The Americana Series Monthly Challenge – April 2021: Ohio

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The Americana Series Monthly Challenge – April 2021: Ohio

Mar 28, 2021, 11:02pm

Each month, we will visit a different state in the United States of America for the Monthly Reading Challenge in the Mystery & Suspense Extra! Group. This month, we head to a midwestern US state - OHIO.

The Americana Series Monthly Challenge – April 2021: Ohio


Ohio is a US state in the Midwestern region of the United States. Of the fifty states, Ohio is the 34th-largest by area at 44,825 sq miles (116,096 sq km), and with a population of nearly 11.7 million, is the 7th-most populous and 10th-most densely populated. The state's capital and largest city is Columbus, with the Columbus metro area, Greater Cincinnati, and Greater Cleveland being the largest metropolitan areas.

Archeological evidence of spear points of both the Folsom and Clovis types indicate that the Ohio Valley was inhabited by nomadic people as early as 13,000 BC. These early nomads disappeared from Ohio by 1,000 BC when the natives established "semi-permanent" villages.

Indians in the Ohio Valley were greatly affected by the aggressive tactics of the Iroquois Confederation, based in central and western New York. After the Beaver Wars in the mid-17th century, the Iroquois claimed much of the Ohio country as hunting and, more importantly, beaver-trapping ground. By the 18th century, they were part of a larger global economy brought about by European entry into the fur trade. Ohio country was also the site of Indian massacres, such as the Yellow Creek Massacre, Gnadenhutten and Pontiac's Rebellion school massacre. After the War of 1812 when Natives suffered serious losses such as at Tippecanoe, most Native tribes either left Ohio or had to live on only limited reservations. Although many Native Americans had migrated west to evade American encroachment, others remained settled in the state, sometimes assimilating in part. In 1830 under President Andrew Jackson, the US government forced Indian Removal of most tribes to the Indian Territory west of the Mississippi River. By 1842, all remaining Natives were forced out of the state.

During the 18th century, the French set up a system of trading posts to control the fur trade in the region. Beginning in 1754, France and Great Britain fought the French and Indian War. As a result of the Treaty of Paris, the French ceded control of Ohio and the remainder of the Old Northwest to Great Britain. In the Treaty of Paris in 1783, Britain ceded all claims to Ohio country to the United States.

The United States created the Northwest Territory under the Northwest Ordinance of 1787. Slavery was not permitted in the new territory. Settlement began with the founding of Marietta by the Ohio Company of Associates, which had been formed by a group of American Revolutionary War veterans. Under the Northwest Ordinance, areas could be defined and admitted as states once their population reached 60,000. Although Ohio's population was only 45,000 in December 1801, Congress determined that it was growing rapidly and had already begun the path to statehood.

On February 19, 1803, U.S. president Thomas Jefferson signed an act of Congress that approved Ohio's boundaries and constitution. However, Congress had never passed a formal resolution admitting Ohio as the 17th state, a custom not introduced until Louisiana's admission as the 18th state. Although no formal resolution of admission was required, when the oversight was discovered in 1953, as Ohio began preparations for celebrating its sesquicentennial, Ohio congressman George H. Bender introduced a bill in Congress to admit Ohio to the Union retroactive to March 1, 1803, the date on which the Ohio General Assembly first convened. At a special session at the old state capital in Chillicothe, the Ohio state legislature approved a new petition for statehood which was delivered to Washington, D.C., on horseback, and approved that August.

Ohio's central position and its population gave it an important place during the Civil War. The Ohio River was a vital artery for troop and supply movements, as were Ohio's railroads. The industry of Ohio made the state one of the most important states in the Union during the Civil war. Ohio contributed more soldiers per-capita than any other state in the Union. In 1862, the state's morale was badly shaken in the aftermath of the Battle of Shiloh, a costly victory in which Ohio forces suffered 2,000 casualties. Later that year, when Confederate troops under the leadership of Stonewall Jackson threatened Washington, D.C., Ohio governor David Tod still could recruit 5,000 volunteers to provide three months of service. From July 13 to 26, 1863, towns along the Ohio River were attacked and ransacked in Morgan's Raid, starting in Harrison in the west and culminating in the Battle of Salineville near West Point in the far east. While this raid was overall insignificant to the Confederacy, it aroused fear among people in Ohio and Indiana as it was the furthest advancement of troops from the South in the war. Almost 35,000 Ohioans died in the conflict, and 30,000 were physically wounded. By the end of the Civil War, the Union's top three generals – Ulysses S. Grant, William Tecumseh Sherman, and Philip Sheridan – were all from Ohio.

Throughout much of the 19th century, industry was rapidly introduced to complement an existing agricultural economy. One of the first iron manufacturing plants opened near Youngstown in 1804 called Hopewell Furnace. By the mid-19th century, 48 blast furnaces were operating in the state, most in the southern portions of the state. Discovery of coal deposits aided the further development of the steel industry in the state, and by 1853 Cleveland was the third largest iron and steel producer in the country. The first Bessemer converter was purchased by the Cleveland Rolling Mill Company, which eventually became part of the U.S. Steel Corporation following the merger of Federal Steel Company and Carnegie Steel, the first billion-dollar American corporation. The first open-hearth furnace used for steel production was constructed by the Otis Steel Company in Cleveland, and by 1892, Ohio ranked as the 2nd-largest steel producing state behind Pennsylvania. Republic Steel was founded in Youngstown in 1899, and was at one point the nation's third largest producer. Armco, now AK Steel, was founded in Middletown also in 1899.

In 1970 an Ohio Army National Guard unit fired at students during an anti-war protest at Kent State University, killing four and wounding nine. The Guard had been called onto campus after several protests in and around campus had become violent, including a riot in downtown Kent and the burning of an ROTC building. The main cause of the protests was the United States' invasion of Cambodia during the Vietnam War.

Ohio had become nicknamed the "fuel cell corridor" in being a contributing anchor for the region now called the "Green Belt," in reference to the growing renewable energy sector. Although the state experienced heavy manufacturing losses around the start of the 20th century and suffered from the Great Recession, it was rebounding by the second decade in being the country's 6th-fastest-growing economy through the first half of 2010.

Ohio's transition into the 21st century was symbolized by the Third Frontier program, spearheaded by Governor Bob Taft around the start of the 20th century. This built on the agricultural and industrial pillars of the economy, dubbed the first and second frontiers, by aiding the growth of advanced technology industries, the third frontier. The results of this initiative were considered widely successful, attracting 637 new high-tech companies to the state and 55,000 new jobs, with an average of salary of $65,000, while having a $6.6 billion economic impact with an investment return ratio of 9:1. In 2010 the state won the International Economic Development Council's Excellence in Economic Development Award, celebrated as a national model of success.

Many of the state's former industrial centers turned to new industries, including Akron as a center for polymer and biomedical research, Cincinnati as the state's largest mercantile hub, Columbus as a center for technological research and development, education, and insurance, Cleveland in regenerative medicine research and manufacturing, Dayton as an aerospace and defense hub, and Toledo as a national center for solar technology. Ohio was hit hard by the Great Recession and manufacturing employment losses entering the 2010s. The recession cost the state 376,500 jobs and it had 89,053 foreclosures in 2009, a record for the state. The median household income dropped 7% and the poverty rate ballooned to 13.5% by 2009.


Ohio is bordered by Lake Erie to the north, Pennsylvania to the east, West Virginia to the southeast, Kentucky to the southwest, Indiana to the west, and Michigan to the northwest.

Ohio's geographic location has proven to be an asset for economic growth and expansion. Because Ohio links the Northeast to the Midwest, much cargo and business traffic passes through its borders along its well-developed highways. Ohio has the nation's 10th largest highway network and is within a one-day drive of 50% of North America's population and 70% of North America's manufacturing capacity. To the north, Ohio has 312 miles (502 km) of coastline with Lake Erie, which allows for numerous cargo ports such as Cleveland and Toledo. Ohio's southern border is defined by the Ohio River.

Much of Ohio features glaciated till plains, with an exceptionally flat area in the northwest being known as the Great Black Swamp. This glaciated region in the northwest and central state is bordered to the east and southeast first by a belt known as the glaciated Allegheny Plateau, and then by another belt known as the unglaciated Allegheny Plateau. Most of Ohio is of low relief, but the unglaciated Allegheny Plateau features rugged hills and forests.

The rugged southeastern quadrant of Ohio, stretching in an outward bow-like arc along the Ohio River from the West Virginia Panhandle to the outskirts of Cincinnati, forms a distinct socio-economic unit. Geologically similar to parts of West Virginia and southwestern Pennsylvania, this area's coal mining legacy, dependence on small pockets of old manufacturing establishments, and distinctive regional dialect set this section off from the rest of the state. In 1965 the United States Congress passed the Appalachian Regional Development Act, an attempt to "address the persistent poverty and growing economic despair of the Appalachian Region". This act defines 29 Ohio counties as part of Appalachia. While 1/3 of Ohio's land mass is part of the federally defined Appalachian region, only 12.8% of Ohioans live there (1.476 million people.)

Summers are typically hot and humid throughout the state, while winters generally range from cool to cold. Precipitation in Ohio is moderate year-round. Severe weather is not uncommon in the state, although there are typically fewer tornado reports in Ohio than in states located in what is known as the Tornado Alley. Severe lake effect snowstorms are also not uncommon on the southeast shore of Lake Erie, which is located in an area designated as the Snowbelt.

Fun Facts

Ohio is home to eight (!!) professional sports teams across the five different major leagues in the United States. Current teams include the Cincinnati Reds and Cleveland Indians of Major League Baseball, the Columbus Crew SC and FC Cincinnati of Major League Soccer, the Cleveland Cavaliers of the National Basketball Association, the Cincinnati Bengals and Cleveland Browns of the National Football League, and the Columbus Blue Jackets of the National Hockey League. Ohio has brought home seven World Series titles (Reds 1919, 1940, 1975, 1976, 1990; Indians 1920, 1948), two MLS Cups (Crew 2008, 2020), one NBA Championship (Cavaliers 2016), and nine NFL Championships (Pros 1920; Bulldogs 1922, 1923, 1924; Rams 1945; Browns 1950, 1954, 1955, 1964). Despite this success in the NFL in the first half of the 20th century, no Ohio team has won the Super Bowl since its inception in 1967 or made an appearance since 1989. No Ohio team has made an appearance in the Stanley Cup Finals.

The National Football League was originally founded in Ohio in 1920 as the American Professional Football Association.

During the 1930s, the Great Depression struck the state hard. American Jews watched the rise of the Third Reich with apprehension. Cleveland residents Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster created the Superman comic character in the spirit of the Jewish golem. Many of their comics portrayed Superman fighting and defeating the Nazis.

The Y Bridge in Zanesville was first built in 1814 to span the confluence of the Licking and Muskingum Rivers. The current bridge is the fifth construction at the same location. “Ripley’s Believe It or Not” proclaimed it the only bridge in the world which you can cross and still be on the same side of the river.

50% of the United States population lives within a 500 mile radius of Columbus.

Cleveland became the world’s first city to be lighted electrically in 1879.

Ohio inventors have created some of our most revolutionary items: Thomas A. Edison from Milan developed the incandescent light bulb, phonograph, and early motion picture camera; John Lambert of Ohio City made America’s first automobile in 1891; Charles Kettering of Loundonville invented the automobile self-starter in 1911; Charles Goodyear of Akron developed the process of vulcanizing rubber in 1839; Roy J. Plunkett of New Carlisle invented Teflon in 1938. Then, there's this one -- W.F. Semple of Mount Vernon patented chewing gum in 1869.

Ohio didn't officially become a state until 1953. It was declared a state in 1803, but didn't get the presidential stamp of approval until President Dwight Eisenhower signed off. He back-dated the declaration to the original date.

Ohio is known as the Buckeye State because of the buckeye trees commonly found throughout the Ohio River Valley. The plants produce small brown nuts that look like the eye of a deer; it is said that carrying one in your pocket is good luck.

Ohio is home to the “One and Only Presidential Museum.” The museum honors John Hanson, who was technically the first president of the United States; he and eight others were elected and served one year terms before the Constitution was written. Nick Pahys, Jr. DDG-CH-AdVS-A.G.E.-LDA-FIBA (yes, he really does have that many initials!) does not like the fact that textbooks glossed over this important historical figure, so he erected the museum to properly educate the masses. Visitors can enjoy artifacts, portraits, and even a personal tour from the owner himself.

The Cuyahoga River has caught on fire at least 13 times; it’s aptly nicknamed “The River That Caught Fire.” The river was one of the most polluted rivers in the country and would catch fire after sparks from the train would fall into the water. After a highly media-covered fire in 1969, Congress was inspired to clean up pollution across the country and established the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Agriculture is Ohio’s largest industry: it contributes over $93 billion to the economy annually. The state ranks number one in Swiss cheese production.

Despite arguments with North Carolina, Ohio is officially the birthplace of aviation. The state is home to the airplane’s inventors Wilbur and Orville Wright, as well as 24 astronauts, and Neil Armstrong, the first man to walk on the moon, was from Wapakoneta, Ohio.

The burgee-shaped Ohio flag is the only non-rectangular state flag in the U.S. It was adopted in 1902, nearly a century after Ohio was granted statehood in 1803.

The Great Serpent Mound, the largest serpent effigy in the world at a half mile long, is on a plateau overlooking Brush Creek Valley in Adams County.

The Lake Erie Monster, aka “Bessie,” is a serpent-type monster that lives in Lake Erie, or at least it’s been sighted a lot over the last 100 years. The New York Times even did a story on it in 1931.

Notable Residents

Seven United States presidents were born in Ohio: Ulysses S. Grant, Rutherford B. Hayes, James A. Garfield, Benjamin Harrison, William McKinley, William H. Taft, and Warren G. Harding. An eighth, William Henry Harrison, was born in Virginia but lived most of his adult life in Ohio. (Of the eight U.S. Presidents to come from Ohio, only one (Ulysses S. Grant) served two full terms. Four died in office.)
Ohio senator John Glenn became the oldest man to venture into outer space. On February 20, 1962 he was the first American to orbit the earth. In October of 1998 at age 77 he returned to the space program and traveled back into space. Neil Armstrong became the first man to walk on the moon. He was from Wapakoneta, Ohio.

Artists, writers, musicians and actors developed in the state throughout the 20th century and often moved to other cities which were larger centers for their work. They included Paul Newman, Clark Gable, Zane Grey, Annie Oakley, Milton Caniff, George Bellows, Art Tatum, Roy Lichtenstein, Arsenio Hall, and Roy Rogers. Alan Freed, who emerged from the swing dance culture in Cleveland, hosted the first live rock 'n roll concert in Cleveland in 1952. Famous filmmakers include Steven Spielberg, Chris Columbus and the original Warner Brothers, who set up their first movie theatre in Youngstown before that company later relocated to California. The state produced many popular musicians, including Dean Martin, Doris Day, The O'Jays, Marilyn Manson, Dave Grohl, Devo, Macy Gray and The Isley Brothers.

Long jumper DeHart Hubbard was the first African American to earn an Olympic Gold Medal. The award occurred during the 1924 Olympics games held in Paris. He set the record for long jumping. Jesse Owens grew up in Cleveland. He won four gold medals in the 1936 Olympics in Berlin.

In honor of OHIO, read a Mystery/Suspense book (any sub-genre will do!) that satisfies one or more of the following:

• A Mystery/Suspense book with "Space," "President," "Green," "Lake," or "River" in the title OR has a cover that is more than 50% green OR has a word in the title that begins or ends in "y";

• A Mystery/Suspense book that takes place in space OR has a character that is/was a politician OR the story takes place in the United States Midwest;

• A Mystery/Suspense book where the author's FIRST or LAST initial (no middle initials or names) can be found in OHIO.

Happy Reading ❤

Edited: Apr 6, 2021, 3:41am

Brenda's Americana Challenge: April 2021 - Ohio
3 of 3 complete

In honor of OHIO, read a Mystery/Suspense book (any sub-genre will do!) that satisfies one or more of the following:

• A Mystery/Suspense book with "Space," "President," "Green," "Lake," or "River" in the title OR has a cover that is more than 50% green OR has a word in the title that begins or ends in "y";
Elegy for Eddie by Jacqueline Winspear; finished 4/4/21; 3.5 stars

• A Mystery/Suspense book that takes place in space OR has a character that is/was a politician OR the story takes place in the United States Midwest;
The Pact by Linda Castillo; (Ohio); finished 4/5/21; 3 stars

• A Mystery/Suspense book where the author's FIRST or LAST initial (no middle initials or names) can be found in OHIO.
The Survivors by Jane Harper; finished 4/2/21; 4 stars

Edited: Apr 5, 2021, 9:02am

📌 - ★
3/3 - DONE - 04/05/21
Carol and the Monster are Going to Have A Monstrous Time in Ohio

📌1.A Mystery/Suspense book with "Space," "President," "Green," "Lake," or "River" in the title OR has a cover that is more than 50% green OR has a word in the title that begins or ends in "y" (Body ends in "Y")
Body and Soul - Aiden Bates - 5★

📌2. A Mystery/Suspense book that takes place in space OR has a character that is/was a politician OR the story takes place in the United States Midwest
Bloodline - Jess Lourey - 4★ (Minnesota)

📌3. A Mystery/Suspense book where the author's FIRST or LAST initial (no middle initials or names) can be found in OHIO.
Win Harlan Coben- 5+★ (H)

Mar 29, 2021, 5:24pm

I'm going to read Down a Dark Road by Linda Castillo. The story takes place in the United States Midwest - Ohio.

Mar 29, 2021, 5:30pm

Saving a place...

Edited: Apr 24, 2021, 6:33pm

This Side of Murder - Anna Lee Huber 4★s (Author's last initial is in OHIO)
Murder in the Locked Library - Ellery Adams 3.25★s (A word in title ends in "y")
Worth Dying For - Lee Child 4.5★s (Takes place in the Midwest - Nevada)

Apr 5, 2021, 9:06am

I enjoyed my romp through Ohio with the lovely green monster. Thank you, Brenda.

Apr 5, 2021, 9:44am

That's fantastic >7 Carol420:. I'm just getting around to saving my place.

Edited: Apr 21, 2021, 7:18pm

How Ohioans See the Map of North America

of 3 Complete

In honor of OHIO, read a Mystery/Suspense book (any sub-genre will do!) that satisfies one or more of the following:

🐖 A Mystery/Suspense book with "Space," "President," "Green," "Lake," or "River" in the title OR has a cover that is more than 50% green OR has a word in the title that begins or ends in "y";
Sleep Well My Lady - Kwei Quartey - 4 Stars - 4/11/21

🐖 A Mystery/Suspense book that takes place in space OR has a character that is/was a politician OR the story takes place in the United States Midwest;
Winter Study - Nevada Barr - 4 Stars - 4/3/21 - set in Michigan

🐖 A Mystery/Suspense book where the author's FIRST or LAST initial (no middle initials or names) can be found in OHIO.
Hi Five - Joe Ide - 4 Stars - 4/1/21

Apr 5, 2021, 12:14pm

>7 Carol420: 👏👏👏😀

Apr 6, 2021, 3:40am

Apr 6, 2021, 8:31am

>11 bhabeck:

Good job! Hope you enjoyed your "trip".

Apr 6, 2021, 6:08pm

>11 bhabeck: 👏👏👏😀

Apr 11, 2021, 5:27pm

Done - Down a Dark Road by Linda Castillo - 3.5 *
The story takes place in the United States Midwest - Ohio.

Apr 11, 2021, 9:07pm

>14 gaylebutz:

Well done, Gayle.

Apr 16, 2021, 7:22pm

>9 Olivermagnus: Cute...and true.

Apr 21, 2021, 7:20pm

All done and it didn't take me all month for a change!

Apr 22, 2021, 9:49am

>17 Olivermagnus:

Good job, both of you!

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