renewal funds frozen under Locher. He persuaded city council to pass the Equal Employment Opportunity Ordinance and to increase the city's income tax from .5% to 1%. Stokes also launched "", a program aimed at rehabilitating the city. This program was highly successful. Unfortunately, during the period after the Glenville Shootout, it was discovered that Fred (Ahmed) Evans and his black militant group who had initiated the chaos received money from "Cleveland: Now!", putting Stokes in a bad position. It was because of this incident and controversy surrounding an idea to build public housing in the Lee-Seville area, that lead Stokes to decline from running for a third term.

Ralph J. Perk became the city's next mayor, the first Republican to serve since Edward Blythin. Perk's political affiliation lead to good connections with President Richard Nixon. He obtained federal funds to help aid the Cleveland economy and a grant of $22 million to help crack down on city crime. Perk also had a reputation for being tough on labor unions. Perk also became a source of ridicule due to an incident in which his hair caught on fire, and his wife, Lucille, famously refused a dinner invitation from Pat Nixon for her "bowling night." Unfortunately, Perk could not create any long-term solutions to help the city's economy and lost the 1977 nonpartisan primary.

The Kucinich administration

Dennis J. Kucinich went on to win both the primary and the general elections. Kucinich was 31 when he was elected mayor, making him the youngest mayor of a major city in the United States. However, despite his election victories, Kucinich's mayoral administration was no celebration.

Kucinich's time as mayor began with one of the worst blizzards in Cleveland history on January 26, 1978, with winds up to 100 miles an hour. In March, Kucinich suspended his newly appointed police chief, Richard D. Hongisto. The feud later erupted into a heated debate between the two on live local television, ending with Hongisto being fired. With this move, voters felt that the "boy mayor" was not fit to govern the city. A successful recall drive with petitions of some 50,000 signatures, lead to the first recall election in the city's history. Kucinich was nearly ousted from his position, but narrowly won with 236 votes.

Part of Kucinich's promise to the city was to cancel the sale of the publicly owned electric company, Municipal Light, to the Cleveland Electric Illuminating Company (CEI), a private electric company. The sale was initiated by Perk, but when Kucinich came to office, that all changed.

When he cancelled the sale, CEI went to a United States federal court to demand that Muny Light pay $14 million in damages for the power it had purchased and to get an order attaching city equipment. Quickly, Kucinich attempted to pay the bill by cutting city spending. However, The Cleveland Trust Company, then Ohio's largest bank, told him that they would not renew the city's credit on $14,000,000 (USD) of loans taken out by the previous administration unless Kucinich would agree to sell. As it happened, Kucinich did not sell and at midnight on December 15, 1978, Cleveland Trust made Cleveland the first major American city since the Great Depression to default on its financial obligations.

With the CEI-Muny Light incident, the humorous situations surrounding Ralph Perk, and a 1969 fire on the Cuyahoga River where the oil and waste on the river's surface caught on fire, national media began referring to Cleveland as "the mistake on the lake". The city has struggled to shed this nickname ever since, though in recent times the national media have been much kinder to the city. Kucinich's popularity plummeted to an all-time low. In the 1979 mayoral election, he came in second in the mayoral primaries, only to be defeated by Republican George V. Voinovich.

"The Comeback City"

Voinovich brought the city out of its major economic problems, bringing about a downtown revitalization and urban renaissance. He oversaw the construction of Richard and David Jacobs' Key Tower, which surpassed the previous Terminal Tower in height as well as the Sohio (BP) Building, becoming the largest building in the city and state. By 1986, Cleveland was not only out of default but was named an All-America City for a second, third, and fourth time. Voinovich then made a successful run for the governorship of Ohio. Voinovich's successor was another progressive figure in Cleveland politics and the second African American to become mayor, Michael R. White. Redevelopment within the city limits under White was strongest in the downtown area near the Gateway complex—consisting of Jacobs Field and Quicken Loans Arena—and near the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Cleveland Browns Stadium. White's tenure as mayor was arguably the longest. In 2001, he declined from running for a fourth term and retired to an alpaca farm near Newcomerstown, Ohio. Four years later, it was revealed that despite the strides White made in office, he may have accepted bribes from one of his associates, Nate Gray in exchange for construction and parking contracts. He is currently under investigation by federal prosecutors.

In 2002, Jane L. Campbell was elected the city's first female mayor. Unfortunately, Campbell had a relatively lackluster tenure as mayor. In the November 8, 2005 general mayoral election, Campbell lost to Cleveland City Council president, Frank G. Jackson. Jackson received 55% of the vote while Campbell secured 45%. His victory broke a 138-year tradition where sitting city council members failed to reach the city's highest office. Jackson assumed office as the city's 57th mayor on January 1, 2006.

An uncertain future

A new bill passed by the Ohio House legislature that will eliminate residency rules passed by local voters is considered an important issue in local politics. This included the amendment to the Cleveland municipal charter that restricted city workers from living outside the city, approved by voters in 1982. The bill was signed by Ohio Governor Bob Taft on January 31. In response, Mayor Jackson and law director Robert Triozzi threatened to take the issue to court. Meanwhile, the Cleveland Fire Fighters Association Local 93 and four individual union members filed a complaint on January 30 with the 8th Ohio District Court of Appeals to block any actions that Jackson, Triozzi, or the city may take on the matter. If the city's residency restrictions are overturned, it is feared that Cleveland may experience a dramatic downturn, depending on if city employees make a mass migration into the suburbs.

Now in the first decade of the 21st century, the economic and civic recovery of the 1980s and 1990s appears to have stalled. The so-called "white-flight" of last century continues as wealth and the middle class moves to the suburbs, leaving behind impoverished citizens and a decaying infrastructure in most neighborhoods. It should be noted that several city neighborhoods have met with some success in attracting reinvestment and revitalization, namely Downtown, Tremont, Ohio City, Detroit-Shoreway, and parts of Hough, however the majority of the city remains mired in poverty. While the suburbs are booming, the City continues to experience budgetary pressure, resulting in layoffs and service cutbacks. Today the suburbs are experiencing growth in jobs, increased tax revenue and new construction while the City attempts to cope with the decaying industrial infrastructure left behind by continual loss of manufacturing jobs.

While there is no single cause for the city's continued economic distress, the national decline of the steel mills and auto industry have greatly impacted the region, which continues to be heavily invested in those industries. Recent research by the Cleveland Branch of the Federal Reserve, however, clearly shows that it is not the manufacturing base of Cleveland or the "wrong type of industries" being based in the region that are the sole cause of the city's economic stagnation. ["Cleveland (on the) Rocks" by Guhan Venkatu, Cleveland Federal Reserve. Published April 2006.] The large publicly financed projects of the 1990s such as the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Cleveland Browns Stadium, and the Gateway Sports and Entertainment Complex have failed to deliver their promised economic growth in most cases, though one could argue that they succeeded in keeping the city's sports teams in the region and downtown area. While the city and region focused on these large downtown projects, the city's neighborhoods continued to decline, continuing the population exodus of the past 40 years. The city's public school system languishes in the state's "academic emergency" rating, and the city proper has not yet been successful in attracting a large amount of college-educated citizens to replenish and recharge its neighborhoods, with a rate well below the surrounding region. In addition to these problems, the region has not invested a large amount of funding in developing new companies, nor training and retaining engineers, scientists, and other highly educated persons to drive a new knowledge-based economy. The result of this has been little-to-negative economic growth and job creation in the region.

Recent trends, however, point to a gradual awakening of the population to these problems and the beginnings of solving them. Cleveland has begun to rediscover its entrepreneurial past, and has begun to capitalize on the wealth of educational and medical facilities in the region to produce economic growth. The most promising economic developments for Cleveland are centered around its so-called "ed and med" district, University Circle. Projections of 10,000 new jobs to be created in the area of the circle and surrounding areas such as the Cleveland Clinic's Fairfax neighborhood offer a new opportunity to reinvent Cleveland as a modern city. The city and local economic development entities such as University Circle Inc. are currently working on a variety of plans to redevelop the neighborhoods surrounding University Circle and to build a vibrant neighborhood in what they term Cleveland's "Uptown" area. In addition to the improvement of housing stock and development of new neighborhood retail, the ed and med entities are investing in start-up and early stage companies at a higher rate then the city has seen in decades. Several area organizations, such as "JumpStart Inc.", are investing venture capital in early stage companies, while others, such as "BioEnterprise", focus on attracting venture capital and other funding into bioscience and technology firms. The level of venture capital investment in the region has increased more than five times over since 2001. ["Cleveland reaches out to venture capitalists", by Kathleen Gallagher, Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. Published Dec 23, 2006.] Both the Cleveland Clinic and University Hospitals have announced billions of dollars in investment in new facilities, such as a new heart center for the Clinic, as well as a cancer center and new pediatric hospital for UH. Case Western Reserve University, the region's leading research university, is planning to focus its bioscience research into a new research and incubation park known as the "West Quad", which will also involve a variety of institutions from around the region. It is hoped that initiatives such as these will deliver the private-sector economic growth that Cleveland has so desperately craved, and bring with it a better future for the city and region.

Timeline of events

* 1796:Moses Cleaveland and survey party arrive at the location that would later become Cleveland.

* 1797:Lorenzo Carter, a prominent early settler, arrives.

* 1800:Trumbull County created, encompassing Cleveland.

* 1803:Ohio becomes the 17th State admitted to the Union.

* 1805 :Geauga County created, encompassing Cleveland.

* 1808:Lorenzo Carter builds the Zephyr, the first ship to be launched in Cleveland.

* 1810:Cuyahoga County organized; Cleveland selected as county seat.

* 1813:Oliver Hazard Perry wins the Battle of Lake Erie at Put-in-Bay.

* 1814:Cleveland receives its charter as a village.:Newburgh Township created.

* 1815:Alfred Kelley is elected the first president of the village of Cleveland.

* 1818:The Cleaveland Gazette and Commercial Register, Cleveland's first newspaper is published.:Royalton Township created.

* 1822:A free bridge is opened across the Cuyahoga River.

* 1831:The Cleveland Advertiser alters the spelling of the community's name to Cleveland.:Former United States President, James A. Garfield born in Orange Township.

* 1832:Ohio and Erie Canal completed to the Ohio River.

* 1836:Cleveland and Ohio City are incorporated as official cities.:John W. Willey is elected the first mayor of Cleveland.:"Bridge War" between Cleveland and Ohio City takes place.

* 1842:The Plain Dealer begins publication.

* 1845:City Bank of Cleveland (forerunner of National City Corp.) founded.

* 1847:The Weddell House opens.:The first telegraph line (from Cleveland to Pittsburgh) is completed.

* 1851:Cleveland, Columbus, and Cincinnati Railroad completed.

* 1853:The Cleveland Theater opens.

* 1854:Ohio City annexed to Cleveland.:The Cleveland Leader begins publication.

* 1860:Perry Monument on Public Square dedicated.

* 1861:The American Civil War begins.

* 1865:The American Civil War ends.

* 1866:Cleveland Police Department established.

* 1869 :Cleveland Public Library established.:Lake View Cemetery opens.

* 1873:Cleveland Bar Association established.:Newburgh annexed to Cleveland.

* 1875:Euclid Avenue Opera House opens.

* 1878:Penny Press, predecessor to the Cleveland Press, begins publication.

* 1881:James A. Garfield lies in state on Public Square after being assassinated.

* 1882:Western Reserve College moves to Cleveland.:Cleveland School of Art established.

* 1884:First electric streetcar run in the city.:Cleveland Electric Light Co. formed.

* 1890:The Arcade opens.:Garfield Monument dedicated in Lake View Cemetery.

* 1894:May Day Riots of 1894:Soldiers and Sailors Monument dedicated.

* 1896:Cleveland celebrates its centennial.

* 1899:Tom L. Johnson is elected mayor of Cleveland.

* 1901:The Cleveland Blues (predecessor to the Cleveland Indians) are established as one of the first teams in the new American League.:Cleveland worker and avowed anarchist, Leon Czolgosz assinates U.S. President William McKinley.

* 1905:The Cleveland News begins publication:Glenville City annexed to Cleveland.:South Brooklyn annexed to Cleveland.

* 1908:Collinwood School Fire

* 1909:Tom L. Johnson loses mayoral race to Hermann Baehr.:Corlett Village annexed to Cleveland.

* 1910:Collinwood annexed to Cleveland.

* 1911:Tom L. Johnson passes away.

* 1912 :Village of Nottingham annexed to Cleveland.

* 1913:The Great Lakes Storm of 1913 hits Cleveland.:Home Rule City Charter approved by Cleveland voters.

* 1914:Cleveland chosen as the Fourth District headquarters of the Federal Reserve Bank.:Cleveland Municipal Light Plant goes into operation.

* 1916:Cleveland Museum of Art opens.:Cleveland City Hall dedicated.

* 1917:Cleveland Metroparks organized.

* 1918:Federal Court trial of Eugene V. Debs held in Cleveland.

* 1919:May Day Riots of 1919:State Prohibition is enacted in Cleveland:Voters approve placement of a new railroad terminal on Public Square.

* 1920 :Cleveland becomes the fifth largest city in the nation.:The Volstead Act and the Eighteenth Amendment become law.:Cleveland Indians win the World Series.:Cleveland Museum of Natural History established.

* 1921:Cleveland Clinic established.:Playhouse Square established.

* 1922:Demolition for the Terminal Tower site begins

* 1923:Federal Reserve bank building completed.

* 1924:Republican National Convention held in Cleveland.:Mayor/Council form of government replaced by City Manager plan.

* 1925:New Public Library building opens.:Cleveland airport (now Hopkins International) opens.:University Hospitals incorporated.

* 1929:Cleveland Clinic disaster occurs.:National Air Race first held in Cleveland.:The Stock Market crashes

* 1930 :The Tower City Center is dedicated.

* 1931:Severance Hall dedicated.

* 1932:City Manager plan is reversed to the Mayor/Council form of government.

* 1933:Depression-era unemployment peaks in Cleveland: nearly one-third of the city's citizens are out of work.:Prohibition is repealed on December 23 – nearly eight months longer than the Eighteenth Amendment.

* 1935:Eliot Ness becomes Safety Director of Cleveland.:Cleveland Torso Murder mystery begins.

* 1936:Clevelander, Jesse Owens wins four gold medals at Berlin Olympic Games.:Great Lakes Exposition opens.:Republican National Convention held in Cleveland.

* 1937:Cleveland Barons hockey team established.:Cleveland Arena opens.:Cleveland Rams begin to play professional football.:John D. Rockefeller dies.

* 1938:Shoreway opens between East 9th Street and Gordon Park.

* 1940:NACA, forerunner of NASA, established at the Cleveland airport.

* 1942:Cleveland Bomber Plant (now the I-X Center) opens at Municipal Airport.

* 1944:Cleveland East Ohio Gas Explosion claims 130 lives.

* 1945:Cleveland Rams win NFL football title then move to Los Angeles.

* 1946:Cleveland Browns begin play in All-American Football Conference.

* 1947:Operations begin at the lakefront airport.:First telecast by WEWS, Ohio's first television station.:Eliot Ness runs for mayor of Cleveland, but is defeated by incumbent, Thomas A. Burke.

* 1948:Cleveland Indians win World Series.

* 1949:Cleveland named an All-America City for first time.

* 1950:Browns enter the NFL and win the title.

* 1954:Last streetcars run.

* 1955:Rapid Transit begins operation.

* 1960:Erieview urban renewal plan unveiled.:Final issue of the Cleveland News published.

* 1961:Mapp v. Ohio

* 1962:Innerbelt Freeway opens for its full length.

* 1964:Erieview Tower completed.:Cleveland State University established.

* 1965:WVIZ, educational television station, begins broadcasting.

* 1966:Hough Riots:Cuyahoga Community College opens its Metro Campus.

* 1967:Carl B. Stokes elected the first African American mayor of a major American city.

* 1968:Glenville Shootout:Terry v. Ohio

* 1969:A burning oil slick on the Cuyahoga River attracts national attention regarding pollution.:Euclid Beach Park closes.

* 1970:Cleveland Cavaliers Basketball team organized.

* 1972:Cleveland Magazine begins publication.

* 1973:Cleveland Barons play their last hockey game.

* 1974:Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority established.

* 1976:Desegregation of the Cleveland Public Schools ordered by U.S. District Judge Frank J. Battisti.

* 1978:Cleveland is hit by the Great Blizzard of 1978:1978 recall election:On December 15, Cleveland becomes the first American city to go into default since the Depression.

* 1980:Presidential debate between candidates Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan held in Cleveland.:Cleveland emerges from default.

* 1981:City Council reduced from 33 to 21 members.:Term of office for mayor and council members increased from two to four years.

* 1982:Ground broken for the Sohio (BP) Building on Public Square.:The Cleveland Press ceases publication.:Cleveland named an All-America City for second time.

* 1984:Cleveland named an All-America City for third time.

* 1986:Cleveland named an All-America City for fourth time.:Cleveland selected as site for Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

* 1991:Key Tower "topped off" at 947 ft (289 m).

* 1993 :Cleveland named an All-America City for fifth time.

* 1995:Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum opens.:Indians win American League championship.

* 1996:Cleveland celebrates its Bicentennial.:Cleveland rap group Bone Thugs N HArmony win a grammy for the hit single Tha Crossroads, bringing hip hops attention to the Midwest
* 1997:Cleveland Indians win the American League pennant and return to the World Series.

* 1999:The new Cleveland Browns Stadium opens with the historic return of the Cleveland Browns.

* 2001:Cleveland Barons are revived.

* 2002:Cleveland citizens elect Jane L. Campbell as the first female mayor of Cleveland.

* 2003:2003 North America blackout

* 2004:Vice-presidential candidates Dick Cheney and John Edwards debate at Case Western Reserve University.

* 2005 :Frank G. Jackson is the first sitting city council member to be elected mayor of Cleveland since Stephen Buhrer in 1867.

* 2006:Barons leave Cleveland for the second time.:Cleveland, Columbus, and other Ohio cities argue against a bill passed by the Ohio House legislature that will eliminate residency rules in the state.

* 2007:Cleveland is hit with a major winter storm in February, leaving the city covered with 15 inches of snow.:On October 20th, Cleveland became the first television market in the United States to have all of its local television stations to broadcast in high definition.


* 1863 – Free home delivery of mail - Joseph W. Briggs

* 1879 – Electric lighting of public streets - Charles F. Brush

* 1880 – Standardized formula paints - Sherwin-Williams Co.

* 1890 – Indoor shopping center (The Arcade)

* 1896 – X-ray machine and whole-body scanner – Dayton C. Miller (Case School of Applied Science); X-Ray photograph in the U.S. - Dudley Wick (his hand)

* 1898 – Automobile sale in the U.S. - Alexander Winton

* 1899 – Wound-rubber core golf ball - Haskell Coburn

* 1900 – Automobile club

* 1901 – Automobile steering wheel - Alexander Winton

* 1905 – Blood transfusion - Dr. George W. Crile, Sr.

* 1910 – Automobile shock absorbers - C.H. Foster

* 1914 – Electric traffic signal - Euclid Ave. & East 105th St.

* 1915 – Submachine gun

* 1916 – Gas mask successfully demonstrated at Cleveland Waterworks explosion - Garrett A. Morgan

* 1920 – Unassisted triple play in a World Series Baseball Game

* 1921 – Automobile windshield wiper - Frederick G. and William M. Folberth

* 1927 – Municipal airport (Cleveland Hopkins International) and air traffic control tower

* 1928 – Frosted light bulbs - M. Pipkin

* 1929 – Airplane automatic pilot (tested)

* 1936 – Health museum

* 1951 – Rock and Roll Music (public recognition and coinage of the term) - Alan Freed

* 1952 – Successful siamese twin separation

* 1967 – Elected the first African American mayor of a major U.S. city - Carl B. Stokes; Coronary artery bypass - Dr. Favaloro - Cleveland Clinic

* 1968 – Rapid transit rail service from airport to downtown

ee also

*Legal Aid Society of Cleveland


* "The Encyclopedia Of Cleveland History" by Cleveland Bicentennial Commission (Cleveland, Ohio), David D. Van Tassel (Editor), and John J. Grabowski (Editor) ISBN 0-253-33056-4
* "Cleveland: A Concise History, 1796-1996" by Carol Poh Miller and Robert Anthony Wheeler ISBN 0-253-21147-6
* "Yesterday's Cleveland" by George E. Condon ISBN 0-912458-73-9

External links

* [http://www.clevelandmemory.org Cleveland Memory Project]
* [http://ech.cwru.edu/ The Encyclopedia Of Cleveland History (2002)] . "Case Western Reserve University".
* [http://www.archive.org/details/PowertoS1957 "The Power to Serve" - A freely downloadable 1957 educational film about the Cleveland Electric Illuminating Company]

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