The Capitol Square Review and Advisory Board (CSRAB) announces that the Statehouse Museum Shop is sponsoring a T-shirt design contest. The Statehouse Museum Shop is looking for a vibrant, eye-catching, unique design that can be used on a T-shirt and sold in the Statehouse shop starting in the summer of 2014. “Ohioans are innovative and creative people. CSRAB wants to promote and highlight that creativity through the Ohio Statehouse T-shirt Design Contest,” said William E. Carleton, executive director of CSRAB.

The winner will receive:

  • A T-shirt with the winning art

  • One $25 gift card from the Statehouse Museum Shop

  • A private tour of the Ohio Statehouse including the Cupola for up to 10 people

Contest Overview
All entrants must live in the State of Ohio, and entries must be received by April 30, 2014. Semifinalists, selected by the T-shirt design committee, will be announced May 5, 2014. At that time, the semifinalists’ designs will be posted on the Ohio Statehouse Facebook page, the Statehouse Museum Shop Facebook page and the Statehouse Museum Shop Pinterest page where visitors can “like” their favorite design. Additionally, the semifinalists’ designs will also be on display at the Statehouse Museum Shop where visitors can cast a vote for their favorite design, all public voting ends May 23, 2014. The T-shirt design committee will consider the public voting results when selecting the winner. The winning design will be announced June 2, 2014 and will be on display in the Statehouse Museum Shop, T-shirts with the winning design will be on sale this summer.

Contest rules and entry form are attached to this communiqué. For further contest details and to view this press release, please, visit the Ohio Statehouse website at


The Capitol Square Review and Advisory Board (CSRAB) launched a redesigned and upgraded public website Monday. The new streamlined website is more intuitive, and consolidates information, previously scattered on five independent websites, to a single one stop shop for all things Statehouse and Capitol Square. The Ohio Statehouse website address has not changed—

William E. Carleton, executive director of CSRAB said, “With technology evolving at break-neck speed, it is important for public institutions to keep pace with technological advances to engage the public, and better serve their needs. The new Statehouse website is an online clearinghouse for Ohioans, and visitors from around the world, to learn about Ohio government, history and art. This new website helps CSRAB educate the public, facilitate the work of state government and protect the historical integrity of this great edifice.”

With a clean design and more easy to use navigation, the new Statehouse website delivers more information to the visitor quicker. “Since every Ohio student cannot visit the Statehouse on an annual basis. The new website has been redesigned to take the Statehouse to the student to engage and inspire the next generation of Ohio leaders," said Luke Stedke, communications and marketing manager for CSRAB. The upgraded website has four new sections that organize the site by topic with drop down tabs to further educate the visitor on the specific subject he or she has researched. Specific website upgrades include:

  • One consolidated website for CSRAB and the Ohio Statehouse

  • A searchable Online Collection Catalog,” for a deep dive into Ohio Statehouse history

  • Technology upgrades to facilitate more efficient communication with Ohio citizens

The Ohio Statehouse website redesign was led by Luke Stedke CSRAB communications director, and Mike Rupert CSRAB communications specialist in association with the fantastic team at Legislative Information Systems (LIS).

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The Capitol Square Review and Advisory Board and James A. Garfield National Historic Site (National Park Service) will honor the 20th President of the United States Tuesday, March 11, 2014 in the Ohio Statehouse Rotunda. Dr. Todd Arrington, chief of interpretation and education for James A. Garfield NHS, and Andrew Mizsak, master volunteer ranger, will conduct two historical presentations at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. in the Rotunda of the Ohio Statehouse. The Ohio Channel will live stream the 10 a.m. presentation at:

James A. Garfield was born in Cuyahoga County (Orange Township), Ohio, in 1831. The last of the “log cabin Presidents” Garfield was a voracious reader as a youth and a natural academic. Upon graduation from Williams College in Massachusetts in 1856 Garfield returned to the Western Reserve Eclectic Institute (now Hiram College) as a classics professor and was later president of the institution.

Garfield was elected in 1859 to serve in the 54th Ohio General Assembly from 1860-1861, representing Portage and Summit counties. With the start of the American Civil War, Garfield organized the 42nd Ohio Volunteer Infantry in Aug. 1861. In Dec.1863, Garfield resigned from the Army to take his seat in the U.S. House of Representatives. At the time Garfield was the youngest major general in the Union Army.

Arrington and Mizsak will highlight Garfield’s contribution to the state of Ohio prior to his ascension to the presidency in 1881. This is a wonderful opportunity to learn about a “Great Ohioan.” The presentation is free and open to the public.

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The Ohio Statehouse will celebrate Women’s History Month, March 1 – 31, 2014, with tours of the Ladies’ Gallery and a special women’s suffrage movement retrospective presentation March 13 at noon in the Governor Thomas Worthington Center.

Elizabeth Cole Clark from the Harriet Taylor Upton House in Warren, Ohio, will give a talk on the Ohio women’s suffragette movement and Harriet Taylor Upton’s involvement. The Upton House served as the temporary center of the National American Woman Suffrage Association in 1903 and remained there until 1905 when the headquarters relocated to the Trumbull County Courthouse.

Tours of the Ladies’ Gallery will be offered to Statehouse visitors throughout March. The Ladies’ Gallery pays homage to Ohio’s first six women legislators who paved the way for women in government. The room also honors all women who have served in the Ohio General Assembly.

About the Ladies’ Gallery
After ratification of the 19th to the U.S. Constitution in 1920, women gained the right to vote. Six capable and determined women were elected to the 85th Ohio General Assembly in 1923. Serving in the Ohio House of Representatives were Nettie McKenzie Clapp, Cuyahoga County; Lulu Thomas Gleason, Lucas County; Adelaide Sterling Ott, Mahoning County; and May Martin Van Wye, Hamilton County. Serving in the Ohio Senate were Nettie Bromley Loughead, Hamilton County; and Maude Comstock Waitt, Cuyahoga County.

About Harriet Taylor Upton
Harriet Taylor Upton was born Dec. 17, 1853, in Ravenna, Ohio. At 7 years of age, her family moved to Warren, Ohio. In 1890, Upton joined the National Women's Suffrage Association. The next year, she began Ohio Women in Convention, a group of women seeking equal societal opportunities, especially the right to vote.

Upton emerged as a leading women’s rights advocate in the early 1890s. In 1894, members of the National Women's Suffrage Association elected Upton treasurer of the organization. It was at Upton's urging that the National Women's Suffrage Association moved its national headquarters to Warren, during this period. Upton also served as president of the “Ohio Womans Suffrage Association” from 1899 to 1908 and from 1911 to 1920.

Upton also was a political player in Ohio. In 1898, she was the first woman elected to the Warren Board of Education. A life-long member of the Republican Party, Upton was the first woman to serve on the Republican National Executive Committee. In 1928, she helped lead the Republican Party's campaign in Ohio by becoming an assistant state campaign manager. Upton also ran unsuccessfully for the United States House of Representatives in 1926.

Upton was a prolific author. Besides writing several children books, she also authored several histories, including “A History of the Western Reserve,” “The Early Presidents,” “Their Wives and Children” and “History of Trumbull County.” Upton died Nov. 2, 1945.

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In commemoration of Ohio’s founding March 1, 1803, the Ohio Statehouse will host a small exhibit in the Statehouse Rotunda Feb. 27 through March 3. The Statehood Day exhibit will include the film, “The Debate Over Statehood,” which depicts the struggle for Statehood between Arthur St. Clair and Thomas Worthington.

The film highlights Ohio’s journey to statehood through an interesting tale of political intrigue between Federalists and Anti-Federalists, a governmental rivalry rooted in the fight for ratification of the U.S. Constitution. The display will also include the original portraits of St. Clair and Worthington and a model of the first Columbus Capitol. Seating will be available.

Arriving to Ohio in 1796 Thomas Worthington, quickly, emerged as a political leader in the Northwest Territory. Worthington built his home, Adena, near Chillicothe. From 1799 to 1803, Worthington served in the territorial legislature. A committed member of the Democratic-Republican Party, Worthington became a major opponent of the Northwest Territory’s Governor Arthur St. Clair and the Federalist Party. St. Clair actively opposed Ohio’s admittance to the Union. He hoped that Ohio would not become a single state but rather two states.
Worthington and several others urged President Thomas Jefferson, to make Ohio a state. Worthington personally traveled to Washington, D.C. to urge Ohio statehood. Jefferson responded by approving the Enabling Act of 1802. This act called on the people of Ohio to form a constitutional convention and to fulfill other requirements of the Northwest Ordinance to become a state. St. Clair denounced the Enabling Act, prompting Jefferson to remove St. Clair as territorial governor. Ohio became the 17th state of the United States March 1, 1803.

Worthington served in the Ohio General Assembly briefly in 1803 but became one of Ohio's first two United States Senators in that same year. He served as a senator until 1807. He then became a member of the Ohio General Assembly for the next two years. In 1810, he returned to the United States Senate. While in the Senate, Worthington urged the United States government to send military assistance to the settlers of Ohio to aid them against the Indian forces of Tecumseh and the Prophet. He also believed that the United States was too weak to defend itself adequately against the British and opposed the War of 1812. He resigned his senate seat in December 1814 to become governor of Ohio. He was reelected governor in 1816.

Dates Leading Up to Statehood
• Nov. 29, 1802, Ohio adopted its first state constitution and ratified that of the United States.
• Feb. 19, 1803, when the Congress of the United States passed the Enabling Act recognizing Ohio's statehood and establishing the United Stated District Court for Ohio.
• March 1, 1803, when the first General Assembly convened in Chillicothe.

About Ohio History

After the American Revolutionary War, the U.S. Congress intended to convert land ceded by the British into organized states. The area now known as Ohio became part of the Northwest Territory, the land north and west of the Ohio River. The Northwest Ordinance of 1787 provided for an orderly administration of this territory and its transformation into settled states. By 1802, the population of the eastern division of the Northwest Territory had reached 45,000, and Congress authorized an election of delegates and the drafting of a state constitution in preparation for Ohio’s admission to the Union. A constitutional convention held in Chillicothe in November 1802 drafted Ohio’s first constitution.

After elections held in January 1803, the first Ohio General Assembly convened in Chillicothe. Ohio entered the Union March 1, 1803, as the 17th state.

When Ohio joined the Union in 1803, a two story stone building in Chillicothe served as the state capitol. In 1810, for political reasons, the General Assembly moved the capital temporarily to Zanesville, holding sessions in the new brick courthouse. Legislation enacted on Feb. 20, 1810, provided for the selection of a permanent site for a capital “not more than 40 miles from what may be deemed the common center of the state,” ruling out both Chillicothe and Zanesville.
In 1812, the General Assembly established Columbus as the capital city; Chillicothe would be the temporary capital until the new capitol could be built in Columbus. The first Columbus capitol was completed in 1816 and was located on the southwest corner of Capitol Square (State and High Street).

Images are available upon request or online at:

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The Ohio Statehouse will celebrate Black History Month throughout February with a special display, free historical performance each Thursday at noon and special tours of the George Washington Williams Room.

The 2014 Rosa Parks Children’s Art Exhibit, The Power of One, a K-third grade student art exhibit sponsored by COTA. The exhibit is the students’ artistic expression of how they would change things for the better. Rosa Parks is honored because through her act of courage, she helped make America a better place for all people. Students were asked what would you do if you had a chance… To do a brave thing? A courageous thing? A kind thing? If nothing stood in your way, what would you do to change America and make it a better place for all people?

Living history programs will be presented each Thursday at noon throughout February in the Museum Gallery on the ground floor of the Ohio Statehouse. Visitors will meet first-person interpreters who portray prominent African Americans in U.S. history. Each 45-minute vignette will focus on African-American history as part of Black History Month at the Ohio Statehouse. Each performance is rich with history, drama and adventure. The programs are presented by We’ve Known Rivers, which is a partnership of dynamic storytellers with a passion for history and education. The programs are free and open to the public. For more information about We’ve Known Rivers, visit

Scheduled living history performances include:

February 6: Ethel Waters, portrayed by Dr. Annette Jefferson.
Presented in the Museum Gallery on the ground floor of the Ohio Statehouse

February 13: Martin Luther King, Jr., portrayed by Anthony Gibbs.
Presented in the Museum Gallery on the ground floor of the Ohio Statehouse

February 20: “Rise and Ride: The Story of the Freedom Riders,” with the entire cast of We’ve Known Rivers.
Presented in the Museum Gallery on the ground floor of the Ohio Statehouse

February 27: Phyllis Wheatley and George Washington, portrayed by Sandra Quick and Ken Hammontree.
Presented in the Museum Gallery on the ground floor of the Ohio Statehouse

A special soul food menu will be offered in the Capitol Cafe each Thursday in February. The Capitol Cafe, operated by Milo’s Catering and Banquet Services, will offer a variety of reasonably priced soul food options each Thursday.

Tours will visit the George Washington Williams Memorial Room throughout February. The George Washington Williams Memorial Room is a tribute to Ohio’s first African-American legislator. George Washington Williams was the first African American elected to the Ohio General Assembly. Williams was elected to the House of Representatives as a Republican legislator from Hamilton County in 1879 at the age of 30. Williams was a Civil War soldier, pastor, journalist, lawyer, politician, freewill ambassador, author and historian. This room exhibits furnishings representing styles popular in the United States in the late 1800’s. The furniture includes period antiques, reproduction pieces and art work that help visitors experience history.

High resolution images are available at:

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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.; closed holidays. The Ohio Statehouse Museum is open weekdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; weekends from noon to 4 p.m.; closed holidays. Admission is free. Free guided tours are offered weekdays on the hour from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., and weekends from noon to 3 p.m. Tours depart from the Map Room easily accessible from the Third Street entrance. 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

The Ohio Statehouse is handicapped accessible and senior friendly. The Capitol Square complex was restored to allow for greater access by individuals living with disabilities. Ohio Statehouse public programs and events are held in accessible and barrier free areas of the building so that everyone can participate. Ohio Statehouse visitors needing disability-related accommodations in order to fully participate in an event may contact the Capitol Square Review and Advisory Board at or 614/752-9777 to communicate special needs. Please allow three weeks for arrangements to be completed.

The Capitol Square Review and Advisory Board (CSRAB) 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.

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Calendar Listing:

Black History Month at the Ohio Statehouse
February 1 - 28, 2014
Ohio Statehouse, 1 Capitol Square; downtown Columbus

The Ohio Statehouse will celebrate Black History Month throughout February with a special display, free historical performances each Thursday at noon and special tours of the George Washington Williams Room. Visitors can also enjoy a special soul food menu at the Capitol Cafe each Thursday in February.

Special Black History Month exhibition: Rosa Parks, The Power of One, a K-third grade student art exhibit sponsored by COTA. The exhibit is the students’ artistic expression of how they would change things for the better.
Through March 3, 2014
Map Room

Living history programs featuring interpreters portraying prominent historical African Americans by We’ve Known Rivers!
Each Thursday; February 6, 13, 20, 27, 2013
12 p.m. – 1 p.m.
Museum Gallery

George Washington Williams Room Tours
Visit the room which memorializes Ohio’s first African-American legislator.
10 a.m. – 3 p.m.

The Capitol Square Review and Advisory Board (CSRAB) and the Capitol Square Foundation today announce the 2014 Great Ohioans. The 2014 honorees were presented by the Capitol Square Foundation and unanimously approved by the twelve-member CSRAB. The two honorees were selected from nominations submitted by individuals and organizations throughout Ohio.

The 2014 Great Ohioans are: Annie Oakley, superstar sharpshooter and educator, and Jerri Mock, first woman to fly around the world.

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

High resolution images of each of the winners are available at:

“This year we honor two individuals who were pioneers in their fields. Both honorees gained international recognition for their extraordinary accomplishments. These two women have inspired, and continue to inspire, future generations of Ohioans with their skill and drive; they have set themselves apart as true global trailblazers,” said CSRAB Executive Director William Carleton.

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.


Annie Oakley was born August 13, 1860, in Darke County, Ohio. Her birth name was Phoebe Anne Mozee. Oakley received a limited formal education, but she became an expert markswoman at a young age. She assisted her parents in paying off the mortgage on the family farm by selling wild game that she killed in Cincinnati.
By the mid-1870s, Oakley had earned a name for herself thanks to her shooting skills. In 1875, she won a contest against Frank Butler, a marksman who earned a living by performing in circuses. Butler convinced Oakley to travel with him across the country, demonstrating her skills. The two performers eventually married.
In 1885, the couple joined "Buffalo Bill" Cody's Wild West Show. Oakley became known as "Miss Annie Oakley, the Peerless Lady Wing-Shot." In her act, Oakley routinely split a card in two edge-wise with a single shot from thirty paces. She shot cigarettes out of her husband's mouth and, on a tour of Europe, even performed this same act with Crown Prince Wilhelm, who eventually became Kaiser Wilhelm II, the leader of Germany. Oakley also shot dimes thrown into the air.
Oakley remained with the Wild West Show until 1901, when she became partially paralyzed in a train accident. She eventually recovered and returned to show business. She died on November 3, 1926. The Broadway musical "Annie Get Your Gun" is a fictitious account of Oakley's life.

Geraldine Fredritz Mock was born on November 22, 1925, in Newark, Ohio. Mock, better known as "Jerrie," was the first woman to fly around the world. On March 19, 1964, Mock took off from Columbus in her plane, the "Spirit of Columbus, The "Spirit of Columbus" was a Cessna 180. Mock's trip around the world took twenty-nine days, eleven hours, and fifty-nine minutes, with the pilot returning to Columbus on April 17, 1964.
She had flown 23,103 miles. On this flight, Mock had set the round-the-world speed record for planes smaller than 3,858 pounds. As a result of her flight, President Lyndon Baines Johnson awarded Mock the Federal Aviation Administration's Exceptional Service Decoration. In 1975, Mock's Cessna was donated to the National Air and Space Museum. For her contributions to flight, the Federation Aeronautique Internationale honored Mock with its Louis Bleriot Medal, the organization's highest honor. Mock was the first woman and also the first U.S. citizen to receive the medal.
Mock leads an active life beyond flying. She served as producer of Youth Has Its Say, the first television program dedicated to allowing children to voice their opinions. She authored several magazine articles and a book, and Mock also wrote and directed a radio program, Opera Preludea. Mock resides in Quincy, Florida.


Since 2003, 30 other Great Ohioans have been recognized with the award for the special roles they played in history. The Great Ohioans include:

2003 Class: Orville and Wilbur Wright, inventors of powered flight; John Glenn, first American to orbit the earth; and Neil Armstrong, first man to walk on the moon;

2008 Class: Jesse Owens, Olympic track and field star; Thomas Edison, inventor; Harriet Beecher Stowe, author; James Thurber, journalist and author; Colonel Charles Young, military leader; Dr. George Crile, founder of the Cleveland Clinic;

2009 Class: Catherine Nelson Black, health care humanitarian; Salmon P. Chase, Ohio Governor, Secretary of the Treasury and Supreme Court Chief Justice; Paul Laurence Dunbar, poet and author; Charles F. Kettering, inventor; Eddie Rickenbacker, World War I fighter ace; Denton T. “Cy” Young, baseball legend;

2010 Class: James M. Cox, journalist, member of the United States House of Representatives, Ohio Governor; Florence Ellinwood Allen, first woman Ohio Supreme Court Justice; Bob Feller, baseball legend; and Bill Willis, National Football League hall of famer;

2011 Class: Ulysses S. Grant, Civil War General and U.S. President; William Moore McCulloch, Speaker of the Ohio House of Representatives, U.S. Congressman and civil rights advocate; William Howard Taft, U.S. President and U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice; and Harriet Taylor Upton, women’s rights advocate and author;

2012 Class: Gordon Battelle, philanthropist and researcher; Dominic Salavtore “Don” Gentile, World War II fighter pilot; Washington Gladden, clergyman and social reformer; Albert Belmont Graham, founder of the 4-H program; Albert Sabin, medical researcher best known for the oral polio vaccine; and William T. Sherman, Civil War general;

2013 Class: Paul Brown, legendary football player and coach; James Garfield, U.S. President and Governor of Ohio; and Granville T. Woods, inventor.

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

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.

All citizens, especially teachers and students, are encouraged to participate in the nomination process to select the 2015 class of honorees. A complete explanation of the nomination process and nomination forms can be found online at

To view this press release and others, visit

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.

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The Ohio Statehouse will celebrate the 171st birthday of Ohio Governor and U.S. President William McKinley’s with its annual Red Carnation Day. The day-long commemoration honors McKinley and his contributions to Ohio, the country and world while serving as Ohio Governor and U.S. President. William McKinley was born on January 29, 1843 in Niles, Ohio.

Individuals wearing a red carnation or dressed in scarlet during this special day will receive a 20% discount on one item (some exclusions apply) in the Statehouse Museum Shop and a 10% discount on purchases in the Capitol Cafe. The shop and cafe are located on the ground floor of the Ohio Statehouse. Red Carnation Day will also feature information highlighting President McKinley during Statehouse tours.

The day of remembrance also includes a special McKinley exhibit and video montage that will be on display in the Ohio Statehouse Rotunda. The video presentation consists of 12 rare, early film clips called actualities, that document President McKinley reviewing troops and giving a speech at the 1901 Pan-American Exposition in Buffalo, New York, the day before his assassination; the scene of a crowd exiting the “Temple of Music” just moments after McKinley was shot by Leon F. Czolgosz; and McKinley’s funeral procession at Buffalo, New York, Washington, D.C. and Canton, Ohio. The piece concludes with an unusual early film clip called “The Martyred Presidents,” a vignette paying tribute to Abraham Lincoln, James Garfield and William McKinley, all of whom were assassinated in office.

The film was created by Thomas A. Edison, Inc. and is from the collections of the Library of Congress.

About the State Flower and its Connection to William McKinley
President William McKinley was assassinated in 1901 during a visit to the Pan American Exposition in Buffalo, NY. Shot twice with a hand gun, President McKinley survived eight days before his death on September 14. On February 3, 1904, the Ohio General Assembly enacted legislation making the scarlet carnation the state flower. This was done specifically to honor William McKinley, Ohio Governor (1892-1896) and U.S. President (1897-1901), who regularly wore this type of flower on his lapel.

McKinley’s floral signature goes back to the election of 1876, when he was running for a seat in the United States Congress. His opponent for the seat was Levi Lamborn, of Alliance, Ohio. Lamborn was a physician and keen amateur horticulturist, and had developed a strain of bright scarlet carnations he dubbed “Lamborn Red.” Dr. Lamborn presented McKinley with a “Lamborn Red” boutonniere before their debates, and after his election victory, the future President saw the red carnation as a good luck charm. He wore one on his lapel regularly and presented visitors to his office carnations from a vase. Moments before he was shot by an assassin, it is reported that McKinley had removed the carnation from his lapel and presented it to a young girl. Dr. Lamborn was instrumental in efforts to enact the legislation that made the scarlet carnation the state flower of Ohio. In 1959, the Ohio Legislature named Alliance, Ohio “the Carnation City.”

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Red Carnation Day at the Ohio Statehouse
January 29, 2014; 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Ohio Statehouse Rotunda, 1 Capitol Square; downtown Columbus

Dayton, Ohio, native Lewis G. Reynolds founded the Carnation League of America in 1903. The League encouraged all Americans to wear a red carnation on William McKinley’s birthday, January 29. President William McKinley was assassinated at the Pan-American Exposition in Buffalo two years prior. McKinley’s favorite flower was said to be the carnation. The observance will include an exhibit on the history of Carnation Day and the life and legacy of Ohio Governor and President William McKinley.

The Statehouse will also offer special discounts throughout the day in the Museum Shop and Capitol Cafe for individuals wearing a red carnation or dressed in scarlet.
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