Know Ohio: Reflections with Mary Fecteau

EVERY WEEK, WE STAY ABOVE GROUND AND UNCOVER ALL KINDS OF STORIES AND FACTS ABOUT THE BUCKEYE STATE IN OUR KNOW OHIO SEGMENT.

IT’S HOSTED BY PRODUCER MARY FECTEAU.

* MARY, OTHER THAN HOSTING KNOW OHIO, WHAT DO YOU DO FOR NEWSDEPTH?

* WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE PART OF WORKING ON NEWSDEPTH?

* WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE KNOW OHIO?

LET’S TAKE A LOOK AT IT RIGHT NOW!

OH, DON’T MIND ME! I’M JUST CELEBRATING STATEHOOD DAY!
IT’S ONLY THE MOST EXCITING TIME OF YEAR TO BE AN OHIOAN – OH, ASIDE FROM WHEN THE CAVS IN FINALS, OR THE INDIANS IN THE WORLD SERIES, OR LIKE WHEN OSU BEATS MICHIGAN! OK, IT’S PROBABLY LIKE THE FOURTH OR FIFTH MOST EXCITING TIME OF YEAR TO BE AN OHIOAN.

STATEHOOD DAY IS THE ANNIVERSARY OF THE DAY OHIO BECAME A STATE – WHICH WE OBSERVE EVERY YEAR ON MARCH 1ST. BUT OHIO DIDN’T EXACTLY HAVE A SMOOTH ROAD TO STATEHOOD. BEFORE OHIO BECAME A STATE, IT WAS A TERRITORY. SPECIFICALLY, A PART THE NORTHWEST TERRITORY. THE NORTHWEST TERRITORY WAS A BIG PATCH OF LAND THAT ALSO INCLUDED WHAT IS NOW MICHIGAN, INDIANA, ILLINOIS, AND PARTS OF WISCONSIN AND MINNESOTA. INSTEAD OF BEING A STATE CONTROLLED BY THE U.S. PRESIDENT AND THE REST OF THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT, THE TERRITORY WAS RULED BY A GOVERNOR. IN THE EARLY 1800’S THAT GOVERNOR WAS ARTHUR ST. CLAIR.

ARTHUR ST. CLAIR BELONGED TO A PARTY CALLED THE FEDERALISTS – AND HE STOOD IN THE WAY OF OHIO BECOMING A STATE IN 1802. SEE, ARTHUR WANTED THE BOUNDARY OF OHIO TO BE SMALLER – ENDING AT THE SCIOTO RIVER, SO THE POPULATION WOULD BE SMALLER. THIS IS BECAUSE HE WAS A BIT POWER HUNGRY – ACCORDING TO THE RULES AT THE TIME, IF THE POPULATION WAS SMALL ENOUGH – UNDER 60 THOUSAND PEOPLE, ST. CLAIR COULD CONTINUE TO REIN OVER THE TERRITORY WITHOUT INTERFERENCE FROM THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT.

BUT A DIFFERENT POLITICAL PARTY IN OHIO – THE DEMOCRATIC-REPUBLICAN PARTY – LED BY MEN LIKE THOMAS WORTHINGTON, NATHANIEL MASSIE, AND EDWARD TIFFIN – WANTED STATEHOOD – AND THEY ASKED THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT FOR HELP. ALTHOUGH OHIO’S POPULATION WAS STILL A LITTLE SMALL, THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT AGREED THAT IT SHOULD BE A STATE – AND ON APRIL 30, 1802, PRESIDENT THOMAS JEFFERSON SIGNED THE ENABLING ACT. THIS ACT CALLED FOR OHIO TO BE MADE A FORMAL STATE AS SOON AS POSSIBLE.

BUT THAT DIDN’T STOP ARTHUR ST. CLAIR, THE FEDERALIST, FROM MAKING A STINK ABOUT IT! ST. CLAIR WANTED TO DELAY STATEHOOD, AND TOLD THE FRAMERS OF THE OHIO CONSTITUTION THAT THEY SHOULD IGNORE PRESIDENT JEFFERSON’S ENABLING ACT. INSTEAD OF DOING THAT – THE OHIO DELEGATES RATTED HIM OUT! THEY TOLD PRESIDENT JEFFERSON ALL ABOUT THE SMACK-TALKING ST. CLAIR WAS DOING. AND JEFFERSON PROMPTLY FIRED HIM!

AFTER THE DRAMA, IT TOOK NEARLY A YEAR FOR OHIO’S RIVAL POLITICAL PARTIES TO COME UP WITH A CONSTITUTION, AND FOR THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT TO APPROVE IT. A CONSTITUTION IS A SET OF RULES THAT GUIDES HOW A COUNTRY OR STATE WORKS. DEMOCRATIC-REPUBLICANS WANTED A CONSTITUTION THAT FAVORED A SMALL GOVERNMENT WITH LIMITED POWERS – AND BECAUSE MOST OF THE PEOPLE DRAFTING THE CONSTITUTION WERE OF THAT PARTY, THEY GOT THEIR WISH!

THE UNITED STATES SENATE AND THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES EACH APPROVED THE CONSTITUTION, AND OHIO OFFICIALLY BECAME THE SEVENTEENTH STATE ON FEBRUARY 19, 1803. BUT WAIT – THEN WHY DO WE WAIT UNTIL MARCH 1ST TO CELEBRATE STATEHOOD DAY?! WELL, THAT’S BECAUSE MARCH 1ST 1803 IS WHEN OHIO’S GENERAL ASSEMBLY MET FOR THE FIRST TIME!

SO HAPPY BIRTHDAY OHIO!


Instructional Links


Website Article: Ohio History Central, Ohio Statehood

Website: The Ohio Legislature, 132nd General Assembly | Official website

Website: Ohio Governor’s Residence and Heritage Garden, Ohio’s State Symbols

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