2009 GREAT OHIOANS CHOSEN
Six Individuals Chosen to be Part of Special Statehouse Museum Exhibit
Columbus, Ohio –
The Capitol Square Review and Advisory Board and the Capitol Square Foundation today unveiled the 2009 Great Ohioans during a ceremony at the Ohio Statehouse. The 2009 honorees were unanimously approved by the full boards of the Capitol Square Review and Advisory Board and the Capitol Square Foundation earlier today. The honorees were selected from nominations submitted by individuals and organizations throughout Ohio.
The 2009 Great Ohioans include: Catherine Nelson Black (Columbus), health care humanitarian;
Salmon P. Chase (Worthington), Ohio Governor, Secretary of the Treasury and Supreme Court Chief Justice; Paul Laurence Dunbar (Dayton), poet and author; Charles F. Kettering (Loudenville), inventor; Eddie Rickenbacker (Columbus), World War I fighter ace; and Denton T. "Cy" Young (Cleveland), baseball legend. For detailed information about each winner, see the biographies below.
High resolution images of each of the winners are available at: http://www.ohiochannel.org/your_state/ohio_statehouse/multimedia/photo_galleries/search_02.cfm?collection_id=107895&view_mode=Gallery.
"This year's class of Great Ohioans recognizes six remarkable individuals who have made pre-eminent contributions to their fields, Ohio and the world," said Richard Finan, Chairman of the Capitol Square Review and Advisory Board.
The Great Ohioan Award commemorates special Ohioans who have played a significant role in an event or series of events of lasting significance in World, American or Ohio history. Additional criteria includes being born in Ohio or lived in Ohio for a minimum of five years and at least 25 years have passed since the event, in which the nominee participated, is being commemorated.
Since 2003, 10 other Great Ohioans have been recognized with the award for the special roles they played in history. The Great Ohioans include: the Wright Brothers, inventors of powered flight; John Glenn, first American to orbit the earth; Neil Armstrong, first man to walk on the moon; Jesse Owens, Olympic track and field star; Thomas Edison, inventor; Harriet Beecher Stowe, author; James Thurber, journalist and author; Colonel Charles Young, military leader; and Dr. George Crile, founder of the Cleveland Clinic.
"Each of these remarkable men and women has created a legacy that will be passed on to others. We hope that every Statehouse visitor will be inspired by the accomplishments of each of our Great Ohioans," said Charles Moses, President of the Capitol Square Foundation.
Great Ohioan honorees and their achievements will be chronicled in a permanent Great Ohioan exhibit, which will be part of the new Ohio Statehouse Museum. The new museum is scheduled to open to the public on June 10, 2009. The Capitol Square Foundation has raised more than $2.25 million in private donations for the updated exhibits and the enhanced educational programs at the Ohio Statehouse.
All citizens, especially teachers and students, are encouraged to participate in the nomination process to select the 2010 class of honorees. A complete explanation of the nomination process and nomination forms can be found online at www.capitolsquarefoundation.org.
To view this press release and others, visit www.ohiostatehouse.org.
The Ohio Statehouse is more than a monument to our past; it's where history happens! The Ohio Statehouse is open weekdays from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.; weekends from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.; and closed holidays. Free guided tours are offered Monday through Friday on the hour from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m., and on Saturday and Sunday from noon until 3 p.m. Tours depart from the Third Street Information Desk. Groups of 10 or more are requested to call in advance to ensure a guide is available. Contact 888/OHIO-123 for more information or to schedule a group tour. For more information about the Ohio Statehouse visit www.ohiostatehouse.org.
About the Capitol Square Review and Advisory Board
The Capitol Square Review and Advisory Board is responsible for maintaining the historic character of the Statehouse and Capitol Square while providing for the health, safety and convenience of those who work in or visit the complex. The Ohio Statehouse Museum Education Center coordinates tours of Capitol Square and provides information about the buildings, their history and Ohio's government.
The Ohio Statehouse shines a light on the history of this great edifice, its symbolic meaning and its vital historic and ongoing connections to the daily lives of all Ohioans.
About the Capitol Square Foundation
The Capitol Square Foundation was established in 1987 to increase public awareness of and to involve citizens in the history of the Ohio Statehouse. Its purpose is to raise funds to obtain, restore and maintain artifacts and other items related to the history and enhancement of the grand monument and its adjoining grounds, so that the seat of Ohio's government may reflect the dignity of the state and its citizens.
BIOGRAPHIES OF 2009 GREAT OHIOAN AWARD WINNERS
Catherine "Carrie" Nelson Black
Catherine Dell Nelson was born in 1858 in Etna, Ohio and later moved to Columbus where she resided until her death at age 78. Nelson Black was a social humanitarian for the under-privileged and dedicated her life to the prevention and control of tuberculosis and cancer. She founded numerous organizations to help those causes, which includes the Columbus Tuberculosis Society, Columbus Cancer Clinic, Ohio Public Health Association, Nightingale Cottage, Columbus Open Air School and the Ohio Association for Mother's Day.
She received her education from Wesleyan College in Cincinnati. She later studied health care and medicine at clinics in Boston, New York and Chicago. She then returned to Columbus to carry out her work. As the wife of Judge Samuel L. Black, mayor of Columbus (1897-1898), she was the First Lady of Columbus. Nelson Black changed the public health care systems in Columbus and the way health care services for the under-privileged were offered throughout Ohio, which served as models for other cities in the US. She founded the first nursing care system in Ohio, Instructive District Nursing Association (IDNA) of Columbus, which is now LifeCare Alliance. Tuberculosis was a common disease of the under-privileged and Nelson Black became the Director of The Ohio Society for the Prevention of Tuberculosis and founder of the Columbus Society of the Prevention and Control of Tuberculosis, which is now The Breathing Association. While directing the work at these agencies, she established a free TB Dispensary, Open Air School, and the Nightingale Cottage (a tuberculosis preventorium for children) which were dedicated to prevention and treatment for tuberculosis.
In addition, Nelson Black formed The Columbus Cancer Clinic in her home to help the under-privileged with free cancer screenings and medical assistance. Nelson Black was a health crusader and gave her life to public service as a social humanitarian.
Salmon P. Chase
After economic crisis and the death of his father in 1820, 12 year-old Salmon P. Chase moved to Worthington, Ohio with his uncle, Bishop Chase.
Chase enrolled at Cincinnati College in 1823 at age of 15, after his uncle was appointed president of the institution. Chase and his uncle stayed at Cincinnati College for just one year. After his uncle, moved to England, Chase moved to New Hampshire with his mother and enrolled at Dartmouth College. Graduating Phi Beta Kappa in 1826, Chase moved to Washington, D.C. and established a private school for boys while he continued his studies. He passed the bar exam in 1829 and promptly moved back to Cincinnati where he opened a law practice.
In 1850, on the votes of the Free Soil-Democratic coalition, Chase was elected to the United States Senate. In 1856 Chase was elected and served two terms as Ohio's first Republican governor. Of special note, Chase was the first governor to occupy Ohio's current statehouse. Although the construction of the statehouse was not completed until 1861, the governor, general assembly and Ohio Supreme Court moved into the building in 1857.
Chase returned to the U.S. Senate in 1860, but gave up his Senate seat to accept Abraham Lincoln's offer to serve as the U.S. Secretary of Treasury. Four years later, Chase was sworn in as the nation's sixth Chief Justice on December 15, 1864.
Chase suffered a fatal stroke in New York City while visiting his daughter Nettie on May 7, 1873. On October 14, 1886, at the request of the State of Ohio, Chase's body was returned to his home for burial and now rests at the Spring Grove Cemetery in Cincinnati. In 1894, a statue by Cincinnati native and Civil War veteran Levi Tucker Scofield, titled These Are My Jewels, was placed on the Ohio statehouse grounds. The statue features a life-sized sculpture of Chase and six other prominent 19th century Ohioans, including U.S. Presidents Grant, Garfield and Hayes.
In 1934 the United States Treasury honored Chase's memory by placing his portrait on the $10,000 Federal Reserve note.
Paul Laurence Dunbar
Paul Laurence Dunbar was born in Dayton, Ohio on June 27, 1872 to parents who had escaped from slavery. Dunbar was an African-American poet and novelist. His writings portrayed the African-American life of his era, focusing on African-American accomplishments and pride. He was the first black author to gain national recognition and a wide popular audience.
In 1886, Dunbar entered Central High School in Dayton as the only African-American student in his class. He graduated in 1891. In school, he served as editor of the school newspaper and was the class poet.
Dunbar published his first book of poems, Oak and Ivy, in 1893 with his own money, and his second book, Majors and Minors, two years later. William Dean Howells, then one of America's most distinguished literary critics, read the second book and urged the young poet to concentrate on black dialect verse.
With the 1896 publication of Lyrics of Lowly Life, Dunbar's professional career got off to a fabulous start. His works began to sell well enough for him to earn his living as a writer. His short stories, which began appearing in popular magazines in the 1890s, often depicted African American folk characters, Southern scenes and humorous situations.
Paul Laurence Dunbar died on February 9, 1906 in Dayton. His stories and poems continue to live on and show how well he succeeded in capturing the elements of African American life.
Charles F. Kettering
Charles F. Kettering was born in Loudonville, Ohio on August 29, 1876. Kettering enrolled in the Ohio State University and earned an electrical engineering degree in 1904.
Kettering's long career earned him more than 300 patents and the reputation of being a great American inventor. His career began when he became the head of research for General Motors. He served in that role for 27 years from 1920 to 1947. While at GM, Kettering invented the all-electric starting ignition and lighting system for the automobile. Other patents included a portable lighting system, Freon, a World War I "aerial torpedo," the Kettering Bug, a treatment for venereal disease and an incubator for premature infants. His engine-driven generator was combined with storage batteries to form a "Delco Plant", providing an electrical lighting system for farmhouses and other locations remote from an electrical power grid. Kettering also developed the idea of Duco paint and ethyl gasoline. Kettering was instrumental in helping to develop diesel engines and ways to harness solar energy. He was a pioneer in the application of magnetism to medical diagnostic techniques.
In 1945, Kettering helped found the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, based on the premise that American industrial research techniques could be applied to cancer research.
The city of Kettering, Ohio, a suburb of Dayton, was named in his honor when it was incorporated in 1955. Kettering passed away in November 1958.
Edward Vernon Rickenbacker was born on October 8, 1890 in Columbus, Ohio. He was an American fighter ace in World War I and Medal of Honor recipient. Rickenbacker was also a race car driver and automotive designer, a government consultant in military matters and a pioneer in air transportation.
Eddie Rickenbacker developed an early interest in automobiles, and by the time the U.S. entered the war in 1917 he was one of the country's top racing drivers. He began army service as a driver and soon became a fighter pilot. Rickenbacker was awarded the Medal of Honor for shooting down 26 enemy airplanes in World War I. He later founded and directed his own automobile company. In 1932 he became an executive with several airlines until forming Eastern Airlines.
With the outbreak of World War II, Rickenbacker volunteered his services to the government. En route to deliver a message to General MacArthur, his plane went down in the Pacific. Adrift for 24 days, Rickenbacker led the survivors in catching food and water until they were rescued. In 1943, Rickenbacker requested permission to travel to the Soviet Union to help with their American-built aircraft and to assess their military capabilities. While he successfully accomplished his mission, the trip is best remembered for his error in alerting the Soviets to the secret B-29 super fortress project.
At the end of the war, Rickenbacker returned to Eastern Airlines. He remained with the company until a downturn in economic conditions forced him from his position as CEO in 1959. He stayed on as chairman of the board until December 31, 1963. Rickenbacker died at Zurich, Switzerland on July 27, 1973.
Denton "Cy" Young
Denton True "Cy" Young was born on March 29, 1867 in Gilmore, Ohio. Cy Young's baseball career spanned from 1890 to 1911. Young received the nickname "Cy" as a result of his famous fast ball which was thought to be as fast as a cyclone.
Through the years Young pitched for five different major league teams. Young's career started in 1890 with the Cleveland Spiders. After eight years with the Spiders, Young was moved to St. Louis in 1899. After two years there, Young jumped to the newly-created American League, joining the Boston franchise. He was traded back to the city of Cleveland in 1909, before spending the final two months of his career in Boston.
Young recorded numerous professional pitching records in the majors, some of which have stood for more than a century. In addition to numerous wins, Young currently holds the Major Leagues records for most career innings pitched (7,355), most career games started (815) and most complete games (749). In addition, Young also retired with 316 losses, the most in Major League Baseball (MLB) history.
Over the span of his career, Young had 76 career shutouts, which is the fourth highest in history. Young also won at least 30 games in a season five times, with 10 other seasons of more than 20 wins. In addition, Young pitched three no-hitters, including the first perfect game of baseball's "modern era".
Young retired with 511 career wins, 94 wins ahead of Walter Johnson, who is second on the list of most wins in MLB history. After his retirement, Young went back to his farm in Ohio, where he stayed until his death at age 88 in 1955.
In honor of Young's contributions to MLB, the Cy Young Award, an annual award given to the pitcher voted the most effective in each of the two leagues, was created in 1956. Young was elected to The Baseball Hall of Fame in 1937.