Statehouse News

COLUMBUS, OHIO – The Capitol Square Review and Advisory Board (CSRAB) and the Capitol Square Foundation today announce the recipients of the 2018 “Great Ohioan Award.” The 2018 honorees were presented by the Capitol Square Foundation and unanimously approved by the CSRAB this morning at the Board’s first meeting of 2018. The individuals were selected from nominations submitted by citizens and organizations from across Ohio.

 

The 2018 Great Ohioan awardees are: President William McKinley, Union veteran, Congressman, Governor of Ohio and President of the United States of America, and Virginia Hamilton, award winning author, educator and philanthropist.

 

“I believe President McKinley and Virginia Hamilton embody the spirit of the Great Ohioan Award and will serve to inspire future generations of Ohio leaders; they represent the great wealth of talent that the Buckeye State has produced,” said Speaker Cliff Rosenberger, Chairman of the Capitol Square Review and Advisory Board.

 

For detailed information about each honoree, see the biographies below.

 

“Through their accomplishments, each Great Ohioan has changed the trajectory of the State of Ohio, the United States and the world. We hope that every Statehouse visitor is inspired by the life and accomplishments of each one of the men and women who have been recognized with this honor,” said Capitol Square Foundation Chairman Charles Moses. 

 

The Great Ohioan Award commemorates Ohioans who have played a significant role in an event or series of events of lasting significance in world, American or Ohio history. To be selected for the Great Ohioan Award, the nominee must have resided in Ohio for a minimum of five years. In addition, at least 25 years must have passed since the event in which the nominee participated is being commemorated.

 

Since 2003, 41 other Great Ohioans have been recognized with the award for the special roles they played in history. “Both individuals have left their mark on Ohio and the nation; President William McKinley and Virginia Hamilton have earned the title of Great Ohioan,” said Laura P. Battocletti CSRAB executive director.

 

BIOGRAPHY 

William McKinley Jr.

 

Born in Niles, Ohio, in 1843, McKinley briefly attended Allegheny College, and was teaching in a country school when the Civil War broke out. Enlisting as a private in the Union Army, he was mustered out at the end of the war as a brevet major of volunteers. He studied law, opened an office in Canton, Ohio, and married Ida Saxton, daughter of a local banker.

 

At 34, McKinley won a seat in Congress. His attractive personality, exemplary character, and quick intelligence enabled him to rise rapidly. He was appointed to the powerful Ways and Means Committee. Robert M. La Follette, Sr., who served with him, recalled that he generally “represented the newer view,” and “on the great new questions .. was generally on the side of the public and against private interests.”

 

During his 14 years in the House, he became the leading Republican tariff expert, giving his name to the measure enacted in 1890. The next year he was elected Governor of Ohio, serving two terms.

 

When McKinley became President, the depression of 1893 had almost run its course and with it the extreme agitation over silver. Deferring action on the money question, he called Congress into special session to enact the highest tariff in history.

 

In the friendly atmosphere of the McKinley Administration, industrial combinations developed at an unprecedented pace. Newspapers caricatured McKinley as a little boy led around by “Nursie” Hanna, the representative of the trusts. However, McKinley was not dominated by Hanna; he condemned the trusts as “dangerous conspiracies against the public good.”

 

Not prosperity, but foreign policy, dominated McKinley’s Administration. Reporting the stalemate between Spanish forces and revolutionaries in Cuba, newspapers screamed that a quarter of the population was dead and the rest suffering acutely. Public indignation brought pressure upon the President for war. Unable to restrain Congress or the American people, McKinley delivered his message of neutral intervention in April 1898. Congress thereupon voted three resolutions tantamount to a declaration of war for the liberation and independence of Cuba.

 

In the 100-day war, the United States destroyed the Spanish fleet outside Santiago harbor in Cuba, seized Manila in the Philippines, and occupied Puerto Rico.

 

“Uncle Joe” Cannon, later Speaker of the House, once said that McKinley kept his ear so close to the ground that it was full of grasshoppers. When McKinley was undecided what to do about Spanish possessions other than Cuba, he toured the country and detected an imperialist sentiment. Thus the United States annexed the Philippines, Guam, and Puerto Rico.

 

In 1900, McKinley again campaigned against Bryan. While Bryan inveighed against imperialism, McKinley quietly stood for “the full dinner pail.”

 

His second term, which had begun auspiciously, came to a tragic end in September 1901. He was standing in a receiving line at the Buffalo Pan-American Exposition when a deranged anarchist shot him twice. He died eight days later.

 

This presidential biography is courtesy of WhiteHouse.gov. It is from “The Presidents of the United States of America,” by Frank Freidel and Hugh Sidey. Copyright 2006 by the White House Historical Association.

 

Virginia Esther Hamilton

 

Virginia Esther Hamilton was born, as she said, “on the outer edge of the Great Depression,” on March 12, 1934. The youngest of five children of Kenneth James and Etta Belle Perry Hamilton, Virginia grew up amid a large extended family in Yellow Springs, Ohio. The farmlands of southwestern Ohio had been home to her mother’s family since the late 1850s, when Virginia’s grandfather, Levi Perry, was brought into the state as an infant via the Underground Railroad.

 

Virginia graduated at the top of her high-school class and received a full scholarship to Antioch College in Yellow Springs. In 1956, she transferred to the Ohio State University in Columbus and majored in literature and creative writing. She moved to New York City in 1958, working as a museum receptionist, cost accountant, and nightclub singer, while she pursued her dream of being a published writer. She studied fiction writing at the New School for Social Research under Hiram Haydn, one of the founders of Atheneum Press.

 

It was also in New York that Virginia met poet Arnold Adoff. They were married in 1960. Arnold worked as a teacher, and Virginia was able to devote her full attention to writing until her two children came along.  In 1969, Virginia and Arnold built their “dream home” in Yellow Springs, on the last remaining acres of the old Hamilton/Perry family farm, and settled into a life of serious literary work and achievement.

 

In her lifetime, Virginia wrote and published 41 books in multiple genres that spanned picture books and folktales, mysteries and science fiction, realistic novels and biography. Woven into her books is a deep concern with memory, tradition, and generational legacy, especially as they helped define the lives of African Americans. Virginia described her work as “Liberation Literature.” She won every major award in youth literature.

 

This biography is courtesy of virginiahamilton.com.

 

GREAT OHIOAN AWARD RECIPIENTS

  

Great Ohioan honorees and their achievements are archived in a permanent Great Ohioan exhibit, which is part of the Ohio Statehouse Museum. While countless Ohioans have performed great actions for their community and beyond, only a select few have been named a “Great Ohioan.” This exhibit allows visitors to have a greater understanding of the recipients of the Great Ohioan award and discover how they affected local, national and world history. The exhibit uses videos, photos, facts and web based technology to explore the life and legacy of each Great Ohioan. 

 

Opened in 2009, the Ohio Statehouse Museum features high-tech, interactive exhibits that make learning about all three branches of state government immersive. The museum is packed with historical artifacts and images that detail how government works and who has come to serve their fellow citizens. 

 

The Museum includes 5,000 square feet of exhibit space on the ground floor of the Ohio Statehouse that enriches the experience of school children and visitors. The Museum offers exhibits that encourage visitors to participate in the government process by making choices, expressing their opinions, comparing viewpoints and even becoming a part of an exhibit by giving a State of the State address. The museum’s “deep dive” approach to education enables visitors to better relate to the governing process.

 

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COLUMBUS, OHIO – Members of the Capitol Square Review and Advisory Board (CSRAB) will meet Thursday, January 18, 2018 at the Ohio Statehouse in downtown Columbus. The business meeting will be held in the State Room (room #108) and will begin at 10 a.m. The meeting is open to the public. The meeting agenda is available upon request.

 

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COLUMBUS, OHIO – Flags at the Ohio Statehouse will fly at half-staff from sunrise until sunset on Thursday, December 7, 2017 in observance of Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day. Read Governor Kasich’s full resolution here.  

 

COLUMBUS, OHIO – Flags at the Ohio Statehouse will fly at half-staff from sunrise until sunset on December 2, 2017 in honor of the life and service of former Ohio Senate President Bill Harris.

 

Governor Kasich’s order reads:

“In honor of the life and service of former Ohio Senate President Bill Harris, I hereby proclaim, by the authority vested in me as Governor of the State of Ohio by the Ohio Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, that the flags of the United States of America and the State of Ohio shall be flown at half-staff upon all public buildings and grounds throughout the state of Ohio on December 2, 2017 from sunrise to sunset.”

 

COLUMBUS, OHIO – The Capitol Square Review and Advisory Board will celebrate the Ohio Statehouse Holiday Festival and Tree Lighting on Thursday, December 7, 2017 from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. This free family-friendly event is open to the public.

 

The festival marks the beginning of the holiday season on Capitol Square. The indoor ceremony will take place in the Statehouse Atrium and consist of a short program, welcoming Santa and Mrs. Claus, followed by the lighting the Ohio Statehouse and our historically decorated holiday tree. The festivities will then continue with refreshments, arts and crafts activities, games and special performances by local choirs and dancers. There will also be a free photo station available to capture your families’ moment with Santa and Mrs. Claus.

 

Refreshments are courtesy of Milo’s Catering, Cameron Mitchell Premier Events, SPAGIO Catering, the Berwick, L.A. Catering, Metro Cuisine Catering, Two Caterers, Girl Scouts of Ohio’s Heartland Council and Starbucks on Capitol Square. 

 

Come and join us for this festive night at the Ohio Statehouse to start off your holiday season! Convenient and affordable parking is available during the event in the Ohio Statehouse underground parking garage.  Parking rates are available at http://bit.ly/1PE8g3k.

 

Holiday press images are available at: http://bit.ly/2h08eqK

 

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COLUMBUS, OHIO – The Capitol Square Review and Advisory Board will unveil a wheelchair charging station on Capitol Square Thursday, November 16, 2017. A short program to outline the program will be held in the Governor Thomas Worthington Center at 1 p.m. followed by a dedication in the Map Room of the Ohio Statehouse, where the charger is located. A second charging station will be installed in the south penthouse of Capitol Square in the near future.  

 

The funding for these charging stations came from a pilot program administered by National Association of Chronic Disease Directors (NACDD) and would not have been possible without the partnership of the Ohio Department of Health (ODH) and the Adams County Health and Wellness Coalition. Information detailing the program can be found here.

 

“The Board sees these charging stations as a way to provide a more inclusive environment for the citizens of Ohio to access their government. We are grateful for the support and leadership that the NACDD, ODH and the Adams County Health and Wellness Coalition has provided for the project,” said CSRAB Chairman, Senator Bob Peterson.  

 

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COLUMBUS, OHIO – Flags at the Ohio Statehouse will fly at half-staff effective immediately until sunset, November 9, 2017 to honor the victims of the attack perpetrated on November 5, 2017 in Sutherland Springs, Texas.

 

Governor Kasich’s order reads:

“In accordance with orders issued today by the President of the United States of America and to honor the victims of the attack perpetrated on November 5, 2017 in Sutherland Springs, Texas, I hereby proclaim, by the authority vested in me as Governor of the State of Ohio by the Ohio Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, that the flags of the United States of America and the State of Ohio shall be flown at half-staff upon all public buildings and grounds throughout the state of Ohio effective immediately until sunset, November 9, 2017.”

 

COLUMBUS, OHIO – The Capitol Square Review and Advisory Board will celebrate the Ohio Statehouse Holiday Festival and Tree Lighting on Thursday, December 7, 2017 from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. This free family-friendly event is open to the public.

 

The festival marks the beginning of the holiday season on Capitol Square. The indoor ceremony will take place in the Statehouse Atrium and consist of a short program, welcoming Santa and Mrs. Claus, followed by the lighting the Ohio Statehouse and our historically decorated holiday tree. The festivities will then continue with refreshments, arts and crafts activities, games and special performances by local choirs and dancers. There will also be a free photo station available to capture your families’ moment with Santa and Mrs. Claus.

 

Refreshments are courtesy of Milo’s Catering, Cameron Mitchell Premier Events, SPAGIO Catering, the Berwick, L.A. Catering, Metro Cuisine Catering, Two Caterers, Girl Scouts of Ohio’s Heartland Council and Starbucks on Capitol Square. 

 

Come and join us for this festive night at the Ohio Statehouse to start off your holiday season! Convenient and affordable parking is available during the event in the Ohio Statehouse underground parking garage.  Parking rates are available at http://bit.ly/1PE8g3k.

 

Holiday press images are available at: http://bit.ly/2h08eqK

 

To view this press release and others, visit ohiostatehouse.org.

 

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