history

Ohio: the 48th State

Megan's picture

The petition for statehood from the aspiring state of Ohio was carried by horse over hill and dale to Washington, D.C., where it was promptly delivered… in 1953. You may have learned in school that Ohio became a state on March 1, 1803. Although this is the recognized and official date, it hasn’t been without controversy. The 8th Congress neglected to give Congressional ratification to the state constitution - a key part to the process of becoming a state. This oversight was corrected on August 7, 1953, and Ohio was retroactively granted statehood. Until that moment, the state was technically still a part of the Northwest Territory.  

Gerald Tebben of the Columbus Dispatch points out that “tax protesters have periodically seized upon the 1953 resolution” to try to avoid paying federal income taxes, which became the law of the land in 1913. The courts have not been amused.

Other efforts to refute our 1803 statehood include a 1984 lawsuit to discount Ohio votes in the presidential election, which was covered by the Columbus Dispatch. The lawsuit failed to convince the courts that the 1953 retroactive declaration of statehood was an ex post facto law, and thus unconstitutional. Judge Barrington D. Parker said that the complaint was “completely devoid of merit.”  

To find the articles discussed in this post, enter your library card number to access the Columbus Dispatch Archives, or come to the library and use the microfilm to read articles from before 1985.

  • Tebben, Gerald, “Break out 50 Candles for Ohio?” Columbus Dispatch, August 7, 2003.
  • Judge Rules that Ohio is a State, Ends Lawsuit” Columbus Dispatch, July 22, 1984.

To learn more about Ohio, come to the Ohio Room in the Reference Department and read these and many other titles:

Lynne Olson

Catie's picture

Award-winning author Lynne Oslon is coming to Upper Arlington Library this upcoming Sunday, April 27th making it a perfect time to check out one of her captivating history-focused titles.  Olson has authored six non-fiction books including the national bestseller Citizens of London and her most recent critic approved and star reviewed title Those Angry Days. 

"A Light that Never Goes Out: the Enduring Saga of The Smiths" by Tony Fletcher

Vita's picture

This is a detailed story of the band The Smiths by a clearly ardent fan that would certainly be of interest to other fans of the band (like myself), but also to anyone following the history of indie music. They are such an English band, and the author details many locations and subtexts that may not be readily apparent to those who are not native Mancunians or familiar with British pop culture and local history. He talks about all of the band’s influences and shows the reader where they fit into musical history. This is a really thick book of 704 pages covering the span of the band’s life, so there’s a lot of detail here, considering they were only together for 6 years.

The Great Charter

Laura's picture

Prepare to hear a lot about the Magna Carta over the coming months.  This year marks the 800th anniversary of the signing of one of the most important documents in Western law and government. Without a doubt there will be many references to it in the media.

On June 15, 1215 King John of England signed a document that guaranteed certain fundamental rights to his English subjects as demanded by a group of powerful barons. 

Specific rights that were born in the Magna Carta are

Signing of the Magna Carta at Runnymede England in 1215

  • trial by jury
  • due process
  • habeas corpus
  • equality under the law

Find more information at this comprehensive British website and the American Bar Association website.

Find a biographical sketch of King John of England “one of the most villainous kings of England” in the Gale Biography in Context Database on the Upper Arlington Public Library website.

Find topic overviews in the electronic reference books Encyclopedia of the American Constitution and the Gale Encyclopedia of American Law.

View an old discolored and tattered copy of the Magna Carta at National Geographic Eyewitness to History online.

View a readable version of the document in World History: Ancient and Medieval Eras

Each source will lead you to other sources.  Remember, if you are looking at these sources from outside the library you will be prompted to enter your library card number before going to the website.  

And don’t forget, you can always contact a Reference Librarian by phone, textemail, or in person for assistance in using our databases and eBooks.

Logo - Gale Biography in ContextLogo - Nat Geo Eyewitness to HistoryLogo - World History Ancient and Medieval Eras database Logo - Gale Encyclopedia of American Law

Rewind 75 Years: April 1940

Katie's picture

Public domain photo of Booker T. WashingtonWhen we think of 1940, World War II may be one of the first events to come to our minds, but that's not all that was happening in the world at that time. Our reference materials make it easy for you to dig back into our past and, not only learn about the war, but see what else was happening in April 1940. Here are just a few highlights:

  • On April 7, 1940 Booker T. Washington (pictured above) became the first African American to be featured on a U.S. postage stamp.
  • Dr. John Enders announced the isolation of the mumps virus in April 1940, which made serums and vaccines possible. See what else was going on with health and medicine in the 1940's.
  • In the months before Germany's blitzkrieg in May 1940, WWII in Europe came to a standstill which became known as the Phony War. This lull gave Germany the opportunity to replenish their supplies and equipment and prepare for their next strike.
  • Back in the United States, students at University of California, Berkeley held a strike for peace.
  • The first electron microscope, which weighed almost 700 pounds, was demonstrated in Philadelphia, PA
  • April 29, 1940 was the first broadcast of The Bell Telephone Hour on NBC Radio. This program featured a variety of musicians and entertainment and ran for 18 years.
  • This month marked the first time Robin appeared as Batman's sidekick in an issue of Detective Comic.

Our world has come a long way in just 75 years. It makes you wonder what discoveries and developments are in store for us in 2090, only 75 years from now. 

When Books Went To War: The Stories That Helped Us Win World War II, by Molly Guptill Manning

Caitlin's picture

On May 10, 1933, German students (with official encouragement) burned an estimated 25,000 books in a symbolic act meant to “purify” Germany of Jewish influence. The Nazis would continue to burn books throughout their reign, both in their country and in the countries they invaded, in an attempt to stamp out any thought they deemed dangerous to National Socialism, ultimately destroying over 100 million volumes. People around the world reacted in outrage and horror, and in the US, groups of librarians, citizens, politicians, writers, and publishers came together to fight back. Through organized book donation drives and the invention of an entirely new book format—the Armed Services Edition—these fighters in World War II’s “War of Ideas” put 132 million books in the hands of American servicemen and their allies. Their work inspired an entire generation with a love of reading and enshrined books like Betty Smith’s A Tree Grows in Brooklyn and F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby as American classics. When Books Went to War tells their unforgettable story.

Daily Life Through History

Katie's picture

One of our reference databases that I find most interesting is Daily Life Through History. It allows you to revisit past times and places throughout history and learn what a typical day was like for the people living there, including details of their home life, diets, and common ceremonies. Here are some examples of the great stuff you can explore:

  • The location of Cahokia: It was a settlement in the Southeast/Midwest region of North America during the years 900-1500 AD. It was about the size that London is today and was populated by the Mississippian culture, who constructed mound dwellings and excelled at stone carving, pottery, woodwork, weaponry, and agriculture.
  • Sports and recreation during the Han Dynasty: During this dynasty, which reigned from 260-220 BC, people commonly enjoyed activities such as archery, fencing, boxing, equestrian activities, and even an early version of tug of war. Their sports and physical education were strongly influenced at that time by military training practices.
  • Education in British and Dutch Africa: The database discusses African education mainly during the 16th, 17th, and 18th centuries and explained that young children primarily learned about traditions, customs, and cultures by observing and imitating their elders. Upon their initiation into adulthood, they began a period of more formal education.
  • Food and drink in Victorian England: The working class and rural laborers in the early 1800's had diets that consisted mainly of bread, potatoes, and tea with bacon added for flavoring once or twice a week. Middle and upper class families enjoyed a more diverse menu which could include vegetable-marrow soup, lemon dumplings, boiled mackerel, and macaroni and cheese.

If you've got a time period or culture that you're interested in, you should definitely check out this database to learn more about how the people actually lived.

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